Book & Lyrics by Karen Zacarias
Music by Deborah Wicks La Puma
As an adult, Albert Einstein changed our view of the universe. But as a boy, he struggled with the same issues any twelve year-old might – keeping up with violin lessons, impressing the girl next-door and – oh yeah, comprehending the fundamental relationship of space and time to the speed of light, of course. This uplifting play about a fictional day in young Einstein’s life confirms that each of us is both ordinary and special. With an engaging, original score, a healthy dose of imagination, and the help of a mysterious cat, Einstein is a Dummy reveals life’s atomic possibilities.
Young Einstein’s geeky streak is reason to rock…’Einstein’ abounds with the energy of its subject matter…The verdict: Sheer energy, musicalized.” – Susan Elliott, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Einstein is a Dummy was first seen at the Kennedy Center’s 2004 New Visions/New Voices Festival, and went on to premiere at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre in 2005 under the direction of Rosemary Newcott. Since then it has enjoyed productions at theaters throughout the country, including Chicago Playworks, UNC Charlotte, Oregon Children’s Theatre, and Nashville Children’s Theatre. In 2011 a revised and expanded 90 minute youth cast version was premiered at the Norris Center for the Performing Arts under the direction of Corey Jones.
I loved the production and was very impressed by how well it captured both the coming of age of a ‘different’ teenager AND the unique scientific insights that led to Einstein’s remarkable year of publications…It was the most creative approach to communicating physics that I’ve ever seen.” – Matthew S. Grober, Associate Professor of Biology, Georgia State University
1. PLANETARY OPENING – Albert, Ensemble
2. WHICH WAY IS UP – Albert, the Cat, Ensemble
3. ELSA’S WALTZ – Albert, Elsa
4. BROWNIAN MOTION LIMBO – All
5. BORING BALLAD IN C MAJOR – All
6. RAY OF LIGHT – Albert
7. E=MC2 – Albert, Constantine, Elsa, Cat
8. BORING BALLAD REPRISE – Constantine, Elsa, Herr
9. CATCH THE LIGHT (FINALE) – Albert, the Cat, Ensemble
Additional songs available in the Large Cast Version:
DON’T MESS UP – Mama, Maja, Chorus
THE TWIN PARADOX POLKA – Albert, Greta, Helga and Chorus
Cast: 1 woman, 3 men, 1 either gender
(Youth Cast version expandable up to 5 women, 3 men, 4 either gender and optional Chorus)
ELSA – A beautiful sweet viola player. A perfect bow on her head (Mezzo)
ALBERT – A clumsy and curious kid. A violin player. A small bowtie. (Bari-Tenor)
CONSTANTIN – a snotty cello player. An enormous bowtie. (Tenor)
HERR SCHLOPPNOPPDINKERDONN – a very neurotic and uptight music teacher (Baritone)
THE CAT – a scrawny stray tom-cat.
Music: Pop/Rock/Pastiche score. Accompaniment tracks available.
Musical Difficulty: Moderate
Technical Requirements: Minimal
Suggested Audience: Middle School/Families
Loaded with laughs and packed with lively melodies, Einstein Is A Dummy will also raise your I.Q. by about 50 points” – Performing Arts Live.com
KAREN ZACARIAS (Book & Lyrics) world premiere adult plays include Mariela in the Desert (Repertorio Espanol), How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (Round House Theatre), and Legacy Of Light and The Book Club Play (Arena Stage) directed by Molly Smith.
Karen is the winner of the 2006 Francesca Primus Award for her play, Mariela in the Desert (World Premiere at The Goodman Theatre in Chicago). Mariela is also the winner the 2005 TCG/AT&T First Stages Award, the 2004 National Latino Playwrights’ Competition, finalist for the 2004 Susan Smith Blackburn prize. Her play The Book Club Play was part of the O’Neill Playwrights Conference in 2007. Her play, The Sins of Sor Juana won Outstanding New Play at the 2000 Helen Hayes Awards and has been produced throughout the country. Karen is a core member of the Playwrights’ Center.
Her musical plays for young people with composer Deborah Wicks La Puma have enjoyed productions at The Goodman Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, The Coterie, Chicago PlayWorks, Nashville Children’s Theater, The Alliance Theatre, Imagination Stage, Arden Theater, Cleveland Playhouse, Oregon Children’s Theatre, Honolulu Theater for Youth, St. Louis Rep and more.
Karen Zacarías is the founding artistic director of Young Playwrights’ Theater, an award-winning non-profit dedicated to enhancing literacy, arts empowerment and conflict resolution through playwriting in Washington, DC area schools. She lives in DC with her husband Rett, and children Nico, Kati, and Maia.
DEBORAH WICKS LA PUMA (Music) – see her bio page