Joseph Green, left, the auditorium manager and technical director for the Novi Middle School play “Eureka! Science and Invention,” gives directions to the stage crew regarding lighting for a scene as actors Rachit Naik, 13, and Kian Rabourn, 14, stand by during a technical rehearsal Oct. 20.

Joseph Green, left, the auditorium manager and technical director for the Novi Middle School play “Eureka! Science and Invention,” gives directions to the stage crew regarding lighting for a scene as actors Rachit Naik, 13, and Kian Rabourn, 14, stand by during a technical rehearsal Oct. 20.

Photo by Charity Meier


Novi Middle School play highlights the past heroes of STEM

By: Charity Meier | Novi Note | Published October 25, 2023

NOVI — Eureka!

Students at Novi Middle School will be shining light on a vast array of unsung heroes in the science, technology, engineering and math fields when they perform Thomas Hischak’s play “Eureka! Science and Invention” on Nov. 3.

The show covers everything from ancient Egypt to the Y2K worries of the late 1990s.

“It’s about different scientists throughout history,” said actor Kian Rabourn, 14. “Or in very, very, very simplimatic form — mathematics, science and history.”

“Like major scientific discoveries that have happened throughout our history,” added actor Rachit Naik, 13. “From first discovering that the earth is spherical to having the millennium bug where pretty much everyone thought the world was ending.”

The show will highlight such inventions as the telegraph, Morse code, radio transmitters, the telephone, Voyager 1, and many more.

“The invention of glasses, there’s a scene about that,” said Rabourn. “Eyeglasses. There’s a whole scene about how I got these,” he said and gently tipped his eyeglasses off his nose with a laugh. “Or how these were invented.”

Rabourn and Naik said that people should come to the play to learn about those who have made major contributions to history and the field of science.

“We wouldn’t have modern conveniences without these inventions,” said Naik. “Just (come to the play) to learn more about history, because I didn’t know that Hewlett-Packard was actually HP until the second day of getting the script.”

Rabourn said he learned through performing in this play how Morse code was invented.

“It gives a new insight to people that have lived and have done really great things that are sometimes forgotten in history and, I think, contributed a good part to our world today,” said Anna Ekevag, 13, who works in the props department for the play.

To Rabourn and Naik, theater is much more than a means of entertainment and a history lesson. The young actors said that theater has helped them to accept themselves the way they are. Rabourn advises other students to give it a go if it is something they want to try. Naik said it changes the way you think about things.

“It changed me,” said Rabourn, who has been performing in theater for nine years. “I joined for a weird reason. After my first show I realized that theater would be something that I could do to escape from my very weird self and be another character and people won’t make fun of me for being so strange at what I do. So I just continue doing show after show after show, because it gives me a chance to escape and just be someone else for a short period of time. I just like doing it. I like being on the stage and being able to entertain people with my comedic jokes and stuff. It’s truly like a gift. I don’t get paid for this stuff.”

Ekevag said theater has led to some of her best friendships.

“It’s a very kind environment. You really can’t do anything wrong,” said Ekevag.

She said that theater helped her friend out tremendously last year as she was going through a really tough time, and theater helped her to not only get through it, but to move past the issue.

“It’s a very good way of making friendships and making memories,” said Ekevag.

Joseph Green, Novi Middle School’s assistant auditorium manager, said that he works closely with director Lori Burkhardt to select a play that is as applicable to the students’ lives as it is entertaining. He said they decided to focus on STEM subjects this year as they thought that by acting it out, students would gain a better understanding of the subject matter, which they could then apply in the classroom. According to Green, the most challenging aspect of working on this show has definitely been the wide range of time periods and settings.

“We really hope that this show will spark a larger interest not only in the arts, of course, but in learning and education more broadly. We really tried hard to reinforce curiosity and research during the rehearsal process, and we hope the audience will take away that same eagerness to learn,” said Green.

“Personally, this show has been a brush-up on some of these topics from when I was in middle school. More importantly, I would say, this show has taught me how to make what is normally boring into something interesting and engaging,” he said.

The show will be performed at the Novi Middle School auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3 only. Tickets cost $10. Students will also host a food drive at that time, and canned food donations are welcomed, but will not substitute for the cost of a ticket.