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Peter Parnell


The late, great physicist Richard Feynman is the subject of Peter Parnell’s nearly one-man show, QED, a recent Broadway triumph for Alan Alda in the role of Feynman. Set in Feynman’s office on the weekend in which he discovers he has terminal cancer, this play is a tour-de-force that captures his unique and puckish genius. As we read about his work on the Manhattan Project, his reconstruction of the space shuttle Challenger disaster, and his Nobel Prize-winning quantum electrodynamics theory, as well as the intimate details of Feynman’s personal life, we grow to love the man behind the science. And we read in fascination as he puzzles over the problem of his own death to a powerful conclusion. With a thoughtful foreword from Alda, this is a moving play that is must for science and theatre fans everywhere.

Applause Theatre & Cinema Books


Peter Parnell

Peter Parnell, born in 1953, is an American Broadway and Off-Broadway playwright, television writer, and children’s book author. Parnell is also Vice-President of the Dramatists Guild of America, the professional association of playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists.


His most recent play, “Dada Woof Papa Hot”, was commissioned and premiered by Lincoln Center Theater Company. His play “Trumpery” (available on DCPAS) premiered at the Atlantic Theater Company. Parnell’s play “QED” (also available on DCPAS), starring Alan Alda as physicist Richard Feynman, premiered at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and was presented on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre (Lincoln Center Theater Company). His two-part stage adaptation of John Irving’s “The Cider House Rules” was produced by Seattle Rep, the Mark Taper Forum, and the Atlantic Theater Company, and won the American Theatre Critics Association Award. Parnell wrote the new book for the Broadway revival of Lerner and Lane’s “On A Clear Day You Can See Forever”, starring Harry Connick Jr. and Jessie Mueller. His other plays were first produced by the Public Theater and at Playwrights Horizons in New York.


For television, Parnell was a co-producer for “The West Wing” (two Emmy citations), and a producer or supervising producer for a number of other shows, most recently “The Last Tycoon” for Amazon. He is the co-author, with Justin Richardson, of the award-winning “And Tango Makes Three”, which was an American Library Association Notable Book, a Henry Bergh Award winner, and has been on the ALA’S annual Top Ten List of Most Banned (Challenged) Books for many of the years since its initial publication in 2005. Parnell is a member of the Dramatists Guild, and one of its former Vice Presidents.

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