Audible Announces THE HALF-LIFE OF MARIE CURIE, a World Premiere Production by Lauren Gunderson starring Kate Mulgrew and Francesca Faridany
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 10:37 am EDT 10/07/19

Audible Announces a World Premiere Production

from America’s Most-Produced Living Playwright

Lauren Gunderson

Commissioned for Audible


Starring Kate Mulgrew and Francesca Faridany

Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch

Previews begin Tuesday, November 12
Opening Tuesday, November 19

at the Minetta Lane Theatre

Single Tickets On Sale Today

Audible Inc., the world’s largest seller and producer of downloadable audiobooks and other spoken-word entertainment, is pleased to announce the world premiere of The Half-Life of Marie Curie, an Audible-commissioned work from America’s most-produced living playwright Lauren Gunderson, directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch, and starring Obie Award winner Kate Mulgrew (“Orange is the New Black,” Equus) and Francesca Faridany (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time).

Previews will begin Tuesday, November 12 ahead of a Tuesday, November 19 opening night at the Minetta Lane Theatre (18 Minetta Lane, between MacDougal & 6th Avenue – one block south of W. 3rd Street), Audible’s creative home for live performances in New York.

The Half-Life of Marie Curie was commissioned for Audible’s Emerging Playwright program, a dedicated $5M fund that enables the creation of original plays driven by language and voice, keeping with Audible’s core commitment to elevating listening experiences through powerful performances and extraordinary storytelling. Twenty-five commissions have already been announced, with new playwrights identified on an annual basis.

Science made them remarkable. Friendship made them resilient. Obie Award winner Kate Mulgrew and Francesca Faridany star in The Half-Life of Marie Curie, a compelling new play about renowned scientist Marie Curie and radical engineer Hertha Ayrton—and the friendship that strengthened their resolve to pursue their ambitions.

With lyricism and wit, playwright Lauren Gunderson has crafted an honest, unexpected story that follows Marie Curie during the summer of 1912 when news of her secret affair threatens to overshadow her second Nobel Prize win. Heartbroken, Curie leaves France to stay with Ayrton at her home on the British seaside and together they confront the scandal that could end Curie’s career—and drastically alter her life.

Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch, THE HALF-LIFE OF MARIE CURIE is a timely celebration of two brilliant women who have been overlooked by history for too long. Written expressly for Audible through its Emerging Playwrights Fund, the play will be available to Audible listeners globally in the coming months. Previous productions to come out of Audible’s Emerging Playwrights Fund include the best-selling and critically acclaimed releases of Madhuri Shekar’s Evil Eye, Chisa Hutchinson’s Proof of Love, Carla Graul’s Life Ever After, Nick Carr’s Wally Roux: Quantum Mechanic, and the forthcoming Leah Nanako Winkler’s Nevada Tan. Additional plays to come out of the Emerging Playwrights Fund will be both released and announced regularly.

The creative team includes Rachel Hauck (scenic design), Sarah Laux (costume design), Amith Chandrashaker (lighting design), and Darron L. West (sound design).

As with previous Audible productions at the Minetta Lane, Audible will record and release The Half-Life of Marie Curie as an audio play, extending its reach to millions of listeners around the world. Award-winning and critically acclaimed Audible performances of captivating stage productions starring Kate del Castillo, Billy Crudup, Judith Light, Aasif Mandvi, John Lithgow, Carey Mulligan, and others are available for preorder and download at www.audible.com/theater.

Additional events at the Minetta Lane Theatre will be announced soon, and Audible is also announcing live performances in other cities. Information about previous and future live programming produced by Audible is available here.

With a 30-day membership trial at Audible, new listeners can enjoy any one audiobook, including the audio performances of productions at the Minetta Lane Theatre, free.


Beginning today at noon, tickets are available to the general public at www.audible.com/minettalane, by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-982-2787, and in-person at the Minetta Lane Theatre box office (18 Minetta Lane, between MacDougal & 6th Avenue – one block south of W. 3rd Street). For current box office hours, please visit www.minettalanenyc.com.


· WEEK OF NOVEMBER 11: Tuesday-Saturday at 7PM; Matinees on Saturday at 2PM and Sunday at 3PM.

· WEEK OF NOVEMBER 18: Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7PM; Matinees on Saturday at 2PM and Sunday at 3PM. Dark Wednesday. The opening night performance on Tuesday is at 7PM.

· WEEK OF NOVEMBER 25 (THANKSGIVING): Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday at 7PM; Matinees on Saturday at 2PM and Sunday at 3PM. Dark Wednesday and Thursday.

· WEEKS OF DECEMBER 2, DECEMBER 9, AND DECEMBER 16: Tuesday-Saturday at 7PM; Matinees on Saturday at 2PM and Sunday at 3PM.


KATE MULGREW (Hertha Ayrton). New York: Somewhere Fun, Equus, Tea at Five (Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel nominations), The American Dream / The Sandbox, Iphigenia 2.0 (Obie Award), Our Leading Lady, Black Comedy, Titus Andronicus, Love, Loss, and What I Wore. London: The Exonerated. Regional: Antony and Cleopatra (Hartford Stage); The Royal Family (Ahmanson Theatre); Hedda Gabler, Measure for Measure, Aristocrats (Mark Taper Forum); What the Butler Saw (La Jolla Playhouse); The Film Society (LATC); Another Part of the Forest, Major Barbara, The Misanthrope (Seattle Rep). Film: Star Trek: Nemesis, Perception, Throw Momma From the Train, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, A Stranger Is Watching, The Response, The Best and the Brightest, Capt. Nuke and the Bomber Boys, Lovespell. TV: “Mr. Mercedes,” “Orange Is The New Black” (Emmy Nomination, Critics’ Choice Television Award), “Ryan's Hope,” “Mrs. Columbo” (Golden Globe nomination), “Cheers,” “The Black Donnellys,” “Mercy,” “St. Elsewhere,” “Kate Loves a Mystery,” “Warehouse 13,” “NTSF:SD:SUV::,” seven seasons as Captain Kathryn Janeway on “Star Trek: Voyager” (Golden Satellite Award, Saturn Award).

FRANCESCA FARIDANY (Marie Curie). Broadway: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Macbeth, Man and Boy, The 39 Steps, The Homecoming. Off-Broadway: This Day Forward, The NY Idea, Orlando, The Stronger. Regional highlights: Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Carmel Bach Festival), 2013 Helen Hayes Best Actress award for Strange Interlude (Shakespeare Theatre, DC), Julia in Albee’s A Delicate Balance (McCarter), title role in her own adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s Fräulein Else (Sundance Theater Lab, Berkeley Rep., La Jolla, Long Wharf, McCarter Theaters), Narrator in the Sitwell/Walton Façade (Caramoor Music Festival), Cassandra in Agamemnon opposite Tyne Daly (Getty Villa), As You Like It (Shakespeare Theatre), and the many productions with director Stephen Wadsworth, including: As You Like It, The Oresteia, Don Juan, Design for Living, An Ideal Husband, Changes of Heart, The Game of Love and Chance. FILM: False Positive (2020), Black Panther, Love After Love, The Audition, Closing Night, Conceiving Ada. MEDIA: Lady Macbeth and Titania for the Wordplay Shakespeare series. RADIO: Quartermain’s Terms (BBC). TV: “The Hunt,” “Bull,” “Manifest,” “FBI,” “Homeland,” “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders,” “Falling Water,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “E.R.,” “Deadline.” Francesca trained in London at The Drama Centre.

LAUREN GUNDERSON (Playwright) has been one of the most produced playwrights in America since 2015 topping the list twice including 2019/20. She is a two-time winner of the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award for I and You and The Book of Will, the winner of the Lanford Wilson Award and the Otis Guernsey New Voices Award, a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and John Gassner Award for Playwriting, and a recipient of the Mellon Foundation’s Residency with Marin Theatre Company. She studied Southern Literature and Drama at Emory University, and Dramatic Writing at NYU’s Tisch School where she was a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship. She co-authored the Miss Bennet plays with Margot Melcon. Her work is published at Playscripts (I and You; Exit Pursued By A Bear; The Taming and Toil And Trouble), Dramatists Play Service (The Revolutionists; The Book of Will; Silent Sky; Bauer, Natural Shocks, The Wickhams and Miss Bennet) and Samuel French (Emilie). Her picture book Dr Wonderful: Blast Off to the Moon is available from Two Lions/Amazon.

GAYE TAYLOR UPCHURCH (Director) has directed the world premieres and Off-Broadway productions of Anna Ziegler’s The Last Match (Roundabout and The Old Globe), Animal (with Rebecca Hall at Atlantic Theater; Studio Theatre, Helen Hayes nom for best direction), Bethany with America Ferrera (Women’s Project Theater and Old Globe); other Off-Broadway includes Simon Stephens’s Harper Regan and Bluebird with Simon Russell Beale (Atlantic Theater Company), Nancy Harris’s Our New Girl (Atlantic) and Lucy Thurber’s Stay (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater). Selected regional credits include Member of the Wedding (Williamstown), The Year of Magical Thinking with Kathleen Turner (Arena Stage), An Iliad (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival and West Point), As You Like It (Hudson Valley and Folger Theater in Washington, DC, Falstaff Award for Best Production and nomination for Best Director).


Audible, Inc., an Amazon.com, Inc. subsidiary (NASDAQ:AMZN), is the leading provider of premium digital spoken audio content, offering customers a new way to enhance and enrich their lives every day. Audible was created to unleash the emotive music in language and the habituating power and utility of verbal expression. Audible content includes more than 465,000 audio programs from leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers, and business information providers.

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