Wives of Geniuses I Have Sat With,
I: Mileva Marić

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Photos by Christine Abbate courtesy of 7Midnights Physical Research

Wives of Geniuses I Have Sat With, I: Mileva Marić is a solo dance theater performance interrogating the life and legacy of Mileva Marić, Albert Einstein’s first wife, through an embodied, imagined narrative.
 
Mileva was born in Serbia at a time when women there were not expected or allowed to pursue higher education. Despite societal expectations concerning her gender and her physical disability, she planned to pursue physics as a career and would eventually meet Albert Einstein when they were both in pursuit of their master’s degrees. Her career, marriage, and life were derailed in many ways, and today much of her legacy is tied to speculation about whether she was the “secret genius” behind some of Albert Einstein’s scientific breakthroughs.
 
The work explores the complexity of being remembered exclusively as a wife and having one's humanity tied to proximity to genius. The piece is not a biographical narrative of Mileva, but rather an attempt to enter the psyche and consider the humanity of a woman who was never able to fulfill her potential, and whose legacy is left to the often cold, impersonal words of history.
 
The title stems from Gertrude Stein’s 1933 book The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. Stein was a hugely celebrated lesbian author at the turn of the 20th century. She also associated genius only with masculinity (despite often being referred to as a genius herself). The dichotomy between where our culture perceives genius and where genius may actually live, along with a questioning of the power structures and value systems inherent in the very concept of "genius," are central themes.
 
Research into Mileva Marić, Albert Einstein, and Gertrude Stein all inform the work, and it is performed in a first-person perspective in the imagined Mileva’s voice.
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PREVIOUS PERFORMANCES
 
7Midnights Physical Research
November 23, 2019
8:00 pm
Arts On Site
12 St. Marks Place
New York, NY 10003
 
7Midnights Physical Research
December 7, 2019
8:00 pm
Arts On Site
12 St. Marks Place
New York, NY 10003
 
The Craft
February 6th, 2020
9:00 pm
 
Threes @ Franklin + Kent
113 Franklin St
Brooklyn, NY 11222
 
Fertile Ground
January 26, 2020
7:00 pm
 
Green Space
37-24 24th Street, Suite 211
Long Island City, NY 11101
 
Performed February 6th, 2020
The Craft at Threes @ Franklin & Kent
Brooklyn, NY