Science and art are often seen as opposites, but they seem to be intermingling like never before at this year’s Vancouver Fringe Festival.
Experimental cancer treatments, zoology lectures, cryogenically frozen heads: they’re just some of the topics inspiring theatrical outings.
Here are few of the shows to look for if you have a thing for lab coats, petri dishes, test tubes, and intergalactic travelling.
Shadowlands (September 8 to 11 at the Waterfront Theatre) Savanna Harvey’s play tells the nonlinear story of a scientist diagnosed with the same breast cancer that killed her mother. Finding that traditional treatment has little effect, the scientist launches her own experimental biomedical treatments, as she’s visited by the ghost of her mother in the dark laboratory.
The Inventor of All Things (September 8 to 11 and 13 to 16 at Carousel Theatre) U.K. Fringe favourite Jem Rolls is back with the story of Leo Szilard, the Jewish Hungarian physicist who fled Nazi Germany, but not before recognizing the dangers of it developing the atomic bomb. In his inimitable performance poetry, Rolls hails him as a “bloody hero”. The Edmonton Journal just wrote of the show: “Animated, energetic and flamboyant, this is how history should be taught because I can tell you one thing, no one in that crowd will ever forget the name of Leo Szilard.”
Let Me Freeze Your Head (September 8 to 10, 13, 15, and 16 at the Waterfront Theatre) Join this provocative sales presentation if you’ve ever considered having your head cryogenically frozen so that you can return to life again in the future. The show gets its smarts from its writer and solo performer: Neil McArthur, director of the Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics at the University of Manitoba.
Field Zoology, 101 (September 8 to 10, 13, 15, and 16 at the False Creek Gym) Shawn O’Hara plays hilarious animal-hating field zoologist Brad Gooseberry. His straight-faced but silly “lecture” was voted favourite comedy and runner-up for best new work at the 2016 Victoria Fringe.
GO, NO GO (September 12 at False Creek Gym) Part of the Advance Theatre program of play readings by women, Natalie Frijia’s work tells the story of the Mercury 13–barrier-breaking pilots who petitioned NASA to be considered as female astronauts. Here’s the twist: Go, No Go reimagines their battles with sexism within a circus setting. The choice isn’t random: NASA once theorized that aerialists, acrobats, and other circus types might best adapt to extreme conditions.More