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McMaster School of the Arts presents the Fall Major Production


CAS9 (Opening Night)


Friday, November 11th at 8:00pm (Opening Night)

Robinson Memorial Theatre, Chester New Hall 103, McMaster University

Major Fall Production



HAMILTON, ON– The McMaster School of the Arts presents this year’s Fall Major Production of CAS9, a new play about genetic manipulation devised by McMaster faculty and students, scripted and directed by Peter Cockett, on-stage in the Robinson Memorial Theatre.



Are We Ready for the Self-Evolution of the Human Race?


CAS9 tells the story of a fictional McMaster Lab Director who is impatient with current legal restrictions that forbid using readily available technologies to modify the human genome in order to eliminate congenital conditions. Her convictions are challenged when a deaf friend asks for help to ensure that her baby will be born deaf. The researcher is now forced to confront her own definition of health and to address the cultural basis of her position of power.  ASL to English and English to ASL translation has been incorporated into the performance.

The play’s title, CAS9, refers to Crispr cas9, a new genetic technology that allows researchers to edit out a single gene from a string of DNA and replace it with another. Currently it is illegal in Canada to use this technology on the human genome but the potential health benefits are so great that pressure is mounting to loosen this restriction. Designing your own baby is already not strictly a matter for science fiction: advances in genetic science will soon give us the capability to eradicate diseases and congenital conditions. But should we use this capability on humans? What, if anything, should be erased from the human race?

CAS9 poses important questions around genetic science, health, ethics, disability and responsibility. It encourages reflection and dialogue in the McMaster and Hamilton community and challenges assumptions about what wellness and good health look and sound like in our society.  The play is the result of a multi-disciplinary collaboration between faculty and students from across the McMaster campus and beyond. The performances will be supported by guest lectures, panels and talk-backs involving faculty from multiple disciplines.


$20 for Regular Tickets

$10 for Student and Senior Tickets

Purchase tickets from the Compass Information Centre in McMaster’s Student Centre.

Call 905-525-9140 ext. 21000, email, or visit Compass in person. 



Thursday 10th November, 8:00pm (Preview)

Friday 11th November, 8:00pm (Opening Night)
Saturday 12th November, 8:00pm
Wednesday 16-18th November, 8:00pm
Saturday 19th November, 2:00pm (Matinee)
Saturday 19th November, 8:00pm



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Date(s) - 11/11/2016
8:00 pm

Robinson Memorial Theatre, Chester New Hall, McMaster University