INCOGNITO at Son of Semele Ensemble

Photo courtesy of Son of Semele

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

When Albert Einstein died of a brain aneurysm at Princeton Hospital in 1955, the pathologist who performed the autopsy ended up stealing Einstein’s brain. The physicist had left specific instructions for his remains to be cremated, and they were, except for his eyes and his brain. Dr. Thomas Harvey eventually got a retroactive blessing from Einstein’s son, Hans Albert, to conduct tests solely in the interest of science. Harvey cut the brain into 240 pieces and preserved it as he moved around the country. True story. Also true is the tragic story of Henry Molaison who, in 1953 at the age of 27, had surgery that excised small sections of his brain to provide relief from debilitating epileptic seizures. It did decrease his seizures but he was unable to form new memories. British playwright Nick Payne combined those two stories along with one he fabricated in his play Incognito, being given a production currently by Son of Semele Ensemble.

A cast of four talented actors, on stage for the entire 90-minute running time, play 21 different characters under the disciplined direction of Don Boughton. In scenes in which they do not participate, the actors blend into Mark Kanieff’s simple set design, becoming another part of the background.     Read more…

Now running through April 7