NEW YORK CITY: The inaugural women-driven Science in Theatre Festival will run Nov. 12-14 at Nancy Manocherian’s the Cell Theatre, with science-infused plays, discussion panels, and an exhibit of theatre technologies at the forefront.
These technologies include artificial intelligence (AI), brain monitoring technology (EEG), mixed reality (VR and AR), various wearable devices, and more. At the festival, innovative brands and startups can present technologies that have applications to the arts in TED Talk format. Developers of EEG devices, wearables, biodata sensors, and more are welcome to apply.
“The Science and Theatre Festival is an opportunity for all of us to learn together and discuss how new technology can be applied to the post-COVID arts world,” festival organizer and Transforma Theatre artistic director Tjaša Ferme said in a statement. “We partnered playwrights with scientists to create new plays and interactive experiences, evoking the fascinating sense of experimentation in both senses: theatrical and scientific.”
During the festival, three original plays will showcase interdisciplinary collaborations between playwrights and scientists and deal with subjects at the cutting edge of scientific study, including biodata manipulation and genetic modification. These plays are Zebra 2.0 by Saviana Stanescu, who worked with scientist data scientist Niki Athanasiadou, Ph.D; Affinity by Alexis Roblan, working with MIT fellow and TED speaker Dr. Heidi Boisvert; and Eden by Wi-Moto Nyoka, working with molecular biologist Polona Šafarič Tepeš.
“I really enjoyed researching the latest trends in machine learning and collaborating with Dr. Niki Athanasiadou,” Stanescu said in a statement. “I’ve always been trying to give a voice to the oppressed. That is why I wanted to write about an immigrant woman developing an authentic friendship with artificial intelligence.”
In a statement, Boisvert added, “As artists, creative technologists and women working with AI, machine learning, natural language processing, synthetic media, and more, we have a responsibility to ensure that these emerging technologies are accessible for diverse communities. Innovation should be grounded in ethics and implemented for societal good, not corporate profit or systems of oppression.”
Transforma Theatre is pioneering a new form of theatrical expression and developing a close community of artists and scientists instilled with the freedom of thinking and creating in alternative ways. The Cell Theatre’s mission is to curate, incubate and develop new works in the arts.
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