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George Mason University’s School of Theater  Announces STEAM Table Series at Mason Featuring the Discovery Forum

January 7, 2015
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George Mason University’s School of Theater

Announces STEAM Table Series at Mason

Featuring the Discovery Forum


Boeing to serve as Presenting Sponsor throughout 2015


FAIRFAX, Va., Jan. 7, 2015 – George Mason University’s School of Theater announces the formation of the STEAM Table, featuring a series of special events in 2015, which leads up to the Discovery Forum, a day-long event toexplore new approaches and solutions to the challenges of nurturing a creative society. The STEAM Table programs and events are sponsored through the generous support of Presenting Sponsor Boeing, which presented along with its gift a challenge to “help find a way to spark creativity for the 21st century workforce.”

Using the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, the STEAM Table is a gathering of like-minded individuals from many walks of life who hold the common belief that the key to creativity, in any industry, is the inclusion of the arts in education and in one’s life. Together and individually, its members examine and celebrate all the elements found in STEAM, and encourage stimulating creative thinking and discovery for the 21st century. School of Theater Program Manager Kevin Murray observes, “As the business sector seeks creative talent, we have to ask ourselves, how do we better prepare the next generation of creative thinkers for success in the 21st century?”

Ken Elston, director of Mason’s School of Theater, says, “We view the world through an artistic lens. As an arts discipline, theater is collaborative, risky, urgent, responsive and creative, and offers clear communication of complex ideas. We recognize the intrinsic value of the arts in our culture, our economy and our lives, and we are confident the answer lies here. There is much talk today about STEM education, and, while important, STEM omits the catalyst to the creative spark, the arts, at its own peril.”

The STEAM Table will offer a series of events throughout 2015 that will examine the relationship between the arts and sciences, arts and education, and art and technology. With a focus on the environmental sciences, gender equality and aeronautics specifically, and with opportunities for audience interactivity with the artists, the following programs have been scheduled:


“A Sense of Wonder”

Based on the life and works of Rachel Carson

Written and performed by Kaiulani Lee

The true story of one woman's love for the natural world and her fight to defend it. Obie Award-winning actress Kaiulani Lee portrays the extremely private Rachel Carson, thrust into the role of controversial public figure. Carson, a marine biologist, zoologist, poet and author of the groundbreaking “Silent Spring,” comes to life in a performance that has served as the centerpiece of regional and national conferences on conservation, education, journalism and the environment.

Harris Theatre, Fairfax Campus

Feb. 6 at 8 p.m.

Tickets: $25 adults; $15 students, faculty, staff, seniors and groups

Reception and interactive event to follow

“In the Next Room or the vibrator play”

by Sarah Ruhl

Directed by Ruth Rado

Stimulating, funny and provocative, this play is set in a prim upper-class Victorian home at the dawn of electricity, where a gentleman doctor has invented an extraordinary and mysterious device for treating “hysteria.” This smart comedy ponders marriage, intimacy and the hidden nature of connection.

TheaterSpace, Fairfax Campus

Feb. 26, 27, 28 at 8 p.m.

Feb. 28 and March 1 at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $15 adults; $10 students, faculty, staff, seniors and groups

Special interactive event after Feb. 28, 8 p.m. performance


“An Experiment with an Air Pump”

by Shelagh Stephenson

Directed by Mary Lechter

Set in Northern England, this contemporary consideration of art and sciencetakes place within one house on the eve of two very different centuries. Furtive romance, farcical commotion and dark secrets infuse this unique examination of women’s roles in medical research and the ethical challenges unfolding in the subjects of anatomy in 1799 and in genetics in 1999.

Harris Theatre, Fairfax Campus

March 26, 27, 28, April 2, 3, 4, at 8 p.m.

March 28, 29, April 4 at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $25 adults; $15 students, faculty, staff, seniors and groups

Special interactive event after March 28, 8 p.m. performance


The Discovery Forum

Artists, Scientists, Educators, Technicians and Business Leaders working together toward a more creative 21st century.

A day-long event featuring interactive opportunities, open discussion, creative problem-solving, educational and practical demonstrations and exchange of ideas as participants from all industries join together “under one tent” to explore new approaches and explore solutions to the challenges of nurturing a creative society.

Hylton Performing Arts Center, Prince William Campus

Oct. 3, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tickets: TBA


Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra: To Swing through the Sky”

Conceived by Paul Glenshaw

Follow the surprisingly parallel histories of jazz and aviation through the 20th century and beyond, through stunning visuals, exuberant dance and the sounds of big band jazz, resulting in a multimedia journey that celebrates truly American style and innovation. Under the direction of Artistic Director and alto sax virtuoso Jim Carroll, the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra brings together the most remarkable jazz performers in the D.C. metro area.

Oct. 3, 8 p.m.

Hylton Performing Arts Center, Prince William Campus

Tickets: TBA


More STEAM Table events are under consideration, which will be added throughout the year. Visit the website for continuous updates.








About the School of Theater

Mason’s School of Theater provides a rigorous, creative and nurturing environment where we encourage conceptual and cultural diversity. Students establish a professional work ethic, collaborate with others and take responsibility for individual as well as group efforts as they prepare for a life and career beyond graduation. We challenge our students to think critically, write clearly and persuasively and express themselves through a course of study combining a liberal arts education with practical training and production experience. Theater is a universal expression of the human spirit. Our school embraces and ensures this expression through the study of historical, contemporary and cultural traditions; training in the craft; and the presentation of plays.


About the College of Visual and Performing Arts

The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance, Art and Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.

About George Mason University

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. Mason is also one of the best values in higher education, producing graduates who lead all Virginia schools with the highest annual salaries.