Thomas Babe
Introducing THOMAS BABE
Co-librettist for TESLA, a multidisciplinary music-theater/opera 

Thomas Babe, co-librettist of TESLA a multimedia opera about the exceptional life, explorations and brilliant inventions of Nikola Tesla (produced by SoBe Arts), was one of a group of 70s US playwrights who laid the ground for the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Aaron Sorkin. Like David Mamet and Sam Shepard, his plays contain half-crazed but intelligent, articulate characters. Darker passions of the human soul feature strongly.  Mr. Babe's writing first came to widespread attention in 1975, when his play Kid Champion, with Christopher Walken as a physically and emotionally broken rock star, bowed at the Public. Mr. Babe's plays were often populated by mythic figures from history. Fathers and Sons, for instance, featured Wild Bill Hickok. (The play was later the basis of a 1995 Walter Hill film starring Jeff Bridges, the screenplay for which Mr. Babe co-wrote.) And Salt Lake City Skyline concerned Joe Hill. A then-unfamous John Lithgow played the labor leader. 
Photo: "Kid Champion" by Thomas Babe at The Public Theater

For more information about TESLA and to listen to audio excerpts from piano/vocal workshop at the 2004 New York City Opera Vox Festival, click here 
Thomas Babe's plays Rebel Women, A Prayer for My Daughter, Taken in Marriage, Fathers and Sons, Salt Lake City Skyline, and Buried Inside Extra were first produced by Joseph Papp and The Public Theater / New York Shakespeare Festival. He has also been produced in many other theaters throughout the United States, as well as in England, Ireland, Canada, Germany, and Holland. In the musical theater, he wrote the text for Twyla Tharp's When We Were Very Young and the libretto for TESLA (music by Carson Kievman). Babe and Kievman worked on the storyboard and outline for TESLA together and the libretto was completed by Babe (and Kievman) prior to his premature death from cancer on December 6, 2000. 
Tom Babe's work brought together many elements of American history and cultural mythology. He was fascinated by the concept of the traditional hero figure - and the reality behind it. Strained family relationships often featured - specifically focusing on fathers and daughters, love and individual rights. These themes come together in Babe's 1977 play A Prayer for My Daughter.

Mr. Babe's work rarely lacked for top acting talent like John Lithgow and Walken. A Prayer for My Daughter, set in a police station, starred the solid foursome of Jeffrey DeMunn, George Dzundza, Laurence Luckinbill and Alan Rosenberg. Rebel Women featured Mandy Patinkin and Peter Weller. And the cast of Buried Inside Extra-a rare play directed by Joe Papp himself - included Hal Holbrook, Dixie Carter, Vincent Gardenia and Sandy Dennis. Taken in Marriage, the women of a well-off New York family are gathered in the basement of a New Hampshire church for a wedding rehearsal starred Dixie Carter, Colleen Dewhurst, Kathleen Quinlan and Meryl Streep.
Meryl Streep and more
Photo: "Taken in Marriage" by Thomas Babe at The Public Theater
Hal Holbrook and more
Photo: "Buried Inside Extra" by Thomas Babe at The Public Theater

For more information about TESLA and to listen to audio excerpts from piano/vocal workshop at the 2004 New York City Opera Vox Festival, click here 

'Tesla' was conceived in 1986 at the Eugene O'Neil Music Theater Conference. Tom Babe and Carson Kievman co-wrote the libretto in the 1990s and two scenes were previewed at the New York City Opera Vox Festival in 2004. The Libretto was slightly revised and the score was completed in April 2016. The World Premiere is schedule for September 28 - October 1, 2017 at the historic Colony Theater on Miami Beach.

Nikola Tesla's powerful and futuristic story will be told with music, carefully mapped digital animations, mechanical stage electrical devices, and poetic storytelling via an exquisitely crafted libretto. The production will employ 9 vocalists, a 6 member chorus, a 25 piece chamber orchestra, stage director Jeffrey Marc Buchman, music director, choreographer, costume, staging and lighting designers; projection designers; mechanical electrical engineers; stage manager and crew.

A true visionary, Nikola Tesla gave away a vast number of patents because they were fossil fuel-consuming, and went to work on the Tesla Coil which would connect humanity to the very wheelwork of nature and allow the extraction of free and non-polluting energy for all.  As a result he died a pauper, crushed by the greed and hunger for power of his contemporaries.

Tesla's radical visions of scientific potential and capitalist reform, which led to his rise as well as his downfall, resonate even more powerfully in the 21st century.
Tesla and Mark Twain
Einstein and Tesla