Riverland makes new discoveries with production, ‘Photograph 51’ – Austin Daily Herald

Riverland makes new discoveries with production, ‘Photograph 51’

Published 8:29 am Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Riverland Theatre continues its 2023-2024 season with the gripping new play “Photograph 51” by Anna Ziegler. 

In 1953 London, scientists are on the verge of discovering what they call the secret of life: the DNA double helix. Providing the key is driven young physicist Rosalind Franklin, one of the great female scientists of the 20th century. Physicists relive the chase, revealing the unsung achievements of this trail-blazing, fiercely independent woman.

 But if the double helix was the breakthrough of the 20th century, then what kept Franklin out of the history books? Called “beautiful, tender, and surprising,” “Photograph 51” looks at the woman who cracked DNA and asks what is sacrificed in the pursuit of science, love, and a place in history.

Photograph 51 tells an incredible true story that many people don’t know about Rosalind Franklin, whose work in understanding DNA has gone largely unrecognized,” said Lindsey Duoos Williams, Riverland theatre faculty. “Photograph 51 not only sheds light on the scientific achievements of a brilliant mind but also delves into the gender dynamics and challenges faced by women in the male-dominated scientific world of the 1950s. Though the play tells the story of a major scientific discovery, at its heart it is about human connection, collaboration, and creativity. This enthralling narrative serves as an exceptional platform for our student actors, allowing them to skillfully demonstrate a diverse range of talents throughout the play.” 

“Photograph 51” features Maggie Bremner (Don Caspar), Lucy Burns (Rosalind Franklin), Adrian Ojambo (Francis Crick), CJ Schultz (Maurice Wilkins), Caden Strampe (James Watson), and Aaron Zogg (Ray Gosling).

Susan V. Hansen directs and John Deyo is the technical director and set/lighting designer. Tehya Orr stage manages. CJ Schultz is the assistant lighting designer. Costume design is by Madlain Vander and Jannel Howard. 

“Photograph 51” will be performed at 7 p.m. on Feb. 28, 29, March 1 and 2 p.m. on March 3 in the Frank W. Bridges Theatre on Riverland’s Austin Campus.

Individual tickets to “Photograph 51” are $13 and are currently available online at accepting Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. On-campus in-person sales will be available in the theater lobby one hour prior to each performance. Riverland students with valid IDs receive two free tickets. Contact the box office at 507-433-0595 or by emailing

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