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Olin/Babson Course Ends in a Night of Solo Performances, Grounded in Scientific Research

Students in the Olin and Babson course Constructing and Performing the Self will offer a unique night of intimate solo theater performances grounded in psychological research April 20 and 21. The performances will take place beginning at 7 pm each night in the Black Box Theater at Babson College’s Sorenson Center for the Arts.

Storying Our Selves is a set of twelve autobiographical pieces written and performed by students enrolled in the course, taught by Jonathan Adler, a psychology professor at Olin College, and Beth Wynstra, an English professor at Babson College. It is the result of a Curricular Innovation Fellowship awarded to Professors Adler and Wynstra.  The course weaves together the scientific study of identity and the theater of solo performance to produce a moving, original theatrical production.

Students from the two colleges have spent the semester in the Black Box Theater, shifting seamlessly between lectures on the scientific foundation of identity, discussions of seminal theatrical texts, and performance activities. They have played the roles of scholar, playwright, and critic as they prepare to play themselves, sharing an intimate memory that shaped who they are – and who they are still becoming.

Professors Adler and Wynstra have worked deeply with each student to help shape their solo pieces while keeping them grounded in the scientific research on identity.

“We believe that undergraduates, regardless of their major, need to develop a clear sense of self as they prepare to navigate the professional world and that blending scientific and artistic approaches gives them a special skillset in that endeavor,” said Adler.