janina

About the Story

MOST AFFECTIONATE DAUGHTER is about Virginia, the elder, illegitimate daughter of the famed 17th century scientist Galileo. At the age of 13, she and her 11 year old sister were placed in a convent by Galileo, to keep them safe. Two years later, Virginia took the vows of St. Clare and became Suor Maria Celeste.

In the play, Maria Celeste talks about her position in the convent (she was highly accomplished and esteemed) and offers her perspective on Galileo’s struggle to remain a devout Catholic while stretching the frontiers of science. Since she was confidant, caretaker and intellectual equal to her father, her tale goes beyond a recounting of her father’s story and tries to put it into historical context. A blend of fact, fiction and even quantum physics, Most Affectionate Daughter draws on surviving letters from Maria Celeste to her father to make the case that religion and science aren’t such strange bedfellows after all.