Holes are the essence of beer and buttons, teacups and tunnels, vases and volcanoes, noses and knots, caves and cake. Topological forms are defined by their holes, as are donuts and doggy doors, rings and zeros. There are holes in memory, in hearts, in atomic shells, even in empty space. Rabbit hole or pupil, every hole is a window to another world.

In our first Categorically Not! we explore some of the delicious ambiguity of holes. UCLA astronomer Andrea Ghez, who has measured the black hole at the center of the Milky Way (she was recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences), will talk about holes that can weigh more than a million suns, so massive that they pinch space and time out of existence. Claudette Sutherland, actor and author of the play “Dog Man,” which was produced at the Matrix Theater in Los Angeles and invited to the Dublin Theater Festival, will explore the existential holes of Samuel Beckett, performing the role of Winnie in Happy Days, who is buried up to her neck in a hole. Music educator Susan Helfter will bring her French horn (one big convoluted tubular hole with smaller holes for keys) and demonstrate how holes make music.

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