Full length historical drama in two acts
minimum required: 5 men, 3 women


Synopsis

Reading the Mind of God is a fierce battle of wills between two geniuses:  one a rising young star, the other fearful of losing his place in history.

Forced to leave his home because of religious persecution, astronomer Johannes Kepler seeks refuge with Tycho Brahe in Prague, in the year 1600.  Kepler not only needs Tycho’s protection, he is desperate for access to Tycho’s world famous collection of stellar and planetary observations.  Tycho is not eager to share.

These two men struggle for dominance, enough to drive each other mad, but they are bound together by a passion for the heavens.  In the end, they develop a love and respect for each other, a father-son bond that will open the gateway to our modern conception of the universe.

Read the first act of Reading the Mind of God

or read the complete script on the New Play Exchange.

What the critics say about Reading the Mind of God

“Reading The Mind Of God is a wonderful script, lively and intelligent” “A major triumph.”Rocky Mountain News


“Its message about the ego’s role in scientific discovery is as timeless as the stars, and its humanity is as palpable.”  — Westword


“The thought-provoking, accessible drama, is sparked by humor and allows audiences a glimpse of two intellectual giants who were all too human.” — Denver Post


“Reading The Mind Of God is a moving drama by Denver playwright Patrick Gabridge, whose writing-always good-has progressed to a new level with this work.”  — Boulder Daily Camera


“Reading The Mind Of God, a gem whose brilliance will grab and not let go.” — Quest Magazine


“Fascinating and timely.” — Indianapolis Star


 

 Production History

Publication: Selected monologues published by Smith & Kraus in Best Stage Monologues for Men 1997 and Best Stage Monologues for Women, 1997.

Productions/Readings:

  • Richland Community College, Decatur, IL, March 2001.
  • Phoenix Theatre, Indianapolis, July 1997-August 1997
  • CityStage Ensemble, Denver, December 1996-January 1997.
  • Denver Theatre in the Park, July 1997
  • New Jersey Repertory Theatre (reading), 1999
  • Chameleon Stage (reading), Denver, 1996.
  • Colorado Dramatists (reading), 1994

Awards:

  • Semi-Finalist, Stanley Drama Award, Wagner College, 1999.
  • Winner, Festival of Emerging American Theatre Competition, 1997
  • Nominated, Best New Play 1996-97, Denver Drama Critics Circle

 

 

Time: the year 1600
Place: Prague (and a few other places)

Character Descriptions: (minimum required: 5 men, 3 woman)
Johannes Kepler: 29 years old, dark, wiry, often bursting with energy. A tremendous genius, extremely nearsighted.

*Magistrate

Tycho Brahe: 54 years old, a large rotund, balding man. His most distinctive feature is his nose, which is made of silver (he lost the original in a duel in his youth), on which he constantly rubs ointment. His presence extends far beyond himself, and he shifts quickly between good humor and rage.

Jep: Tycho’s fool, rumored to possess second sight.

Tengnagel: 20s/30s, handsome, Tycho’s chief assistant, from a noble family.

Elizabeth: 23 years old, Tycho’s daughter. Romantically involved with Tengnagel.

Junior: Tycho’s eldest son, a strapping young man of 19. More interested in hunting and horses than astronomy.

Christine: 40s, Tycho’s common-law wife. From peasant stock.

Barbara Kepler: 25 years old. Has already lost several children to illness and is now on her third marriage. She’s often short-tempered and melancholy.

*Karl, an inquisitor/nobleman.
*Helen, a Bavarian noble in Graz
*Gretta, a Bavarian noble in Graz
* = role can be doubled.