Press Release: ​​​​​Photograph 51

Photograph 51 Puts Overlooked Science Pioneer in Focus at South Coast Repertory

COSTA MESA, Calif. (​​Feb. ​1​1, 2019)— It has been called the most important photograph ever taken—an image that led to a breakthrough in genetics research. The X-ray crystallographer who took it, Rosalind Franklin, is at the heart of Anna Ziegler’s Photograph 51, next up on South Coast Repertory’s Julianne Argyros Stage, directed by Kimberly Senior, March 3-24. Tickets are available at www.scr.org.

The story follows Franklin, a British science pioneer, whose groundbreaking role in the discovery of DNA’s double-helix structure in the 1950s is still often overlooked. Based on a true story, Photograph 51 offers an intriguing portrait of a complex, courageous woman who makes her way in a male-dominated field. As rival teams of researchers compete for a breakthrough, Franklin—focused and unbending—is locked in a race of her own.

“In looking at moments in history—and, in this case, at the work of Rosalind Franklin—we are able to shed light on our present moment,” said Senior. “Photograph 51 urges us to let these long-unacknowledged voices sing so that we may hear their echo as we raise up the next generation of scientists, professionals and leaders.”

Photograph 51 was produced in London’s West End and won Britain’s WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Play (for the production with Nicole Kidman, directed by Michael Grandage). The Telegraph called the play “a triumph.”

Ziegler’s works also have been produced at Roundabout Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, Williamstown Theater Festival, Geffen Playhouse, The Old Globe Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre and many others. Her play Actually won the Los Angeles Ovation Award for Playwriting for an Original Play; The Last Match was nominated for the Craig Noel Award for Outstanding New Play; A Delicate Ship was a New York Times Critic’s Pick; The Wanderers won the Blanche and Irving Laurie Theatre Visions Fund; and Boy was nominated for the New York Outer Critics Circle’s John Gassner Award for a New American Play. She holds commissions from Roundabout Theatre Company, Second Stage Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre and Geffen Playhouse. Oberon Books published a collection of her work, Anna Ziegler: Plays One.

The cast includes Giovanni Adams, George Ketsios, Anil Margsahayam, Riley Neldam, Josh Odsess-Rubin and Helen Sadler.

The creative team includes Cameron Anderson, set design; Elisa Benzoni, costume design; Jaymi Lee Smith, lighting design; Cricket Myers, sound design; and Joanne DeNaut, CSA, casting. The production manager is Holly Ahlborn and the stage manager is Alyssa Escalante.

The play has generous support from Honorary Producers Joan and Andy Fimiano, and Jean and Tim Weiss. The Corporate Honorary Associate Producer is BNY Mellon Wealth Management.

Tickets start at $23. Discounts are available for full-time students, patrons 25 years of age and under, fulltime educators, seniors and groups of 10 or more. For complete information, visit: www.scr.org.


Related Information for Photograph 51

Tickets: May be purchased online at www.scr.org, by phone at (714) 708-5555 or by visiting the box office at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa. Performances run March 3-24. Low-priced preview performances run March 3-7. Ticket prices start at $23.

Performance Dates, Times: 

  • Previews
    • Sunday, March 3, at 2 p.m.
    • Tuesday-Thursday, March 5-7, at 7:45 p.m.
      Note: Friday, March 8, is an invitation-only performance
  • Regular performances
    Special note: There are no Monday performances.
    • Evenings:
    • Tuesdays-Sundays, March 9-10; March 12-17; and March 19-23, at 7:45 p.m.
      • There is no evening performance on Sunday, March 24
    • Matinees:
    • Saturdays-Sundays, March 9-10; March 16-17; and March 23-24 at 2 p.m.
  • ASL-interpreted: Saturday, March 16, at 2 p.m.

Special Events:

  • Post-Show Discussions: Tuesday, March 12, and Wednesday, March 13. Discuss the play with Photograph 51 cast members during free post-show discussions led by South Coast Repertory’s literary team. Julianne Argyros Stage.
  • Inside the Season: Saturday, March 23, from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Led by members of SCR’s literary staff, this lively two-hour session features in-depth interviews with cast members and artists from SCR's production staff, offering insights into SCR’s production of Photograph 51. The morning includes a guided tour of the set. Julianne Argyros Stage. Tickets are $12 and may be purchased in advance or at the door.

Location: South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, at the Bristol Street/Avenue of the Arts exit off the San Diego (405) Freeway in the David Emmes/Martin Benson Theatre Center, part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Parking is available on Park Center Drive, off Anton Boulevard.

Current and Upcoming Productions: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and based on the book by Hugh Wheeler, through Feb.16, 2019; Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience by Mo Willems, with music by Deborah Wicks La Puma, through Feb. 17 (Theatre for Young Audiences); Poor Yella Rednecks by Qui Nguyen, March 30-April 27; Sheepdog by Kevin Artigue, April 14-May 5; Pacific Playwrights Festival, April 26-28; M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang, May 11-June 8; and The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, May 24-June 9 (Theatre for Young Audiences). Complete information is available at www.scr.org.


ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation’s largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers. One-quarter of SCR’s 525 productions have been world premieres. SCR-developed works have garnered two Pulitzer Prizes and eight Pulitzer nominations, several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, Calif., SCR is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio. www.scr.org