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Kres Mersky: The Life and Times of A. Einstein

Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. in Beckman Auditorium


The year is 1934. Albert Einstein has fled Nazi Germany with his family and secretary, Ellen, and settled in Princeton, New Jersey. It is his birthday, March 14, and a group of reporters has gathered in his living room to interview him on this special occasion. He is late.

Kres Mersky as Ellen, the proper and contained secretary, is stalling the reporters until he arrives. She fields questions, placates and humors them, while attempting to keep the chaotic household running smoothly.

The Life and Times of A. Einstein is a hilarious and touching portrait of this Einstein "loyalist"; as well as a humanizing look into the "great thinker's" life, as seen through the people around him.

Delightful solo show. I had the eerie feeling Einstein was a person I just had the privilege of meeting.

LA Weekly

The play is the result of more than five years of research into Helen Dukas, the woman who dedicated her life to running Albert Einstein's domestic affairs and is also thought to have had an ongoing romantic affair with the Nobel Laureate. Staunchly loyal, she not only ran the Einstein household while he was alive but also managed his estate and protected his image following his demise. She accompanied the Einstein family to Pasadena while Dr. Einstein was resident at Caltech during the 1930's, and to Princeton University thereafter.

Although the secretary is mostly Mersky's creation, she stuck to facts in her oblique approach to Einstein.

"I don't claim to understand the theory of relativity," she said, "but his courage in making this huge leap, in breaking from all notions of what was accepted in physics at the time, that's very exciting to me. He was a humanitarian, a pacifist and outspoken and very brave; and he was difficult.

"It's not a children's play," she's said, "but it's definitely good for ages 12 and up, perhaps even a bit younger. There's a lot of humor and poignancy in it—and science too."

A richly funny, warm and thought provoking theatre experience.

Antelope Valley Press

Feminist playwright and solo performance pioneer Kres Mersky has been performing in Los Angeles since 1969. During the 1970s and 1980s Ms. Mersky appeared in such iconic TV shows as The Smother Brothers Show, The Richard Pryor Show, and Murder She Wrote. Most recently, she has been performing her two biographic solo shows, The Life and Times of A. Einstein and Isadora Duncan: A Unique Recital at venues throughout the West and in Canada.

Meet Ellen and get a preview of the play.

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