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Living history of Marie Curie at Gallo
Susan Marie Frontczak will portray Marie Curie. - photo by Photo Contributed

MODESTO — The Gallo Center for the Arts and Modesto Area Partners in Science (MAPS) is partnering to present “Manya: A Living History of Marie Curie” to serve as a fundraiser for Modesto Junior College’s Great Valley Museum Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. Susan Marie Frontczak will portray Marie Curie, the first winner of two Nobel Prizes. The show will transcend the theme of science and touch on issues of politics, feminism, and history.

 This one-woman drama exposes the struggles and triumphs of Madame Marie Curie (née Maria Skodowska) — an academically impassioned, vehemently private, fervently Polish scientist, mother, and teacher. From the political oppression of her childhood, to scientific emergence and fame to the tragedy that forced her into single motherhood as well as further world prominence, this is a life that challenges our assumptions about what one person can achieve and the responsibilities of science. 

 For 21 years Storysmith Susan Marie Frontczak has brought literature to life, created stories from thin air, and honed personal experience into tales worth telling again and again.  In dramatizing the life of Maria Skodowska, Frontczak pays homage to their shared Polish heritage. She, like Maria, enjoyed school, and promotes awareness that academic excellence can lead to outstanding achievement. Marie Curie’s perseverance in purifying a grain of radium from a ton of pitchblende, in part, inspired Frontczak to major in Engineering, where she worked for fourteen years before pursuing full time writing and acting. Frontczak has always viewed both science and art as valid outlets for creativity. She believes that Marie Curie’s inner complexity is not well known, and deserves to be. It is her aim to reveal the human behind the scientist, while placing Marie Curie’s life and accomplishments in a memorable historical context.

There will be an admission charged for the event through the Gallo Center.  People wishing to have 15% of the ticket price given to the Great Valley Museum should use the promo code MARIE2012 when purchasing tickets by telephone, online or in person (full price is paid by the patron/GVM receives 15%).  The Gallo Center Box Office is located at 1000 I Street in Modesto or tickets can be ordered online at