## Exercise

### Hypothesis 1

Let E be the group of all students. E may then be subdivided into two unequal parts:
N = the group of bad-at-math for whom the subject is nothing but a form of torture and
B = the group of good-at-math who really annoy the members of group N

To be noted: the subgroup B' which contains the rare people who have fun doing triple integrals during recess, and who often feel a little lonely.

### Hypothesis 2

The group E will become some years later the group A of adults for whom mathematics are a far off memory.

To be noted: the subgroup A' for whom math continues to be fun. And who still often feel alone.

## Authors' note

Created in 2003 by two graduates from the Lecoq school in Paris (and members of the above referenced group B), Mad Maths is a wacky and unconventional play which takes the form of a class led by two professors who push mathematics to the extreme creating along the way absurdity, humor and even poetry...

The idea was to be able to give everyone, from adolescents to adults, from nerds to dunces, from those who were traumatized in school to those who joined the math club and loved their graphing calculators, and even to math teachers an entertaining and theatrical experience that is truly about mathematics.

But how to create a play about math, a subject considered by many if not most a boring and dry topic, without putting the audience to sleep? How to give math its due respect as the "mother of all sciences"?

To show an audience math's potential beauty and intrigue, an audience that is most likely recalcitrant or at least rusty in the art of square roots, prime numbers and other delicacies, it was necessary to approach the topic from a different angle: and thus was born the company Sous Un Autre Angle.

First step, hit the books. Read up and review math concepts and paradoxes, search through the history of math for interesting characters and concepts, ask why we count, measure, model, and of course make sure that everything in the play is 110% mathematically sound. Then put yourself in the place of the audience, because bringing up the subject of math usually evokes memories of math class, whether recent or past, whether good (sometimes) or bad (often).

These memories are ultimately and unavoidably what we all have in common with math, and therefore the perfect starting place for the play. The trick would then be to bring the audience back to this familiar territory and then quickly (before the traumatic flashbacks set in) whisk them away to new and unexpected territories where it will be possible to rediscover the humanity in math, the humor and life in math, and of course the mathematics in life.

## Contents

Two seriously screwy professors, explain to you their erudite theories on zero, infinity, PVC pipes and the importance of the zebra in their new system of numeration.
A pop quiz is not out of the question...

A family friendly play for ages ≥ 12

### Chapter 0 | Everything is a Number

A satirical look at Pythagorus' (and his disciples') fanaticism for whole numbers.

### Chapter 1 | The Family of Functions

Where the two professors take turns embodying different mathematical functions, whose characteristics reflect the personalities of their different family members.

### Chapter 2 | The History of Numeration

A succinct (but rigorous!) report on the different methods of counting through human history.

### Chapter 3 | The Future of Numeration

Professors X and Y propose a new numbering system without a zero and demonstrate in spite of themselves its utility.

### Chapter 4 | Zero

A theatrical interpretation of zero through the ages.

### Chapter 5 | Infinity

Professors X and Y work on enumerating infinity while the audience reflects on the Question of the Day.

### Chapter 6 | Mathematical Language

A humoristic playlet which uses the excesses of an overly bureaucratic school administration to evoke the complexity and absurdity of mathematical language in everyday life.

### Chapter 7 | Trigonometry

Advanced placement lecture during which the two professors, ebullient, get a bit carried away in sharing the poetry and beauty of the sine and cosine waves.

### Chapter 8 | A Convergent Series

Theoretically: 1/2+1/4+1/8+1/16+1/32+...= 1 but how to concretely corroborate this?

### Chapter 9 | The Music of Fractions

Demonstration of the link between fractions and music using different lengths of PVC pipe to create a driving rhythm.

## Logistics

### Casting

Francophone teams currently performing:
Ms. X and Ms. Y: Garance Legrou and Sophie Leclercq
Mr. X and Mr. Y: Jean-Baptiste Guinchard and Guillaume Tagnati

### Material to be provided by the venue

1 large chalkboard or dry erase board, 1 table, 1 chair, 1 waste basket, electrical outlet for stereo or sound system, 15'x15' minimum performance space.
Adaptable to almost any theater, classroom, auditorium.

Mad Maths has received the official sanction of the Board of Education of Paris, the support of the Boards of Education of Créteil and Versailles and was a two time grant recipient of the DRRT Ile de France, Regional Delegation for Research and New Technologies.