By Neil Weaver
In her intriguing solo-drama, writer-performer Stacie Chaiken plays archeologist Sally Jenkins, who specializes in the study of ancient DNA. As she says, “It’s easy to extract the whole gene from soft tissue, but there is never soft tissue in ancient burials. I’ve managed to replicate the material I need from infinitesimal bits of really old bone.” ...
Chaiken has created an intricate, multi-layered tale that combines archeology, religion, Israeli-Palestinian politics and personal issues, with each strand of the narrative reflecting back on the others. Her play deals with the complexities of Israel during the Second Intifada, her relations with her co-workers David and Rashid, and her growing relationship with the lizard she found in the bathtub of her luxury hotel. MORE
The Dig Review - Dark Secrets of the Heart
By Elaine L. Mura
Playwright and actor Stacie Chaiken stars in this unusual and riveting one-woman play about genetics, archaeology, and how the past affects the present - and even the future. Chaiken began work on this piece in 2003, when she made her first trip to Israel and became intrigued by the findings of archaeologists who were digging everywhere in the country attempting to link DNA and history. What made the process even more challenging was that, rather than the soft tissue normally used when studying genes, geneticists were forced to trace DNA from mere bone fragments found in ancient sites. MORE
THE JEWISH JOURNAL
Feature: Family strife, from biblical to modern times
By Iris Mann
The implications of a potentially Earth-shattering find at an archeological project in Israel are examined in the new play “the DIG: death + Genesis + the double helix,” a production of the Latino Theater Company, currently running at the Los Angeles Theatre Center.
Playwright Stacie Chaiken performs all the roles in this solo show that centers on the character of Sally Jenkins, a renowned Jewish-American archeologist and an expert in deciphering DNA, who is asked to help analyze the discovery at an excavation under an Armenian monastery in Jaffa. Her cohorts on the project are David, a former military man now working for the government agency Israeli Antiquities, and Rashid, an Arab Israeli who is the world expert in Middle Eastern text and artifacts. MORE