Science and art collide in the special performance during IMPACT.
Most Fridays, the girls attend IMPACT in Frierson Theatre before lunch. IMPACT allows the girls a chance to observe real-world applications of the concepts they learn every day at GPS through special speakers or guest performances. On Friday, November 15, the students enjoyed a live performance of Matheatre’sCurie Me Away.
The 60-minute musical depicts the life and discoveries of Marie Curie and her husband, Pierre. During the performance, the girls were moved by the progression of Marie from unappreciated scholar to renowned scientist and were particularly fond of the “alchemy” between Pierre and Marie.
Through the performance, the girls learned about the exciting and adventurous life of Marie Curie—her discovery (along with Pierre) of polonium and radium, her becoming the Head of the Physics Laboratory at the Sorbonne, her obtaining her doctor of science degree in 1903, and her becoming a professor of general physics in the faculty of sciences after Pierre’s death in 1906 (the first time a woman had held this position). Marie and Pierre Curie, along with Antoine Henri Becquerel, would go on to win a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903.
Matheatre’s co-founder, Sadie Bowman, performed the role of Marie Curie and was joined onstage by co-artistic director, Ricky Coates, as Pierre Curie; Coates also played several other male roles via a backlit puppet stage.
Bowman and Coates did an outstanding job of reinforcing concepts of chemistry through their playful and informative script. In addition, the performance conveyed a powerful message for women in STEM—keep learning.
Matheatre actors describe themselves as the “creative access points to science and math through the performing arts.” The troupe travels internationally to perform four separate shows centered around math and science. They believe that storytelling helps solidify the concepts of math and science throughout their shows. In addition to live theater, they provide workshops for educators and are releasing a dramatized, nonfiction podcast in 2020. Matheatre performed at GPS in November 2018 during a special weekend STEM event.