The Life and Time of Stephen Hawking is one of six new plays by Disabled playwrights being read during the festival (May 13-22) and developed through The Apothetae at Lark Fellowship, an initiative created to support, both financially and artistically, new work by Disabled artists, as well as promote plays that counter the underrepresentation and misrepresentation of people with disabilities in our culture.
Romanska’s play, based on Goethe’s Dr. Faustus, sees the English physicist make a bargain with the devil. “[I]n exchange for learning the mysteries of the universe, he’ll give up the use of his body. But when Stephen Hawking makes a bargain with the devil, who pays the price?”
NewYorkTheater.me, in reviewing on online adaptation of the play in April 2021, wrote:
“Among these that I’d most like to see further developed are Magda Romanska’s The Life and Times of Stephen Hawking, a complex and eerily magnetic offering that includes scenes of cryptic dialogue between A.A. Brenner and Gregg Mozgala as Hawking and Mephistopheles in front of an enlarged black and white chessboard that seems deliberate homage to early Ingmar Bergman, and another scene of silhouettes of people in wheelchairs being pushed in front of a backdrop of Seurat’s painting ‘Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte,’ with a woman repeating the upbeat sentences that people with disabilities hear all the time — ‘You’re such an inspiration” — rending it with so many obnoxious variations that it becomes both comic and pointed.”