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The MIT Office of the Arts and the Museum of Science, Boston present:

by Peter Parnell

A staged reading of the play inspired by Richard Feynman

Award-winning actor Jeremiah Kissel will portray Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman (MIT Class of 1939) in a staged reading of "QED," a play by Peter Parnell inspired by Feynman's writings.

Thursday, Jan. 30, at 7pm
Room 10-250 (enter 77 Massachusetts Ave.)
Seating limited. Doors open at 6:30pm
Admission free; no tickets needed
Information: 617/253-2341.

The reading will be followed by a panel discussion featuring friends and collaborators of Feynman, including author Ralph Leighton, musician and bongo drummer Tom Rutishauser, MIT professor and "father of Artificial Intelligence" Marvin Minsky and MIT science historian David Kaiser.

Feynman (1918-1988) who shared the 1965 Nobel Prize in physics for his work in quantum electrodynamics (QED), is known for his work on the atomic bomb and his simple solution to the puzzle of the Challenger explosion. He also was a practical joker and eccentric who played the bongo drums and was fascinated by Tuva, a mountain country adjacent to Mongolia.

The role of Feynman in the play written by Peter Parnell was created by Alan Alda at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum in the spring of 2001. That production was also staged at New York's Lincoln Center the following fall. The show was well received by critics in both cities.

Jeremiah Kissel has appeared on stages throughout the Boston area for 20 years, performing Shakespeare, Chekhov, Sondheim, Dylan Thomas, Tom Stoppard and Neil Simon, among others. He won the 1999 Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) best supporting actor award and the first Outstanding Boston Actor Award at the Eliot Norton Ceremonies in 1990. The MIT performance, which is directed by Jon Lipsky, will also feature Boston actress Jordi Dann.

Panel Participants:

  • David Kaiser, a science historian who has lectured and written extensively on Feynman, is author of the upcoming "Drawing Theories Apart: The Dispersion of Feynman Diagrams in Postwar Physics." He is Leo Marx Assistant Professor of the History of Science in MIT's Program in Science, Technology, and Society and also a Lecturer in MIT's Department of Physics.
  • Ralph Leighton, a longtime friend of Feynman's, is the co-author of Feynman works including, "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman" and "What Do You Care What Other People Think?" .
  • Marvin Minsky, one of the most influential leaders in the field of artificial intelligence, is author of the book, "The Society of Mind" and was a friend of Feynman's. He is Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT.
  • Tom Rutishauser, a professional musician who used to drum with Feynman and coached Alan Alda for his role as Feynman in the play, "QED".