Lehigh hosts ‘That Physics Show’

Science usually falls far from the theater, but physics support specialist David Maiullo of Rutgers University found a way to turn physics experiments into an off-Broadway hit called “That Physics Show.”

This past weekend, Lehigh brought Maiullo to campus for multiple showings of “The Physics Experience,” inspired by “That Physics Show,” at Zoellner Arts Center. The 90-minute performance consisted of theatrical physics demonstrations and experiments.

Maiullo was hired by Rutgers University in 1987 as a physics specialist and oversaw demonstrations for undergraduate courses. The job led him to begin performing demonstration shows in public libraries, senior centers and street fairs. Eventually, it grew to the big stage when he signed a contract with a producer in 2015.

The show’s success can be attributed to Maiullo’s high energy and exciting personality. At Lehigh, Maiullo kept the audience engaged throughout all 90 minutes.

Bryce Cavey, ’21, attended one of the afternoon shows on Saturday and found it extremely interesting. Although the show was targeted more toward younger children, “The Physics Experience” taught Cavey about introductory physics concepts, such as angular momentum.

David Mailullo prepares to have two adults stand on him with a nail bed above and below his body on Sept. 28, 2017, in Lewis Laboratory. This trick is from “That Physics Show”, an Off-Broadway show Mailullo created explaining concepts of physics through visual demonstrations. (Alice Wilson/B&W Staff)

“I think it’s a really good introduction to physics,” Cavey said. “There are definitely key points he made to misconceptions that kids have growing up that hinders the ability to learn physics. I think there was definitely that stuff hidden in there.”

Maiullo performs five to six shows a week and still works at Rutgers. “That Physics Show” has gained success in New York City since he began the…

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