Bone Portraits


walkerspace / soho rep


may 2006

Director: Lear DeBessonet

Writer: Deborah Stein (with company)

Scenic Design: Justin Townsend

Costume Design: Kirche Zeile

Video/Projection Design: Gregory King

Lighting Design: Justin Townsend

Sound Design: Mark “Muttt” Huang

Stage Manager: Dave Polato

Assistant Director: Michael Perlman

With: Michael Crane, G.M. Gianino, Miriam Silverman, and Jessi Wortham

The lady in the front later agreed to marry me. No idea how I tricked her.

The True Story of Clarence Dally

The first x-ray martyr, and proof of the reckless passion in which inventors and workers would throw themselves at technological advancements.

As Thomas Edison’s assistant, Dally  began

testing the new “Roentgen Rays,” exposing

his bare skin to X-rays in repeated experiments.

The radiation damage was enough to force

the amputation of one hand, the loss of four

fingers on the other, his mustache and hair to

fall out, and eventual death from cancer.

His death forced a terrified Edison to halt all

work on the new X-ray technology.

Bone Portraits emerged from an Alfred Sloan Foundation / EST commission, concentrating on the interplay between faith and science, and the wonder of the late 19th century - specifically, Wilhelm Roentgen’s famed discovery. The result was a piece combining vaudeville skits, stage magic, multimedia, dances of the grotesque, and a seance. After a workshop upstate, we mounted the production at Walkerspace (at the SoHo Rep) the following spring.

Photos by Diane Silverman


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