THE RADIANT to Debut at the Theater at the 14th Street Y, 2/21-3/4
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by BWW News Desk
Marie Curie, the only person, male or female, to win a Nobel Prize in two different scientific fields, a woman who discovered two elements, polonium and radium, and a woman whose personal life was rocked by tragedy and scandal, is the subject of Shirley Lauro's New York premiere drama, The Radiant, beginning previews Thursday, February 21, at 8:00pm for an opening Saturday, February 23, at 8:00pm at the Theater at the 14th Street Y, 344 East 14th Street.
Based on the tempestuous life of Madame Marie Curie, one of the most important scientists of the 20th Century, The Radiant is directed by Melanie Moyer Williams and features Diana LaMar as Marie Curie and Rachel Berger, AJ Cedeno and Timothy Doyle.
The Radiant is set in turn of the 19th Century France where Madame Curie, widowed with two young children, becomes involved with her young married assistant. The scandal rocked Paris, nearly ruining her extraordinary career and her very life. And yet, at the same time her personal life unravels, she isolates radium, earns her second Nobel Prize, revolutionizes science and ushers in both The Atomic Age and the first cure for cancer.
Ms. Lauro's The Radiant is a 2008 Sloan Science Foundation Commissioned play and has received a 2011 Sloan Production Grant and the 2011 TCG/Edgerton Play Award as "one of 40 best new American plays to watch."
Shirley Lauro's The Radiant evolved from readings and staged readings from 2008 onward at Ensemble Studio Theater, funded by a 2008 Sloan/EST Commission. The play was presented in a 2010 workshop both at EST and at The Actors Studio and enjoyed a 2011 world premiere at New Theatre, Coral Gables, Florida. Ms Lauro's All Through The Night, premiered in New York at Red Fern Theatre in 2010, with a revival production at Infinity Theatre in 2011, and received a Joseph Jefferson nomination as "Best New Chicago Play" in its Windy City world premiere. Among her better-known plays, A Piece of My Heart had its New York premiere at Manhattan Theater Club after a world premiere at Actors Theatre of Louisville. A Piece of My Heart has enjoyed over 2,500 productions around the world, receiving The Barbara Deming Award for Women Playwrights. The Kittriedge Foundation Award, The Susan Blackburn Prize (finalist). It is listed 43rd among Goodreads' "Best 150 Plays by American Authors", followed by O'Neil's Emperor Jones, Albee's A Delicate Balance, and Williams' Sweet Bird Of Youth among others. Ms. Lauro's Open Admissions received a Tony nomination, two Drama Desk nominations, a Theater World Award, and was named by The New York Times as one of "10 Best Plays of the Year." Ms. Lauro's TV adaptation starred Estelle Parsons and Jane Alexander. Ms. Lauro was co-editor of the 2009 anthology, Front Lines: Political Plays by American Women, which was honored in 2009 by the New York Coalition of Professional Women in the Arts and Media. Her novel, The Edge, was a Literary Guild Choice. For more information, visit www.shirleylauro.com.
Director Melanie Moyer Williams is also Founder and Executive Artistic Director of the Red Fern Theatre Company. She worked with Shirley Lauro on a reading of The Radiant at the Actors' Studio and Ensemble Studio Theatre. Her credits for Red Fern include the New York Premiere of Shirley Lauro's All Through Night, the world premieres of We In Silence Hear A Whisper by Jon Kern and A Shot Away: Personal Accounts of Military Trauma by Donna Fiumano-Farley.
Diana LaMar's New York stage credits include Leonard Foglia's Broadway production of Wait Until Dark, The Skin Game at Mint Theater Company, and Her Majesty The Queen at HERE. She is a member of New York's Ensemble Studio Theatre and is an alumnus of The Acting Company. AJ Cedeno appeared in Smash on NBC, One Life to Live on ABC, and March Madness at the Abingdon Theatre. Timothy Doyle has been on the Broadway and Off-Broadway stage as well as a host of regional theaters around the country. He appeared most recently on Broadway in Turgenev's Fortune's Fool (an award winning production directed by Arthur Penn) and in Oscar Wilde's Salome (with Al Pacino, Marisa Tomei and directed by Estelle Parsons); memorable Off-Broadway appearances include The Beard Of Avon at the New York Theater Workshop, Oedipus The King at the Daryl Roth Theater and the Actor's Studio, the original creating company of Martha Clarke's Vienna: Lusthaus, and Love's Labours Lost. Rachel Berger has performed in Hamlet, The Mistakes Madeline Made, and Architecture, the last at the Punch Theatre.
The Red Fern Theatre Company, founded by Emilie E. Miller and Melanie Moyer Williams in March 2006, strives to provoke social awareness and change through theatrical productions and outreach. Each play produced by the Red Fern Theatre Company addresses social issues that range in scope from local to global, and each production is paired with a philanthropy whose work relates to the social themes of the play. A portion of the proceeds from each play produced is donated to the designated philanthropy. The Red Fern Theatre also provides its audiences with information on the philanthropy both by introducing their mission at each performance and including information about them in the play's program. By associating each production with a philanthropic organization, the Red Fern Theatre is able to respond directly to the people actually affected by the issues addressed in the play.
For The Radiant, a portion of the box office proceeds will be shared with the Association for Women in Science. In 1971, at the annual Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology meeting, flyers were posted inviting women scientists to a champagne mixer and meeting to encourage the exchange of ideas and solutions to overcoming job discrimination, lower pay, and professional isolation. Those 27 women who took the initiative to make science a better place for women founded the Association for Women in Science, today's premiere leadership organization advocating the interests of women in science and technology. For nearly 40 years, the Association for Women in Science has fought for equity and career advancement for women - from the bench to the board room. The mission of the New York Metropolitan chapter is to empower women to enter, remain, and advance in science careers both inside and outside academia. The Association for Women in Science provides professional development training and a supportive community with opportunities for networking and mentoring.
The Radiant performs Thursday through Saturday evenings at 8:00pm, Sundays at 3:00pm. There is one additional performance Monday March 4, at 7:00pm. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased at www.web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/920888 or 866-811-4111.