Science on Stage: From Doctor Faustus to Copenhagen by Kirsten Shepherd-Barr
Science on Stage is the first full study of the phenomenon of "theatrical plays" - plays that synthesize the scientific content in the plot lines of drama. The book studies…
Science on Stage synopsis
Science on Stage is the first full study of the phenomenon of "theatrical plays" - plays that synthesize the scientific content in the plot lines of drama. The book studies the tradition of science on stage from the Renaissance to the present, with particular emphasis on the current wave of scientific playwriting.
Drawing on intense interviews with playwrights and directors, Kirsten Shepard-Bar discusses works such as Copenhagen's Michael Fryn and Tom Stoppard in Arcadia. You ask questions like, What are the reasons for increasing interest in putting science on stage? What scientific fields seem more popular with playwrights, and why? How has tradition evolved over the centuries? What currents are you setting? What are some of the debates and controversies surrounding the use of science on stage? Organized by scientific subjects, the book organizes selected contemporary plays that represent a fusion of theatrical and scientific content - plays in which science is taught literally through the structure and performance of the play.
Starting with the discussion of Christopher Marlow, a Faustusdoctor, the book traces the history of how scientific ideas (quantum mechanics and fractals, for example) are dealt with in theatrical performances. It discusses the relationship between science and society, the role of science in our lives, the complex ethical considerations of science, and the accuracy of science in a dramatic context.
The last chapter deals with some recent and exciting developments in the writing of science that take this type in innovative directions and challenge the public's expectations about scientific play. The book includes a comprehensive annotated list of four centuries of scientific plays, which will be useful to teachers, students and readers alike..
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