HMC Student Theater: “Isaac’s Eye”

December 7, 2019 Add to Calendar

8–10 p.m.


Shanahan Center, Drinkward Recital Hall
320 E. Foothill Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711



"Isaac’s Eye" by Lucas Hnath is a play about a story. A story about a young, ambitious Isaac Newton and the one time he decided to stick a needle into his eye to prove that light was particles, not waves. The story is also about love: love of life, of family and of science, and it is about sacrifice: sacrifice of life, of self and of the deeply held need for absolute truth. The play is a comedy, and the story is a tragedy. It is brought excellently to life by a cast and production crew of purely Harvey Mudd student-artists.

The play disrupts and questions our memory of the physicists who came before us. It places a talented group of young scientists in their place, allowing both the performers and audience to contend with their grand humanness.

"Isaac’s Eye"
Written by Lucas Hnath
Directed and Produced by Madeleine Kerr ’20
Stage managed by Jessica Wolf ’20 and Delaney Cohn ‘22
Set designed by Nora Nickerson ’22
Lighting designed by Laura Gordon ’22
Costume designed by Evie Antholis ’20
Starring Anna Barth ‘21, Kaanthi Pandhigunta ‘23, David Linn ‘20, Dillon Coville ‘21, Fiona Plunkett ‘21, and Chris Couto ’23
Poster design by Maya Martinez ’20

Note from the director, Madeleine Kerr ’20:
The project began as an impulse in the spring semester of this year. I am a double major in theater and physics, and it has always been a dream of mine to produce a play that speaks to the philosophy of scientists, starring a group of scientists. This process has been exceptional in every way: these students are a deep, creative and compassionate group who dove head-first into a process with such incredible trust and impressive ownership over their own artistic visions. This project exemplifies all that I wished for of my experience at Harvey Mudd College when I arrived as a freshman. I wanted to see how far together we could push the arts and the sciences so that they could actually talk to each other. And if they could talk to each other, we could see the places where words and explanations cease to make sense and the somewhat-forgotten humanity of science could be revealed.

It was never easy to articulate what I needed, much less make what I needed a reality. For the longest time, I debated my own identity as an artist at this school, as I’m sure many of you can relate. If I had known that there existed a group of people like these amazing "Isaac’s Eye" artists, I would have started to do things like this much sooner. I hope this energy lasts.

I needed to hear this a long time ago, so let me say this to you (you know who you are) with as much immediacy as I can muster. You are an artist.
Cover the Shan blackboard with your drawings, your unspoken words, your statements of protest: that is art.

Disrupt the flow of “normalcy.” Post your most potent poetry on the mirror of every bathroom.
You know that fleeting idea that fills you with joy? with pain? You have the ability to embody it, to bring it physically to life, to share it with the people who need to know it. Repeat the mantra aloud if you need to hear it.
A Mudder is an artist.
A Mudder is an artist.
A Mudder is an artist.

This process has filled me with immense joy, and I hope you come and share this experience we have been waiting all semester to share with you.