2019 Festival Event:

Science on Stage: The Forgotten Organ

The human microbome is a dynamic collection of bacteria, fungi, and viruses central to our survival, shaping every one of us from birth. Acclaimed writer Ed Yong wrote of this "forgotten organ" in his masterpiece I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life. Now, his written word has provided inspiration for four nationally known playwrights who engaged in a 48 hour marathon of isolated furious writing, emerging with four newly-formed plays all based on this same book. Join us to hear from Ed Yong, get a taste of the plays that emerged from his book, and discuss with the artists and local scientists.

Speakers & Panelists
Ed Yong is a science journalist who reports for The Atlantic, and is based in Washington DC. His work appears several times a week on The Atlantic's website, and has also featured in National Geographic, the New Yorker, Wired, Nature, New Scientist, Scientific American, and many more. He has won a variety of awards, including the Michael E. DeBakey Journalism Award for biomedical reporting in 2016, the Byron H. Waksman Award for Excellence in the Public Communication of Life Sciences in 2016, and the National Academies Keck Science Communication Award in 2010 for his old blog Not Exactly Rocket Science. He regularly does talks and radio interviews; his TED talk on mind-controlling parasites has been watched by over 1.5 million people.
I CONTAIN MULTITUDES, his first book, looks at the amazing partnerships between animals and microbes. Published in 2016, it became a New York Times bestseller, and was listed in best-of-2016 lists by the NYT, NPR, the Economist, the Guardian, and several others. Bill Gates called it "science journalism at its finest", and Jeopardy! turned it into a clue.

Baldwin has had plays and ensemble works produced throughout the US and abroad. Her play “Night Blooms” received its world premiere at Horizon Theatre in Atlanta (2010) and its mid-Atlantic premiere at Virginia Repertory (2012). Margaret earned the 2011 Gene Gabriel Moore Playwriting for “Night Blooms” (2011) and a National AT&T Onstage Award for the premiere of her play “Her Little House” at Horizon Theatre in (2004). Recent adaptations include “The Followers: A Retelling of The Bacchae,” which premiered at 7 Stages Theatre in February 2018, and in the “Twilight: Chekhov’s Stories Retold,” produced by the KSU Department of Theatre and Performance Stories (2013). Her play “Coyote Hour,” was a finalist for the 2015 National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Margaret is a Senior Lecturer for the KSU Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, where she has taught since 2005. She is the winner of the 2015 Distinguished Teaching Award for Kennesaw State University and the 2016 University of Georgia Board of Regents Award for Excellence in Teaching. Margaret received her MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, Paul Pendergrass.

Dubose is a Chicago-based playwright. She holds an MFA from Northwestern University Writing for the Screen + Stage and her B.A. from Spelman College. Her plays have been staged at Unbound, Spelman Salon at the Alliance Theatre, Fade to Black Festival, Pegasus Theatre Chicago, Living Room Playmakers, Mercy Street Theatre Company, Black Lives Black Words, The Future is Female, and Jadesmash, Jackalope’s Living Newspaper Festival and DirHaven. Rachel is an associate artist at Pegasus Theatre Chicago, a Black Lives Black Words Associate Artist, a resident playwright at Mercy Street Theatre, a guest contributor at Black Girl Fly Magazine, and is one of the inaugural Russ Tutterow Fellows at Chicago Dramatists. Rachel has been a teaching artist with Pegasus Theatre Chicago and a graduate assistant at Northwestern University. She is currently working on “Trophies,” her Tutterow Fellow commission.

Patel is a writer living in her native Atlanta, Georgia. Her short and full-length plays “Diaper Relay,” “Cater Waiters,” “Spin, then Drain,” and “The Baby Shower,” have all received local productions. Her short story, “The Escaped Air,” was published by The East Bay Review in the Fall 2016 issue. Most recently, her play “Widowwood,” was a semi-finalist at the Bay Area Playwright's Festival. Currently, she's involved with a local theater group called Unproducible Plays: Year of Asian Voices project, which highlights Asian Artists and creates a conversation in the Atlanta theater community around the challenges of producing plays by Asian playwrights and/or plays with Asian characters. She has served as dramaturg for Directed Readings of Dipika Guha’s play “The Art of Gaman” and Aditi Kapil’s “Orange.” Natasha earned a BA from the University of Georgia and an MA from Columbia University.

Yockey is a Los Angeles based writer with work produced throughout the US, Europe, and Asia. His plays “Bellwether,” “Pluto,” “Afterlife,” “Octopus,” “Large Animal Games,” “CARTOON,” “Subculture,” “Very Still & Hard to See,” “The Fisherman’s Wife,” “Wolves,” “Disassembly,” and “Niagara Falls & Other Plays” are published and licensed by Samuel French. Additionally, his play “Joshua Consumed an Unfortunate Pear” (originally commissioned by Miami’s City Theatre) was included in the 2015 Humana Festival of New American Plays and the subsequent anthology. Other plays include “Blackberry Winter,” “The Thrush & The Woodpecker,” and “Mercury.” This fall his new play “Reykjavík” will premiere at Actor’s Express in Atlanta, GA. Steve holds an MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and currently serves as a writer/producer for the television series “Supernatural.”

Presented by Emory Center for the Study of Human Health, in partnership with Theater at Emory, A Capella Books, Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum, Emory Hightower Speaker’s Fund and Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant

Topics: Health Life Sciences Science & Society Visual & Performing Arts
Audience: Adults Teens (13-18 yrs)


Carter Presidential Library & Museum

441 Freedom Pkwy NE

Atlanta, 30307


Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

6:30 pm – 9:30 pm


Price: Free with advance registration

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