Reading Stage presents PHOTOGRAPH 51

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by Anna Ziegler

One Night Only: Monday, February 8, 7 pm on Zoom

Tickets: Free (suggested donation $10)


IMPORTANT: If you have already RSVP’d, you should have received a confirmation email from, with the subject line: “here is your login information for CCCT’s Reading Stage production of PHOTOGRAPH 51 on February 8 at 7pm”. If you haven’t received a confirmation email, please check your spam or junk folder. The Zoom link is included in the confirmation email.


Featuring Kelly Rinehart (Rosalind Franklin), Fred Pitts (Maurice Wilkins), Aaron Royce Jones (Don Casper), Lucas Kiehn-Thilman (James Watson), Russell Nauman (Ray Gosling), and Ben Knoll (Francis Crick).


London, 1953. Scientists are on the verge of discovering what they call the secret of life: the DNA double helix. Providing the key is driven young physicist Rosalind Franklin. But if the double helix was the breakthrough of the 20th century, then what kept Franklin out of the history books? A play about ambition, isolation, and the competition for greatness.


“What playwright Anna Ziegler has achieved in her intriguing portrait of the British scientist Rosalind Franklin is a remarkable balance of scientific subject matter and theatrical storytelling…in a play that glows with intelligence and humanity…” —Backstage.

“In Ziegler’s taut yet graceful script…Franklin’s passion for science…shines through, as does the agility of her inquiring mind…PHOTOGRAPH 51 neatly coils a scientific detective story around a rumination on how sexism, personality and morality can impact collaboration and creativity…It honors Franklin by painting her as a complete person, with flaws and sterling attributes, and by evoking the thrills and risks of scientific pursuit itself.” —The Seattle Times.

“It’s a perfect science-history play, with all the hurtling momentum of a race towards discovery, all the step-by-step deductions, competition and backhanded betrayals.” —Variety.

“My only complaint about Anna Ziegler’s intriguing, informative 95-minute play is that it is not longer… What the play does is correct a historical injustice and ask, by implication, whether women are still sidelined in the scientific world…It proves that science is inherently dramatic and that the neglect of Rosalind Franklin’s contribution to uncovering the secret of life remains a blot on our history.” —The Guardian (US).

“Were [PHOTOGRAPH 51] simply to assert that Franklin was robbed of the prestige that was rightly hers…it would serve a valid but rather worthy purpose. It’s much more fascinating than that, though. It deals with timely feminist issues but also the key fundamentals of how we relate to each other, who we are, our tragic flaws…Can one image tell us almost everything? Yes, it can. A triumph.” —The Telegraph (UK).

“A beautiful, tender, and surprising play.” —The Stage (UK).



Anna Ziegler is an award-winning playwright whose widely produced play PHOTOGRAPH 51 won London’s 2016 WhatsOnStage award for Best New Play. It was selected as a “Best of the Year” play by The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post (twice), and The Telegraph.

In 2017, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Manhattan Theatre Club, and The Geffen Playhouse premiered her play ACTUALLY (winner of the Ovation Award in Los Angeles for Playwriting of an Original Play), and The Roundabout Theatre Company produced THE LAST MATCH. Her play THE WANDERERS, upcoming at The Roundabout Theatre Company, won the 2018 San Diego Critic’s Circle Award for Outstanding New Play, and BOY was nominated for the 2016 John Gassner Award by the Outer Critics Circle.

Her work has been produced on the West End (PHOTOGRAPH 51, starring Nicole Kidman, winner of the Evening Standard Award for Best Actress) and at The Old Globe, Seattle Rep, South Coast Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse, The Ensemble Studio Theatre, Theater J, The Magic Theatre and many more, and developed at the Sundance Theatre Lab, The O’Neill Playwrights Conference, NY Stage & Film, Soho Rep and the Cape Cod Theatre Project, amongst others.

She holds commissions from The Roundabout, Manhattan Theatre Club, The Geffen Playhouse, Second Stage Theater, and Grove/Whitman Productions. She is developing television and movie projects at Apple, HBO Max, and Scott Free Productions.

Bloomsbury/Oberon Books has published a collection of her work entitled Anna Ziegler: Plays One.



This post was written by CCCT