Measure of the World by Shirley Barrie


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The burning scientific issue of the mid 18th century is the exact shape of the world. Is it like a slightly squashed orange, or a fat man with a tight belt around his middle? France is determined to attain the dominance that will come with discovering this scientific truth. So in 1736, the French Academy sends three talented but incompatible scientists to Peru to measure a degree of the earth's arc at the Equator and, secretly, to gather intelligence on Spain's rich colony. They don't count on one clever and determined mixed race slave, 'gifted' by the Governor to the leader of the expedition, but promised her freedom to spy on the French.

Year Printed: 2015
First Produced: 2013 at Alumnae's Fireworks Festival of New Works, Toronto, ON.
Running Time: 95 minutes
Acts: 2
Male Cast: 3
Female Cast: 1
Suitable for School Performances: Students age 16+
Keywords: drama, 1736 - 43, scientific discovery, scientific competition, colonization, politics, passion, egos, espionage, freedom