Skip to content
"Science on Stage" repeating text"Science on Stage" repeating text

Science on Stage

Join us for a series of four play readings, each exploring a wide range of provocative questions at the intersection of science, technology, and society.

Science on Stage is organized through the Catalyst Collaborative at MIT, produced in collaboration with the Central Square Theater.

6:00pm - Cash bar and refreshments.
6:30pm-8:00pm - Performance, conversation with guest scientist.

Lower Level Seated - $20
Upper Level General Admission - $5
Note: the October 3 session is offered for free

Seating is Limited. Advance purchase is recommended.

The Moderate

Unemployed, and estranged from his wife and son, Frank accepts a job offer from a contractor to moderate content for one of the world’s largest social media companies. This work takes a toll on Frank until he realizes he might have the power to save someone and himself in the process.

Playwright, Ken Urban who teaches playwriting at MIT says, “My new play about the world of internet content moderators is a work of fiction. But I spent months interviewing researchers and speaking to content moderators, and their words had a big impact as I wrote this play. I often challenge myself to write about people and places far removed from my own experience, and research helps me get inside the minds of my characters and to do justice to their stories.”

Guest scientist, Crystal Lee, MIT SERC and Comparative Media Studies adds, "My work investigates what I call the "the life-cycle of data representations," or the process by which datasets are curated, cleaned, visualized, circulated, and manipulated."

A Commission from EST/Alfred P. Sloan Science & Technology Project and in development with The Civilians R&D Group.


Lee Mikeska Gardner, Moderator

Artistic Director, Central Square Theater

Ken Urban, Playwright

Senior Lecturer, Music and Theater, MIT

Jared Mezzochi, Director

Theater Director and Designer

Crystal Lee, Guest Scientist

Senior Fellow, Responsible Computer Science, Mozilla

Two Degrees

Emma Phelps is a paleoclimatologist, focusing on ice in Greenland. In drilling and studying ice core samples, she sees first-hand the symptoms of our changing planet, which makes the need to act all the more crucial and urgent. In addition to her growing sense of urgency for the planet, Emma, as a recent widow, experiences grief that compounds itself with each passing month. Now she's been asked to come to Washington D.C. to testify in a Senate Committee regarding climate change legislation, and in this intersection of science and politics, of politics and the personal, she finds more than just a little is breaking up under the strain of change.

Buy tickets