Monday, September 29, 2014 - 12:15pm to 2:00pm
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Room 100F, Pierce Hall, 29 Oxford Street

STS Circle at Harvard

Benjamin Morris (MIT, Catalyst Collaborative) on "Science/Fiction: Dramatic Arts as a Medium for Translating Science"

Lunch is provided if you RSVP. Please RSVP via our online form before Thursday morning, September 25.
Abstract: A great deal of emphasis placed has been on interdisciplinary practices in the sciences and humanities in academia in recent years. These interests are being explored in artistic settings as well.  In the production of theatrical work dealing with scientific content, artists and scientists must find common ground and a common language to discover, explore, and present stories.  Significant in science-theater is a desire not only to entertain, but also to educate.  From my perspective as a theater artist and former research scientist, I will discuss some of the challenges and potential for creating science-theater, concerning both the creative process and the performance event itself.  I will particularly highlight formal/non-textual approaches to communicating scientific ideas, considering both classic plays (i.e. Life of Galileo, Arcadia, and Copenhagen) and my own work.  We will spend some time on our feet so be prepared to move!

Biography:   Ben Morris is a scientist, educator, and theater maker interested in exploring how we talk about and understand science.  He works as a science dramaturg for Catalyst Collaborative @MIT, a joint effort between the Central Square Theater and MIT to produce and present theatrical works dealing with scientific topics, and was an assistant director for Emilie: La Marquise Du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight (running through October 5 at the Central Square Theater).  He is also an ongoing collaborator with the New York based company SIGHTLINE and helped create the experimental piece The Edge of the Map, a creative discussion of social issues raised by modern genetics research, at Harvard in Spring 2013.  Ben has a B.A. from Harvard College in Molecular and Cellular Biology and an M.A. in Biological and Biomedical Sciences from Harvard Medical School.  In addition to his interest in science-theater and education, Ben also enjoys singing comic baritone roles in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.

Research Areas: 

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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