A sneak peak at TheaterCNU’s “An Experiment with an Air Pump”

Assistant Director, Trevor Boynton, uncovers CNU’s upcoming theatrical event

Opening this weekend, TheaterCNU will present the highly anticipated play, “An Experiment with an Air Pump,” written by Shelagh Stephenson. 

Set between two different time periods of 1799 and 1999, the play will follow two families that are compelled to gain scientific achievement but through an infamous journey. The story places the characters within the same house along both time periods in Newcastle, England.

The play was proposed by Professor Denise Gillman, who is the Director for the theatrical show. Professor Gillman has been teaching the play to her Science on the Stage classes for about 15 years, and now the play will finally have its time on the stage for the following two weekends. 

Without giving too much away, Assistant Director of “An Experiment with an Air Pump” Trevor Boynton provides a glimpse for those unaware of the show’s interdisciplinary and symbolic nature. Boynton said, “A lot of the play is just about comparing scientific ethics from one period to the next.”  

In addition to that, the play revolves around the theme of humanity related to our timeline throughout history. Boynton continues that another theme in regards to the play is how “it compares people across two different time periods and how they behave and their similarities & differences — so sort of how history shapes people and how it reflects.”

In response to the show’s transitions between 1799 and 1999, Boynton said, “We are looking at 20 years in the past and 200 years in the past… While the topics that we were discussing have changed at least somewhat, all the issues that are discussed in the plays are still moral issues to some extent now, and people still have the same kind of opinions and views and reasons for their views… The basic moral discussion always stays the same.”

“An Experiment with an Air Pump” revolves around science, history, morality, English and almost everything in between that are definitely compelling to any sort of viewer with questions about life and the essence of our humanity. 

If you haven’t retrieved your ticket to a seat already, you won’t want to miss the chance to encounter symbolic themes and scenes contained within the show.

~Ashley McMillan, A&E Editor~


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