National Academy of Sciences Building, 2101 Constitution Ave., NW

Join us for a FREE staged reading of Defying Gravity by Jane Anderson, presented by Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences and the Shakespeare Theatre Company directed by Samantha Wyer Bello.

This FREE structured look at the 1986 Challenger disaster places the teacher who died with six others as they hurtled into space at the center of an exploration of our need to reach beyond ourselves and dare the universe. Defying Gravity artfully interweaves the past with the present and the lives of participants and bystanders, drawing parallels among painter Claude Monet’s artistic quest, the zest of the teacher selected to the first civilian astronaut, the perspectives of her grieving daughter, the aspirations of elderly tourists who drive their Winnebago to Florida to watch the space shot and dream of hotels in space, the guilt felt by a NASA mechanic, and his girlfriend’s fear of heights.

Visitors need to show a photo ID to enter the National Academy of Sciences.
Photo Credit: National Academy of Sciences © 2012 Maxwell MacKenzie

Briana Gibson

Kimberly Gilbert

Nancy Robinette

Stefany Pesta

Ahmad Kamal

Lamont Easter

Lamont Easter

David Bishins

David Bishins

NAS Reading: Defying Gravity