Dr. Jenifer Alonzo from Old Dominion University's theater department and artist in residence for this project, created the play which presents Anning's story in a very dramatic fashion.
Actors, life-size fossil dinosaur puppets, a trapeze, movement, music, and special effects - all allow the audience to enter Anning's imagination.
Poignantly portrayed is Anning's search for recognition as a scientist in a nineteenth-century world that discourages young women from pursuing such careers.
The play is unique in its purpose: to spur the curiosity of students, particularly young women, so they get excited about science and what a career in science has to offer.
has written the play so that elements link to elementary and middle school standards of learning in science, English, and social studies.
This collaboration with Untidy Gap Theatre has been made possible through a generous Artist Residency Grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts
The play is also slated for performances for VBCPS elementary students on the Thursday and Friday mornings prior to the public performance on Saturday.
In addition to spearheading performances of the play, Alonzo
, through the artist in residence program, also conducted several workshops at Salem High.
Teachers had the opportunity to explore rapport-building exercises, values discoveries, and listening tools to help them guide collaborative teams in all subjects.
The workshop was action-oriented allowing participants to practice the communication and collaboration skills they learned by exploring immediate problems in the classrooms.
Another workshop dealing with aerial effects is slated for Friday, October 21 from 7:30 to 10 a.m. in the school's auditorium.
Jenifer Alonzo is an Assistant Professor at Old Dominion University in the Department of Communication & Theatre Arts.
focus is on working at "disciplinary intersections", developing workshops and products that use applied theatre techniques to help scientists better collaborate across disciplines.
also works with researchers to use theatre to communicate their research to public audiences.
As a writer and director, Alonzo specializes in the creation of new work for the stage.
In 2010, she
created Fragments, a play that connected Hampton Roads military community to the university.
Several others of her
pieces have been presented at venues in Washington, D.C., Towson University, Baltimore
, and at ODU
has performed in more than 30 productions in cities from Denver to Baltimore.