For Immediate Release
March 14, 2014
For more information, contact
Brockport, NY – In a case which dates back to 1990, the Arizona-based Havasupai Indians discovered that doctors affiliated with Arizona State University were collecting the DNA of tribe members and testing them for all sorts of genetic information. This case, and its impact on the tribe, is the basis for Deborah Zoe Laufer’s Informed Consent, now onstage at Geva Theatre Center. Jessica Wortham, who appears in the production, will visit The College at Brockport to take part in the Department of Theatre and Music Studies’ Stage Whispers talk on Thursday, March 27, 2014, at 10 am, in the College’s Tower Fine Arts Center Black Box Theatre, 180 Holley Street. The focus of Wortham’s talk, which is free and open to the public, will be “Ripped from the Headlines: When Fact and Fiction Blend Onstage.” Though the Havasupai people did turn to ASU to help them determine why a disproportionate number of them suffered from diabetes, this was as far as the testing should have gone. In 2010, the tribe won a settlement agreeing that the superfluous testing was done without their informed consent, since ASU ran the extra tests without fully disclosing how the DNA would be used.
Wortham is returning to Geva Theatre Center where she previously appeared in The Book Club Play. With her role in Informed Consent, not only is she faced with how to properly convey something that actually occurred, but she is also performing in a brand new play which is still going through its gestation period. While research can help the former challenge, a new play can often present obstacles such a new dialogue, or even more substantive alterations. She will discuss how she stays on her toes, and how her own research may have aided the playwright during her visit.
Her off-Broadway credits include Green Girl at the Public Theater and Bone Portraits at Soho Rep. Regionally, Wortham has appeared in Educating Rita at Florida Rep; A Christmas Story, Crime and Punishment, Twelfth Night, and the Humana Festival premieres of The Ruby Sunrise and Backstory for Actors Theatre of Louisville; the San Jose Rep production of Black Pearl Sings!, for which she received a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for Best Female Leading Performance. International credits include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at English Theatre Frankfurt, and Crimes of the Heart at Vienna’s English Theatre.
The “Stage Whispers” series is sponsored by The College at Brockport’s Department of Theatre and Music Studies as part of their alliance with Geva Theatre Center. The series gives community members insight into the process of professional theatre artists. For more information, please call (585) 395-2787.
Photo: Photo 1: Jessica Wortham, appearing in the Geva Theatre Center production of Informed Consent, will be the guest at Stage Whispers: A Conversation with Theatre Professionals at The College at Brockport on Thursday, March 27, 2014, at 10 am.
The College at Brockport, State University of New York
350 New Campus Drive * Brockport, New York 14420-2931
(585) 395-2754 * FAX (585) 395-2723 * www.brockport.edu