LIGHT, Voltaire, the Mathematician, and the King of Prussia. Premiere 2004, Theater at Boston Court, Pasadena; California (several LA Critics Awards). Witty wild love triangle of a king, a promiscuous scientist marquise, and Voltaire, the most famous man in Europe – a passionate, painful, incandescent voyage to enlightenment and revolution. [full length, 3 actors – 2 men, 1 woman; contact author’s agent; French version, LUMIERES, Voltaire, la Mathematicienne et le Roi de Prussse].

FROM REVIEWS OF LIGHT

"…a beautifully performed debut from Pasadena's The Theatre @ Boston Court.

Under Jessica Kubzansky's stylish direction,a trio of first-rate performers evokes finely drawn, riveting characters racked with inner conflicts.” -- Phillip Brandes, LOS ANGELES TIMES

“Jean-Claude van Itallie’s stunning…romance imagines the heady scholarshipand seductions of the Age of Enlightenment. Director Jessica Kubzansky guides her small cast to superlative performances…Von Dohlen, Hackett and Hansen are stage wonders…”-- Amy Nicholson, LA WEEKLY

“…Jessica Kubzansky’s masterful direction for the world premiere of Jean-Claude van Itallie’s play...shows off the little jewel of a theater to its fullest advantage.”– Leigh Kennicott, PASADENA WEEKLY

"van Itallie’s beguiling account couldn't be in better hands than the gifted artists quickly making Theatre @ Boston Court a culturally unwavering entity in our desert wasteland.

'Light' is elegantly and lavishly designed, directed with an extraordinary fluidity by...co-artistic director Jessica Kubzansky, and acted with utmost precision." -- Travis Michael Holder, ENTERTAINMENT TODAY

EXCERPT

FREDERICK
Our dark world will change.

VOLTAIRE (speaking simply as the light around him grows brighter)
God of all worlds and time please look with pity on the errors of our nature. May our errors not become our calamities. You didn’t give us hearts so we should hate, nor hands so we could strangle each other. May we help each other bear the burden of a painful and transitory life. May the small differences in our clothes, in our inadequate languages, our imperfect laws and cherished opinions – so huge in our eyes but nothing before you – may all these nuances which distinguish the atoms called men not be signals for hate. Let those who light candles to celebrate you tolerate those who content themselves with the light of your sun. May it be the same to adore you in an ancient jargon as in a new liturgy. Let kings who rule a little pile of mud in this world, and those who own a few rounded fragments of a certain metal, enjoy without pride that which is called fame and wealth. And let others see them without envy – for you know that in these vanities there’s no cause for pride, nothing to envy. We are brothers.

(We hear faintly the Marseillaise.)

Let us hold in horror any tyranny held over our souls, and even if the scourge of war is inevitable, let us not hate each other.

(Music ends.)

Let us use our existence here to bless, in a thousand languages from Siam to California, your goodness, which has given us –

(He pauses, looking at us.)

– this instant.

2021©  Jean-Claude van Itallie—All rights reserved