‘Innovate’ NOV8 on National STEAM Day!

Tuesday, November 8 is National STEM/STEAM Day, intended to inspire kids in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.

STEM is an acronym originating from the U.S. National Science Foundation which refers to the academic disciplines Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. In recent years, many educators have argued for the integration of Art into the STEM model, transforming the acronym to STEAM. This idea has gained widespread support in educational communities across the country. Programs such as Pretty Brainy and Project MC2 are especially focused on encouraging girls to explore STEAM since there is currently a dearth of U.S. women specializing in these fields.

At the Lincoln Center, we like to practice the STEAM model with our own educational outreach efforts. In October 2014, 60 Poudre School District middle school students experienced a lecture-demonstration and workshop with Cirque Mechanics,  a circus group which utilizes and experiments with mechanical wonders. Students saw firsthand how science and engineering innovation is integrated with performing arts through bicycles, crank sets, rigging, counterweights and other mechanical devices.

Just last week, over 2, 000 2nd and 3rd grade students saw the performance Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live  here at the Lincoln Center. This show was a perfect example of STEAM — a theatrical performance utilizing science and technology in the development of life-like puppets based on paleontologists’design.

While these two performances are excellent examples, we would argue that STEAM is everywhere and in everything at the Lincoln Center. There is physics in lighting design and sound system waves, geometry in moving and storing props, chemistry in fog and special effects, mathematics in the construction of sets and costumes. And of course, art is undeniable in all of these elements as they combine to make the beautiful and compelling artistic performances we see here every week.

We invite you to join the celebration of National STEM/STEAM Day on November 8, and the next time you visit the Lincoln Center, consider how STEAM-y we really are!

Click here for more information about National STEM/STEAM day.

RENT’s Legacy Lives On

How do you measure the two decades since RENT first hit the stage in 1996? Not in the 525, 600 minutes that make up each year, but in the love that has supported the production over a 12-year Broadway run that was venerated with a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Tony Award for Best Musical.

a modern twist on Puccini’s La Bohème, is one of the most ground-breaking musicals of all time. Until the recent Broadway smash Hamilton, RENT boasted the most ethnically diverse cast on Broadway. It also touched on issues that were far outside the realm of most musicals, ranging from poverty, to AIDS and LGBT issues.

Incredibly, this small off-Broadway production launched the careers for musical staples like Idina Menzel (Wicked, Frozen),   and Taye Diggs (Hamilton, Chicago). Many of these actors went on to reprise their roles in the movie.

Unfortunately, Jonathan Larson would never see his musical become a huge success. He quit his job at the diner, and on the day of final rehearsal, he passed away from an aortic aneurysm. When his friends cleaned out his apartment, it was a reflection of everything he wrote about. Without heating and little to no property, Larson was living “La Vie Boheme” – French for “The Bohemian Life” and the title one of one of RENT’s best loved songs.

Still, his legacy on Broadway and in the arts remains to this day.

With beautifully penned songs and an inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, it is no wonder that RENT is one of the most important musicals ever written, and the Lincoln Center is elated to be a part of its 20th Anniversary celebration.

Come see it Dec. 1-3 at the Lincoln Center!