One-man show highlights Charles Darwin's life, work
Submitted by Kerynn Fisher
"Darwin is my personal hero. He is the consummate scientist - hard-working, dedicated to the task of scientific inquiry about the workings of the natural world, and prolific in his scientific accomplishments," says Sandford, who also wrote the play. "I like the idea of using theater as a way to both entertain and educate. I want people to leave with a better understanding of Darwin the human being and a greater appreciation of his great body of scientific work."
The play is set in 1881 in the home of an elderly Charles Darwin, who welcomes unexpected visitors--the audience--into his home and begins to share highlights of Darwin's life and work. The play includes a six-minute re-creation of the historic 1860 debate on evolution between Bishop of Oxford Samuel Wilberforce and biologist Thomas Henry Huxley, with Sandford portraying both roles.
Sandford developed the play in 2000 as a faculty member at Coe College in Iowa. He has since performed in more than 25 venues across the country. This year is a especially popular one for the show: 2009 marks both the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth as well as the 150th anniversary of the publication of his landmark book, "On the Origin of Species."
The presentation is one of the final events for the American Society of Mammalogists annual meeting, which will be held in Fairbanks June 24-28 and is co-hosted by the University of Alaska Museum of the North and the Institute of Arctic Biology. The conference is expected to bring more than 400 biologists from around the world to Fairbanks. The meeting is held in a different location each year and was last held in Fairbanks in 1989. No other Alaska community has hosted this national meeting.
CONTACT: Kerynn Fisher, University of Alaska Museum of the North communications coordinator, at 907-474-6941 or 907-378-2559.