*Read-in* Playwrights in the Lab: How Science Makes Great Theatre

None at Hullabaloo Bookstore

Wed, Jun 7 at 7:30 p.m.   |   90 minutes

In this Olio, we'll explore the science, feminism, and theatricality of "science plays" as a whole.

The "Science Play" is nothing new. Anton Chekhov's interests in environmentalism and ecology are evident in many of his plays, including Uncle Vanya and The Cherry Orchard. Tom Stoppard's Arcadia uses math and botany to tell a theatrical story. One could even argue that the witches in Macbeth use the Empirical Method to conjure their brew.

But, in recent history, playwrights have unveiled an aspect of the Science Play that has long deserved attention: feminism. Sarah Ruhl, in her In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play, discusses the fraught, medical history of the vibrator, used to treat "hysteria" in women (and some men). Caryl Churchill explores cloning and male individuality in A Number: A Play. And perhaps most notably (and most recently), Anna Ziegler's Photograph 51 paints a portrait of Rosalind Franklin, the scientist whose work on the DNA double helix structure was stolen by Watson and Crick, essentially awarding them the fame that was rightly hers.

How does one situate Ziegler's work in the context of the history of Science Plays? What scientific legacy is she speaking to, and why does she choose a stage as her battleground? In this Olio, we'll read from Ziegler's two-act play, Photograph 51, to explore the science, feminism, and theatricality of "science plays" as a whole.


Drawing on the tradition of radical teach-ins, Think Olio is making a call to intellectual arms with read-in's.

In this spirit, we invite you to join us for Think Olio’s radical read-ins. Read-ins are meant to be practical, participatory, and oriented toward action. We'll ask our professors to take a complex piece of scholarship and make it accessible and usable.

As a community of socially engaged thinkers, we will focus on thoughtful solutions to the problems that are dividing us.

Teacher: Jonathan Alexandratos
Venue: Hullabaloo Bookstore

What is Think Olio?


Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

Read more about our mission, our story, and how we are doing this.

Scenius Membership

If Friday night lectures, museum field trips, and living room salons sound like your kind of thing, then you've found your people. We can't wait to welcome you to the Think Olio Scenius. More info


Other Upcoming Olios


Seeing the Subconscious: Mindfulness, Psychology, and the Road to Healing Racism

Location: at Online

Teacher: Darryl Aiken-Afam & Robin Schlenger

June 7, 2020, 7 p.m.

Regulating Business in a Capitalist Society

Location: at Online

Teacher: Lawrence Cappello

June 9, 2020, 7:30 p.m.

Escape From The City

Location: at Online

Teacher: Ted Barrow

June 10, 2020, 8 p.m.

Progressives, Radicals & Well-Meaning Liberals

Location: at Online

Teacher: Angie Beeman

June 11, 2020, 8 p.m.

Press Start to Begin: A Survey & History of Video Game Music

Location: at Online

Teacher: Whitney George

June 12, 2020, 8 p.m.

Plato Goes East: The Republic and The Bhagavad Gita

Location: at Online

Teacher: Vishwa Adluri

June 14, 2020, noon

Socialism, A Day in the Life

Location: at Online

Teacher: Danny Katch

June 15, 2020, 8 p.m.

Government Action and Inaction in Response to Covid-19

Location: at Online

Teacher: Andres Bernal

June 19, 2020, 8 p.m.

Internet Omnipresence & Critical Thinking

Location: at Online

Teacher: Jeanne Proust

June 22, 2020, 8 p.m.

New Toys and New Tyrants: Capitalism and the Rise of Platform Economics

Location: at Online

Teacher: Rob Larson

June 30, 2020, 8 p.m.


Stay in Touch


Instagram Mailing List Contact

Get Involved


Liaisons Host an Olio

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.