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Scientists and cast of thousands swarm stage in Europe
Date:1/28/2010

ght two courses: Theater and Science and Theater and Medicine. In 2003, they brought in a playwright from New York and, in 2004, surgeon-turned-author Sherwin Nuland came to work with a mix of theater and biology students from ASU's Center for Biology and Society. Students wrote plays, some of which were chosen for presentation: a reading at the Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix.

Experiences at the interface of the disciplines caused one biology student, Julie Story, to think seriously about the nature of medicine and the role of patients. Her play looked at women in South Africa, where she had spent a summer, as they experienced disease, including HIV-AIDS. Through the writing, she came to see their illness more through their eyes. Story, who went on to medical school at Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, followed by a residency at Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, is now returning to practice Emergency Medicine in Phoenix.

"There is a shared creative relationship between art and science," Laubichler says. "In the laboratory there is an experimental approach. This is also true on stage: something is put forward to be analyzed, considered and interpreted."

Both Honegger and Laubichler feel that if artists were embedded in a science department, "to interact and absorb the art of the scientific process. We would see a new theatrical approach and avoid stereotypes."

"More conversations would reveal the richness of material and insight that cannot be seen from outside that world," the duo asserts.

Of her experience on stage with Heuschrecken, Honegger points out that "German theater invests more in the unpredictable reactions of the audience. There is much more interest in experimental approaches, challenging the audience. To 'disturb.'

"By this I don't mean sex or violence, but transformations. For example, in this production, to transform without sentimentality, creating excitement about the unknow
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Contact: Margaret Coulombe
margaret.coulombe@asu.edu
480-727-8934
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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