2024 Summer Series Public Events have been scheduled!
Event Information


Celebrating 100 Years of General Relativity

Written, Researched, and Performed by Jack Fry

Directed by Tom Blomquist

Assistant Director/Vocal Coach ………………. Peggy O’Neal

Physicist Advisor …………………………………….. Ron Mallet

Voice of Mileva ……………………………………….. Alexandra Kovacs

Graphics ……………………………………………………. Walker Schupp & Anthony Denha

Stage Manager/Tech Director ……………….. John Toom

The play takes place in and out of time in Albert Einstein’s study.  Running time is between 80-85 minutes with no intermission.

There will be a short Q and A after the show.

6:00 pm Doors Open
7:00 pm Einstein!, Great Refractor Dome
8:30 pm Q & A, Great Refractor Dome
9:00 pm Telescope Viewings:

Great Refractor Dome

Nickel Reflector Dome

11:00 pm  Doors Close

Author’s note:

Albert Einstein has over 100 quotes about the importance of imagination.  His thought experiments were a testimony to his creative power.  In that vein, we humbly solicit your own imagination tonight.  SEE the different characters portrayed as they weave an incredible, but true story of how he solved the relativity puzzle despite dramas coming at him in every direction. This story was unknown until 2007.

~ Jack Fry

“Funny, touching, intimate… Fry’s portrait captures the iconic mathematician as you might not have imagined him before… a triumph.”

Huffington Post

“This show is a guarantee.”

Jewish Journal

“Science history can merge with entertainment, and this is how you do it.”

VueWeekly, Edmonton

EINSTEIN! was the highest grossing show with a sold out run at the STEM Festival in New York, and was an Encore Winner and a Best of the Fringe at the 2016 Hollywood Fringe Festival while also being Top 10 Shows to See at the NY International Fringe Festival.  Jack Fry was also named Best Actor of the London Fringe Festival by The London Free Press, Ontario.

More information about the play EINSTEIN! is available on-line at EinsteinThePlay.com.

Jack Fry – Playwright/Einstein

Jack Fry

Jack Fry is a multi-award winning solo artist and a fully credentialed teach in LAUSD. EINSTEIN! had a recent sold out run at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in April.  Jack Fry’s performance was selected as A Best Performance from the New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Philadelphia stages by DC Metro Theater Arts in Washington, DC.  His first solo show was the critically acclaimed and international hit They Call Me Mister Fry — an autobiographical play about his first year teaching 5th grade in South Los Angeles with over 350 performances including a command performance for the Department of Education in Washington, DC, and numerous festival honors. A few of Jack’s film credits include The Salmon Run, The Story Lady, and Enemies Within.  His television work includes the comedy series pilot Whoa! as well as acting, puppetry, and voice work for over 30 “edutainment” films for children on Nickelodeon. More biographical information about Jack Fry is on-line at http://einsteintheplay.com/Einstein/Bio.html

Tom Blomquist – Director

Tom Blomquist is an award-winning writer, producer, and director.  His television credits include such popular title as Farscape, Quantum Leap, Catherine Marshall’s Christy, Nightmare on Elm Street: Freddy’s Nightmares, Swamp Thing, The A-Team, Walker Texas Ranger, and Hunter, as well as the classic late-night talk show Tomorrow with Tom Snyder.  Last year a comedy pilot that Tom directed, Whoa!, starring Academy Award Nominee Linda Blair, Emmy winner Leslie Jordan, and featuring Jack Fry, won top honors at the Independent Quarterly Festival in Hollywood and the Los Angeles Sunset Film Festival.  Tom is also tenured professor of film and television production at California State University, Long Beach and co-author of the textbook Eye of the Storm: Directing Process for Film, Television & New Media (Kendall Hunt Publishers, 2013).

Peggy O’Neal – Assistant Director/Vocal Coach

Peggy O’Neal is a voice actor whose credits include hundreds of episodes of network television shows like Bones and Friday Night Lights; hundreds of episodes of anime series including Digimon and Ghost in the Shell, and hit video games like Saint’s Row and Supreme Commander.  She is a certified Fitzmaurice Voicework® teacher, and adjunct professor at Moorpark College, and has taught Directing as Loyola Marymount University.  Recent directing credits include Tell Me My Secrets and It’s Complicated at the Actor’s Workout Studio in North Hollywood.


Special thanks to Anthony Misch for providing artifacts from the Lick Observatory Archives and video to supplement the information about the 1922 Wallal, Australia total solar eclipse expedition that confirmed Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

Thank you Lick Observatory, Elinor Gates, and Lyric Theatre for providing additional props and set pieces for the Einstein! performances.

Stage and Technical Crew:  John Toom and John Enea

Printed Program PDF:  Thanks to Maryanne Campbell for layout and printed program design.

Einstein Q&A

One of these local experts on Lick Observatory and its history will assist with the Q&A session after the play each evening.

Anthony Misch – Solar Eclipse Expedition Expert

Tony Misch

Tony Misch directs the Lick Observatory Historical Collections Project, which he founded in 2008 to protect, catalogue, organize, and promulgate the remarkable collection of scientific objects, manuscripts, and photographic plates stored at the observatory on the summit of Mt. Hamilton, east of San Jose, California. In the last several years, he has curated a number of exhibitions of Lick Observatory artifacts at venues around the state.

Mr. Misch holds a BFA from University of Washington and MFA in painting from Otis Art Institute of Los Angeles County. His ambitions as an artist ran aground on the slopes of Mount Wilson Observatory in 1982, where he took a 6-month’s job that accidentally became a 25-year career. In 1987 he left Mt. Wilson to join the staff of Lick Observatory as a resident support astronomer on Mt. Hamilton, retiring in 2007.


Elinor Gates – Staff Astronomer & Public Programs Producer

Elinor Gates with ShaneAO, Lick Observatory

Dr. Elinor Gates is a staff astronomer and visitor services supervisor at Lick Observatory.  Her primary research interest is high tech instrumentation, specializing in laser guide star adaptive optics and near infrared camera instrumentation.  Her scientific research focuses on studying active galaxies and quasars, but she has also participated in studying the atmospheres of Neptune and Uranus, as well as Supernova followup studies.  She did her undergraduate work at Mount Holyoke College, majoring in Mathematics and Astrophysics. She received her Ph.D. in Physics/Astronomy from the University of New Mexico.  Before coming to Lick Observatory in 1998, she had worked at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory/International Astronomical Union Minor Planet Center, and the Air Force Phillips Laboratory.  Her previous public education and outreach experience was as the director of the University of New Mexico campus observatory, board member of The Albuquerque Astronomical Society, and outreach coordinator for the LodeStar program. Asteroid 2650 is named Elinor in her honor.

Tonight’s Telescopes & Objects

36-inch Lick Refractor. Photo (c) Laurie Hatch.

Lick Observatory’s 36-inch Great Refractor saw “first light” in 1888. At the time, it was the largest refractor telescope in the world. It is an enduring memorial to James Lick’s philanthropy and his final resting place.

For nearly 300 years after Galileo first turned a telescope toward the heavens it was believed that the largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter, had just four moons. In 1892, using the Lick’s 36-inch Great Refractor, Edward Barnard discovered a fifth moon, the much fainter Amalthea, the last moon of any planet to be discovered without the aid of photography, electronic detectors or space-based telescopes.

The 36-inch telescope will show you interesting astronomical objects of the telescope operator’s choosing. This may be a globular cluster of stars, a binary star, or a galaxy.

Nickel 1-m Telescope. Photo (c) Laurie Hatch.

The Nickel 40-inch Reflector, named for philanthropist Anna Nickel, was designed and built in the Lick Observatory Technical Facilities at UC Santa Cruz and completed in 1979. The 40” diameter mirror of this modern telescope makes it the third most powerful telescope on Mount Hamilton.

The 40-inch telescope will show you interesting astronomical objects of the telescope operator’s choosing. This may be a planet, globular cluster of stars, a binary star, or a galaxy.

Telescope Operators:

36-inch Great Refractor

Sept 9: Patrick Maloney | Bob Havner

Sept 10:  Keith Wandry | Rolf Weber

Sept 11: Tanja Bode | Monique Windju

40-inch Reflector

Sept 9: Rich Baldridge

Sept 10: Patrick Maloney

Sept 11: Keith Wandry

40-inch Control Room

Sept 9: Keith Wandry

Sept 10: Jessica Johnson

Sept 11: Murali Balasubramaniam

Telescopes will be available for viewing, weather conditions permitting, as soon as it is dark enough and will remain open until everyone has had an opportunity to see through both telescopes.

Share tonight’s experience on Social Media: #LickObservatory @LickObservatory

The Gift Shop is open tonight from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm.


Snacks and beverages are available at the refreshment table in the main foyer. All proceeds help support the public programs. In the past, we have used proceeds to purchase an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), additional wooden benches in the main building, new speakers and amplifiers for the main building hallway, and partial funding of two spotting telescopes by the flag pole.

Dark Adjustment

Your experience at the telescopes will be better if your eyes have had an opportunity to adjust to the dark. For this reason, we try to keep the light levels low in both wings of the main hall.


Please refrain from use of flash photography or white light flashlights in the domes or adjoining hallway.


We strive to make your visit as complete and meaningful as possible. Please let us know if you will need special assistance (for example, if you will have difficulty climbing stairs) by emailing tickets@ucolick.org, so we can make the necessary arrangements.

Our Volunteers

All of Lick Observatory’s public programs are greatly enhanced by the valuable participation of our many dedicated volunteers.

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