Science Under a Pandemic

Northwestern University's ETOPiA (Engineering Transdisciplinary Outreach Project in the Arts) presents:

Science Under a Pandemic 

Two original one-act plays, written by Northwestern alumnae, that examine the challenges of research under a pandemic will premiere online. The plays, commissioned to be performed via a Zoom-like web interface, explore original humanizing perspectives on research directly or indirectly impacted by a pandemic outbreak. 

After the performance, the playwrights and Northwestern researchers will discuss the works.  

Performance Date

Friday, April 9, 7:30-9 p.m., CDT
Delivered via Zoom 
Registration is required

Reserve Tickets

When you are reserving tickets, please note the following:

  • Performances are free and open to the public
  • The morning of the show, registrants will receive the link to the live event

Register Online

Breaking Point

A play by Jenni Lamb

Trapped overseas at Cambridge University, Sky is an ambitious senior in engineering who has gathered her parents, professors, and best friend on Zoom for her senior presentation. Just like Sir Isaac Newton, she pushes through the pandemic. Her goal: putting out brilliant, world-changing work that might land her a job at NASA. But the personal challenges of quarantine push her to the edge, and she begins to understand the difference between the mythology of Newton's work and the reality. 

View Jenni Lamb’s biography

The Little World

A play by Jennifer Rumberger

Elizabeth is an immunologist and clinical trial coordinator working on trials for the Moderna vaccine, and she does her best to inform her patients with science and humor. While she struggles with the real-world consequences of the disease, she continues to be inspired by the nanotechnology involved in the Moderna vaccine and how the use of lipids in this tiny little imaginary world will ultimately break open windows of hope in the real world.  

View Jennifer Rumberger’s biography

Production Personnel

John Gawlik

Director and Production Manager

Matthew Grayson

Executive Producer

Pedram Khalili


Josiah Hester



This event is supported by Northwestern University through the Barry and Mary Ann MacLean Fund for Art & Engineering, the James F. and Mary L. Gibbons Art and Technology Fund, the Materials Research Center NSF-MRSEC grant, the International Institute for Nanotechnology, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the National Science Foundation through grants DMR-1720139, DMREF-1729016 and ECCS1912694.



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