‘No Belles’ showcases female power in sciences

Melissa Schenter and Jade Hobbs reenacted Rosalind Franklin’s life with sock puppets. Photo courtesy of Mickayla Miller.

Mickayla Miller

News Editor

Eighteen women, in total, have won the Nobel Prize in the sciences. This makes up less than 3 percent of the 581 people who have been awarded the prize in sciences.

Three women and one ukulele-playing artistic director brought the story of some of these women, as well as women who were neglected in winning the Nobel Prize, to the stage. The show was called “No Belles,” and it was held in the Myers Auditorium on April 5. This is the first time that “No Belles” has been done in a university.

The three women, Kimberly Wilson, Melissa Schenter and Jade Hobbs, told the story of women who have shaped science in pivotal ways, such as Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin, Rita Levi-Montalcini, Gertrude Elion, Rosalyn Yalow and more.

Melissa Schenter and Jade Hobbs reenacted Rosalind Franklin’s life with sock puppets. Photo courtesy of Mickayla Miller.
Melissa Schenter and Jade Hobbs reenacted Rosalind Franklin’s life with sock puppets. Photo courtesy of Mickayla Miller.

The acts ranged from standing monologues, to puppet shows, to storytelling; the women offered raw input and showed a powerful performance. Behind the performances was Artistic Director, Michael Phillips, who played the ukulele. There were around 50 people in attendance from all walks of life — students, professors, scientists and community members alike gathered for this show.

After the show, the Dean of the College of Science and Technology, Dr. Michael Jackson, spoke with the audience, telling the story of his own aunt who was discriminated against because she was a woman in the sciences. He brought “No Belles” to Millersville because, “it’s one we can relate to… you can see parallels if you extend it past gender, race, ethnicity and gender identity,” Jackson said.

Audience members asked the performers questions, ranging from where they came from to the experiences they had as a team. Many participants noted that more performances should be done that carry this theme, but extend to other occupations.

While “No Belles” has been performed to primarily adults, they admitted their target audience would likely be middle school and high school kids. There is no guarantee that this show will be the same from performance to performance, as, to quote Kimberly Wilson, “It’s an alive script.”

Portal Theatre is a group that comes from Portland. To learn more about them, visit portaltheatre.com