Galileo Was a Leo?


Galileo Was a Leo?, a fable about life directions and life on other planets, found its feet during Ensemble Studio Theatre’s developmental process.  After its selection for EST’s Octoberfest 2006, Gregory received input from EST’s playwright unit, including David Zellnik, and smoothed its edges into the shape you see here (script sample).

Turning toward the heavens to look within, Gregory's play uses the science-fiction conceit of parallel worlds to ask, “What would you sacrifice to have a ‘better life’?  And what is a ‘better life’?  Amassing fame and fortune?  Reeling in an attractive spouse?  Or just decreasing your envy of others?”

Jeff is a disgruntled astrophysicist and Galileo worshipper whose dreams come true one night when he discovers life on other planets.  However, if faced with the cruel realities this discovery suddenly forces on Jeff, his persecuted scientific idol Galileo may have opted for the burning stake after all. 

Any human being can empathize with the main character’s spiritual crisis, which plays out as a lively ping-pong match between earthling Jeff and his alien doppelganger.  Torn between craving recognition as the next Galileo on his home planet or killing the “better” version of himself millions of light years away, Jeff makes the most critical decision of his life.

Split-stage dialog and transport sequences from world to world allow the audience to imagine a universe of possibilities, inviting a highly theatrical design with a simple set and small cast.

script sample

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images by Galileo