CORVALLIS, Ore. - The play "Photograph 51" will have a live reading at Oregon State University's Valley Library at 7 p.m., Nov. 2.

The play, written by Anna Ziegler, is about the famous photo taken by scientist Rosalind Franklin that led to James Watson and Francis Crick's discovery that the DNA molecule exists in the form of a double helix, for which Watson and Crick shared a Nobel Prize in 1962.

The Valley Library has the only known original print of Franklin's photograph 51. The reading of the play will be held in the library's Special Collections and Archives Research Center Reading Room on the fifth floor. This event is free and open to the public.

In this production of the play, all the men in the play will be portrayed by women and the sole female role of Rosalind Franklin will be read by a man. Charlotte Headrick, emeritus in Theatre Arts at OSU, is coordinating the reading of the play.

"In 2012, I was fortunate to be in a reading with Dr. Carl Djerassi here at OSU," Headrick said. "Dr. Djerassi was both a scientist, one of the developers of the birth control pill, and a dramatist. He told me about a course he taught which was on drama and science. He raved about an excellent play called 'Photograph 51.'"

"Photograph 51" is the first of a series of plays by women dramatists about women and science that will be presented as readings throughout the 2016-17 academic year. The series is supported by a grant from OSU's Division of Student Affairs.

The OSU Libraries enhance and support the university's instructional and research programs with traditional and innovative services and collections. More info is at

Click photos to see a full-size version. Right click and save image to download.


Trischa Goodnow, 541-737-4443,