"As these two plays demonstrate, [Carl Djerassi] has developed a form of drama on scientific themes that is as entertaining as it is instructive." - David Lodge, author of The Year of Henry James and Author, Author "Carl Djerassi is in a unique position to dramatize... the ethical dimensions of the new technologies of reproduction. In addition, his clarity as a writer, and his sense of serious mischief as an agent provocateur, make these plays as compelling on the page as they are challenging on the stage." - Elaine Showalter, Princeton University, author of Sexual Anarchy"
Carl Djerassi is one of the 'the fathers of the Pill' - he was awarded the National Medal of Science for the first synthesis of a steroid oral contraceptive - and has had a prolific additional career as a writer of fiction, plays, and dialogues about science. In these two plays, "ICSI" and "Taboos", he dramatizes the social transformations and contested viewpoints created by advances in reproductive science and technology.Two of the most startling developments in contemporary science have radically disrupted the historical connection between sex and reproduction: in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) - an assisted reproductive technique that directly injects a single sperm into an egg. The word play "ICSI" - designed for classroom readings - presents, in the format of a contentious talk-show dialogue, the science of direct-injection fertilization and the ethical issues connected with it. A DVD included in the book provides video of the ICSI injection process as viewed through a microscope, to be used in performances of the "ICSI" one-act dialogue."Taboos", a full-length play, turns the screws on characters that reflect a polarized America.
Two couples - lesbian partners and a conservative husband and wife struggling with infertility - must make choices in a drama that examines the disjunction of sexual reproduction and the physical act of sex. The North American premiere of "Taboos" will open at New York's Soho Playhouse on September 19, 2008.