BACKGROUND moves backwards, as does the study of the origins of the universe, to trace the path of the forgotten and unaccredited scientist who provided the mathematical proof of the existence of Cosmic Background Radiation.
Play title: Background
Author (s): Lauren Gunderson
Publisher: iUniverse, Inc.
Publication Date: 2005
Primary Discipline: Cosmology
Secondary Discipline: Physics
Scientist (s): Ralph Alpher and Arno Penzias
Source Texts: Unknown
Character Breakdown: 1 male, 2 women, 2 neutral
Ralph Alpher, Harriet Alpher, Louise Alpher, Gray 1, Gray 2
Setting: Various spaces, all nebulous
Time Period: 20th Century, various times
Synopsis of Play: Based on the true story of cosmologist Dr. Ralph Alpher. The play moves backwards, as does the study of the origins of the universe, to trace the path of the forgotten and unaccredited scientist, who before the technology was capable, provided the mathematical proof of the existence of Cosmic Background Radiation. Twenty years later after two other scientists found the actual radiation and received Nobel Prizes for their accidental discovery, Ralph suffers a heart attack due to the stress of being snubbed. It is from this moment he traces backwards through his life and, ultimately, to the beginning of time.
First Performance Date: 2004
First Producer: Essential Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia
Performance History: BACKGROUND was first produced at the Essential Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia in 2004 as the winner of the Essential Theatre Playwriting Award. It was developed at the Playwriting Center at Theatre Emory and City University of New York.
Entered by: Denise Gillman/ Brooke Sanders