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Legacy of Light

“What is the science of love?”

Two women scientists, living hundreds of years apart, explore the meaning of love, motherhood, family, art and science in this contemporary comedy. Legacy of Light juxtaposes the story of Émilie du Châtelet, a mathematician, scientist, and lover of the great 18th-century philosopher Voltaire, who became unexpectedly pregnant at 42, and that of a 21st-century physicist desperately trying to conceive a child.

“This is a work with its heart in the right place, one in which the comic machinations emanate from a source of bona fide light.”

– Peter Marks, Washington Post

“Zacarías has written this entertaining play with a shrewd eye for the economies and interests of today’s theater. It is a flight of fancy with a relevant component, containing expansive roles that will be popular with performers. Women, especially, will admire the strength, intellectual depth and human qualities of the play’s female characters.”


Legacy of Light is an intellectual joyride from start to finish that confronts a universal question: How do women balance a passionate yearning for science with maternal instinct?”

– Rosalind Lucy, DC Theater Scene

“If Karen Zacarías’ new play Legacy of Light is any indication of where play writing is headed then pop the champagne, we have a lot to celebrate.”

– Stark Insider

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Video of world Premiere at Arena Stage

Video of San Jose Rep production

Video of Lyric Stage, Boston, MA

Cast & Crew

Winner of a Steinberg Citation for Best New Play
3 women  //  3 men

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Selected production history:
Arena Stage (2009 World Premiere), Cleveland Playhouse, San Jose Repertory Theater, People’s Light and Theater Company, Lyric Stage Company, Dennison University, Mad Cow Theater

Click here to download a brief excerpt from Legacy of Light