Reduced casting (Doubling Possible), Expandable casting, Flexible casting, Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
* indicates characters who are designed to be portrayed by one actor. Concept: for MARIE, they are the outside world: men of power surrounding her, with whom she must relate and/or struggle. CHIEF PAYMASTER and KELVIN are in opposition to her. WILBOIS, sympathetic, but forced to bear bad news.
MARIE SKLODOWSKA CURIE - Polish, but in France many years. Late 30’s - mid-40s. Ethereal beauty—ash blond, small, graceful, piercing eyes, intense manner reveals brilliance of a genius. A unique, complex woman of great strength, drive. Can be severe, steely. “Suffers no fools gladly”. Hides extreme shyness, high emotionality behind exterior demeanor. Dresses in black clothes of period, lighter blouse in country and through Act II. Has cough, possibly some nervous mannerisms.
KATARINA - 17. Marie's niece from Warsaw. Pretty, funny, strong spirited but not contemporary teen—rather of an era when young people were ruled by adults. Loveable, impulsive, dramatic, but tries to contain herself. Clothing: blouse with possible touch of Polish style embroidery, dark longish skirt of period.
PAUL LANGEVIN - early 30’s. Handsome, youthful, French. Brilliant but naïve, sensual man. Repressed, yearns to break out. White shirt, vest, student type jacket. Later in dark suit/trousers.
*CHIEF PAYMASTER OF THE SORBONNE - Middle-age. Epitome of bureaucrat, a lecher. Possible pince-nez, vest, time-piece in vest. French accent.
*PROFESSOR WILBOIS - Late middle-age. Physics professor at Sorbonne. Kindly, loveable. Somewhat absent minded—maybe a stain or two on clothing, missing button on vest, etc. From Alsace-Lorraine, possibly has slight French/German accent.
*LORD KELVIN - Middle—aged. Physics Professor, University of Edinburgh. A Scotsman (either Scottish or English accent.). Possibly reddish hair. Pompous, blustery, condescending. Possibly smokes pipe; possibly in clothing with Scotch plaid/argyle design touches. Elegant in appearance.
*Characters designed to be portrayed by one actor.