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Vavilov's Garden

by Mark Eckard
directed by Joshua Wolf Coleman

Saturday, April 22, 2017 (Earth Day)
Ramo Auditorium

Tickets at the door; suggested donation $10 General Admission, $5 students

  • Food truck / coffee / desserts: 6:00 p.m.
  • Performance: 7:00 p.m.
  • Post-show panel discussion: 9:00–10:00 p.m.

Leningrad, December 1941. During the seige of the city by Nazi Germany, a group of Soviet scientists struggle to preserve a seed bank started by Nikolai Vavilov, a prominent plant geneticist. As starvation sets in, the scientists split into two factions, one that wants to eat the seeds to survive, and the other that sees the preservation of the bank as a nobler goal to be achieved at all costs. Aside from German bombing, the scientists face another enemy: Vavilov has been arrested and held incommunicado, for opposing Trofim Lysenko, Stalin's chief geneticist and proponent of genetic pseudoscience. The seed bank therefore finds itself under close watch and political scrutiny. Based on a true story, this play examines science and scientists under incredible political and physical pressure.