Surry Hills based theatre company Sport for Jove is collaborating with celebrated film maker and director Nadia Tass in a new production set to open at the Seymour Centre this weekend.
Tass will direct the world premiere of Ear to the Edge of Time by award winning playwright Alana Valentine, a drama about a young female radio astronomer whose groundbreaking discoveries were appropriated by an older male supervisor.
“The play is about science but its also about politics and culture,” says Tass.
“We have the scientific world which is our platform and we have our poet who is writing about the experience, so I think it’s a really exciting narrative which people will definitely relate to.
“And instead of hammering a message, I think it’s a play which prompts debate and discussion.”
Tass broke through in the world of cinema with her 1986 comedy Malcolm, and her credits include the Big Steal and Mr Reliable among many others.
She now lives between Melbourne, New York and Los Angeles where she alternates between film and theatrical projects.
“I’m a passionate story teller, so as soon as I finish a film I am primed to go back on the stage,” she says.
The collaboration with Sport for Jove came about through her friendship with the company’s artistic director Damien Ryan, and the two searched for an appropriate project for some time before deciding on Ear to the Edge of Time.
“Damien is an extraordinary human being and I have such respect for what he has created with Sport for Jove,” says Tass.
Playright Alana Valentine says the origins of the play was a two week CSIRO residency at the Parkes Radio Telescope in 2008.
It was there she heard vigorous debates about “authorship” and “creative rights” in the scientific community.
Later, when she was commissioned to produce three short plays at the Sydney Observatory, Valentine heard about the case of British scientist Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who discovered pulsars as a Ph.D student but for which Dr Antony Hewish received the Nobel Prize.
This led to an ABC Radio feature also called Ear to the Edge of Time which has now been developed into the play which opens this Saturday October 13.
Ear to the Edge of Time opens at the Seymour Centre and runs until October 27. The cast comprises Belinda Giblin, Gabrielle Scawthorn, Christopher Stollery and Tim Walter