Moving Bodies

By Lorraine Liscio
Directed by Myriam Cyr
August 26 – September 16

Love and science, can a woman have both? Paris 1740, the Age of Enlightenment. When the Marquise du Châtelet and Voltaire take opposing sides in a controversy over Newtonian physics, sparks fly and one of the greatest love affairs of the eighteenth-century takes flight. Its Paris 1728 and Secretary of the Academy of Science affirms Newton’s calculation of the force of moving bodies: Force= Mass x Velocity. When Emilie du Châtelet corrects his mistake in an open letter in the Journal of Science: Force =Mass x Velocity squared, the Secretary strikes back Your female condition is the source of your illusions. But Emilie is right, Newton got it wrong. No longer could men claim that the female body clouds female reason.

A starred Parisian night, masked women and men play. Voltaire, sharp-witted, a man of the Enlightenment, writes about all manner of subjects: the properties of fire, Newton’s philosophy, human rights, religious intolerance, differences between British and French governments and more. Emilie, a scientist, lover of the arts, gambler, rich, wants to meet him. For the next ten years, Emilie and Voltaire will shuttle back and forth between Paris and their Cirey chateau where they will spend their days in study and lab experiments, and evenings hosting plays and opera for visiting friends. A sworn enemy, Madame de Graffigny, will tear them apart.

Defiant, excessive and real, the unapologetic scientist Emilie du Châtelet fought for her place as one of the world’s greatest scientists. Moving Bodies reclaims Emilie’s story and tells how she fought for love and science and why as a woman she was never allowed to have both.

Theater for the New City’s: Cabaret Theater
Sunday: August 26, 8pm
Thursday: August 30, 6:30pm
Wednesday:  September 5, 6:30pm
Friday: September 7, 9pm
Saturday: September 8, 2pm
Sunday: September 9, 3:30pm
Sunday: September 9, 8pm
Sunday: September 16, 2pm