“The state of Louisiana has provided much of the funding for the play’s production in Edinburgh – not the most obvious guess one might make about who would back a play about Dolly the Sheep, but it underlines the universality of the goal of bridging art and science.”
WHO: Vince LiCata: Writer
WHAT: “The true story of how a cute, attention-seeking lamb became the most famous sheep in history – the world’s first cloned mammal. Lab created and born at the Roslin Institute outside Edinburgh, Dolly lived the good life. A worldwide celebrity who never left her farm. Mother to six lovely lambs. She changed biology forever and irrevocably changed the lives of all her human parents. Who were they? How did they do it? Where are they now? Come find out how to clone a sheep in this new play laced with ‘Dollified’ Scottish tunes and plenty of woolly humour.”
WHERE: theSpace @ Surgeons Hall – Grand Theatre (Venue 53)
WHEN: 20:00 (70 min)
MORE: Click Here!
Is this your first time to Edinburgh?
I’ve been to the Fringe 6 times before. I’ve always been impressed by the quality of the theatre work. The Fringe seems like many different worlds/realities simultaneously overlapping, which is what makes it so exciting. Only a small portion of it is real theatre by any expanded definition of that word, but having it alongside the acrobatics and the camp and the stand up comedy and the performance art is dizzyingly exciting. The DIY aesthetic of Fringe theatre shows I find especially attractive. I’ve always liked “work in progress” more than a full polished show- it’s the theatrical risk taking that is thrilling. One reason I deliberately mixed up so many different theatrical styles in HIYA DOLLY! – like placing real cell biology alongside comic parody songs – was to take a bunch of theatrical risks and to hopefully make something that no one has really seen before.
What are the big things you’ve learned since 2019 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?
A big thing I learned from the pandemic is that science literacy in the general public is so bad that a virus that was stoppable by two months of mask wearing instead went on for years and killed many millions totally needlessly. Why won’t people learn a little science? Especially politicians? Are they afraid of it? Are they afraid that it steals away some of their personal agency? I teach science and am haunted by this question. Another reason I wrote HIYA DOLLY! was to do an experiment – to ask: would people enjoy learning about the process of nucleus transfer if you made it into a musical with a talking sheep? If we don’t get a higher percentage of the human population to at least “like” science and try to follow its findings, then our planet is truly in it’s third act – and it’s not going to have a happy ending.
Tell us about your show.
HIYA DOLLY! is a next play in a series of plays that ask the question: how much science can you cram into a play and still have it be a play – an entertaining, dramatic, comedic, engaging story with real characters who solve real, but scientific problems? The state of Louisiana has provided much of the funding for the play’s production in Edinburgh – not the most obvious guess one might make about who would back a play about Dolly the Sheep, but it underlines the universality of the goal of bridging art and science. That’s a goal that spans across countries and cultures and art forms and languages – in this instance spanning from the swamps of Louisiana to the moors of Scotland with the goal of telling the scientific and human story of the making of Dolly the Sheep.
What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?
Hiya Dolly! is being produced by Andy Jordan. He is also presenting Leaving Vietnam in the same venue- a gripping solo play by the award-winning actor-playwright Richard Vergette. It links the disillusion and frustration of veterans with Trump’s rise to become US president. Andy says Richard is an excellent storyteller and master of surprise revelations.
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