The German accent is fake. The science is real. And the show isn’t just for children.
When Doktor Kaboom re-visits the Manship Theatre on Sunday with “Look Out, Science is Coming,” his purpose will be to give students and their parents a reason to become as excited and fascinated about science as he is.
“I try to remind people that they used to enjoy it the way their kids are enjoying the show, and that science is for everybody, not just the people who are gifted in that direction,” said David Epley, the North Carolina native and Seattle resident who brings his Doktor Kaboom alter ego to hundreds of auditoriums every year.
The Manship has been a frequent host of Doktor Kaboom’s shows, Epley said. He created Doktor Kaboom 11 years ago after having studied to become a chemical engineer at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, where he also developed a love of acting. Spending the next two decades performing and directing original comedy, he decided to mix his two passions. Doktor Kaboom has chrome goggles, an orange lab coat, spiky hair and a lot of interactive opportunities to make science tangible. It provides moments where audience members of all ages can participate.
Sunday's show is one of four that Epley has developed and focuses on the scientific method.
“The audience brings a lot to the table and helps make every show more interesting and diverse for me,” Epley said. “We just kind of explore all these things together.
“My show is not a children’s show. It’s a family show. There are routines and jokes and interactions that are for the adults. Parents generally have at least as much fun as the kids in the audience. One of my big messages is that science is not just for kids, and it’s not just for people that are not already good at it.”
Whether it’s electricity, rocketry, chemistry or any other field, Epley gets the ideas for many of his demonstrations from those he saw as a child in class or at science fairs, only he makes them bigger and more spectacular and uses his stage personality and audience interaction to make them more entertaining.
Having never lost his wonder for science, he wants children to embrace it and for adults to be less intimidated.
“I have parents that will tell me that they can’t do science with their kids, and their kids are in third grade,” he said. “Of course, you can do science with your kids. People tell themselves it’s too hard and we turn away from it, and people forget that everything their kid is doing in school for the most part … they did before.
“Our adult population these days does not have the scientific literacy that our education system shows us we should have. I think it’s because of this cultural mindset that science is not for everybody.”
Doktor Kaboom’s ‘Look Out, Science is Coming’
WHEN: 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12
WHERE: Manship Theatre, 100 Lafayette St.
TICKETS/INFO: $10, manshiptheatre.org or (225) 344-0334.