Theatre and Science

“The Women Who Mapped The Stars”: The Struggle to be Acknowledged

The Women Who Mapped the Stars is a new work by Joyce Van Dyke, a rising dramatist with several awards to her credit. Her three previously produced plays also focus on women’s lives. When The Woman Who Mapped the Stars opened at the Central Square Theatre in Cambridge, her fifth piece premiered in New York. The play tells the story of five of the women “computers” who worked at the Harvard Observatory beginning in the late nineteenth century. This was a period in which great strides were being made in astronomy with the aid of better telescopes and the invention of the...

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“Post-Apocalypsis”: The Ecology of Performance

The interactive installation Post-Apocalypsis was designed as part of the Polish pavilion at the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space in 2015. The project was curated by Agnieszka Jelewska, who invited Michał Krawczak, Paweł Janicki, Rafał Zapała, Michał Cichy, and Jerzy Gurawski to join the work. The installation was awarded the Golden Medal for sound design. The concept of the Post-Apocalypsis installation not only fulfills the principle of the transdisciplinary creative process but is also inspired by ecological thinking about the relationships between human beings, so-called nature, and technology. Work on the installation was team-based: each participant, bringing his or...

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Humanities/Art/Technology Research Center: Combining Theatre, Art, and Engineering

The Humanities/Art/Technology Research Center was founded in 2011 at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (Poland) on the initiative of Professor Agnieszka Jelewska and Dr. Michał Krawczak. The Center is a pioneer institution in Poland doing transdisciplinary research and experimental artistic projects. The HAT Research Center cooperates with theoreticians, artists, designers, and engineers of various competencies and specializations. As a scientific-artistic hub, it initiates cutting-edge projects and research that are hard to define in a conventional range of existing artistic and academic disciplines. Golden Medal at the Prague Quadrennial In 2013 Jelewska and Krawczak curated the exhibition Transnature Is Here, which was...

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The Gaze Of The Robot: Oriza Hirata’s Robot Theatre

Ten Years of Robot Theatre Directed by Oriza Hirata In Japan, the development of humanoid robots and their integration into human society has been in the forefront of research for decades. Robots are becoming a common sight in various settings. One of the biggest telecommunication companies introduced a social humanoid robot that is able to “read” the emotions from the facial expression and voice of its partner. This robot is now serial manufactured, welcoming customers at the shops, orienting foreigners at the airport arrival, as a preparation for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. For the graying generation, the everyday presence...

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Studying Theatre And Media In Poznań: The Institute Of Theatre And Media Arts At Adam Mickiewicz University

The Institute of Theatre and Media Arts at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań runs two-degree programs: a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Studies and a master’s degree in Interactive Media and Performances. The Institute also offers doctoral studies in both areas. The Institute’s research, like the education it offers, is interdisciplinary, open to other fields, and conducted in close collaboration with artists and cultural institutions. It pays attention to the historical and the newest phenomena in performing arts, while retaining its high scholarly standards and content. The Theatre Studies The Theatre Studies undergraduates engage with core modules that include exploring...

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Going To The Theatre Could Be As Good For Your Heart As Half An Hour Of Exercise

Going to the theatre can stimulate a person’s cardiovascular system as much as doing nearly half an hour of exercise, researchers have claimed. Scientists from the University College London and the University of Lancaster monitored the heart rate and brain activity of 12 theatergoers attending a live performance of the West End musical Dreamgirls. Elevated heart rate During the production, the participants’ hearts beat at an elevated range between 50 percent and 70 percent of their maximum heart rate for 28 minutes on average, the researchers found. According to the British Heart Foundation (BHF), a person’s target heart rate should...

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Algorithm, Composition, And Metaphor

What is algorithmic theatre? For the last several years, I’ve been using the term “algorithmic theatre” to describe my projects. It’s a phrase I chose for two reasons. First, I wanted to distinguish what I was doing from “multimedia performance,” which describes work that uses video or other digital technology to open up alternate spaces for representation, or as a means to generate stage design or other effects. Second, and more importantly, I wanted to place my work within the lineage of algorithmic composition and algorithmic visual art. Those early pioneers of computer art (Manfred Mohr, Vera Molnar, Roman...

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What Theatre and Science Can Learn From One Another

C.P. Snow’s pessimistic view of “two cultures” – the arts and the sciences at war with each other, glowering across no man’s land, entrenched in their embattled fortress of true expression (as each saw it) was a nihilistic prospect indeed. Fortunately, this view couldn’t be more wrong – wrong then, in 1956, and even further from the truth today. Never have the arts and the sciences had so much cause to celebrate what they have in common and never has the opportunity for theatre particularly to engage with scientists, and with the scientific process itself, been higher. Cambridge Science...

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Between Art and Science: A Conversation with Roald Hoffmann

Roald Hoffmann was born in 1937 in Złoczów, Poland. Having survived the German Nazi occupation, in 1946 he left Poland with his family for Czechoslovakia, Austria, Germany and arrived in the U.S.A. on February 22, 1949, at the age of 11. He studied chemistry at Columbia and Harvard Universities (PhD 1962). He has received many honors as a scientist, including the 1981 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.  In addition to his scientific work, Roald Hoffmann is also a writer. He has co-written a play with fellow chemist Carl Djerassi, entitled Oxygen, which has been performed worldwide and translated into ten...

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