Thursday, December 07, 2006

Well, archaeologists will date any old thing An engaging 'Luminescence Dating'
The romance of archaeology gets entangled with the archaeology of romance in Carey Perloff's "Luminescence Dating," the new play by the American Conservatory Theater artistic director that opened Saturday at the Magic Theatre. Some of what Perloff and director Mark Rucker's talented cast dig up is contrived, some is intriguing and well dramatized. At its best, "Dating" combines plot and information so that it engages both the heart and mind.

That's the intent. "Dating" was commissioned by the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Project, set up to encourage the writing of plays about scientific subjects. Perloff's play, which hinges on determining the age of an artifact (through the process named in the title), opened at EST in New York last year.