Mom is a monster in this Pulitzer Prize winning play – a tyrant terrorizing her two daughters. Ruth, the oldest sister, tries to please Mom, although she, too, is given to crazy histrionics and seizures. Tillie, the younger sibling, is quietly fascinated by science (hence the play’s title), studying how plants subjected to radiation bombardment will – if they survive – still find a way to produce a flower. She is an introvert, perhaps a wallflower, yet is steadfast in defiance of her mother’s totalitarian rule.
Blended into this ersatz scenario are Tillie’s pet bunny, a gift from Mr. Goodman, her science teacher, Nanny – an elderly silent boarder, Beatrice’s deceased father, and Janice, Tillie’s rival in the school science fair whose project features a dead cat.
Comedians often refer to growing up in a dysfunctional or abusive family as “the gift that keeps on giving” as a source of great material for the stage, comedic or dramatic. Playwright Zindel is no exception to this axiom. His father ran off with a mistress when Paul was two, only to be seen again sporadically at Christmastime. His Mom, seeking to score in various get-rich-quick schemes, dragged Paul and his older sister from town to town, job to job, constantly threatening to commit suicide. Home, he wrote, “was a house of fear.” At age 15, daydreaming he was Batman, or wishing he would be abducted by aliens, Zindel contracted tuberculosis and was confined to an adult sanatorium for 18 months. It was there that he wrote his first play. Although educated and trained as a chemist, he wrote Marigolds at age 28 after taking a creative writing course from Edward Albee.
“The play is one of the lucky blooms – it survives and is beautiful” —NEW YORK TIMES
“Off-Broadway has been gifted with a great human drama” —NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
“A masterful drama – pain, poignancy, beauty and hope. The most compelling work since The Glass Menagerie” —VARIETY
“Strong, strange, beautiful flowers spring from such compost heaps” —TIME
1971 PULITZER PRIZE FOR DRAMA
1970 BEST AMERICAN PLAY, DRAMA CRITICS’ CIRCLE
1970 BEST NEW AMERICAN PLAY OBIE AWARD
Produced by special arrangement with Dramatist Play Service, Inc.
For up-to-date information about our season, casting, and auditions visit us on Facebook at: facebook.com/CarlsbadPlayreaders
Casting of Carlsbad Playreaders productions usually is done at the discretion of the director. Occasionally the director will hold limited, by-invitation-only auditions. Rarely does Playreaders hold open auditions for any one particular production. Information regarding future auditions will be posted on this website and our Facebook page.
All Carlsbad Playreaders events are held in the Schulman Auditorium at the Carlsbad City Library: 1775 Dove Lane, Carlsbad, CA 92011
From Interstate 5, exit La Costa Avenue, going east for approximately 1 mile. Turn left on El Camino Real and travel north for approximately 1.5 miles. At the light after the light at Alga/Aviara, turn left onto Dove Lane and into the library parking lot. Schulman Auditorium is on the left at the entrance of the library.
There is no set charge for attendance at Carlsbad Playreaders performances.
$5 General Admission
No reservations necessary