Curie_Meitner_ Lamarr_indivisible

Date: 2019-03-19

Time: 19:00 - 00:00

Address: Lilla Frescativägen 4A Stockholm

Venue: Beijer Hall, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Three outstanding women pioneers in science and technology A theater play in English by the portraittheater

Radiation. Nuclear fission. Frequency hopping

Three outstanding pioneers represent the achievements of women in the field of science and technology: The double Nobel Laurate and discoverer of radioactivity Marie Curie (1867—1934), the Austrian-Swedish nuclear physicist Lise Meitner (1878—1968) and the Viennese Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr (1914—2000) with the invention of frequency hopping.

In the centre of the theatre play “Curie_Meitner_Lamarr_indivisible”, produced by the Viennese company portraittheater, are incidents of their lives, achievements and impediments as well as the contents of their research and the passion for their work. Illustrated with music and videos with three Girls, the performance shows within 95 minutes an entertaining portrait of extraordinary women in history. The theatre performance, directed by Sandra Schüddekopf and with Anita Zieher impersonating the three women, was a great success in Austria and has already been invited to Australia, Belgium, Germany, Iran, Poland, Spain, Switzerland (CERN), Romania, United Kingdom and the United States.

Three women in the field of science and technology
Marie Curie (1867—1934) left Poland to study mathematics and physics at the Sorbonne in Paris. Curie’s efforts, achieved in collaboration with her husband Pierre Curie, led to the discovery of polonium and radium. Curie herself coined the word radioactivity. Marie Curie made history when she became the first woman to receive two Nobel Prizes. The reception of the latter was at risk when an affair became publicly known, resulting in a major scandal.
Lise Meitner (1878—1968) was born in Vienna. After obtaining her doctoral degree in physics, she moved to Berlin to work with Max Planck. She started to work with radio-chemist Otto Hahn, who would become her close research partner for the next thirty years. In 1938 she escaped from Germany and moved to Sweden. Meitner and her nephew Otto Robert Frisch delivered the first theoretical explanation for nuclear fission, which was discovered by Otto Hahn and Fritz Straßmann. While Otto Hahn received the Nobel Prize for this work in 1946, Lise Meitner was left with the title “mother of the atomic bomb”.

Hedy Lamarr
(1914—2000) was fascinated by technology all her life. At the age of 16 she dropped out of school to concentrate on becoming an actress. She garnered a degree of fame and notority after starring in the scandalous movie “Ekstase”. She married the munitions manufacturer Fritz Mandl, but eventually escaped from this marriage. She left for a career in Hollywood where she soon became known as “the most beautiful woman in the world”. Together with the avantgarde composer George Antheil she developed the frequency-hopping spread-sprectrum as a means to control torpedos. With the advent of mobile telephony their technology is widely used in modern wireless data transfer today.
portraittheater: The Viennese theatre group focuses on extraordinary persons, especially women, and brings their life and work to the stage. Various programmes (since 2006) about Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir, Bertha von Suttner, George Sand and Rosa Luxemburg.
Sandra Schüddekopf, Director: Over the period from 2001-2005 she worked as an assistant director at Burgtheater, Vienna. Since 2005 she has worked as a freelance director at Schauspielhaus Graz, Theater Drachengasse, Munich Kammerspiele, Schauspielhaus Vienna and at the Mainz State Theatre, where she won the director’s prize in 2009. Since 2008 she heads the Retzhofer Dramapreis.
Anita Zieher, Actress and chairwoman of portraittheater: After studying politics and communication in Salzburg she finished an acting school in Vienna (Austria). In the productions of portraittheater she has played Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir, Bertha von Suttner, George Sand, Rosa Luxemburg, Marie Curie, Lise Meitner and Hedy Lamarr. She won many prizes as an improvplayer and comedian (Zieher & Leeb).
Costumes: Elke Gattinger
Stage: Eva Maria Schwenkel
Music: Ruoert Derschmidt
Video: Maria Weber
Girls in videos: Marielies Willensdorfer, Carla Götze, Johanna Braendle

Partner: Theater Drachengasse, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna University, St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences
Scientific board: Karin Poljanc, Institute of Atomic and Subatomic Physics Vienna, Walter Ehrlich-Schupita, Lore Sexl, TU Wien, Walter Kutschera, University of Vienna 
Government-funded by: Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology, Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, Vienna Business Agency, Federal Ministry of Education and Women’s Affairs, Department for Cultural Affairs of the City of Vienna
Host: The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, in collaboration with the Department of Physics, Stockholm University.
Duration: app. 95 minutes.

“Zieher delivers a brilliant performance in the roles… it is a theatre evening with many claims: it should be informative, amusing and encouraging – the team of portraittheater indeed succeeded in all of that.” (European Cultural News)

How often do you have the chance to acquaint you so hands-on with the biography of three extraordinary women and to learn something about radioactivity?… Zieher and her team manage it in an entertaining and vivid way to bring elementary questions like “what happens at the fission” or “who is the discoverer of it” closer to the audience….Conclusion: An informative and amusing evening with a wink.” (Vienna International)

“Anita Zieher, who plays all three women, impresses with her performance…” (Progress-online)

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