Theater Arts and Science DO Mix!

Theater Arts and Science DO Mix!

At the final Science Chicago Partner meeting (October 14, 2009), collaboration between partners was the buzz.  Willa Taylor of Goodman Theatre and Diana Baldi Destination ImagiNation® (DI®) attracted like magnets and joined forces quickly.

Why the mixture of science and theater?  Not only do scientists design and build technical devices, they must collaborate and communicate with others and be able to generate interest in their innovations.  The improv skills help ground the team in quick thinking, collaborating, ideating novel solutions and developing confidence.  DI teams will create an 8-minute performance and showcase their unique solution to curriculum-based Challenges at our Regional Tournament March 13th.

On November 7th, 125 youth from Chicagoland participated at the second-largest DI event in Chicago in 2009, held at Frances Xavier Warde School in Chicago.  DI volunteers focused on the technical, mechanical, and structural sciences as well as safe use of tools, costuming and backdrops.  The team included alumni Kevin Ponziani, Eric Niu, Carrie Smith, Elaine Erwin, Emily Knobbe, Brooke Baldi, and Rose Swanson They were supported by nine veteran volunteers Chris Groberg, John Vancrey, Kathy O’Holleran, Tom Dempsey, Diana Dignan, Bruce and Diana Baldi, Ginger Green, and Valerie Cleaver.

Teaching artists from Goodman’s Department of Education and Community Engagement as well as the Goodman Youth Arts Council (GYAC) led teams in a series of theatre workshops on character development and improv skills. The team included GYAC members Angelo Murphy-Cotto, Kensli Brown, Kaya Cuper and Andrea Medina, and Goodman interns Jake Cohen, Jessica Lind and Martine Moore.

“We are thrilled to be able to expand the DI program to the Chicago youth,” says Diana Baldi.  “We have been working to build volunteer infrastructure with the City of Chicago the past few years, and partnering is key to further success.  We are very thankful for the opportunity to inspire more youth in STEM and 21st Century Skills.”

The DI Skills Workshop will be presented again in Waukegan on January 23rd.  Volunteers are welcome.  Contact Diana Baldi, Far North Illinois Regional Director at

About Science Chicago Curiosity. Discovery. Wonder. Joy. Enlightenment.Spearheaded by the Museum of Science and Industry, Science Chicago is a collaboration of more than 100 public and private institutions that have come together to present the world’s largest science celebration.  Designed to awaken the inner scientist in each and every one of us, thousands of dynamic and interactive activities will provide hands-on learning; spur thoughtful debate; enhance classroom learning; and build enthusiasm for the pursuit of cutting-edge science while establishing the critical value of science and math education.

For a complete calendar of events, program updates, and news, visit