Carl Djerassi’s latest play, Insufficiency is both light and funny while also managing to be instructive and entertaining. The story unfolds in two time frames—that of a court room where the central character is on trial, and through flashback scenes from the university where he has been a professor for the past four years.
A brilliant but difficult man, Jerzy Krzyz ( Jerry) is attempting to secure a tenured position at an American University—something that was promised to him when he emigrated from his native Poland. Self-assured to the point of pomposity he has successfully gathered extensive corporate sponsorship from a champagne company to pursue his work on Bubbleology, the science of bubbles. This financial success, coupled with his reticence to publish any of his work and the seeming frivolity of his chosen subject, has his colleagues in an envious lather, which is standing in the way of the tenured post he so dearly wants. When the two men who are chairing the tenure committee are found dead, Jerzy finds himself in court. Does this give new meaning to “Publish or Perish”?
Carl Djerassi, novelist, playwright, and emeritus professor of chemistry at Stanford, is one of the few American scientists to have been awarded both the National Medal of Science (for the first synthesis of an oral contraceptive) and the National Medal of Technology. He has also had a successful literary career, publishing an autobiography, a memoir, a collection of short stories, a poetry chapbook, five novels and eight plays that have been staged all over the world. His accomplishments in science and literature will be introduced before the performance by James Collman, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, and Arnold Rampersad, Professor Emeritus of English.
The performance will be directed by Chloe Bronzan and features Robert Parsons, Danielle Thys, William Wolak, and Sheila Balter.
Free and open to the public.