“The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds,” By Paul Zindel
Winner 1971 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Winner 1970 Obie Award, Best American Play, Winner 1970 New York Drama Critics Circle Award, Best American Play
Supporting herself and her two daughters by taking in a decrepit old boarder, acid-tongued Beatrice Hunsdorfer wreaks a petty vengeance on everyone around her. Her older daughter, Ruth, is a highly strung girl subject to convulsions, while her younger daughter, Tillie, plain and almost pathologically shy, demonstrates an intuitive gift for science. Encouraged by her teacher, Tillie conducts a botanical experiment, winning a prize at her high school. Proud but jealous, too filled with her own hurt to accept her daughter’s success, Beatrice can only maim when she needs to love and deride when she intends to praise. Yet, as Tillie’s experiment proves, something beautiful and full of promise can emerge from even the most barren, afflicted soil.
Join the Altarena Playreaders Facebook group for the Zoom link or email us at
We are a group of theater lovers who want to explore and get to know all the options out there for plays of all genres: new works, classics, experimental theater and more. NOTE: We will NOT be performing or reading these plays as a group via a Live Call, but rather we will choose the plays, then gather to discuss them once everyone has completed reading them.