SciArts Play Festival

Festival Name: SciArts Festival of New Plays

Link to site:

Host: Louisiana State University (LSU)

Festival Type: New Play Festival and Contest

Festival Dates: TBD (2020 festival cancelled due to covid)

Overview of Festival: Co-sponsored by the LSU College of Science, the LSU School of Theatre, and the LSU Office of Research and Economic Development, the LSU SciArt New Play Festival will feature staged readings of plays juried from a nationwide call for submissions of plays where science is an extensive part of the story. A panel of a dozen theatre and science students and faculty read and ranked the plays to select three new plays for the festival. Playwrights will be flown to Baton Rouge for workshop rehearsals, and through the generosity of LSU Professor George Judy, each playwright will also receive a $1000 playwriting prize. 

(Overview provided by LSU SciArts website)

Sponsors and Partners: Co-sponsored by the LSU College of Science, the LSU School of Theatre and the LSU Office of Research & Economic Development

Festival Team:

Vastine Sabler – Managing Artistic Director LSU School of Theatre

Vincent Licata – LSU Professor of Biological Sciences, Theatre Department Adjunct

First Festival Date: October 20th, 2019

Festival History: Beginning in 2019, the SciArts Play Festival has been an exciting addition to the LSU campus. Bringing the School of theatre and offices of Research and Economic Development, the SciArts festival focuses on science-themed plays and encourages student interdisciplinary works. The festival involves play readings, talk backs with professionals in the science fields discussed and the playwrights, and a science play competition with entries from both students and the general public. The SciArts Play Festival stems from the LSU Science Cafe series, a lecture conversation series that is held the last Tuesday of each month showcasing research from LSU Professors. 

2019 Season

Play Performed: Another Revolution

Playwright: Jacqueline Bircher

Genres: Drama

Synopsis: Kat and Henry, two graduate students from opposing scientific disciplines, are forced to share a lab at Columbia University in 1968. Amid interpersonal differences, a campus devolving into political chaos, and the uncertainty and turmoil of the outside world, they each discover what it’s like to be thrown into someone else’s orbit.

(Synopsis provided by New Play Exchange)

Discipline: Astrophysics

Play Performed: Spill

Playwright: Leigh Fondakowski

Genres: Drama

Synopsis: In April of 2010, British Petroleum gave orders to speed up production on its colossal drilling rig, the Deepwater Horizon. Despite the objections of many on the rig, safety measures were ignored or overlooked. On April 20th, the Deepwater Horizon exploded. Eleven men paid the ultimate price and countless thousands who call the Gulf Coast home found their lives irrevocably altered.

(Synopsis provided by L.A. Theatre Works)

Discipline: Environmental

Funders: Ensemble Studio Theatre /Alfred P. Sloan 

Play Performed: Maize

Playwright: Judith Pratt

Genres: Drama

Synopsis: Why does a brilliant and well-regarded scientist stop publishing? Faced with a threat to her work and her future, Barbara struggles against her past. A drama about how we can sabotage ourselves, and about the difficulty of being a feminist icon.

(Synopsis provided by New Play Exchange)

Discipline: Biology


Entered by: Anna Galanides

Photo/Visual Research with citations

Main page image provided by LSU SciArts

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