Revealing research's secrets on stage

Eva Amsen, a Ph.D. candidate in biochemistry at the University of Toronto and Hospital for Sick Children, reviews a new science play, The Lab.

Eva Amsen
Jul 27, 2006
What do you get when you cross multiple personalities, clandestine embryo research, and glow-in-the-dark accessories? The Lab, a one-man play that premiered this month at the Toronto Fringe Festival.The story of The Lab begins when a recent arts graduate replies to a newspaper ad in search for a summer job and ends up in a secret lab. His lack of any science background isn't a problem, and he can go straight to work after being taught the main, rather ominous rule: "You can't tell anyone what we do here." In this dark comedy about lab personal dynamics and the opacity of scientific research in our culture, writer and performer Matthew Payne takes center stage as six characters. Remarkably, the "stage" is not in a theatre, but is rather a darkened tractor trailer in a parking lot. The audience sits on wooden benches along the walls while Payne paces...