Upcoming STEAM performances emphasize the importance of all disciplines 

Adding Arts Back In

That Which We Call a Rose
Wed. Feb. 12 at 10 a.m., Fri. Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m., and Sat. at 2 p.m.
Free to attend
Cannon Street Arts Center
134 Cannon St.
Downtown

That Which We Call a Rose uses actors, robots, and puppets to explore topics such as the solar system, human experience, and climate change.

click to enlarge Art meets science in a new theatrical experience at Cannon Street Arts Center.
  • Art meets science in a new theatrical experience at Cannon Street Arts Center.

With funding from the NASA SC Space Grant Consortium, South Carolina Arts Commission, and the College of Charleston School of Arts, the performance brings an artistic approach to real science and research presented in the show.

"As an interdisciplinary artist, I am especially thrilled that this work has funding from state and national funds in the arts and the sciences. To me, that is the heart of what STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) means," says Vivian Appler, the show's director.

Described as "devised theater" the show utilizes both the performers and the theatergoers to create a personal and custom experience depending on what the audience wants to explore. Improvisation, games, and icebreakers will help the performers learn what the audience wants to understand about the topics presented, and from there a wholly one-of-a-kind performance will emerge.

Joe Albright, a puppeteer for the show, describes the process: "Everyone uses their imagination to create imaginary characters, choreograph dance moves, sing made-up songs, draw pictures, write stories, etc. Then we take those creations and choose what we like. Next, we see if we can make a single story from those creations. This continues until we decide to write our ideas down, making a script. Once we have a clear storyline we build and rehearse our newly devised play."

Throughout the creation process technology such as VR headsets, QR codes, 3D printing, a remote control rover and more will be incorporated, another way that science can mix with creativity and art in the performance.

The overall production will feature two different shows focusing on planets: part one focuses on The Moon and Bennu and part two on Mars and Titan.

The performance is recommended for students in grade levels with a focus on space and astronomy but invites anyone interested in critical thinking and creation. Lesson plans for educators interested in the event are provided free of charge and include discussion questions, activity suggestions, and more.

Through the use of STEAM, Appler hopes to bridge a divide that STEM (an area focused on science without arts) often misses. "Through the STEAM model, arts do not merely support science learning, and neither does science only provide novel content for arts projects. Art and Science practices provide different, complementary platforms by which all learners might enthusiastically direct their inquiries about the world in which we live."

Performances will take place at The Gallery at The Cannon Street Arts Center. All performances are free and open to the public however reservations are recommended. Reservations can be made through Eventbrite.

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