News at Princeton

Wednesday, Oct. 01, 2014

Multimedia: Featured

'Sharing the Stage: Science and Art at Princeton'


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Princeton seniors Anna Wuttig and Gary Fox talk about how they pursue their passion for creativity as they combine their interests in science and the arts. Read more.


Video Closed Captions

[MUSIC]

GARY FOX: I think it
might have actually

been in the lab here.

ANNA WUTTIG: It was
definitely in lab.

GARY FOX: We were
both working.

ANNA WUTTIG: Yeah.

GARY FOX: And I started...

ANNA WUTTIG: No, no, you
mentioned, somebody mentioned

you in the lead of the play.

And I was like, what play?

TIM VASEN: Gary, our lead,
is a chemistry major.

I think there's a whole
huge range.

As is normal for us since we
don't have majors in the arts

here at Princeton.

We work with people that are
really interested in arts and

also usually really interested
in something else which makes

for a very interesting mix.

GARY FOX: And then you realized

that you were playing...

ANNA WUTTIG: Yeah, that
I was playing.

GARY FOX: ...for the same show.

ANNA WUTTIG: Yeah.

MICHAEL PRATT: Our first
violinist in the orchestra is

Anna Wuttig.

She's a senior.

She's a chemistry major.

Der Bourgeios Bigwig is an
English language version of

this Moliere play, Le Bourgeois
Gentilhomme with the

incidental music that was
written by the great German

composer Richard Strauss.

The arts at Princeton are very
much about collaborations.

And here was a collaboration.

GARY FOX: In Der Bourgeois
Bigwig, I play Mr. Jordan

who's a middle aged man who
with all of this money, he

decides that he wants to
buy himself culture.

ANNA WUTTIG: So the music
department at Princeton is

really great, because it offers
opportunities for

students who are not
even a music major.

I started playing the violin
when I was four years old.

And then, I continued
playing until now.

But I wanted to choose a more
science oriented career path.

Well, science and music, I feel,
are really interwoven,

because they're both creative.

In science, it's important to
study known systems and

reactions and understand them.

But also, it's important to be
innovative and so that we can

make new technologies
for society.

GARY FOX: If we're not creative
in the lab, we're not

going to be able to solve any
of the problems that we're

currently facing here in the
US and around the globe.

And on stage or with music, if
we're not creative, we're not

inspiring people to think
about the world

in a broader context.

And so even though people might
think that chemistry or

science and the arts or theater
and music are totally

separate things, they are
really interconnected.

ANNA WUTTIG: And in music, it's
important to study the

score and to know a little bit
about the composer's life and

to practice and work hard.

But when you're actually
performing, I experience I

forget all of that.

And I'm living in the moment.

And every note that I play is
something new and organic.

And that experience is
motivation for science and

vice versa.

GARY FOX: I like to think of
research and performance as

two entities that are built
out of a toolbox.

And those tools are different
for the discipline.

In science, we have balances,
we have furnaces, we have

mortars and pestles.

We have all of these things that
we need to use and put

them together in a way to
create something new.

Similarly on stage, we have
techniques, we have to

rehearse lines, we have certain
gestures, we can rely

on props that we can use.

And all of those work together
to create something that's

much greater than the
sum of its parts.

ANNA WUTTIG: Exactly.

[ORCHESTRA MUSIC]

[APPLAUSE]

MICHAEL PRATT: Working with all of these students,

I'm just in awe of them: The fact that they

play at such an exceedingly high level

AND do all this other stuff.

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