TheatreSquared’s “The Half-Life of Marie Curie” will extend nationwide streaming through Jan. 17, 2021 to meet the high demand of its national audience. Breaking streaming records for the theatre company, “The Half-Life of Marie Curie” is the first new production staged at the theatre since the onset of the public health crisis, and only the second production of the play since its acclaimed 2019 New York debut and features a newly revised script by Lauren Gunderson, according to a press release.
“With four productions streaming at once, it is wonderful to see this remarkable artistic work continue even as in-person gatherings are curtailed,” said T2 Executive Director Martin Miller, referring as well to the concurrent productions of Sarah Gancher’s Russian Troll Farm (NYTimes “Best Theatre of 2020”), the newly revised rock opera “Weightless” by the Kilbanes, and the company’s new adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” which opened Dec. 8 for the holiday season.
Lauren Gunderson is the nation’s top-produced contemporary playwright and the author of TheatreSquared’s 2018 production of “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley”—a record-setting favorite that year. “The Half-Life of Marie Curie” revels in the power of female friendship between two fearless scientists at the heights and depths of their careers and lives. In 1911, Marie Curie (played by Rebecca Harris) won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her discovery of the elements radium and polonium. By 1912, she was the object of ruthless gossip over an alleged affair with a married Frenchman, all but erasing her achievements from public memory. Weakened and demoralized by an unrelenting and unforgiving press, Marie joins her friend and colleague, Hertha Ayrton (played by Leontyne Mbele-Mbong), an electromechanical engineer and suffragist, to recover from the scandal at Hertha’s seaside retreat on the British coast.
On-demand streaming is available for an additional three weeks for any date through Jan. 17 at $20 per ticket. For tickets, call (479) 777-7777 or visit theatre2.org.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
Cast and Creative Team
The Half-Life of Marie Curie is helmed by Dawn Monique Williams, making her TheatreSquared debut with this project. She is the associate artistic director at Aurora Theatre Company in Berkeley, Calif. Her recent directing credits include Bull in a China Shop (Aurora Theatre Company, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts); Earthrise (Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts); The Merry Wives of Windsor (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Moon Man Walk, Tijean and His Brothers, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (American Conservatory Theatre, MFA program); Letters To Kamala (American Stage); The Secretaries (Profile Theatre); Romeo & Juliet (Chautauqua Theatre); August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson (Le Petit and UNCO); Lynn Nottage’s By the Way, Meet Stark (Douglas Morrisson and UNCO); and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Town Hall). She is currently directing an audio version of Lynn Nottage’s Las Meninas for Profile Theatre. Her awards include a Princess Grace Theatre Fellowship, a TCG Leadership U Residency Grant, and a Drama League Directing Fellowship. She holds an M.A. in dramatic literature and an M.F.A. in directing. She is a proud member of SDC.
The play features Rebecca Harris (Bad Dates, Mauritius, Good People) returning to TheatreSquared to play Marie Curie, and Leontyne Mbele-Mbong, who plays Hertha Ayrton in her T2 debut.
Additional members of the creative team for The Half-Life of Marie Curie include Ashleigh Burns (Scenic Design), Ruby Kemph (Costume Design), Jason Lynch (Lighting Design), Michael Prieto ( Sound Design), Christopher Smith (Camera Director), and Kris Washington (Film Editor).
The Half-Life of Marie Curie was captured live at TheatreSquared and offered as an on-demand, streamed performance. Patrons can reserve a 24-hour on-demand window for any date through Jan. 17, with access beginning at noon each day and continuing through noon the following day.
TheatreSquared’s signature offering of bold new plays in an intimate setting has driven its growth to become the state’s largest theatre, offering more than 300 performances annually in two intimate spaces and online. The playwright-led company is one of mid-America’s leading laboratories for new work, having launched more than 60 new plays. Notable collaborators have included Bryna Turner, Anne García-Romero, Pulitzer Prize finalist Lisa D’Amour, Qui Nguyen, Mona Mansour, Tony Award nominee Lee Blessing, Amy Evans, and many others. TheatreSquared’s remarkable expansion—with a twentyfold increase in audience in just the past decade—parallels the emergence of its home region in the northwest corner of Arkansas as a booming population center and destination for American art. Offering far-reaching access and education programs and an open-all-day gathering space, the Commons Bar/Café, TheatreSquared remains rooted in its founding vision, that “theatre—done well and with passion—can transform lives and communities.”
Major funding for the TheatreSquared Season 15 is provided by The Walton Family Foundation, Inc.; the Walmart Foundation; and by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and the National Endowment for the Arts.