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Eugenics at the Forefront in Dystopic Play ‘Babel’

Eugenics at the Forefront in Dystopic Play ‘Babel’

By Matt Silver – February 13, 2020

Live theater hasn’t historically been the most effective medium for science fiction, but local playwright and dramaturge Jacqueline Goldfinger thinks that’s changing.

She’s written a new play, “Babel” (like the tower), that figures to be among a new breed of stage productions that make sci-fi work for live theater audiences.

Directed by Deborah Block, “Babel” envisions a not-too-distant future where rapid advances in genetics — and their sinister byproduct, eugenics — have created an environment where expecting parents can know what their child will look like and act like shortly after conception. And that’s not just for their own edification but as a matter of the fictional society’s official policy.

“It asks questions,” Goldfinger said of her new play, “about where we think the dividing lines are, morally and ethically, about how much we know, or should know, about a child in utero.”

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