Lenora Champagne on Rosalind Franklin

“She contributed knowledge, truth and understanding.”

ROSALIND FRANKLIN captured the first-ever image of DNA, changing the course of history, but her groundbreaking revelation was not recognized in her lifetime. Her work was shared without her knowledge with Watson & Crick, who went on to win the Nobel Prize for discovering DNA's double helix structure - a shape revealed in Rosalind Franklin's magnificent X-ray photograph. The controversy of acknowledgement and acclaim swirls to this day, but ROSALIND may have the last laugh. The UK Mars Rover expedition has named their robot the ROSALIND FRANKLIN. She's going to Mars! LENORA CHAMPAGNE says HA! and tells us about this phenomenal scientist who overcame so many obstacles, the x-ray crystallographer, ROSALIND FRANKLIN.

Our storytellers share these astonishing women with us conversationally and unscripted; we fact-check afterwards and note any major discrepancies for accuracy.


Lenora Champagne

Lenora Champagne came to New York from Louisiana to be a painter, but found her voice in performance. She collaborates with sculptors and designers, composers and media artists on large-scale work, and also makes solo performances. An alumna of New Dramatists, she has been working as a performance and theatre artist since 1981. Her multiple awards include fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts in playwriting and solo performance, support and grant awards from the N.E.A. and NYSCA, and residencies at MacDowell, Yaddo, and Bogliasco. She lived in Japan on a Fulbright in 2012-13. Champagne’s publications include New World Plays, Out from Under: Texts by Women Performance Artists, The Singing: a cyberspace opera in Epic Plays II, TRACES/fades in Plays and Playwrights 2009, Dusk in PAJ and performance texts and essays in Performance Research, Women and Performance, PAJ, Chain and The Iowa Review. She has a Ph.D. from NYU and is Professor of Theatre and Performance at Purchase College, SUNY.

Featured Woman

Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Franklin was a British scientist best known for her contributions to the discovery of the molecular structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), a constituent of chromosomes that serves to encode genetic information. Franklin also contributed new insight on the structure of viruses, helping to lay the foundation for the field of structural virology.