September 23-October 9, 2022
THE HALF-LIFE OF MARIE CURIE
by Lauren Gunderson
In 1911, Marie Curie 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 the married Frenchman Paul Langevin, all but erasing her achievements from public memory. Weakened and demoralized by the press lambasting her as a “foreign” Jewish temptress and a home-wrecking traitor, Marie agrees to join her friend and colleague Hertha Ayrton, an electromechanical engineer and suffragette. THE HALF-LIFE OF MARIE CURIE revels in the power of female friendship as it explores the relationship between these two brilliant women, both of whom are mothers, widows, and fearless champions of scientific inquiry.
SHOW SPONSOR: David LeCompte
Annie St John (Marie Curie) is thrilled to be returning to the SSR stage as Marie Curie! She was last seen here as the Adult Women in Spring Awakening. Annie has acted on stages and on screen from Los Angeles to Seattle, most recently at Edmonds Driftwood Players as Mrs Bennett, directed by Elizabeth Tanner! She was nominated for a Best Actress award by BroadwayWorld for her performance as Prospero in Fern Shakespeare Company’s The Tempest and won the Best Supporting Actress Award at The Kaleidoscope Theatre Festival (AACT) for Paul Lewis’s play Oblivion. She is also a local chef and caterer and can be found at anniesrealcooking.com. Thank you, thank you, thank you to the Squolf and to Elizabeth for allowing me the chance to inhabit this most amazing woman. And as always, my love to LAAAM and to my Fiancé, Asa.
Elizabeth Shipman (Hertha Ayrton) has had the pleasure of performing with The Rosier Players Vaudeville Tent Show, Hamlet Machine in Chicago, and in various Murder Mysteries across the country. Elizabeth landed in the PNW with her husband, a four year old, and 13 month old triplets many years ago. After a long hiatus from theater, she returned to the stage in Brighton Beach Memoirs, A Christmas Carol, and Junie B. Jones right here at SSR. Recently she has appeared in Silent Sky at Driftwood Players and Wild Women of Winedale at Phoenix Theatre. I thank Elizabeth Tanner and Annie St John for their kindness and encouragement and all my family for their patience with a creative, sometimes crazy, Wife/Mom (especially Selena who probably knows my lines better than I do.) I hope you enjoy meeting Hertha and Marie as much I did.
MEET THE PRODUCTION TEAM
Elizabeth Tanner (Director) Is honored and delighted to be directing this production of The Half Life of Marie Curie. This is her first time working with Second Story Repertory, thanks to Annie St John (who is always wonderful to work with). Thank you to Mark and Elizabeth Shipman for being so welcoming. Elizabeth graduated from Cornish College of the Arts with a BFA in Theater. Other directing credits include: Pride and Prejudice for Edmonds Driftwood Players, My Dear Miss Chancellor at Annex, Pretty Girls (co-wrote and produced), Psycho Therapy, J.D. Salinger is my God and more. Elizabeth has a wonderful community that has made such endeavors possible, thank you to her mom; Mary Tanner and her friend; Caitlin Gilman.
Elizabeth Shipman (Costume Design) Elizabeth has had the pleasure of creating costumes at the Phoenix Theater; The Foreigner, Wild Women of Winedale, and the upcoming Dashing Through the Snow. Story Book Theater; Pinocchio (where her twin sons took turns playing Pinocchio). Redmond High School; Anything Goes, Little Shop of Horrors, and Miscast Cabaret. I am pleased to have had the opportunity to create such a lovely show with such a talented group of artists.
Mark Chenovick (Set Design/Technical Director) has been designing, building, and painting sets since the mid-eighties. Having the fortune to begin his theatrical career under the tutelage of Don McLaughlin in his hometown of Helena Montana, Mark continued his training at the University of Washington where he was accepted into the Graduate Design Seminar his sophomore year. With subsequent degrees in Art History and Drama, Mark went on to serve as technical director/designer for multiple organizations including: Virginia Musical Theatre, Fort Peck Summer Theatre, the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Little Theater of the Rockies, and the Norfolk Governor’s School for the Arts. As Technical Director/Production Manager of the national tour of Anything Goes (starring Gloria Loring) Mark travelled around the United States and Canada realizing that there is no place quite as wonderful as the Pacific Northwest. Shortly after the turn of the millennium, and following a brief stint as a carpenter at The Studio Theatre in Washington D.C., he moved back to Seattle. Locally he has worked behind the scenes for the Village Theatre, Seattle Musical Theatre, Redwood Theatre, and, of course, SecondStory Repertory.
Mark Chenovick (Sound Design) I began my sound design journey splicing reel-to-reel tape together in the basement of the original Penthouse Theater on the University of Washington campus but it was my brief time in the MFA program at Utah State University, where I learned the joys of digital sound design, and subsequently, became hooked on sound design for life. Having provided composed and curated underscoring and soundscaping, original and sourced sound effects, and performance amplification services for multiple theaters across the US, I have felt the most at home at SSR. Special thanks to Squolfie, ‘lil Squolf, and my extended family. You are the music of my life. #bandistoohot #sorrynotsorry
Mark Chenovick (Projection/Light Design) has designed projections for over 100 shows in the last ten years. Prior to that he worked with CJS design, a website design and hosting company, developing custom websites for clients ranging from Draper Valley Farms to Seattle Film Group. He also co-created and ran the now defunct SeattleActor.com, a website focused on Seattle area theater, featuring audition listings, helpful articles, and show reviews. In addition to projections, Mark also designs all of the marketing materials you see at SSR including; posters, show graphics, and website. All my love to Jen. Enjoy the show!
THE HALF-LIFE OF MARIE CURIE is presented by special arrangement with Broadway Licensing, LLC, servicing the Dramatists Play Service collection. (www.dramatists.com)