Photograph 51


Writers: Anna Ziegler


Show Information

Text And Format
Number of Acts
First Produced
Drama, Historical/Biographical
Time & Place
1951-53, various labs and offices in england
Cast Size
Ideal for
College/University, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes adult, young adult characters


It’s the age of scientific discovery in the 1950’s, and researchers are scrambling to be the first to unlock the mysteries of DNA. Amongst these scientists is Rosalind Franklin, an underappreciated genius working as the sole woman in her field of study. When one of her photographs, Photograph 51, shows the structural outline of DNA for the first time, her competitors Watson and Crick are rapt with attention. Their ambition to become the first to create a working model of DNA, coupled with Rosalind’s stubbornness, leads them to gain notoriety as the first to complete and discover the DNA model. Based on a true story, Photograph 51 is a searing character study set amidst a plot involving a historical scientific race.

Lead Characters

Photograph 51 guide sections