“Life of Galileo” at Rangasankara, Bangalore
Showcase: Science meets history
Prakash Belawadi, who directed the National Award-winning “Stumble” in 2002, brings German playwright Bertolt Brecht’s “Life of Galileo” to Ranga Shankara, Bangalore this week.
Between 1937 and 1947, two versions of the play were written. The second opened to American audiences in Los Angeles at the Coronet Theatre in July 1947. Brecht worked with American theatre and film director Joseph Losey for the Los Angeles production and later went on to debut the play in New York the same year.
The play explores the second half of Galileo’s life. The Italian philosopher’s views conflicted with the Roman Catholic Church and he was persecuted for his theories. He is known as an icon for standing up to oppression. The play is one of the most popular stage productions in the West. Joseph Losey adapted the play in 1975 for the American Film Theatre series.
With this production, Prakash Belawadi gives theatregoers an insight into a side of Galileo that no one could have imagined.
The original play is true to historic timelines but not in terms of actual events in Galileo’s personal life. “It is an extraordinary play. But I’m also responding to a growing trend of superstition and obscurantism being promoted. This play is a plea for reason to prevail.”
“Galileo” is a significant attempt to dramatise both the life of a great scientist and a crucial episode in the history of science. Galileo stood for free sceptical investigation and his insatiable curiosity in scientific matters led him to propagate the Copernican sun-centred model of the universe in opposition to the Church-endorsed Ptolemaic earth-centred theory.
He contradicted the idea of a ‘firmament’ rooted in the teachings of Aristotle and favoured by the Church with his own findings about the mountainous surface of the moon and the theory of floating bodies in space.
Bottomline: An attempt to dramatise the life of a scientist and a crucial episode in the history of science
Life of Galileo
When: June 29 to July 1
Time: 3.30 p.m. and 7.30 p.m.
Where: Ranga Shankara