Photograph 51 | Theater J

Photograph 51 | Theatre J

A funny and moving portrait of the unrequited life of Rosalind Franklin, one of the great female scientists of the 20th Century, and her fervid drive to map the contours of the DNA molecule. A chorus of physicists relives the chase,  revealing the unsung achievements of the trail-blazing, fiercely independent woman whose stunning discoveries included the beating of her own romantic heart.  This home-grown work was winner of the 2008 Stage International Script Competition for Best New Play About Science & Technology.





Rosalind Franklin: Elizabeth Rich

Maurice Wilkins: Clinton Brandhagen

James Watson: James Flanagan

Don Caspar: Tim Getman

Francis Crick: Michael Glenn

Ray Gosling: Alexander Strain


Photograph 51 | Steven McKnight | DC Theatre Scene

“Rich’s wonderful central performance is supported by a fine ensemble cast. Clinton Brandhagen capably handles a difficult job role as the officious and conflicted Wilkins.”

Theatre review: ‘Photograph 51’ at Theater J | Nelson Pressley | Washington Post

“Her superior, Maurice Wilkins, is smug and entitled, but he’s practically knocked woozy by Franklin’s constant lashings…The frictions are steadily entertaining, in part because Topol has cast the play extremely well: The acting is intelligent and light, and the play feels like it’s constantly on the move.

Clinton Brandhagen is particularly deft as Wilkins, finding an appealingly soft center in a role that might have come off as hopelessly priggish.”

Photography 51 | Trey Graham | Washington City Paper

“Daniella Topol’s warm and personable cast brings the supporting characters—an intensely disagreeable Watson, a bluff, worldly Crick, and Franklin’s emotionally constipated, professionally unsupportive colleague Maurice Wilkins among them—admirably to life.”

Theater J’s Photograph 51 | Two Hours Traffic

“Director Daniella Topol has assembled a tight ensemble that includes James Flanagan, who plays James Watson with a bouncing arrogance; Alexander Strain as the young and eager graduate assistance Ray Gosling; and Clinton Brandhagen, portraying the mousy Maurice Wilkins with sensitivity. Elizabeth Rich is spot on as Rosalind Franklin, intellectually intense, strong, but still very, very human.”