Schering Stiftung


English Theatre Berlin: “An Experiment With An Air Pump”

English Theatre Berlin: “An Experiment With An Air Pump”

As part of the series Science  Theatre, the English Theatre in Berlin presents “An Experiment With An Airpump” by English playwright Shelagh Stephenson. The play – prepared and presented in cooperation with scientists and students of the Institute of Biology and Microbiology at Freie Universität Berlin – is a transdisciplinary cooperation project at the interface of natural science and performing arts. With two compelling examples from two different times in history, Stephenson addresses the topic of prenatal diagnosis, the human body as research object and the role of women in science. She explores the question of how much morality science can take – and how much it needs. The Schering Stiftung supports the production for its innovative cooperation between Artists and Scientists and its approach to social and ethical aspects in science.

What is good and what is evil science? Shelagh Stephenson projects this question further back in time than most do. Academic debate on the ethical limits to scientific research often focuses on the atomic bomb and unscrupulous Nazi researchers. However, the long period in which body snatching was commonplace for the study of anatomy goes back 150 years before then and is a dark chapter in the history of colonial England between Newton and Darwin. In the 21st century, genomic research will soon be able to decode our entire genetic make-up at little expense. Will we soon find out in the neighbourhood “Gene Shop” that we are particularly susceptible to alcoholism, cancer, or Alzheimer? Is that something to take seriously? And is it something that we want to know? Who else might want to know, and why? Modern genetics is constantly forced to deal with the heatedly debated social relevance of its work and results. „An Experiment With An Air Pump“ explores the explosiveness of these questions in the course of history and in our day. 

Directed by Günther Grosser
Scientific Coodination: Prof. Dr. Regine Hengge (Institute of Biology/Microbiology, Freie Universität Berlin)

For futher information please visit and Flyer English Theatre Berlin


08. (Premiere), 09. und 10.02.2011, 8pm
11. 02.2011, 7pm: PRE-SHOW TALK by Prof. H.-Hilger Ropers (Max-Planck-Institut for Molecular Genetics Berlin)
15.02.2011, 19 Uhr (incl. discussion with Prof. Hengge, the director and actors)
16., 17., 18. und 19.02.2011, 8pm
22.02.2011, 7 pm (incl. discussion with Prof. Hengge, the director and actors)
23., 24., 25., 26. and 27. Februar 2011, 8pm
Tickets 18€ / 10€ Students (On Wednesdays all tickets 9€)

Theatre for Schools

Initiated and supported by the Ernst Schering Foundation the English Theatre Berlin offers extra shows for school classes (Tickets 3€):

17. and 24. 02.2011, 10:30 am


Photos: Christian Jungeblodt (c) English Theatre Berlin


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Schering Stiftung

Unter den Linden 32-34
10117 Berlin

Telefon: +49.30.20 62 29 62

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Thursday to Monday: 1 pm - 7 pm
Saturday to Sunday: 11 am - 7 pm
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