“Membrane of the Nucleus” – A Short Play

"The Membrane of the Nucleus"
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It was intriguing to receive the following announcement from Peter A. Balaskas. In addition to, his contributions to Splash Magazines Worldwide as a theatre and film critic (when he has the time), Peter is a published magazine writer, poet, fiction writer and playwright. And recently, one of his dramatic creations made its debut. It was nominated for all festival awards (Best Play, Director and Actress) and it won Best Actor. I am enclosing Peter’s instructions below for watching this unusual play as I note it will not be long before this festival will return.

The Newmarket International Festival of One-Act Plays, at which this play was shown, took place in Ontario, Canada and included people in many locations writing about wide ranging topics. 

For your viewing pleasure, here are the instructions to watch this work. If anyone has thoughts to share about the play, Peter would love to hear from you.

Scribe (Harris Bailey) and Songbird (Christine Sawka) escape their captivity

“From the Membrane of the Nucleus”

Written by Peter A. Balaskas

Directed by Mary Rose Talani

Starring Christine Sawka and Harris Bailey

Watch Play Introduction (3 minutes)

Watch Play (30 minutes):  

When you click on the link, fast forward to the 1 hour and 15-minute mark. Peter’s play is the second in the show, not the first. It is the set with two prison cells separated by a wall. PLEASE NOTE: The first couple of minutes are dark due to video quality. This will clear up. Please be patient.

Peter’s Fun facts:

1)  Peter was notified on April 15 that his play was accepted in the festival. This year, April 15 was Good Friday.    

 2) The music that was used was Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, the Second Movement (“Allegretto”). At its premiere at the University in Vienna on December 8, 1813, Beethoven remarked that it was one of his best works. The second movement, “Allegretto”, was so popular that audiences demanded an encore.

3)    The “Allegretto” is frequently performed separately to this day, especially in films such as “Zardoz,” “The Fall,” and the Oscar Award winning film, “The King’s Speech.”

4)    In addition to the actress, the musical group who sang the piece is Libera, an all-boy English vocal group in London.

5)    Although the piece is Beethoven’s Seventh, the Second Movement, the overall work is called “Sacris Solemniis,” a hymn written by St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) for the feast of Corpus Christi.

Curtain Call

Learning that the entire poem spoken by Scribe is a little subdued in the recording, the poem is written below:


Deep within the hatred, this poisonous death,

buried beneath the membrane of the nucleus,

the globe of my prison controls, confines my breath,

flames of my soul struggle thus.

Outside my spherical jail, love, grace and beauty:

banned, banished, burned and abused.

Mediocrity, ugliness, uniformity:

embraced, enthralled and enthused.

Words of divine eloquence: weaponized and perverted,

destroying innocence within all of us.

I am alone, trapped, neutered,

within the membrane of the nucleus.

As all hope dissolves into a fog of dismay,

your heavenly voice soars, shines all around me,

chasing and repelling this malignancy away,

revealing true goodness for all to see.

Revolving around my solitary atom,

an exquisite electron to my poor, lonely proton,

seeking an entry, scanning the continuum,

to rescue me from my hellish Babylon.

I reach, I force and I press,

straining, fighting, and pushing.

Till finally, from the membrane of the nucleus,

it bursts, expelling, erupting and releasing.

Now I am free, our voices become one,

vanquishing the evils against artistry.

we bring forth hope and courage in this vast dungeon,

From now till blessed eternity.

Preview YouTube video and stills are courtesy of Peter A. Balaskas, Mary Rose Talani and the Newmarket International Festival.

Learn more about Playwright Peter Balaskas at his website.



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