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Production Honors “Princess of Paleontology” on Darwin’s Birthday

Production Honors “Princess of Paleontology” on Darwin’s Birthday

Celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin by attending the performance of “Blue Lias, or the Fish Lizard’s Whore,” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb 12 in the Hixson-Lied Auditorium in Creighton University’s Harper Center located at 630 N. 20th St. The performance is free to the public.

Performance artist Claudia Stevens will present a fully staged production of her postmodern musical, and literary romp about Victorian paleontologist Mary Anning known as the princess of Paleontology for her groundbreaking work. The play considers the interactions of science, religion and art.

Set in the present, Stevens brings to life Mary Anning, a colorful and unique figure of Victorian England. Stevens also portrays Anning’s nemesis, clergyman and geologist William Buckland.

To learn more about Mary Anning and her contributions to paleontology go to http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/history/anning.html

Stevens creates unique interdisciplinary pieces, now a body of a dozen plays, for her solo performance as musician-actor. Recent published works are widely ranging in their content. Trained as a pianist, musicologist, conductor and composer, Stevens holds degrees from Vassar College, the University of California at Berkeley and Boston University. She has held academic, conducting and performance positions at Williams College and the College of William and Mary, where she is associate professor of piano.

The Blue Lias is a geologic formation in southern England, where Mary Anning grew up and is part of the Lias Group. The Blue Lias consists of a sequence of limestone and shale layers, laid down in latest Triassic and early Jurassic times, between 195 and 200 million years ago and is famous for its fossils, especially ammonites.