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Feeling Science

About this initiative

In 2021 the JRC SciArt project began facilitating a grass-root initiative on theatre and science called Parola di Donna. This initiative was thought of as a way for female researchers at the JRC to speak up (parola) and occupy space, exploring the socio-cultural and political dimensions of women (donna) in science. 

Renowned playwright Angela Dematté - recipient of multiple awards, including Italy's most important acknowledgement for theatre, the premio UBU - and theatre director Simona Gonella conducted workshops with a group of 15 JRC scientists from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. Acclaimed theatre director Andrea Chiodi then joined the team at a later stage in view of production.

They guided the scientists into the world of theatre, and helped them develop a play, which acquired the title Feeling Science: a Theatre Experiment - you'll find a short description hereunder.

1.5 years of deep crossdisciplinary work at the intersections of artistic inquiry and science for policy culminated in a performance on Friday 11th of March 2022, at Teatro Santuccio, Varese, Italy. The Feeling Science protagonists and show will return on October 21st in Varese, as part of the series Parola di Donna Varese.

feeling science promotional picture - text displayed above women facing the anechoic chamber
Feeling Science Poster


These are complex times for our European history, and we have personally felt the complexity of the relationship between science and policy. We need to find a new order, a new way to deal with the cognitive power that science offers policy. At this very moment, as a group of women and scientists who work to support European policy, we feel the urgency to step on stage and challenge ourselves. Western theatrical tradition has long given us female bodies that are sacrificed in the name of new social orders, starting from Antigone and Iphigenia. So what happens if political and scientific language meet in the ritual field of theatre, using female bodies, for once not as scapegoats, but bodies that are thinkers, agents, writers of a new logos? Conscious of these nuances and issues, we are trying to understand how to make them interact in a new way, that allows a new TECHNE to make itself known; using artists and scientists as willing guinea pigs, as human bodies with agency in a ritual space. A techne that in fact uses rationale and absurdity, consciousness and the subconscious, scientific and emotive language, in new, possible, combinations...


Project by Angela Dematté and Simona Gonella. Jointly directed by Simona Gonella and Andrea Chiodi.

Screenplay by Angela Dematté. Assistant playwright - Gianluca Madaschi.

Scientific counsel provided by JRC SciArt.

Video recording directed by Fabio Bilardo.

Light design by Marco Grisa.

Music by Ferdinando Baroffio.

Joint creation and performance by JRC researchers: Sandra Coecke, Naouma Kourti, Matina Halkia, Alba Bernini, Isabella Cerutti, Rosanna di Gioia, Agnes Hegedus, Nicole Ostlaender, Joanna Bartnicka in collaboration with actress Franca Maria de Monti.

Organised by JRC SciArt in collaboration with Parola di Donna Varese.