Performance, theatre and science by Nicola Triscott

Nicola Triscott is a cultural producer and writer, blogging on the intersections between art, science, technology and society in a global context.

Some excerpts from the post on theater and science dated 16/04/2012:

…Setting up Arts Catalyst 18 years ago, I wanted to explore and develop new types of engagement between artists and scientists to see if it was possible to create more symbiotic relationships between the two fields. I was also interested in seeking out artists whose work might express both the form and content of an interdisciplinary engagement. Some of our early work (around 1994-96) included theatre workshops and commissions. I didn’t consciously move away from theatre, but the playwright Diane Samuels, who attended our 1997 Eye of the Storm art and science conference at the Royal Institution, noted that the speakers were mainly visual artists (as well as scientists), and not theatre practitioners, and it led her to wonder: “Is there a playwright who has truly collaborated with a scientist rather than used scientific material to feed their work? Is such a thing possible?”

It was a question that Samuels went on to explore in her playwriting, while the Arts Catalyst has continued to work with artists across a broad spectrum of visual arts and contemporary performance practices…

…Lately, just as there is an explosion of visual artists engaging with science, there seems to be a huge increase in theatre shows that incorporate scientific ideas. Of course, no one goes to the theatre or to an art gallery to find out about science. At least, I don’t think so – there are surely better ways to find out about science. They go for an experience that will be social, transformative, uplifting, challenging, entertaining. So the issue is always: is the work good? Does it uplift, unsettle, move, provoke or fascinate?…

…there is some exciting stuff around by contemporary theatre makers, who are intrigued by science and its cultural and societal implications, and incorporating it into their work; many of whom are also experimental in their processes and form. Curious Directive, Third Angel, Unlimited, and Reckless Sleepers have been brought to my attention…

 

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