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Plays of Science and Invention

Plays of Science and Invention

Thomas Hischak


Throughout the ages, men and women have gone beyond what was only previously observed to discover scientific breakthroughs and create new inventions. The 21 short plays in this collection seek to humanize science by looking at these advances from the point of view of both famous and unknown men and women.  They go as far back as the ancient world and continue into the modern age.


This anthology explores various branches of science — from physics and medicine to astronomy and even cryptology — making important scientific concepts and notable scientists more real by dramatizing them.


Each play runs between eight and ten minutes with a cast size of two to five characters, and has simple costume, prop, and set listings.  Especially ideal for STEM or STEAM middle and high schools, the stage directions and production notes help students visualize the scene, even if simply being read in class.


The “Background” before each play gives information about the scientist, that particular aspect of science, or the historical context of the drama to follow.  The “Aftermath” that concludes each play explains what happened after the moments captured in the drama.  These sections help students better understand and appreciate how the events of the play fit into the world of science and history as a whole.

Meriwether Publishing

Thomas Hischak is an internationally recognized author and teacher in the Performing Arts. He is the author of twenty-four non-fiction books about theatre, film, and popular music, including The Oxford Companion to the American Musical, The Rodgers and Hammerstein Encyclopedia, Broadway Plays and Musicals, Through the Screen Door, The Tin Pan Alley Encyclopedia, Off-Broadway Musicals Since 1919, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, Broadway Lyricists, American Literature on Stage and Screen, Theatre as Human Action, and The Oxford Companion to American Theatre.


He is also the author of thirty-three published plays which are performed in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia.


Since 1983 he has been Professor of Theatre at the State University of New York at Cortland where he has received such honours as the 2004 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activity and the 2010 SUNY Outstanding Achievement in Research Award. Four of his books have been cited as Outstanding Non-fiction Books by the American Library Association and The Oxford Companion to the American Musical was cited as an Outstanding Reference Work by the New York City Public Library in 2008. His playwriting awards include the Stanley Drama Award (New York City) for Cold War Comedy and the Julie Harris Playwriting Award (Beverly Hills, California) for The Cardiff Giant.

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