How the World Began

Polarization seems to be a popular practice these days. It was successfully employed to drive the U.S. electorate to the red or the blue, to prevent (1) those dastardly "fill in the blanks" from ruining the country and (2) a third party from getting any traction.

One of the antipathies that drives this call–to–hate is the science versus religion feud, of the sort we remember from Inherit the Wind, the story of the Scopes "Monkey Trial." For the last couple of decades, this debate has been fed via automobile accoutrements (such as the Jesus and Darwin fish, one often depicted swallowing the other) and bumper stickers ("What would Jesus do?").

Ryan Wuestewald as Micah Staab and Emily Paton Davies as Susan Pierce
Ryan Wuestewald as Micah Staab
and Emily Paton Davies as Susan Pierce
Catherine Trieschmann's How the World Began, now running at The Dairy Center in Boulder, is set in "Plainview, a small town in Northwest Kansas," in the heart of the Bible Belt, where, as the story goes, 17 persons died recently in a wicked tornado. The high school's new biology teacher, Susan Pierce (Emily Paton Davies), arrives from New York City, pregnant and unmarried. Immediately, her comments regarding theories in conflict with evolution set the town a-buzzin', engendered especially by the troubled Micah Staab (Ryan Wuestewald) and his guardian, Gene Dinkel (Chris Kendall).

Trieschmann's script presses all the emotional buttons that one would expect regarding this subject, which is a problem, because it is so predictable, essentially mirroring many of the arguments that polarized the electorate into voting blue or red. In the end, we end up without a choice, only hating "the other."

(Left to right) Ryan Wuestewald as Micah Staab and Chris Kendall as Gene Dinkel
(L to R) Ryan Wuestewald as Micah Staab
and Chris Kendall as Gene Dinkel
and Emily Paton Davies as Susan Pierce
Davies, Wuestewald, and Kendall are all masterful in giving flesh and bones to the conflict. But there's no resolution in it and, thus, no catharsis. It's as if nothing changed since Inherit the Wind. Perhaps this is the case with many people, but in terms of science and spirituality, there has been significant progress. Basically, it is now possible to show, based on certain principles of physics, that the Singularity (the first dimension, in which the entire potential for the universe exists) is essentially the same as the common notions of G-d, the Supreme Being, etc. (ominiscience, ominipresence, omnipotence).

Religions, like governments, are corporate vassals, supporting usury, war, and profiteering; but science and spirituality have converged. Interestingly, there's even a political party (Green) that embraces both science and spirituality. Unfortunately, Trieschmann does not.

Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's regional premiere Catherine Trieschmann's IHow the World Began runs through October 28th. For more information: 720-898-7200 or

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