After Urania had been written, Jyl Bonaguro was able to meet with Sarah Gabel of Loyola University Chicago in the fall of 2012 through the kindness of Jason Osborn. Sarah (Chairperson for the Department of Fine and Performing Arts) teaches a variety of acting and directing classes and serves as director of LUC Theatre’s Senior Showcase. She is also a member of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans and the American Theatre Association for Higher Education. Sarah also contacted Ann Shanahan (Associate Professor of Theatre) to get involved with the development of the staged reading. Ann’s areas of research interest and teaching specialties include director training, women and theatre, and theatre and social change. Her professional directing credits include: The Vagabond and The Turn of the Screw (City Lit Theatre) and Lies and Legends, among others. So it was a great privilege to be able to work with both of them on the staged reading.
Steve Batterson of Buckeye Tree Productions however stepped in as producer and director and created a poignant and well crafted staged reading. His support and vision were invaluable to the process of honing the script for the reading and guiding the entire process. Buckeye Tree is the company name Steve Batterson started in 2007 as an independent theater company, which produced four original one-act comedies as a show called “All My Life and Then Some.” Since then, Steve has continued working on new plays and screenplays, but has also branched out into the music industry, songwriting and creative consulting with bands. As of 2011, Buckeye Tree Productions has been rebranded as a creative studio developing projects in theater, film, music, art, fiction and anything else that strikes their fancy.
In the fall of 2013, Sarah arranged for Loyola to host a staged reading of the play on January 19, 2014 within the former womenʼs College of Mundelein in the beautiful Studio 409 Theater. Now part of Loyola University it was an apt setting for Du Châtelet who was barred from attending university because of her sex. After the reading, Sarah, Ann and Jyl Bonaguro had a brief Q&A panel that explored the gender roles of women in science and math and how such a mind could have lapsed into anonymity.
Special Thanks to Our Talented Cast: Andrew Behling, Ryan Conrod, Tracy Garrison, Liz Hoffman, Angela Horn, Jesse Hutson, Kody C. Jones, Daniel Kyri, Dana Macel, Sean Magill, Katie Marie, Mary Mikva, Ricky Quintana, Rebecca Resman