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Come on out to MACH 33: The Festival of New Science-Driven Plays at Caltech!

February 21, 2024

The weekend features staged readings of the three winning plays for this year's Festival. With professional actors and directors, actors from the Caltech and JPL community, and fantastic science-driven plays, the Festival promises to be an exciting weekend of ART AND SCIENCE! 

Join us after each show for post-show discussions and receptions with our science mentors, playwrights, directors, and actors. Tickets are free for students, with a suggested donation of $10 for adults. Click here to learn more about MACH 33.

All performances are in Frautschi Hall in the Hameetman Center above the Red Door Café on the campus of Caltech. Parking is free during our festival times at the Hollison Parking Structure at 370 S. Holliston Ave, and also in the neighborhood. From the corner of Holliston and San Pasqual (approximately 499 S. Holliston Ave), head west onto campus along the walkway for about 100 yards till you see the red umbrellas of the Red Door Café. Enter the doorway on the side and follow signs to Frautschi Hall upstairs. 

Friday March 1, 7pm: AXIOMS by Aubrey Clyburn, followed by an opening night party

Saturday March 2, 3pm: FIVE DEGREES ABOVE POLARIS by Karen Howes, followed by a pizza dinner and hang-out with the creative teams

Saturday March 2, 7pm: S P A C E by L. Feldman and co-created by Larissa Lury, followed by a closing night reception


Eliza, a lonely, hyper-logical mathematician, has had a fight with her best (and only) friend. So she retreats to her mind palace to find a solution using the only tools she has: memory, axiomatic set theory, and stuffed animals. She keeps trying to apply mathematical principles to situations from her life, but the math keeps getting more complex until she finally has to ask whether there's a solution to be found there at all.


When a female astronomer from Nantucket attempts to get credit for a discovery that is rightfully hers, she is forced to oppose the dogma of the Catholic Church, confront the arrogance of Harvard's elite professors, and stave off the romantic advances of Italy's most charismatic revolutionary. Five Degrees Above Polaris is a comedy set in 1848 and is based on the true story of Maria Mitchell, an American astronomer who was the first woman elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the first female to be a professor of Astronomy at Vassar College.


Drawing on history (aviators, Congress, Civil Rights, & the Space Race), S P A C E unearths the forces at work in our time – and imagines a radical re-start. Before any human traveled to space, thirteen female pilots excelled at the medical testing to become astronauts. Their story collides with pilots, astronauts, and aerospace engineers across time—like Bessie Coleman, Hazel Ying Lee, and Jasmin Moghbeli—who burst their own path in, out, and up. Through transcript, fiction, feats of endurance, and the ridiculous,
S P A C E takes us into moments of expansive missions, invisible forces, and the personal costs that lie in between.