By Sarah Treem
The How and The Why - Chicago
The Engineering Trans Disciplinary Outreach Project in the Arts (ETOPiA), based at the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University in Chicago, uses a cross discipline approach. It’s founder, Dr. Matthew Grayson, serves as a source of inspiration to me. He encourages artists to meld science and the arts. Through ETOPiA, I have been fortunate to direct stories rooted in science.
My approach to the play was simple – human first, science second. We focused on the characters and utilized a female cast. The playwright, Sarah Treem, challenges the audience to consider women in science. Together, we strived to captivate the audience and transform academic content in a way that would both educate and entertain. This was my fourth production with ETOPiA.
“Maureen Payne-Hahner knows how to plunge the audience into the real drama of science as a human endeavor…with all its delicacy and beauty, with all its tumult and raw emotion. Audiences are captivated by the simple, pure, honest moments that lay bare the humanity of the characters whose distilled scientific legacy represents a mere fraction of the story.”