Vilar Performing Arts Center presents Doktor Kaboom! as part of STARS series
If you go …
What: Doktor Kaboom!, part of the Vilar Performing Arts Center’s STARS series.
When: 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1.
Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, 68 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek.
Cost: $11 for children and $14 for adults.
More information: Buy tickets at the VPAC Box Office, by calling 970-845-8497 or visiting http://www.vilarpac.org.
David Epley grew up expecting to be a scientist. He attended high school at the prestigious North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, where he was taught by Ph.D. scholars in every subject and had access to a mainframe computer with campus-wide intranet, long before Internet was a thing in the rest of the word.
While he was immersed in that scientific puddle, he began performing, and after one semester double majoring in acting/directing and chemistry at UNC Greensboro, he dropped the chemistry tag to pursue acting because it was “just more fun.” After 20 years of touring with comedy shows, Epley was once again feeling the tug toward science.
“I decided I wanted to do a new show that was just me and all mine,” Epley said. “I wanted to bring science back into my life, so I blended my two passions together, the first being science and the second being performing. I put those two together and created Doktor Kaboom, and it’s taken over my whole world.”
For the past eight years, Epley has been traveling the world as Doktor Kaboom, an over-the-top German-accented physicist entertaining adult and children in his quirky costume of chrome goggles, an orange lab coat and motorcycle boots, topped by a shock of wild blonde hair.
Epley’s performances mix theater with scientific exploration, and he’ll bring his newest act, titled “Live Wire! The Electricity Tour,” to the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek today for two shows.
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“Live Wire” was co-commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington and premiered there last fall. The show teaches the basics of electricity — what electricity is, how we utilize it, how it came to be and what we do with it — all with the comic flair wrapped around the character of Doktor Kaboom.
“My show focuses on the kids and the adults,” he said. “The kids, I want to show them that science is for everyone, not just the kids that are really good at it.”
In about middle school, kids start turning away from science because they think it’s too difficult, but science isn’t hard, Epley said, it just takes a little bit of effort. Students are encouraged to get involved with the performance, but Epley stressed that the show isn’t just for kids.
“I want to remind adults that science is for them, too,” he said. “We are really behind the rest of the world in terms of our students’ scientific acumen, and a big part of that is a cultural mindset that science is only for certain people. I’m trying to get adults involved in their children’s scientific education.
“I’ve had parents tell me that they can’t do science with their kids, but everything I’m pointing out is elementary science, and they can learn it.”
Doktor Kaboom! is the Vilar Center’s first Supporting the Arts Reaching Students performance of the winter series, which features 11 shows in total. All STARS performances promote artistic, educational and cultural enrichment with in-school workshops and daytime shows.
Each year, the Vail Valley Foundation and Vilar Performing Arts Center provide free transportation and tickets to more than 6,000 Eagle County students to provide them with the thrill of live performing arts.
Kaboom’s specific educational connections include lightning bolts, voltage, electrical arcs, light emission, sparks, magnetic fields, electromagnetic coils and more. The show is recommended for grades three through eight, but, as Epley pointed out, it has something to offer to all ages.
View the full STARS series schedule at http://www.vilarpac.org.