Mixing art and science always sounds like a great idea but the results tend to be much more arty than sciencey – a few molecular symbols added to a painting or a secondary movie character who talks vaguely about quantum mechanics.

At Dartmouth they’re trying to do better, partly through the Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards which draw attention (and give money – $5,000) to speculative fiction.

In March, “Choices People Make” was announced as the winner of the first Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award for Playwriting. It was chosen from 55 entries built around the prompt “What does it mean to be human in a computerized world?”

It was written by Jessica Andrewartha. The synopsis: “Dr. Rosamund Tamayo and her research partner Dr. Harold Cooper have created one of history’s greatest scientific breakthroughs. Her name is Athena. Now Dr. Roz and Athena are showing up at Roz’s mother’s door with a problem. It turns out that just because Athena and her body are bleeding edge technology doesn’t mean they’re not subject to the same questions women have been grappling with for centuries.”

Sounds intriguing. On Saturday evening there will be a full-cast reading of the play at The Bentley Theater, Hopkins Center for the Arts, on Dartmouth, presented by VoxFest, part of the SHIFT series summer program at the Hopkins Center..

The reading is set for Saturday, June 30, at 7:30 p.m. Other plays, although not so geeky, are being read on Friday and during the day Saturday. You can find all the details here.

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