At the Intersection of STEM and the Arts

I absolutely love being a computer science major at Rice, but my interests extend far beyond just my major. I’ve always enjoyed STEM subjects, and I also like having an outlet that’s completely different: theatre. During high school, I didn’t meet many people who shared my enjoyment of both the arts and STEM subjects. However, I was pleasantly surprised to encounter so many people at Rice who think like I do.
Rice students are some of the most hardworking and diverse students in the nation, and that also extends to their extracurriculars. One of my good friends is an aspiring physicist, but she gets just as excited talking about her experience with Rice Dance Theatre as she does when she’s discussing granular physics. When I helped with costuming for the Visual and Dramatic Arts Department’s production of a Much Ado About Nothing last semester, half the cast were STEM majors. While theatre may not be their major, each member of the cast was as dedicated and enthusiastic as they were with anything else at Rice.
This semester, I’m especially excited to be a part of Wiess College’s Hello Hamlet, a comedic musical version of the famous Shakespeare play that was originally written and performed in the 1960s by Rice students at Wiess College. It’s been performed every four years since then, so students usually only get one chance to be involved during their time at Rice. Each time the show is performed, the script is updated and re-written, including whole new scenes and songs. I was lucky enough to be a part of that process, and I had a blast working with students to rewrite famous songs from musicals, such as the “Cell Block Tango” from Chicago, to suit Shakespearean characters. The show is also being entirely produced, directed, costumed, and choreographed by students. I can’t wait to see what I’ve written performed onstage!

There are so many opportunities at Rice in the arts, ranging from theatre to dance to fine art, that there truly is something for everyone. I’d recommend that everyone, even those who don’t consider themselves “artsy” at all, to try to get involved — you never know what you might discover about yourself!