A highlight of the festival will be a workshop production of Anna Ziegler's Photograph 51 (7pm, January 15), which recounts the controversy of how the X-ray diffraction images created by biophysicist Rosalind Franklin helped to lead to the development of the DNA molecule in 1953. The reading, to be directed by Lynne Meadow, will star Elizabeth Marvel, Liam Craig, Michael Esper, Jeremy Shamos, Lucas Near-Verbrugghe, and Alessandro Nivola.
Other workshop productions include Emily Levine's Five Steps to Metaphysical Fitness: They Actually Work (7pm, January 19 and 20); Ann Marie Healy's Leave the Light On (7pm, January 22), about the renowned evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers, and Tommy Smith's Beautiful Night, starring David Strathairn as Soviet inventor Leon Theremin (7pm, January 23).
The festival also includes readings of Jason Grote's Darwin's Challenge (7pm, January 16), and Matt Schatz's Posthumusical (7pm, January 29), along with Cabaret Scientifique (9pm, January 23).For reservations and information, call 212-247-4892 ext. 105 or visit www. ensemblestudiotheatre.org.