The Effect Of
Gamma Rays On
The Effect Of Gamma Rays On
By Paul Zindel
Directed by Loraine O'Donnell
Starring: Betsy Bittar, Arin Lee Dandes,
Anne Roaldi Boucher, Diane M. Cammerata, Zoe Diana
A revival of the Pulitzer Prize winning drama. A drama of mysterious, magical mutations within a dysfunctional family, THE EFFECT OF GAMMA RAYS… has taken its place among modern American classics.
Paul Zindel, who also won the 1964 Drama Critics’ Circle Award for MARIGOLDS, was a science teacher as well as a playwright, and his most famous play revolves around the attempts of a child, Tillie (Arin Lee Dandes), to win the prize at a school fair with an experiment involving marigolds exposed to radioactivity. Her optimism regarding the experiment provides the play not only with its title but its guiding, lyrical metaphor, as at the play’s center is the psychological abuse wielded by her mother, Beatrice (Betsy Bittar), a woman’s whose own bitterness at her lot makes her envious of others’ success.
Tillie’s sister, Ruth (Anne Roaldi Boucher), who suffers from symptoms consistent with epilepsy, completes a portrait of familial vulnerability and dysfunction that is nonetheless touching, gentle, and funny.
Diane M. Cammerata and Zoe Diana complete the cast. The sets and lighting are by Chris Cavanaugh, the sound by Tom Makar, and the costumes by Carolyn Walleshauser.