The history of science is providing good fodder for new theater lately. In April 2011, the South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, California, will premiere Silent Sky, a play written by Lauren Gunderson. The story is about real-life female astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, “whose research in the early 1900s altered everything we knew about the universe,” according to the theater company’s newsletter.
In 2009, L.A. also hosted the premiere of another science history / biography play, Photograph 51. This drama is about Rosalind Franklin, the (female) scientist whose X-ray crystallography images of DNA enabled Watson & Crick to make their intuitive leap and figure out the molecule’s structure. Scientific American has some podcasts about the play here and NPR’s Science Friday radio program hosted a discussion when the play opened in New York in 2010.