Darwin dramatized

I’ve been in Cambridge UK for the week, the final part of the formal period for the journalism fellowship I’m on. They treated us to a performance of Re:Design, a brand new play pulled together from the correspondence of Charles Darwin and Asa Gray, an American botanist and theist. (for more of Darwin’s correspondence, see the Darwin Correspondence Project).

It turns Darwin into a vibrant human being, while also giving a dramatic portrayal of Darwin and Gray’s debate over whether natural selection obviates God as nature’s designer. That debate still goes on today, of course. But to see the doubt and indecision and see it amidst the everyday life of Darwin was remarkably powerful.

Playwright Charles Baxter’s script is here http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/content/view/89/74/. We saw a shorter version, slightly less than an hour, designed for use in schools.

Leave a Reply