University of Sussex
Kazzazi, Seyedeh Anahit.pdf (2.34 MB)

Performing science: new physics and contemporary British and American science plays

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posted on 2023-06-09, 06:00 authored by Seyedeh Anahit Kazzazi
The present study uses the science of new physics (relativity theory and quantum mechanics) to construct a rigorous framework for analyzing the phenomenon of ‘science plays’, and as a means of exploring the implications that the new physics has for understanding theatrical representations. Basic facets of relativity theory and quantum mechanics are explained and used to develop an interdisciplinary approach to analyze the contemporary wave of science playwriting in Britain and America, the two cultures that have predominated in the tradition of science plays during the last three decades. Using a new approach to contemporary theatre, this study bridges the divide that still persists between science and the humanities by suggesting a new area where they intersect. Seeking to provide an analysis of different understandings of science plays, this study also critically examines classifications used by science, theatre, and performance scholars, and offers alternative categories that allow this genre to be viewed in a different light. This is the first study of its kind that furnishes a framework for the analysis of contemporary British and American science plays based on the theories of relativity and quantum mechanics. As such, the current study provides a coherent methodology that can be applied to a wide range of post-war science plays. Furthermore, it provides an indepth analysis of a number of science plays, including Oxygen, After Darwin, W;t, An Experiment with an Air Pump, Mnemonic and A Disappearing Number within the context of new physics.


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  • eng


University of Sussex

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