Background

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

Genre: Drama

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.

Links:

http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/24219/title/Science-plays-come-of-age/

Entered by: Denise Gillman/ Brooke Sanders

 

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