Darwinii: The Comeuppance of Man
Written by Glen Berger & Brett Keyser
Performed by Brett Keyser, October 16-18 and 23-25, 2009
Commissioned by the APS Museum in conjunction with the exhibition Dialogues with Darwin
Darwinii: The Comeuppance of Man was a swashbuckling, one-man tour de farce that deftly skewered everything you think you know about Darwin. It was a unique and imaginative trip ‘round Darwinism, deep time, evolution, and survival of the fittest that’s serious fun. It was commissioned by the APS Museum from award-winning playwright Glen Berger (two Emmy Awards and nine nominations) and performance artist/director Brett Keyser, and staged in September 2009 as part of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Keyser performed the one-man play in the intimate setting of the Dialogues with Darwin exhibition gallery amid Darwin’s books and manuscripts. The play’s sole character, Cristobal, tried to convince the audience that he was the great-great-great-bastard-grandson of Darwin, the result of a dalliance while young Darwin was in Tierra del Fuego on the HMS Beagle. Darwinii provided an entertaining, illuminating, and memorable way to understand and absorb accurate information about Darwin’s big idea.
Brett Keyser is a Philadelphia-based performance artist/director whose Nightjar Apothecary produces solo and collaborative works exploring fiction-enhanced episodes in the history of science and technology. Keyser served four years (2006-09) as Artist in Residence at the APS, where he created and performed numerous works. He is an associate artist with the Catskill-based North American Cultural Laboratory (NACL) and a 2010 recipient of an Independence Foundation Fellowship in the Arts.
Glen Berger is a New York-based playwright who has received commissions for the Children’s Theater of Minneapolis, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the Alley Theatre, and the Lookingglass Theater, among others. He co-wrote the book for the Broadway musical adaptation of Spider Man.