by Sandi Durell


Lauren Gunderson, America’s most-produced living playwright, has written The Half-Life of Marie Curie, a commissioned piece by Audible, Inc. The press was invited to interview its cast Kate Mulgrew (Orange is the New Black, Equus) in the role of Hertha Ayrton, and Francesca Faridany (The Curious Incident of the Dog . . .) in the role of Marie Curie, together with Director Gaye Taylor Upchurch.

Marie Curie – physicist/chemist, a noble prize winner in science, for her work on radioactivity . . . Hertha Ayrton – engineer/mathematician/physicist/inventor are brought to life through Gunderson’s writing – their remarkable friendship comes to alive in an honest story during a particular time period that highlights Marie Curie’s secret affair threatening her second Nobel Prize. Curie leaves France to stay with Ayrton at her home on the British seaside as they confront the scandal that could end Curie’s career and alter her life.

This is a timely celebration of two brilliant women whose history has been overlooked too long. The creative team includes Rachel Hauck (scenic design), Sarah Laux (costume design), Amith Chandrashaker (lighting design and Darron L. West (sound design.

Written expressly for Audible through its Emerging Playwrights Fund, the play will be available to Audible listeners when The Half-Life of Marie Curie presents at the Minetta Lane, is recorded live and available to its listeners. Previews begin November 12 and the play opens November 19.