Burst: A radio play
produced by Caltech Theater

Premiered on August 21, 2020

To listen, click on the player above, or open Soundcloud.

Silicon Valley wunderkind Sarah Boyd has a big night ahead of her. Her start-up, Tactix, is ready to announce a revolutionary new polymer that will drastically reduce plastic waste across the globe.

But at the eleventh hour, Sarah faces a bevy of unexpected problems: a missing assistant, an unwelcome reporter, and unrelenting ethical concerns from her cautious CTO (and longtime friend), Jennifer Weaver.

Tenacious and charismatic, Sarah is unfazed by the mounting complications­—but will her passionate determination be enough to silence the doubters, especially when her relationships, her company, and the health of the planet itself are at stake?

Unfolding in real time, this fast-paced, character-oriented drama deftly explores gender politics and issues of environmentalism, industry, and ambition through a nuanced portrait of a woman determined to save the world.

Produced by Brian Brophy

Aidan Fenwick served as science advisor to the production.

Run time: 88 minutes

Content warning: explicit language


Written by Rachel Bublitz

Directed by Miranda Stewart

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Kimberly Alexander is a proud New Jerseyian turned Californian. She is known for her work in Los Angeles theatre and has performed on stage with Playwright's Arena, The Triptych Group, The Road Theatre, The Victory Theatre, Circle X and The Elephant Theatre, amongst others.

She has received Stage Raw and Robby Award wins and nominations for her L.A. Times Critic's Choice stage work. Kimberly is probably on your TV right now in a commercial, perhaps for Hyundai, Toyota, Verizon, 3M, Sleep Number, Starz Network or Ubisoft.

Kimberly studied Contemporary Drama at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and also with Larry Moss, Gregory Berger and Joshua Bitton. In her free time, Kimberly enjoys pottery, books, yoga, happy hours, affirmations, and every dog that ever lived.

Website | Twitter: @kimboalex

actress with bun on head and black jacket with studs

Lea Madda, a born and bred Angelino, is a multidisciplinary theater artist, screen actor, producer, and educator with a strong interest in ensemble-driven work. Recent theatrical credits include: The Sound of Music (Alaska Center for the Performing Arts), Anne, A New Play (Museum of Tolerance), Queen of Califas (LATC), Haiti (Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum), She Loves Me (Actors Coop), and A Midsummer Night's Dream (UCLA).

Lea has also produced numerous theatrical events including the city-wide social justice series Homeward LA with her UCLA-affiliate ensemble the southland company.

Lea holds an MFA from the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television as well as a Bachelor of Music from Boston University. Lea has also trained alongside members of Theatr ZAR at the Grotowski Institute in Wroclaw, Poland as well as the Adam Michiewicz Institute in Warsaw. DDO Artists Agency. AEA.

IG: @reallyofficial.leamadda

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Sawyer Fuller is delighted to be apart of this excellent and brilliant production. She is a Krav Maga-practicing-lady who enjoys playing video games like Zelda: Breath of the Wild when she isn't working on her craft, or managing the social media community for Kosas Cosmetics. As someone who personally despises Elizabeth Holmes, she hopes you enjoy this acerbic and smart conversation between three fascinating women. 

Website | IG @Soy.err | TikTok @Soy.err

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Miranda Stewart is a film and theater director. She has directed plays and readings at a number of theaters throughout Los Angeles. Directing at Caltech is special because she originally came to Caltech as an undergrad to study biology. Later she transferred to Occidental College, where she received a degree in theater, but she has never left the Caltech community. She has enjoyed directing the scientists and engineers there in productions such as Little Shop of Horrors, Metamorphoses, and The Ash Girl. In the fall, she will attend CalArts for a masters in film directing.

Website | Twitter: @_mirandastewart | IG: @mirandaestewart


Gina Marie Napolitan, Sound editing

Erick Ferguson, Dwayne Miles & Mohammed Sharabi, Beckman Auditorium production staff

Additional production support provided by Caltech Academic Media Technologies

Additional Information

Established in 2016, MACH-33 energizes conversations around scientific, mathematical, and technological questions through staged readings of new, unpublished, unproduced plays.

Casts and crews feature professional actors. Festival playwrights also have the unique opportunity to work with scientific advisors from Caltech and JPL.

In 2018, MACH 33 began a new collaboration with the Pasadena Playhouse and launched a new national call for plays.

Brian Brophy, head of Caltech Theater, is the Artistic Director of Mach 33. Arden Thomas serves as the Associate Artistic Director; Danny Feldman is the Producing Artistic Director of the Pasadena Playhouse.

Learn more:

Founded in the mid-1980s, Theater Arts at Caltech (TACIT) typically prepares and performs two or three plays each academic year.

Over the last several years, Storytelling and Improvisation has taken a central focus our our mission to boost speaking/writing and presentational skills.

The Show Must Go On(line) is a curated series of opportunities from CaltechLive! that allows audiences to interact with and enjoy world-class artists and performances from their home and at their leisure. The digital series was created as a response to the Safer at Home policies enacted in March 2020. It continues the more than 50-year tradition at CaltechLive! of presenting a diverse offering of music, dance, and theater representing countries and cultures across the globe.

CaltechLive! is the signature performing arts arm at the Institute's Public Programming department.

Special Thanks

Ed Brown, Leslie Maxfield, and Michael Alexander.