Phalaris’s Bull: Solving the Riddle of the Great Big World – a one-of-a-kind theatrical event direct from New York
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“A genius philosopher—student of molecular biology – bares all in a one-man autobiographical show.
says the New York Times of this story of a philosopher’s quest for a solution to all of life’s problems. A solution based not on belief or faith but on logical rigor. A solution to what Einstein called “the riddle of the great, big world.” Harvard-educated molecular biologist, visual artist and provocative visionary philosopher, Steven Friedman has the answers to life’s big questions. Using personal narrative, poetry, art, and science, he delivers a spell-binding performance reflecting his prismatic, eclectic, transformative and deeply consoling vision of the world. Friedman offers a solution to the world’s pain – a philosophy starting from Kierkegaard’s story in which an ancient torture device, Phalaris’s bull, turns the terrible sounds of pain into music. “The 80-minute evening is as close as you’re likely to come to receiving an exclusive tour of a great mind” raves Talkin’ Broadway. And The New Yorker agrees, “Delivered warmly and wittily . . . a truly distinctive piece of theater.” As set projections, the aphoristic book Epistemic Dyads will be published as part of the filmed performance, with each show ticket a hand-written page from the book.
Considered by his teachers to be the most gifted student they had ever taught, Steven Friedman excelled in academics from an early age. After graduation from Harvard, Friedman was accepted into the PhD program in molecular biology at UCLA under a grant from the National Cancer Institute and then into UCLA’s School of Medicine. His contributions to molecular biology and medicine range from developing methods to work out the structure of viruses to conceiving smart chemotherapeutics against cancer. As a fine artist, Friedman has been represented at Robert Berman Gallery at Bergamot Station Arts Center in Los Angeles since 1999. His art, ranging from representational pastels to acrylic-under-acrylic poles, has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions and has entered major collections around the world. His writings include over 200 works of philosophy; six collections of lyric poetry; the play, A Passion of the Mind (1980); and the philosophical narrative poem, The Books of Joshua (2008). His output has also included such unconventional forms as the beachbook, T Lite Book by the Sea, in 5000 tea-lights adjacent to Santa Monica Pier in 2009 and the skybook, Proving God in Worlds from Even to Odd, over Huntington Beach, CA, in 2010. Phalaris’s Bull: Solving the Riddle of the Great Big World premiered the 2015-16 Winter Season at the Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row, NYC.
Santa Monica Playhouse is supported in part by the City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Arts Commission and by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.