Play on life of Hedy Lamar coming to Eastern

Mikaleen Lawrence, Contributing Reporter

“Hedy! The Life & Inventions of Hedy Lamarr” will be performed in The Theatre at the Doudna Fine Arts Center on Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m. both days.

Lamarr is known as a famous actress internationally but documents found recently showed that there was much more behind the woman on the silver screen.

Lamarr was recognized as having been a part of inventing cell phones, Wi-Fi and the grade point average.

Lamarr was a young actress from Vienna, Austria. 

Most recognize her predominantly from her roles in the films: Ziegfeld Girl, The Strange Woman, Experiment Perilous and she was the model of the well-known Disney movie, “Snow White.”

After getting acknowledged decades later for her work, Lamarr today is worth $30 billion. 

During the show the actress Heather Massie, a solo performer, will be impersonating Lamarr. 

She wrote the play and mimics Lamarr’s accident and wit on stage. 

“I wanted to have a one-woman show for a long time,” Massie said. “In late 2013 I wanted to do a show about a woman in science, and that’s when the inception of the project was made.”

Massie said the inspiration for her role goes all the way back to when she was in the third grade and dreamt of being an astronaut, inventor or to work with animals. She said she is still very passionate about science, despite switching her major to theatre arts in college. 

“I thought (science) wasn’t a part of my life anymore, I had put it away,” Massie said. “But now I have taken it out and I have married it with my love of art and now celebrate the stories of women in science on stage and in this show I celebrate the story of Hedy Lamarr. 

The stereotype that men are the face of inventing is one of the things this play hopes to break Massie said. 

“Through this changing the face of invention to not always be Thomas Edison, to not always be a white man, that women can be in there, people of color, people of different races, people of different nationalities, various genders can be as viable in these roles,” Massie said. “Because women have been inventing for a very long time and being contributors to science and technology, engineering and math. It’s just generally their male counterparts have gotten to take the credit.”

Dan Crews, the director of programming at Doudna, is the person who decided to bring the show to Eastern.

“There are several reasons why we wanted to present this show. It crosses not only from theatre, but also with sciences,” Crews said. “Since we are a college that has both a theatre and science program, it’s nice to mesh those two together.”

Logan Raschke contributed to the reporting in this article.

Mikaleen Lawrence can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]