Cover art by Mike Yuen


Cassandra Medley
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Winner of the 2006 Audelco, August Wilson Playwriting Award


Race and science collide in Cassandra Medley’s trenchant drama. Claire is a melanin scientist. She believes people of color are genetically superior — physically, mentally, in every way. Her daughter Kalima, a molecular geneticist at Johns Hopkins, knows otherwise, but to discredit her mother would destroy the relationship that each woman values the most. Forced to choose between science and family, between her future and her family, Kalima must decide where her loyalties lie.

Production Info

Cast: 5 total (3 female, 2 male)
Full Length Drama (about 110 minutes)
Multiple Sets
Contemporary Costumes
Category: Tag:

Press Quotes

“The dramatically compelling argument spins off sparks about stem cell research, race and the Human Genome Project. But the gripping heart of Cassandra Medley’s RELATIVITY is a showdown between relatives in a battle of the umbilical cord … RELATIVITY is a full-fledged drama bristling with challenging ideas and emotional complexity. It’s a brave play. Not only has Medley set her drama, as one character puts it, ‘on the cut of the cutting edge’ of research, but she’s also grappling with the very touchy subject of reverse racism … The mother-daughter bond is so tight, and so beautifully detailed in the writing … In Medley’s RELATIVITY, passionate mass and intellectual energy equals pretty compelling drama.” —Robert Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle

“RELATIVITY … offers dandy fringe benefits to go along with the heady science: … two especially dazzling scenes … the play is so entertaining …” —Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times

About the Author


  • Cassandra Medley

    Cassandra Medley's most recently produced plays include: CELL, Ensemble Studio Theatre Marathon 2011, DAUGHTER, Ensemble Studio Theatre Marathon 2009, NOON DAY SUN, August, 2008, Diverse City Theatre Company — Theatre Row, New York City and RELATIVITY, a commission from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Ensemble Studio Theatre, 2004. RELATIVITY, produced by Kuntu Rep. of Pittsburg, Southern Rep. of New Orleans, 2007, the Ensemble Studio Theatre, May, 2006, the St. Louis Black Repertory Theatre – February, 2006, and the Magic Theatre in San Francisco in June, 2004. CELL is published in the anthology Outstanding One-Act Plays — 2012, Dramatists Play Service. DAUGHTER published by Broadway Play Publishing, 2012. RELATIVITY won the 2006 Audelco August Wilson Playwriting Award and was featured on Science Friday, National Public Radio, and published by Broadway Play Publishing. RELATIVITY was featured in online radio broadcast of the play, Los Angeles Repertory Theatre – February, 2008. NOON DAY SUN was nominated for the 2008 August Wilson Playwriting Award. NOON DAY SUN is published by Broadway Play Publishing, Marathon 2004-06. Ms. Medley has also the received the 2004 Going to the River Writers Life Achievement Award, 2002 Ensemble Studio Theatre 25th Anniversary Award for Theatre Excellence, the 2001 Theatrefest Regional Playwriting Award for Best Play, the 1995 New Professional Theatre Award, and the 1995 Marilyn Simpson Award. She was a 1989 finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award in Playwriting and won the 1990 National Endowment for the Arts Playwright Award. She was the 1986 recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Grant and a New York State Council on the Arts Grant for 1987. She teaches playwriting at Sarah Lawrence College, has taught at New York University, and has also served as guest artist at Columbia University, the University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop and Seattle University. Cassandra worked as a staff writer for ABC Television: One Life to Live – 1995 – 97. She is a playwright member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre, and New River Dramatists.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 10/1/2006
Pages 88
ISBN 9780881453195

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:

Originally produced by The Magic Theater, San Francisco

The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
Relativity is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC