April 2011
The second half of the international tour of Let Newton Be! took the cast and crew across the Atlantic to Canada and the United States for a run of eight shows in seventeen days.

The two performances in Canada, at the University of Toronto on the 13th April and the University of Waterloo on the 15th, were very well received. Moving to the United States, the show at the University of Indiana on the 17th was hosted by Professor Bill Newman, in charge of a project to put all of Newton’s alchemical writing online, and who also moderated an illuminating post-show discussion.

The next date was at Notre Dame on the 19th April, hosted by the History of Science Society under Jay Malone. Professor Katherine Brading moderated an after-show discussion which featured Professor Rob Illiffe of The Newton Project and Professor Zvi Biener from the University of Western Michigan, and was followed by a coffee and cake reception. The venue was the impressive 19th century Washington Hall, home to the Notre Dame ghost of George “The Gipper” Gip, an American Football player who died a tragic early death in 1920.

The largest and most diverse audience came at the next show on the 21st April, at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. It was introduced by the Provost, Kerry Fulcher, and was greatly enjoyed by a mix of people drawn from the university and the local community.

A performance at New York University’s Gallatin School followed on the 27th April, hosted by Professor Myles Jackson. This performance was attended by a large group of staff from the Templeton Foundation (which supported the tour with generous funding), and including Dr Jack Templeton himself. Dr Templeton engaged Professor Jackson with some theological, philosophical and speculative questions during another lively and stimulating discussion after the performance.

The tour came to an end in Boston, very much on a high. The final performances on the 29th and 30th April were co-sponsored by the Harvard University Department of History of Science (Professor Janet Browne), and the Boston University Center for the Philosophy and History of Science (Professor Alisa Bokulich). Both were very well received.

The show itself grew steadily throughout the tour, ending even stronger – theatrically and intellectually – than it had begun. Whether this success will inspire another run, only time will tell. For now, at least, we must let Let Newton Be! be.

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