Backstage Review: ‘Galileo – Stars In His Eyes’ at Brüka Theatre For Children
What do you see when you look up at the night sky?
You may have a bit of a different view after you see “Galileo – Stars In His Eyes”.
This is a play written for children but I know that adults will enjoy this wonderful and inspirational story as much as any kid.
The story is of Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer, physicist, engineer, and father. He was obsessed with finding the truth, this obsession leads him to examine the stars and that examination brought him to many epiphanies. The story is told through his young daughter’s eyes.
“Galileo – Stars In His Eyes” is written by Mary Bennett and takes the audience through a delightful and educational tour of a time in history when science was new and discovery was at times challenging. The evolution of the telescope is also a piece of the story and with that the discovery of how our solar system works.
This is a short high energy play that will delight any audience that is lucky enough to see it. The cast brings life to the story and offers the audience to take part in the show as well.
Take your kids to see “Galileo – Stars In His Eyes”, if you don’t have kids to take then find your inner child and take yourself.
Check out some photos for an idea of what you will see.
Writer/Director/Producer – Mary Bennett
Virginia – Carrie Lynn
Galileo Galilei – David Simpson
Vincenzo Galilei/Stevie – Jessey Richards
Livia/Miss Lodestone – Sara Mackie
Bruka Theatre For Children tours Schools and libraries so there will be many opportunities to see “Galileo – Stars In His Eyes”.
For more information check out Bruka’s website: http://www.bruka.org/
Also check out Bruka’s Facebook page: Bruka Theatre Of The Sierra, Inc
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To understand Western civilization one must first understand the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the Scientific Revolution. These are the events in our history that made us what we are today. During the Renaissance the Roman Catholic Church not only tended to the souls of the West but governed them as well. Western Europe was a theocracy. They believed in the older Ptolemaic model of the universe. They believed the Earth was the center of the universe and that the heavenly bodies revolved around it. The celestial bodies that circled the earth were embedded in crystal spheres that made the Music of the Spheres as they went. The Church’s raison d’être for governing was to take man’s soul from the surface of the Earth where he lived up through the celestial bodies revolving around it and bring that soul to the heavens where the angels and God himself dwelled. Man was thus saved from the burning hell that awaited his soul if he didn’t do what the Church told him to. Their moral authority, hence their power relied on this model of the Earth being the center of the cosmos.
At the time of Galileo the power of the Church was crumbling along with its Ptolemaic model. William of Occam had embarked on the philosophy of science in England. Copernicus in Poland showed the Earth was not indeed the center of the solar system. The sun was. Gutenberg had invented the printing press that made the Bible accessible to anyone who could read. No longer did scholars and ordinary people have to rely on the Church for their salvation. Man could communicate with God without them. And local princes could divert Rome’s taxes, made onerous to build St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, to their own coffers to enhance their own newfound powers.
Galileo found a Dutch invention, the telescope, used to spot ships on the horizon before they could be seen with the naked eye. When a ship arrived with whatever cargo it carried the price of that cargo would drop as the supply of it increased. This advance knowledge was a boon to some Dutch merchants. But Galileo had bigger ideas. He reinvented this instrument to make it much more powerful so he could see beyond the ships on the horizon, beyond Earth, and into the heavens themselves. He saw that Jupiter had four moons revolving around it. Eureka! It was illogical that the planets could be embedded in crystal spheres revolving around the Earth if Jupiter had moons revolving around it. Something would have to crash into something else for that model to work. Thrilled, he rushed to the Church’s “powers that were” to tell them about his discovery.
The Church had enough on their hands already without this pesky Galileo and his optical contraption. The Church forced Galileo to recant under threat of torture and death. Being strong of mind but weak of will and frail of body Galileo did this. He spent the rest of his life humiliated and in seclusion tended to by his daughter.
Mary Bennett has written a charming play for children about Galileo as seen through the eyes of his daughter. The ugliness of Galileo’s life is left for another day. It is a romp that any child will love. So will adults if they take the play on its own terms. Some of the children will even get to play planets onstage. What child would not like to play pizza-oven hot Venus or huge, huge Jupiter or Saturn with its rings? (We adults will disagree with Mary’s script that the rings of Saturn are comprised of ice crystals and solar dust. We adults know they are really comprised of lost airplane luggage.) Why is this a must see for children? Because it teaches children to think for themselves based on the evidence at hand. Because if an adult is to understand our Western civilization he should learn as a child the genesis of that civilization. Brüka teaches just that. Unfortunately the play ran for three days only, March 7, 8, and 9. But they will be performing this gem again on July 13th during Artown, and they soon will be taking it “on the road” to schools in our area.
If the job of parents and educators is to pass our civilization on to our children—and I believe it is—Brüka succeeds admirably.