Tuesday evening was fun. My dear friend Amy French, who was hired to direct a production of Steve Martin’s play “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” had been been rehearsing her cast for a few weeks. She invited two people to come along as guests one evening to talk about Picasso and Einstein – their work discussed in the play (Cubism and Special Relativity), and the impact of their work on the world. Megan Mastroianni from the Art History department (see her in the center of the photo above – you can click it for a larger view) came along to talk about the Picasso aspect, and I talked about Einstein. It was a lot of fun, and verity informative for all concerned.
The cast were all assembled, and Einstein and Picasso were even in costume, as we discussed several aspects of those subjects. The resonances are interesting to explore, and I was of course sure to emphasize the ideas that were in the air at the time (in both art and science worlds) due to people like Poincaré, and of course the whole business of the huge technological changes that were going on in the world at the time (just after the turn of the century), broadening people minds as to what it was possible to see and explore in the world (see the rise of photography, radio, x-rays, heavier than air flight, radiotelegraphy, etc…)
I recommend Arthur I. Miller’s excellent double-biography of the two: “Einstein, Picasso: Space, Time, and the Beauty That Causes Havoc”.
Sadly, the producers have announced that the preparations must come to an end and the production cancelled, due to a permission issue concerning overlap with another production in the same area. So you won’t be able to see this fun-sounding production this year. Bah.
Some Related Asymptotia Posts (not exhaustive):