Winning Play in UCSB International Script Competition Featured in Staged Reading at REDCAT in Walt Disney Concert Hall Complex

UC Santa Barbara's Professional Artists Lab and the California NanoSystems Institute will present a staged reading of "Splitting Infinity," winner of the first STAGE International Script Competition, on Sunday, Jan. 28, at 5 p.m. at REDCAT, the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, in the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex in Los Angeles.

Admission is free, but reservations are required; call (805) 893-6090.

Television and stage actress Sharon Lawrence, whose credits include Sylvia Sipowicz in "NYPD Blue" and Maisy Gibbons on "Desperate Housewives," will star.

Michael Cassidy, best known as Zach Stevens on "The O.C.," will co-star.

There will be a brief award ceremony before the reading and a post-play reception, with UCSB Nobel Laureate David Gross (2004, physics), the playwright, cast, director, and additional distinguished professionals from the arts and sciences in attendance. All audience members are invited.

Jamie Pachino, an award-winning playwright and screenwriter with international credits, wrote the winning script in the Scientists, Technologists, and Artists Generating Exploration (STAGE) competition created by UCSB's Professional Artists Lab and the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI).

The competition, which awards a $10,000 prize to the best new play about science and technology, evolved from a shared desire to make science more accessible to the public and the theatre more reflective of the technological age in which we live.

"Splitting Infinity" is about a Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist who pursues evidence of God through physics, while simultaneously upsetting the balance of her relationships with her oldest and closest friend, a rabbi, and her star postdoctoral student, the son of a Christian Scientist.

Set between the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (known as the Ten Days of Awe), and reaching back into the past, each character seeks answers to questions of faith and science, love and work, and life and death.

An ambitious, sexy, funny and ferociously hungry play, "Splitting Infinity" takes on our struggles to connect to each other, and the world around us.

Pachino's works have been produced and commissioned by dozens of prestigious theaters.

Her awards include the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award and Chicago's Jeff Award for Best New Work.

Her film work includes features for DreamWorks, Vanguard, Lionsgate, and Disney.

The STAGE competition was judged by a distinguished panel consisting of two of UCSB's Nobel laureates, Gross and Alan Heeger (2000, chemistry); playwright and MacArthur Fellow Luis Alfaro; award-winning theatre, film, and television director Arvin Brown; Polly Carl, producing artistic director of the Minneapolis Playwrights' Center; award-winning playwright Barbara Lebow; Eduardo Machado, award-winning playwright and artistic director of New York's INTAR Theatre; and Nancy Kawalek, director of the Professional Artists Lab and a Studio Professor at UCSB.

The Professional Artists Lab is a dynamic artistic laboratory in UCSB's Department of Film and Media Studies and the Media Arts and Technology Program in which professional actors, directors, writers, and producers create and develop new works in film, theatre, television, radio, and multi-media performance.

The California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), one of the prestigious California Institutes for Science and Innovation, focuses on dramatic breakthroughs in materials, devices, and resulting technologies, made possible by controlling form and function at the nanoscale.

These breakthroughs are being accomplished through the integration of many science and engineering disciplines, and will have broad applications for innovation in communication, biomedical, energy, and environmental technologies.

CNSI is a research partnership between UCSB and UCLA.

REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater) is located at 631 West 2nd St., at the corner of 2nd and Hope Streets, in the Walt Disney Concert Hall Complex.

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Professional Artists Lab

California NanoSystems Institute

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