Queen – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

Honey bees are often considered essential to humanity and that without their pollination we would starve to death in a matter of years. Whether or not that is true, the survival of the honey bee is thought to be of paramount concern for the world. In addition to pollinating 90% of our plants, bees help keep the planet green. Their role in keeping our environment alive cannot be overstated. Bees support flowers and trees and other plants as well as food and shelter for small and large creatures.

For an inside and intimate look at the role of bees in our society, buzz your way to New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre for Madhuri Shekar’s drama “Queen” until Sunday, June 5. Two researchers are united in discovering why honey bees are being threatened and who or what is responsible. They have been working tirelessly with statistics and calculations for almost seven long years and they are on the cusp of presenting their findings and being published in a prestigious magazine Nature.

For Ariel Spiegel, a dedicated Stephanie Janssen, and Sanam Shah, a mathematical genius Avanthika Srinivasan, this is their triumphant hour and worthy of all the sacrifices they have made. That is, until, Sanam discovers a mistake in calculations that will effect all their predictions and erase any chance that they will be lauded for their work.

In consulting with their advisor Dr. Philip Hayes, a compromising Ben Livingston, and a new boyfriend of Sanam’s, Arvind Patel, a convincing Keshav Moodilar, the women receive a varying degree of advice that set them on a complicated trail of decisions. Will they abandon their research, or will they hide their disprenpancy and hope it is not discovered? Will they continue their work but in a new direction? And how will their decision affect their careers and their friendship? Aneesha Kudtarkar directs their involving question of morals.

For tickets ($19-59, student $10), call Long Wharf Theatre, 222 Sargent Drive, New Haven at 203-693-1486 or online at www.longwharf.org.
Performances are Tuesday at 7 p.m., Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Proof of vaccination or negative COVID tests are required and masks must be worn.

Enter into this complicated question of ethics that casts a long shadow over scientific work that is about to see the light of day, or will it?