THE HOW AND THE WHY
BY SARAH TREEM
CREATIVE & PRODUCTION TEAM
DIRECTOR: Lana Palmer
SCENIC DESIGN: Isaac Fine
STAGE MANAGER: Rebekah Lazar
LIGHTING DESIGN: Bruce Avery
ZELDA: Kelly Rinehart
RACHEL: Alicia Piemme Nelson
MORE TO ‘HOW AND THE WHY’ THAN MEETS THE EYE
It’s definitely not to be missed as presented by Dragon Productions Theatre in Redwood City through Aug. 4…. That’s because producer/director Lana Palmer found the perfect foils to play the biologists: Kelly Rinehart as the seasoned, highly acclaimed professor and scholar, Zelda Kahn, and Alicia Piemme Nelson as the graduate student who has written (or maybe co-written) a thesis that she hopes to present at an upcoming conference… Suffice to say that it’s absorbing all the way to the final lines.
– Joanne Engelhardt, The Mercury News
PONDERING ‘THE HOW AND THE WHY’
Directed by Lana Palmer, who also handles costumes and sound design, the Dragon’s production is intimate, compelling and full of interesting ideas… the actors share palpable chemistry, which is all-important in a two-person show. You root for them both, and for their fragile — evolving, if you will — relationship.
– Karla Kane, Palo Alto Online
It might be better if you didn’t think of science as such a competitive sport —
The How and the Why follows two women meeting for the first time, one well-established in her career, and one on the cusp of entering into professional life. Propelled by coincidence, fate, or a mysterious turn of genetic determinism, they are both evolutionary biologists.
This is no casual meeting, and conversation gravitates to vital questions: Their work, their families, their choices, their bodies. And perhaps most importantly, their dreams – and the sacrifices made to achieve them.
These are women striving to gain, and keep, a foothold in a highly competitive field. While working on this play, we asked ourselves what it meant to be driven towards achievement and success, and whether these successes are enough to build a fulfilled life. While Zelda and Rachel are both scientists, I believe these questions are applicable to all of us. In the quote above, ‘science’ could easily be replaced by ‘life’. I hope that this play offers you an entryway to explore your own questions on the great mystery of How and Why we become who we are.