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How did the M.I.T. Math Department React?

Audience Raves

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Photo by Ivan Singer Photography

Press Reviews

"**** [FOUR STARS] De Cari is animated onstage, and inhabits no fewer than 30 roles with gusto. She bounds from moments of depression to those of elation and triumph, each rendered on an empty stage that hints at the countless stories similar to hers but untold."

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How did the M.I.T. Math Department React?

Truth Values was a smash hit at the Central Square Theater in Cambridge, MA, just a five-minute walk up the street from M.I.T. In interviewing writer/performer Gioia De Cari, Fringe Propaganda, the official newspaper of the New York International Fringe Festival, described the upcoming Cambridge run as "returning to the scene of the crime."

The M.I.T. community came out in droves to see the show, which Thomas Garvey of
The Hub Review described as being "the first time I have ever seen M.I.T. life ... depicted accurately on a stage in Boston ... Truth Values is basically what Good Will Hunting pretended to be."

But how did the M.I.T. math department react? Read below ...

"I bought a ticket for one of the first performances ... I just wanted to get it over with after so much talking about it in our department. I was expecting 90 minutes of complaints and instead I enjoyed a fantastic monologue with moments of pure humor, sadness, intelligence and struggle. Gioia has the brain of a mathematician and the heart of an artist, and she combined them in a wonderful performance." – Gigliola Staffilani (M.I.T. math professor)

"The play is entirely wonderful: very funny, and very moving, and perspective-changing. It was a particular pleasure to see a friend doing so extremely well at work that is so worthwhile. But I would have loved the play even if I'd never heard of the author."
– David Vogan (M.I.T. math professor)

"This is an incredible success story, after all: Gioia's master thesis (wrapped into great theatre) received more public exposure than any Ph.D. thesis ever will –– let alone the attention of a departmental meeting 20 years after graduation." – Katrin Wehrheim (M.I.T. math professor)

"Gioia's story is engaging, entertaining, and personal –– one woman's path to find herself and her passions while pursuing a doctorate in M.I.T.'s math department. The depiction of the wacky mathematicians is both frank and sometimes timeless, helping us to laugh at ourselves and our little community, glad that we can now wear pink sweaters and short skirts without anyone taking offense." – Jennifer French (M.I.T. math graduate student)

"The play explores the joy of being a mathematician, the pains of graduate school, and the path of dicovering that research isn't the same as taking classes. Some of the topics she talks about are specific for women, some are specific for mathematicians, but I think everyone who ever had a hard time in their career and thought about changing it will find something of their own reflected in her play." – Martina Balagovic (M.I.T. math graduate student)

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Audience Raves

K.C. Cole, long-time science writer for the Los Angeles Times,
Professor, University of Southern California Annenberg School of Journalism,
author of The Universe and the Teacup: The Mathematics of Truth and Beauty

Margaret Murray, Author of Women Becoming Mathematicians

"Truth Values is a timely and fascinating story about a brilliant young woman pursuing an advanced degree in mathematics at M.I.T., and the sexism, latent and blatant, that she encounters. Though there is much to laugh about here, there is also much to enrage anyone who is not a closet chauvinist.

Gioia's performance would be satisfying in any circumstances, but the fact that Truth Values is autobiographical adds wonder and zest to the experience. Mathematics lost a brilliant mind when she decided to become an actor, but theatre folk may well rejoice!"

Gioia De Cari's one-woman show, Truth Values, is a courageous memoir – funny and moving and beautifully paced. Her zig-zagging through many different characters is virtuosic. It's memorable."

"What a fantastic night at the theatre. It's really quite an incredible tale, and as you can tell from the feedback, all of us were utterly captivated by your romp through M.I.T. As the women sitting next to me simply said, 'Thank you for creating this piece and sharing your story.'"

"Utterly delightful! Gioia's creative mind playfully takes her body through over an hour of revelations. She casts a spell as well as being a cast of characters herself. Enlightening, amazing and fun to watch. Truth value indeed!"

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Related Reviews

"Gioia De Cari is a master of body language." – San Jose Mercury News

"De Cari commanded the stage with energy, poise and range." – The Off Off Broadway Review

"Touchingly funny . . ." – The Peninsula Times

"A delight . . ." – Bay Area Reporter

"The evening belonged to the captivating Gioia De Cari, who was radiant and very funny." – The Off Off Broadway Review

Photos: John Olson

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