A World Premiere, Ear to the Edge of Time is the product of an extraordinary odyssey of discovery and exploration for one of Australia’s greatest contemporary playwrights, Alana Valentine.
When a poet writes a contentious verse about the work of a contemporary radio astronomer, he sends her into a life-changing crisis about the role of team work in 21st Century science.
The central action of the play is the discovery of a unique double pulsar system, but the drama is about a deeply reluctant gender activist, the culture of contemporary science and the nature of collaborative discovery.
Ear to the Edge of Time is the result of extended conversations, interviews and observations of radio astronomers working specifically in the field of neutron star physics both in Australia and Internationally.
The physics reflected in the play – the description of what pulsars are and how they spin, what is inside them and what they tell us about the science of the universe – is both fascinating and provocative, opening a window into the world of space and time as a metaphor for the relationship of art and science.
Ear to the Edge of Time won the fifth STAGE International Script Competition and was developed and supported, in part, through the University of California, Santa Barbara’s STAGE project and Professional Artists Lab (Nancy Kawalek, Director) and the California NanoSystems Institute.
STAGE is a competition for the best play in the world about science or technology, and Ear To The Edge Of Time was the winner from 200 entries from 19 countries in 2012. The judges were Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights Tony Kushner, David Lindsay-Abaire and Donald Margulies, and Nobel Laureates Robert C. Richardson, Frank Wilczek and David J. Wineland. It was also supported by an Australia Council Fellowship.
Playwright Alana Valentine
Director Nadia Tass
Photo credit Panoramio user Diarrhea