Lauren Gunderson in The Scientist (via Sean Carroll at Cosmic Variance):
My career as a science playwright started when I asked my undergraduate physics professor to let me write a play instead of a term paper. Luckily he agreed, and the result was a time-twisting play called Background, based on cosmologist Ralph Alpher. Unexpectedly, the play not only satisfied my physics professor, it went on to receive awards and inspire productions across the country.
Several years later, it now seems that stages across the world have fallen in love with science. It’s an age-old flirtation, for sure. From the Greeks to Marlowe to now, scientists (and alchemists) have held a fascination for playwrights and audiences. More recently, in our tech-savvy, genetically altered, atomic-powered climate, plays containing science of any description can head straight for the spotlight, and hits like Tom Stoppard’s time-bending chaos theory play Arcadia and Michael Frayn’s Heisenberg-Bohr intellectual smash Copenhagen have delighted audiences for the past two decades.