The Caltech Playreaders

2020-2021: The 70th Season

All of our readings will be held at 7:30 pm


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

7:30 pm PST

And the Sun Stood Still by Dava Sobel

Virtual Performance and Playwright Q&A Session

Caltech YouTube Premier Playreading directed by Joanne Doyle

Assistant Director: Michele Judd

Film Editor: Carol Elaine Cyr


    Peter D. Jones

    Valinda Richardson

    Dave Seal

    Rob Stirbl

    Shona Stribl

Please note that this performance is only available at the scheduled time and will not be available on YouTube afterwards.

The author Dava Sobel will present an introduction before and a prerecorded Q&A afterward.

In the spring of 1539, George Joachim Rheticus, a young German mathematician travels to Poland to convince the legendary, elderly Catholic cleric and reluctant astronomer, Nicolaus Copernicus, to publish his rumored manuscript. Copernicus speculates that the Sun, not the Earth, is the stationary center of the Universe, a theory that is both revolutionary and heretical. The play brings alive the months they spent together and is also an immersion into 16th-century Europe, its moments, its conflicts, and its humanity. This play dramatizes the struggle of mathematician George Rheticus to shepherd Copernicus' revolutionary manuscript into print, against the wishes of the Catholic Church and over the objections of Copernicus himself. In 1543, just before Copernicus's death, the manuscript, On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres, is published. In a script that conveys the sheer beauty of astronomy, Sobel illuminates this astonishing idea which transformed the course of human understanding.

And the Sun Stood Still is presented by the permission of Dava Sobel