Radiance: The Passion of Marie Curie

by  Alan Alda

Full Length Play, Drama  /  5m, 3f

"Juicy, gaslit melodrama [...] illuminates the challenges that Marie Curie faced in pursuing a career in the sciences at a time when it was virtually unheard of for women to take prominent roles in academic or public life." – The New York Times

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Radiance: The Passion of Marie Curie

by  Alan Alda

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    5m, 3f
  • Duration

    Duration

    90 minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Period
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

With backbreaking work in a ramshackle lab in Paris, Marie Curie and her husband, Pierre, achieve a revolutionary understanding of radiation and share a Nobel Prize. When her beloved Pierre dies in an accident, Marie is plunged into depression. Paul Langevin, fleeing an unhappy marriage, gives her the strength to return to her work. But the scandal over their affair threatens to end her career – just when she might become the first person ever to receive a second Nobel Prize.
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Accolades

  • Alan Alda – Winner! John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatre

Reviews

REVIEWS:

"Juicy, gaslit melodrama [...] illuminates the challenges that Marie Curie faced in pursuing a career in the sciences at a time when it was virtually unheard of for women to take prominent roles in academic or public life." – The New York Times

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by Courtney Kochuba
March 9, 2015

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1910s / WWI
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting: The play is set in and around Paris between 1897 and 1911. The actors in the company are seated on a bare stage, taking in the action of the play. When their turn comes to play a scene, they rise, meet downstage and play it. Images suggesting various locations are projected on the upstage wall. The only furniture is a set of straight-backed chairs and occasionally a bed and a small table, all brought into play by the actors.
  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

5m, 3f

MARIE CURIE - Early 40s; slight Polish accent.
PAUL LANGEVIN - A little younger than Marie.
PIERRE CURIE - A little older than Marie.
JEANNE LANGEVIN - 30s.
ÉMILE BOREL - 40s; a mathematician.
MARGUERITE BOREL - 20s; a novelist.
CAN BE PLAYED BY THE SAME ACTOR: TERBOUGIE - 50s; a journalist; can be played by the same actor who plays TÖRNEBLADH.
TÖRNEBLADH - 50s; a scientist; Swedish accent; can be played by the same actor who plays TERBOUGIE.

OTHER CHARACTERS, PLAYED BY MEMBERS OF THE COMPANY:
SECONDS AT A DUEL
STUDENTS

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Cast Attributes

  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

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Authors

Alan Alda

Alan Alda has written five feature films (including The Four Seasons and The Seduction of Joe Tynan), two best selling books, and 19 episodes of the highly acclaimed television series M*A*S*H, one of which was awarded an EMMY for writing. The final episode, which he co-wrote, was watched by over 100 million people the ...

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2011 Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles, California.

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