Photograph 51

A funny and moving portrait of the unrequited life of Rosalind Franklin, one of the great female scientists of the twentieth century, and her fervid drive to map the contours of the DNA molecule.

Play title: Photograph 51

Author (s): Anna Ziegler

Publisher: Dramatists Play Service Inc.

Publication Date: 2011

Genre: Drama

Primary Discipline: Chemistry

Secondary Discipline: Biology

Scientist (s): Rosalind Franklin, James Watson, Frances Crick, Linus Pauling, and Maurice Wilkins

Source Texts: Rosalind Franklin:  The Dark Lady of DNA by Brenda Maddox, Rosalind Franklin & DNA by Anne Sayre, The Double Helix by James Watson, My Sister Rosalind Franklin by Jenifer Glynn

Character Breakdown:

5 Men, 1 Woman

Rosalind Franklin, Maurice Wilkins, James Watson, Don Caspar, Ray Gosling, and Francis Crick.

Setting: London & Cambridge, UK:  Kings College and Cambridge University

Time Period: 1951-53

Synopsis of Play: A funny and moving portrait of the unrequited life of Rosalind Franklin, one of the great female scientists of the twentieth century, and her fervid drive to map the contours of the DNA molecule.  A chorus of physicists relives the chase, revealing the unsung achievements of this trail-blazing, fiercely independent woman.  A play about ambition, isolation, and the race for greatness. (Dramatist Play Service Inc.)

First Performance Date: October 27, 2010

First Producer: Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York City

Performance History: Photograph 51 was originally commissioned and produced by Active Cultures, the Vernacular Theatre of Maryland (Mary Resing, Director), opening on February 10, 2008.  Photograph 51 won the 2008 STAGE International Scripts Competition and was developed, in part, through the University of California, Santa Barbara’s STAGE Project by the Professional Artists Lab (Nancy Kawalek, Director) and the California NanoSystems Institute.  Photograph 51 received its New York premiere at the Ensemble Studio Theatre (William Carden, Artistic Director).  The production was sponsored and developed by The Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P.  Sloan Foundation Science and Technology Project.   Photograph 51 had its UK premiere at London’s Noël Coward Theatre on 5 September 2015.  Nicole Kidman starred as Rosalind Franklin and Machael Grandage directed.

Links

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/06/theater/06photograph.html

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2015/sep/14/nicole-kidman-photograph-51-noel-coward-theatre-rosalind-franklin-review

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment/arts-and-theater/os-photograph-51-review-matthew-j-palm-20150220-column.html

Entered by: Denise Gillman / Brooke Sanders

 

PHOTOGRAPH 51 by Ziegler, , writer -Anna Ziegler,
Director -Michael Grandage,
Set & Costume Designer – Christopher Oram,
Lighting Designer – Neil Austin, The Noel Coward Theatre, London, UK, 2015, Credit: Johan Persson/
PHOTOGRAPH 51 by Ziegler, , writer -Anna Ziegler, Director -Michael Grandage, Set & Costume Designer – Christopher Oram, Lighting Designer – Neil Austin, The Noel Coward Theatre, London, UK, 2015, Credit: Johan Persson/

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