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Thought Experiments

on the Question of Being Human:

 

Genetics and Synthetic Biology


a festival of original plays, created by scientist/playwright teams, examining the question

of what it means to be human in light of current developments in science and technology


Four playwrights and four scientists working in the fields of Genetics and Synthetic Biology worked together to produce four new one act plays, each exploring a different aspect of how genetics and synthetic biology will impact what it means to be human.


Our 2015 Playwright/Scientist pairings were:

Holly Arsenault and Andrew M. Scharenberg, MD - attending physician at Seattle Childrens Hospital, professor in the Department of Pediatrics and adjunct professor in the Department of Immunology at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Kelly Mak and Eric Klavins, PhD - associate professor of electrical engineering and director of the Center for Synthetic Biology at the University of Washington.

Bryan Willis and Jennifer Nemhauser, PhD - associate professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Washington.

Courtney Meaker and Rob Carlson, PhD - Managing Director of Bioeconomy Capital, a Principal at Biodesic, an engineering, security, and strategic consulting firm in Seattle and author of the book Biology is Technology: The Promise, Peril, and New Business of Engineering Life.


Staged readings of four new plays were presented on October 15-18, 2015

"Editors" by Holly Arsenault, directed by Susanna Burney

"Frivolous Natura" by Kelly Mak, directed by Roy Arauz

"Anomie" by Courtney Meaker, directed by Teresa Thuman

"Solace" by Bryan Willis, directed by Tyrone Brown


Each evening, the plays were followed by a scientist-led conversation, where the audience explored the questions and issues raised by the plays about the impact that genetics and synthetic biology may have on their lives.

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