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The Radiant

The Radiant

Shirley Lauro


Set one hundred years ago in Paris, The Radiant centers on the true, tempestuous, and love-torn life of Madame Marie Curie. Widowed at thirty-nine, with two young children to raise and support, she becomes involved in a scandalous affair with her young married assistant, an affair which rocks Paris and nearly costs her her career – and her life. But, she survives this and the great bias against women scientists throughout Europe then and goes on to discover and isolate radium, earn two Nobel Prizes, and revolutionize the world of science forever, ushering in “The Atomic Age” and the first cure for cancer.

Samuel French, Inc.

Shirley Lauro

According to her own website ( “A Guggenheim Fellow, Shirley Lauro’s best-known work is “A Piece of my Heart”. With over 2,000 productions, it was named “among our top produced plays worldwide” for the 2nd consecutive year, including dramas and musicals”. (Nate Collins, President, Samuel French Play Publishers, 1/31/18). Debuting in New York at Manhattan Theatre Club, “A Piece of my Heart” has been seen throughout America and in such countries as South Africa, Germany, England, France, Israel, Scotland, and Turkey. There have been numerous university productions, among them Wellesley Rep Theatre which won The 2018 Moss Hart Award for Theatrical Excellence.


Her Tony-nominated play “Open Admissions” received two Drama Desk nominations, a Theatre World Award, The Dramatists Guild’s Hull-Warriner Award and was chosen for The New York Times list of “Ten Best Plays of the Year”. New York Magazine named it “a small masterpiece”. Ms. Lauro adapted the play for a CBS Special.


“The Radiant”, about Marie Curie, was commissioned by The Sloane Science Foundation and was honoured by TCG’s Edgerton Foundation as “a significant new play of the year”. With a world premiere in Miami and a New York premiere off-Broadway, “The Radiant” was subsequently produced in Chicago as a choice for The Genesis Project, honouring “significant women of history in plays written by women”. “The Radiant’s” run in West Hollywood, CA. was reviewed in Los Angeles as “a compassionate peak at a woman [Marie Curie] trying to make it in the 1900 world of men”.


“All Through the Night” enjoyed its World Premiere in Chicago, where it received a Jeff Play Award nomination, was developed at The Actors Studio, produced off-Broadway, in San Francisco, at The Edinburgh Festival, Saskatoon, Canada, and in a long-running production in Tel Aviv.


“Clarence Darrow’s Last Trial”, an honouree for The New American Play Prize, was premiered in Florida and was nominated for Florida’s Carbonell Award as “Best New Play of the Year”. “The Contest” received The National Foundation for Jewish Culture award. Her work also includes: “The Coal Diamond”(Best Short Play Anthology), “Nothing Immediate” (OOBA Festival” winner), “Railing it Uptown”, “Sunday Go to Meetin’ “, and a novel, “The Edge”, a Literary Guild Choice published in the United States and in Great Britain. Ms. Lauro co-edited “Front Lines: Political Plays by American Women”, which was an honouree of The Coalition of Professional Women in Arts and Media.


In addition to the Guggenheim, Shirley Lauro’s major fellowships include three from the National Endowment for the Arts and from the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her major affiliations are with The Dramatists Guild Foundation, where she serves on the Board of Advisors, the Ensemble Studio Theatre, the League of Professional Theatre Women/NY, PEN, Writer’s Guild East, and the Author’s Guild.


Lauro hails from Iowa and graduated with honours from Northwestern University in Theatre, where she studied acting with Alvina Krause. She has a Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in Theatre, and did post-graduate work at Columbia University, studying Dramatic Criticism with Harold Clurman. She studied with Saul Bellow and Elizabeth Bowen and worked in the playwright’s unit at the Actors Studio. Ms. Lauro became a published author with her novel, “The Edge”, in her 20′s, and moved to Manhattan, where she taught graduate playwriting at New York University, CUNY, and Yeshiva University. She has a daughter, Andrea Mezvinsky, who is an actress/writer in Los Angeles, California. Ms. Lauro lives in a rambling New York City apartment where she writes, overlooking Central Park.”


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