The Catalyst
The Catalyst
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The Catalyst is invited to perform at the Ceremony for the Opening of the Academic Year organized by the Faculty of Biology and Medicine of the UNIL on Thursday, September 20th 2018 at 17:15 at the Amphimax 351.

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The first 20 minutes of the Ceremony will be dedicated to the Doctoral School of the Faculty of Biology and Medicine, focusing on the importance of this training for junior researchers, and how much it can bring innovations and creative solutions to society.

During this introduction - composed of official speeches and a video - The Catalyst is invited to create a play of a duration of 3-4 minutes around the topic "Who are our doctoral students, what are they looking for?", either in English or French.

Interested in participating? Join the Slack channel #20sept2018_unil_event

 

 
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This year's 'Theater in English' adventure was great. Proof is an amazing play! With a few members of the team we'd like to start again next year: the more, the merrier!

We're organizing a meeting to brainstorm Tuesday, May 22 at 18:30 in Genopode 2020. If you're interested or if you know interested and passionate people, transmit the info!

What was Proof about?

Proof is a Pultizer Prize-winning play written by David Auburn. Catherine has spent years caring for her father, a brilliant mathematician whose genius was crippled by mental insanity. When he dies, his former student Hal insists on going through his 103 notebooks, hoping to find hints of the man's genius. He is about to stumble on a major discovery. Is Catherine ready to share it? How much of her father's madness has she inherited? A Pultizer Prize-winning fine and tender play.

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As scientists, we need our ideas to be convincing and memorable. In our writing and in our talks we need to keep fellow researchers, collaborators, funders and the public engaged, and make sure our ideas stick in their minds for hours, days, or even years after contact. Essentially, we need to be excellent communicators. In this workshop, we will use storytelling, presentation, and improvisation techniques in an interactive workshop to help participants better communicate their research to their peers, to colleagues from another field, or to the public.

The timeframe of these workshops can range from a one-time 2-hour course to a 6-week class.

Held short formats, regularly as part of the UNIL/EPFL Summer Research program, and in long format for the HEC Lausanne doctoral program. Past lecturers: Adria LeBoeuf, Alex Seeholzer

 

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The concept is simple, 3 speakers talking about different aspects of climate change giving inspiration to a cast of improvisers. The result? One unique improv show about an important subject.

Organized by the Swiss Youth for Climate, the improvisers of The Catalyst took us all for a very lively ride around a warming globe.

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Speakers

  • Prof. Philippe Thalmann, economic teacher at EPFL.
    Theme: Divestment from fossil fuels
  • Mme Myriam Planzer working for WWF.
    Theme: Swiss climate policy.
  • Prof. Antoine Guisan, biologist teach at UNIL.
    Theme: Impact of climate change on biodiversity.
 
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Performed by CatalystPlays - Written by David Auburn
In English, surtitled in French

Running time: approx. 80 minutes (no interval)

17 & 18 APRIL 2018 19:00
Salle Polyvalente EPFL

3 MAY 2018 18:00
Théâtre La Grange de Dorigny - Festival Fécule

Booking | How to get there

Catherine has spent years caring for her father, a brilliant mathematician whose genius was crippled by mental insanity. When he dies, his former student Hal insists on going through his 103 notebooks, hoping to find hints of the man's genius. He is about to stumble on a major discovery. Is Catherine ready to share it? How much of her father's madness has she inherited? A Pultizer Prize-winning fine and tender play.
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Cast List

Catherine Céliane de Luca
Claire Marie Reigner Tayar
Robert Christi McEvoy
Hal Nikunj Dudani
Director Suzanne Balharry
Lighting Jacqueline Tay
Stage design Michalis Panagiotakis
Music composition Roberto Fraile
Harp Hedwig Ens
Poster Diego Fernandez

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This amateur production of Proof is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, LTD.

 

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The Catalyst is excited to welcome Terje Brevik (Impro Neuf, Oslo)! He will hold two workshops: “Characters, advance the scene!” and “Longform improv” on March 17 and 18!

Link to registration form: goo.gl/forms/HNu974717LSiul0G2

Terje is the artistic director of Impro Neuf ( Norway's largest and most inclusive improv community) for the last three years. He has a Drama and theater communication (drama pedagogy) degree, an extensive teaching and performing experience in improv as well as clowning, mask work and storytelling. His main focus is creating a safe environment for the group by building trust. When trust has been established the participants are able to explore, celebrate failure and learn.

Last year Terje was the head of the first Oslo Impro Festival, where they had 20+ teams from several countries performing, a 12-hour live-streamed marathon and guest workshops with Stacey Smith (iO and ImprovBoston), Craig Uhlir (iO) and Shawn Kinley (Loose Moose). It was a blast!

Sat. 17.03.18 - "Characters! Advance the scene!" @ 13:00 - 17.30

This two part workshop will delve into character work and how to advance a scene.

Characters are fun to play with and a great tool to make life as an improvisor easier. In addtition, being able to play anyone or anything is a freedom only improv can provide! This part will provide you with a set of tools that let you build characters based on your unique experiences as a person as well as from inspiration from your partner or team.

Scenes and scenework can sometimes feel like walking in glue, when you should be having the best time of your life. Improv is all about exploration, discovery and having fun, together! Through different exercises we'll go through various ways of pushing a scene forward, without worrying about plot, narrative, relationship, environment etc. Again, let's make our world easier and more fun!

Sun. 18.03.18 - "Longform improv" @ 13:00 - 18:00

Longform improv, also known as organic improv, is less about rules and more about exploration. Where you'd have a director and a set of game rules in shortform improv, longform removes the director completely and let the group mind figure out what journey it is, and where it's going. There is only one mind, and that is the one of the group mind. If your improv experience is shortform, let this workshop show you what's behind door number two! (Hint: It's a whole new world!)

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Take a walk on the CERN side! Want to do improv? Lausanne's too far? Give a good stretch to your imagination, there's no need to have experience in any performance art!

Join the Geneva Drop-in improv workshop every Wednesday at 19:00 at CERN (meeting at 18:50 at the tram stop).

Check out the Facebook group.

 
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Building on success throughout 2016 and 2017, The Catalyst is excited to kick off 2018 with the third season of CatCave9. Get set to return to Cinema Oblo to witness improv that takes scientific discussion to unforeseen lateral heights! And also come to hear from our gifted speakers that give you a taste of their current research. Further information at catcave9.thecatalyst.ch/

NOTE: Please make sure that you arrive at the venue early. We can only take a limited number of spectators due to building restrictions, and we would hate to have to turn anyone away. Doors open at 19:30, and the show starts at 20:00!

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SBR is a podcast made by science passionate people using articles and other primary literature to inspire improvised comedy sketches. Each of us brings a source of inspiration for a sketch. The others hear it for the first time along with you. They are on their toes, in desperate need to improvise. Let the games begin!

Want to learn how to record a podcast about science? Check out the latest episodes and learn more at thecatalyst.ch/podcasts/.

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Get on the ride! Join our weekly English-language improv sessions to improve your communication skills, and to meet fellow scientists from a variety of fields! The sessions are every Wednesday at 18:30 in Genopode 2020 (UNIL). More at thecatalyst.ch/weeklysessions/.

Drop-in takes you on a brand new ride in March: How can you play what you are not? Look into vocal, physical and verbal ways to become something different on the spot with Daisy!

 
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The Catalyst meets up with Hirschwahn - Aarau improvisiert! It's all planned for Wednesday January 24 at 19:30 in Zofingen (Aargau)! The meeting is scheduled! But wait!? The performance will be in German for the first time! Kein Witz! Learn more about this event in Zofingen organized by the Swiss Center for Democracy Studies at https://www.zdaarau.ch/

 

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Want to know what PCR machine results and western bolts do to an improv show? Next week on Friday the Catalyst is invited to the 2017 edition of Science Slam Basel Friday 13 October at 20:00! Get a taste of what happens when dealers sell sequencing data!

 

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Exposure Science Film Hackathon will take place form the 1st to the 3rd of December 2017. Applications are now open!

Science can appear inaccessible and complex to non-scientists and art can seem unachievable and daunting to scientists. This 3 day course aims to bring together scientists and artists to create films that communicate complex concepts in science. In groups of 4, participants will find a scientific concept, decide how they want to communicate this concept, and produce a short film aimed at a non-scientist audience.

The short films are created with the aim of communicating fascinating scientific concepts and engaging members of the public with science. On the last evening of the event the films will be presented to a panel of judges who will award a prize to the film that best fulfills the aims of the hackathon. There will also be a free public showing of the films. Check out the Exposure Hackaton website.

 
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On Thursday 12.10.2017 is the featured show Hirschwahn and the Catalyst. Aarau get ready! The Catalyst will be in town ready to dive into the depths of improv!

 

 

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In collaboration with the French improv group Pool d'Impro du Poly (PIP), The Catalyst organised a day-long bilingual improv workshop with aims to increase collaboration between university theatre groups.

The workshop, held on the 21st May 2017 on EPFL campus, welcomed members of the PIP (http://www.pipimpro.com/), L'HeiDi (https://www.facebook.com/LHeiDi-1152420284871794/) and The Catalyst (http://thecatalyst.ch/) to expand their skill set in improvisational theatre. In total 16 people were in attendance.

The organisers would like to thank again the three leads, Robin Nigon, Mark Venning-Slater and Charles Mullon, for hosting sessions on the respective themes of, intra-group dynamics, scene work and character work. They were all very well received!

Thanks also to the attendees for their enthusiastic participation, and delicious contributions to the pot-luck lunch.

A similar collaborative event will be held during July’s Wednesday drop-ins, which are to be lead by Elliott. To express interest in this, or future workshops, do contact Elliott or The Catalyst at: thecatalyst@thecatalyst.ch

Thank you again and until next time!

Elliott and Robin

Workshop Organisers

 

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Join our weekly English-language improv sessions to improve your communication skills, and to meet fellow scientists from a variety of fields! Learn more by clicking here.

 

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The Catalyst are heading to Zurich! CC9 players Daisy, Hedwig, Robbie, Patrick, Yuliy, and Gus have been invited to perform at the Kulturfolger Art Gallery in Zurich. Using their collective might, they will perform long-form improv inspired by the exhibit. Can't be missed!

When: Friday 24 March; Doors open: 19:30, Show: 20:00
Where: Kulturfolger, Idastrasse 46, 8003 Zürich, Switzerland

For more details follow the link below:

Performance: The Catalyst

 

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The Catalyst are pleased to announce the launch of Drop-in sessions in Geneva! Starting from March 1st, these sessions will be held at the University of Geneva, Centre Medical Universitaire. For more information follow this link to our new facebook group Catalyst-Geneva!

 

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Building on success throughout 2016, The Catalyst is excited to kick off 2017 with the second season of CatCave9. Get set to return to Cinema Oblo to witness improv that takes scientific discussion to unforeseen lateral heights! And also come to hear from our gifted speakers that give you a taste of their current research. For further information, please click on the CatCave9 tab above, or follow the link below:

http://catcave9.thecatalyst.ch/

NOTE: Please make sure that you arrive at the venue early. We can only take a limited number of spectators due to building restrictions, and we would hate to have to turn anyone away. Doors open at 19:00, and there is the bar to keep you company before the show starts at 20:00!

 

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2016 was a busy year for The Catalyst, and alas, not every project has been mentioned so far. However, we're still proud of them! Here is a list of events within which The Catalyst either devised, performed, or did a mixture of the two.


Catcave9 was launched! - Lausanne - January 2016

Our monthly science improv show at Cinema Oblo, which is now a roaring success!


Debunking Slam - Zurich - April 6 2016

The Catalyst performed at the second Debunking Slam in Zurich. Taking place at the BQm Kulturcafe & Bar on the ETH Zurich campus, four speakers debunked misconceptions on various topics, even working in Judas Priest lyrics! The Catalyst then devised, as is our custom, improv sketches based on these talks to entertain the audience and take the topics on new tangents. A big thank you to Skeptiker Schweiz for hosting us!

https://www.skeptiker.ch/event/debunking-slam/


Workshops... Conferences... Trainings! - April and on!

We were invited to teach workshops on science communication, elevator pitching and presentation skills for CUSO, HEC Lausanne, iMM in Lisbon, at doctoral schools and events (e.g. Life Science Career Day) around Switzerland. A bit of business, but we are happy to spread the science-improv bug through these training courses!


Les Mystères de l'UNIL - June 2-5 2016

2016 saw the 11th edition of Les Mystères de l'UNIL that focussed on the theme of The City. Nearly 10,000 people, including 2200 students, participated in this open-door event at l'Université de Lausanne where 300 researchers put on 24 workshops and 9 laboratories to fascinate one and all.

For our part, The Catalyst was involved in devising and performing an interactive debate. This debate centered on an imaginary city that had just been discovered in the mountains of Switzerland. Due to the depletion of a mysterious mineral that had once protected the city, the inhabitants came to Lausanne to seek help in developing their city, Kryptopolis, to make it thrive once again. Students were asked to listen to arguments from different perspectives on urban development, including topics such as commercialism, electricity generation and transportation, and then to vote for their most preferred option. In this way they helped the inhabitants design the Kryptopolis of tomorrow. It was amazing to see how passionate the students were about designing the best city!

http://wp.unil.ch/mysteres/archives/mysteres-2016/


The Castle-yst: 1st annual Lac Leman Improv Retreat - June 17-19 2016

We brought together the Lac Leman improv community for a weekend of skill sharing and fun. We had the pleasure to welcome members from the Renegade Saints, Shark Pockets, ZigZag and of course us, The Catalyst. 


Applied Improv Network Annual Conference - Oxford, UK - Aug 11-4 2016

Two of our members went and represented at this amazing event, running a session on Science and Improv.


Science Slam - Basel - Oct 7 2016

As the Science Slam Basel team say:

"Giving excellent science talks is not magic, it's practice."

This was the second time The Catalyst has performed at Science Slam Basel, and for the second time we were met with contagious support and enthusiasm. Once again the speakers presented enlightening talks that both educated and entertained. It was clear that all of their practice led to some magical performances. Drawing on this inspiration, The Catalyst performed a series of improv sketches that were well received.

https://scienceslam.unibas.ch/


Lac Lemanapalooza! - Geneva - Nov 3 2016

We performed for charity at this event organized jointly with the Shark Pockets and Renegade Saints. We were thrilled to raise some money for Terre des Hommes, a charity that helps children in crisis. 


Exposure Science-Film Hackathon - Lausanne - Dec 2-4 2016

A rip-roaring successful collaboration with BSNL, supported by UNIL and EPFL. Check out the website here: http://www.exposurehackathon.com/

Watch the amazing videos!


 

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