What is The Catalyst?

The Catalyst is a Lausanne-based theater company made up of scientists and artists making new media about science.

Why do we need your help?

We are creating a new theater play dealing with concepts of acceptance in biology, in society, and in our lives. The play is called Blue Butterfly. We want to include interactive projection technology, but it is expensive!

In spring/summer 2014 we met two amazing theater projection specialists, Ivaylo Getov and Andrew Sempere. The possibilities to use projection technology were so exciting that we invited Andrew and Ivaylo to join our team and included them in our devising sessions over the summer and fall where we created the story of the play.

What’s the plot of the play?

Blue Butterfly is the story of a young family grappling with demanding careers, an abnormal child, and fundamental forces of nature. Natalie and Simon are struggling scientists who resort to TEDx talks and TV to thrust their research into the spotlight, while their brilliant but dangerous seven-year-old daughter gravitates towards her grandmother’s mystical beliefs. Their research into cancer, parasitism, and immunology echoes the complex dynamics of a family blind to their own dysfunction.

When life spirals into crisis, we must ask ourselves: what do we want to believe?

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How are we going to use your donations?

In relating the nightmare imaginings of the characters to the audience, we are involving dance and interactive video projection. The type of projectors needed on stage are more powerful and more expensive than the projectors one uses for powerpoint. Because projection mapping became part of the project only after our original grant from the SNSF, we still need to find the funds to rent or buy these projectors.

We need two matching projectors with >6000 lumens of projection power plus lenses and extra bulbs. Even used projectors like this will cost ~18000 CHF(!). Renting the projectors and lenses will bring us to ~9000 CHF. With your help we can make this happen!

What do you get for backing «Blue Butterfly»?

Beyond a gigantic «thank you», we also have a variety of rewards ranging from access to the Best Seats at our performances through to actual lab visits and improvisation workshops. We hope you find something that strikes you!

Our awesome team

While we have applied to many swiss arts funding sources, we are often disqualified because we are a team made up of not only professional artists, rather a mix of professional artists and scientists. We see our diversity as a strength!

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«Team»

Written as: Name – Role – Profession

  • Dr. Adria Le Boeuf – Producer, Artistic Director of The Catalyst, Actor – Scientist (social networks, ants, neuroscience)
  • Dr. Kyle Gustafson – Production Manager, Co-producer, Actor – Scientist (nuclear fusion, circadian rhythms)
  • Ailin Conant – Director – Director
  • Richard Crane – Playwright – Playwright
  • Dr. Andrew Sempere – Technical Director – Specialist in Theater Technology and Projection
  • Ivaylo Getov – Projection Design – Cinematographer and Projection Specialist
  • Robert Boyle – Set Design – Finance, Set Design
  • Dr. Laura Symul – Choreographer, Dancer, Actor – Science Illustrator
  • Gazus Gagnebin – Set Construction – Set Construction
  • Dr. Samuel Lagier – Actor – Scientist (neuroscience of olfaction)
  • Dr. Charles Mullon – Actor – Scientist (theory of social & sexual evolution)
  • Friederike Bienert – Actor – Science Communication
  • Dr. Yuliy Schwartzburg – Actor – Scientist (computational caustic design)
  • Laurence Pope – Actor – Science Communication
  • Gustavo Ruiz-Buendia – Actor – Scientist (genetics and molecular biology)
  • Dr. Elena Dalla Vecchia – Actor – Science Communication
  • Robbie l’Anson Price – Actor – Scientist (honeybee learning & behaviour)
  • Dr. Tania Jenkins - Actor – Scientist – Host-parasite coevolution
  • Kathrin Garschall – Costumes – Scientist (lifespan and ageing)
  • Juan Ayala – Lighting – Lighting
  • Jamie Flockton – Sound – Sound
  • Dr. Diego Gonzalez – Translation – Scientist (microbiology)
  • Francesca Perkins – Stage Manager, Actor – Science Communication

(wemakeIt video by Adria, for better or worse)