What Is STAGE?
Exploratory Focus
Work Process

STAGE — Scientists, Technologists and Artists Generating Exploration — is a full-scale laboratory embedded within a science and engineering school devoted to collaborations among scientists and artists. Specifically, it is at the helm of one of four core research themes, that of "Arts, Sciences and Technology," at the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME).

The Lab's distinct research focuses on creating and developing new theatre, film, games, and other artistic endeavors inspired by science and technology. STAGE harnesses the power of storytelling, emotional engagement, and/or entertainment to translate complex scientific ideas into relatable human experience, promoting understanding of the sciences in the public arena through new forms of artistic expression.

Impact on the researchers themselves is equally significant. Scientists, engineers and artists work together in the same room, at the same time. In keeping with the PME's interdisciplinary approach, professionals, students and faculty learn to be transdisciplinary by working in an environment in which they collaborate across diverse areas of knowledge. That kind of training and exposure drives people to think and work in new ways.

Our way of working also raises new questions. With technology integrated into stage performances as a vital part of telling the story and not just for special effect. will we arrive at a new art form that centers on conveying a story — that is, something that lies between live theatre and the technology of the moving image? Might we come up with new technologies that arise out of the needs of a particular project? Might artistic practice lead a scientist to new ideas, or a new way of doing science?

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