Ensemble Studio Theatre Presents New York Premiere of Anna Ziegler's Photograph 51


Was Rosalind Franklin the first human being to see DNA? Photograph 51, a compelling drama about the cutthroat race to discover DNA's double helix, written by Anna Ziegler and directed by Linsay Firman, will have its New York premiere as part of the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project when previews begin Wednesday, October 27, at 7:00pm for an opening Monday, November 1, at 7:00pm at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, 549 West 52nd Street. 

In 1953 scientists are on the brink of discovering what is called the "secret of life." Ahead of them all is a brilliant and passionate scientist, Rosalind Franklin (1920 - 1958), whose greatest strength - her uncompromising independence - leads to her undoing. When her competitors find out about her "photograph 51" - the first recorded image of the double helix - her work is suddenly not her own. In 1962, the Nobel Prize for one of the greatest scientific breakthroughs of the 20th century is awarded to James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins. Rosalind Franklin, Nobel archives revealed a half century later, was never even nominated for the Nobel Prize.

Cast as Rosalind Franklin is Kristen Bush. Also cast are Kevin Collins as Nobel Prize-winner Maurice Wilkins, David Gelles as Ray Gosling, Haskell King as Nobel Prize-winner James Watson, Benjamin Pelteson as Don Caspar, and Jeremy Webb as Nobel Prize-winner Francis Crick.

Photograph 51 is part of the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project. They play was commissioned and produced by Active Cultures. It was then produced by The Fountain Theatre in L.A. In 2008, the play won the Stage International Script Competition for Best New Play about Science and Technology.

For Photograph 51, the designer are Nick Francone, scenery, Les Dickert, lights, SuzAnne Chesney, costumes, Shane Rettig, sound, Eric Reynolds, properties and Erik Singer, dialect.

Anna Ziegler's < www.annabziegler.com> plays have been developed in theaters in both the United States and the United Kingdom: Dov and Ali, BFF and Life Science, developed by such theaters as Theatre 503 in London, Chester Theater, The Cherry Lane, The Sundance Theatre Lab, The Old Vic New Voices program, Primary Stages, The GeVa Theatre Center, The McCarter and The Lark Play Development Center. Also a novelist and poet, Ms. Ziegler's work has appeared in The Best American Poetry 2003, The Threepenny Review, The St. Ann's Review and many other journals. Ms. Ziegler is a graduate of Yale University and holds an M.F.A. from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

Linsay Firman's NYC productions include Rachel Bond's Anniversary, Garrett M. Brown's Americana and Jose Rivera's Flowers all at the EST Marathon; Perdita by Pierre Diennet (Lion Theater), Joy Tomasko's Unfold Me, Catherine Trieschmann's Crooked, Heather Lynn MacDonald's Pink (all at Ariel Tepper's Summer Play Festival); Anne Washburn's Apparition (chashama; named one of Time Out New York's ten best plays of 2003); and Howard Barker's The Power of the Dog and The Possibilities, Joe Orton's Loot, Peter Rose's Snatch (Soho Rep). Ms. Firman is the Literary Manager at EST and the Associate Director of the EST/Sloan Project. She began working in new play development as the Associate Director of Soho Rep, where she worked from 1998 - 2004. While there, she founded and ran Soho Rep's renowned Writer/Director Lab. Additionally she was a 2003/2004 Resident Director at New Dramatists, a Director/Dramaturg in The Lark's 2007/2008 Meeting of the Minds writers' group and is an Associated Artist of New Georges. She received her M.F.A. from CalArts. Ms. Firman is an alumna of Women's Project Directors Lab.

The Ensemble Studio Theatre < www.ensemblestudiotheatre.org> was founded on the belief that extraordinary support yields extraordinary work. It is a dynamic and expanding family of member artists committed to the discovery and nurturing of new voices and the continued support and growth of artists throughout their creative lives. Through its unique collaborative process it develops and produces original, provocative and authentic new plays that engage and challenge its audience and audiences across the country. Ensemble Studio Theatre's 500+ community of member artists include winners of accolades and higher awards including Pulitzer Prizes, Oscars, Tonys, Emmys, and Obies. The Ensemble Studio Theatre is a lifelong artistic home for its member playwrights, directors, actors, designers, technical personnel and administrators. Each year, the Ensemble produces over 300 projects, including readings, workshops, and fully produced mainstage full-lengths.

Now in its thirteenth season, The Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project has premiered over 100 plays, dance and performance pieces selected from proposals and submissions from around the country. The EST/Sloan Project is designed to stimulate artists to create new theatrical works exploring the worlds of science and technology and to challenge the existing stereotypes of scientists and engineers in popular culture.

Box Office
Post opening, tickets are $30, $15 tickets for students/senior. Previews are pay what you can. Tickets may be ordered at < www.ensemblestudiotheatre.org> or 866-811-4111. Performances are generally Wednesday through Saturday and Monday evenings at 7:00pm with matinees Saturdays at 2:00pm and Sundays at 3:00pm except November 7, when the matinee is 5:00pm.


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