Artistry and Inquiry: The Intersection of Science and Theater

Monday, October 16, 2023

The Gottesman Library at the Museum: an airy, open space with a vaulted ceiling and furniture in the mid-century modern style. Alvaro Keding/© AMNH
Can theater help us understand emerging technologies, astronomy, or extinction events? 

Join us for this exploration of art and science through a live public reading of excerpts from three new plays-in-progress, commissioned by Manhattan Theatre Club through the Alfred P. Sloan Initiative, followed by a conversation between the playwrights and scientists. 

Caroline V. McGraw presents from Counterclockwise, which addresses tactile advances in prosthetic technology through the lens of a nurse living without her left arm. The Astronomers by Dylan Guerra follows a group of young scientists at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico as they work on the Arecibo Message sent into space in 1974. In Mass Extinction! by Jessica Huang, a retired geological engineer inspired by the work and personality of the bombastic French naturalist Georges Cuvier plots revenge and reckons with extinction.   

After the reading, the playwrights will be joined for a conversation, moderated by Museum Curator Ruth Angus of the Department of Astrophysics, with Rohit Bose, Ph. D. student in the Rehab Neural Engineering Labs in the University of Pittsburgh; Jackie Faherty, Museum senior scientist in the Department of Astrophysics; and Ross MacPhee, curator emeritus in the Museum’s Department of Mammalogy. 

This program is presented in collaboration with Manhattan Theatre Club and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s program for the Public Understanding of Science and Technology.