Notes on QUALITIES OF STARLIGHT by Gabriel Jason Dean

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Starlight plays tricks with time: while we feel the stars are timeless, and name them after gods, science tells us that they are actually time-bound, that—counter-intuitively–the light that shines on us bears a specific history, and tells us about the nature and origin of things. Gabriel Jason Dean‘s Qualities of Starlight lives in this mystery: we follow a scientist who has learned that creation is forever beginning again (upending easy ideas of origins and consequences, doom and possibilities)–even as he journeys to encounter his family past, but finds there nothing but the unexpected. Science crashes violently into nature, identities shift, memories speak, and the future can only be won by renegotiating the past. In this light, the cosmos is no more wondrous than a troubled human family improvising its path into the future.
Michael Evenden, Associate Professor Theatre Studies, Emory University