About the Science play Catalogue

Denise Gillman shares the origins of the online Science Play Catalogue

The science play catalogue grew out of a list of my favorite science play titles shared with colleagues.  In 2007, I authored an article for Southern Theater magazine about science plays, which included a compilation of my top twenty science plays.  It was at that time I began collecting science play titles in earnest. In 2015, Christopher Newport University awarded me a sabbatical to support my research and cataloguing of these plays.   In 2016, Shannon Farrow, Danielle Hartman and I began a science play think tank, which included developing the catalogue. In 2017, I consulted with Dr. Trevor Hoag and Dr. Nicole Emmelhainz who head up CNU’s Digital Humanities minor to identify the best online platform for the catalogue.  We also discussed how to involve our students in the cataloging process. From this partnership, Brooke Sanders, a senior in Communication and minor in Digital Humanities, joined our team and began the process of designing and uploading the catalogue’s content. Students from my Science on the Stage class have also contributed to the website by creating blog posts of individual plays as in-class assignments.  Meaghan Yesford, a CNU sophomore theater major and recipient of a 2018 Summer Scholar fellowship, will be researching and creating posts for the science play database this summer. Jake Caracciolo, a CNU junior majoring in environmental studies and minoring in theater, has been researching and posting environmental plays for the catalogue since February 2018.

The current science play catalogue is a compilation of lists from the following sources:

Where is the Hope? Edited by Chantal Bilodeau. This book is an anthology of short climate change plays.

Science on Stage:  From Doctor Faustus to Copenhagen by Kirsten Shepherd-Barr

The course Staging Science list of science play by Professor Marvin Carlson, Distinguished Professor, Department of Theatre and Professor Brian Schwartz, Department of Physics and Vice President of Research at The Graduate Center at the City University of New York (CUNY).

Science: Dramatic:  Science Plays in America and Great Britain, 1990-2007 by Eva-Sabine Zehelein.

Curtain Up, an internet Theater Magazine, annotated list of science & math related plays reviewed by Elyse Sommer.

All About Jewish Theatre News website, Science in Theater list of science plays by Judy Kupferman.

Dramatists and the Bomb:  American and British Playwrights Confront the Nuclear Age, 1945-1964 by Charles A. Carpenter.

Ensemble Studio Theater website features science plays that have premiered as part of the EST/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Project.

LA Theatre Works Relativity Series website features actors reading a selected group of science plays.

Science Center Stage, a website created by Dr. Chris Sinclair in the UK.  http://www.sci-stage.com/

Mathematical Fiction, a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston) http://kasmana.people.cofc.edu/MATHFICT/default.html

6 thoughts on “About the Science play Catalogue

  1. Excellent. I’m presently trying to translate David Cassidy’s Farm Hall into Persian. It is published in
    his book Farm Hall and the German Atomic Project of World War ll , Springer,2017. May be appropriate to be added to list.

  2. Dear Denise
    Great to come across your blog
    I completed a PhD in science in theatre in 2012. My thesis included a creative component – a play titled ‘Staring at the Sun’
    The complete thesis can be found here: https://research-repository.uwa.edu.au/en/publications/staring-at-the-sun-an-original-play-text-creative-writing-compone

    I’ve written other plays (my BSc is from Imperial College before moving into the arts over 20 years ago). One, titled ‘The Cat in the Box’, can be found here: https://australianplays.org/script/ASC-1414

    If it is easier I’m happy to supply PDFs of both documents and send them via email to you
    with best wishes
    Dr. Vivienne Glance

  3. This is such a remarkable and essentially useful resource for theaters like ours that is dedicated to creating and presenting plays related to science. I would love to be in touch, perhaps by phone as well as e-mail, regarding how we might collaborate. Would love to suggest additions, and be in conversation about directions and opportunities in this field. I am Artistic Director of Underground Railway Theater, one of two companies-in-residence at Central Square Theater in Cambridge, MA, and a CoDirector of Catalyst Collaborative@MIT, a science theater partnership.

  4. I would love to get my play Hot and Bothered listed in the Science Play Catalogue. Hot and Bothered is a comedy about the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Our main character Minerva, an exchange student from the Dominican Republic, is failing at the subject miserably, and she will do absolutely anything to avoid the embarrassment and shame of returning home as a failure. I’d be happy to send you a PDF.

    Thanks for the opportunity to find out about all these other great science plays!

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