Carnegie Mellon University

Pseudo-Science on the Stage: A Conversation Behind the Scenes of "Animal Magnetism", a Play by Elizabeth Inchbald

CAS Speaker Series

December 15, 2022 - 4:30-6:00 pm Eastern

Lady Constance and her maid Lisette are locked away by a quack Doctor, but their lovers, a persistent Marquis and his servant, trick their way to love (and the women’s freedom) by pretending to use "animal magnetism," the pseudo-science of mesmerism popularized by the real life quack, Franz Anton Mesmer. This hilarious farce, written by an actress and one of the most popular playwrights in 18th-century Britain, satirizes the follies of pseudo-science, fake medicine—and most of all, men who try to control smart young women.

Join director Tatiana Baccari in an open, online rehearsal of a scene from the play and in conversation with theater scholars Misty Anderson (University of Tennessee), Paula Backscheider (Auburn University), and David Taylor (University of Oxford). The conversation will be moderated by Kristina Straub (Carnegie Mellon).