Excerpted from an article published in Newsday by Mary Gregory, “Mayumana is ready to electrify with ‘Currents'”
TSCW supporters receive $10 off admission to “Currents,” showing at Stony Brook University’s Staller Center on March 9. Learn more on our event page.
“Currents” also has ties with the scientific community, Inkles realized. Tesla’s story and his lab are part of Long Island’s heritage. In a rare joining of exhibition and performance, the university invited members of Shoreham’s Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe to the presentation. For an hour before and after Mayumana’s performance and during intermission, in the lobby, the Science Center will invite the audience to try equipment and machines hinting at the scope and reach of Tesla, whose inventions are responsible for radio, Wi-Fi, robotics, neon lights, hydroelectricity and the modern power grid, to name a few.
Tesla Science Center’s Debbi Scott Price, director of marketing and communications, says they’ll display a Theremin player (a wireless musical instrument mimicked in the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” and ’60s sci-fi films), a singing Tesla coil that creates music from voltage and high frequency, an augmented reality display and a Van de Graaff generator. “Did you ever see those giant discs that people put their hands on, and their hair stands on end? That’s it,” explains Price, laughingly. “We’re going to have a Wimshurst machine,” she adds, “that zaps out voltages of electricity. … And we do a human electricity chain so people can see the electricity passing through them.”
Both Mayumana and the science exhibits are meant to inspire and enthuse. Energy links Tesla’s story and “Currents,” and it’s infectious by design. “The main thing is joy for us. We want the audience to leave the theater uplifted, with a lot of energy,” says Berman. “We do it through music, dancing and choreography. It’s physical. It’s moving, nonstop.”