By Attilio Favorini and Lynne Conner.
Cast: 5m., 4w. (All but one role are double/triple cast. No gender flexibility.) During the research and writing of her world-changing Silent Spring, Rachel Carson is diagnosed with breast cancer. As she struggles to complete the book, she simultaneously fights both her own advancing cancer and various factions of American enterprise, including the chemical industry, who launch a wholesale attack on her personal and professional reputation. Carson's ally in this two-pronged battle is Alice in Wonderland, her girlhood literary hero, alter-ego and now, as death draws near, mentor and guide. The journey of the play takes Rachel to a crossroads cojoining her own life story with a fantastical landscape enlivened by literary, film and cultural references that theatricalize the revolutionary science of Silent Spring. In the Garden of Live Flowers takes its title from a chapter in Through the Looking Glass, and, similarly, operates as a fable or fantasia. Its real-world central figure moves dreamlike between the realms of tragedy and comedy, emotion and imagination, science and literature. One unit set. Approximate Running Time: 2 hours, 25 minutes.