Today the Columbus Civic Theater debuts its production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds." Film buffs may recognize the title; the play was reworked for the big screen in 1972.

Today the Columbus Civic Theater debuts its production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds." Film buffs may recognize the title; the play was reworked for the big screen in 1972.

The story follows the Hunsdorfer family: mother Beatrice and her daughters, Ruth and Tillie. Beatrice is abusive. Ruth reacts by bending to her mother's every irrational whim, often at the expense of Tillie. Tillie reacts with a quiet, hopeful defiance.

The title refers to Tillie's science fair experiment. She tests marigolds' ability to grow despite radioactivity exposure. Beatrice tries everything to ruin her project, and the audience waits to see how Tillie will grow despite exposure to toxicity of a different kind.

Keep in mind that this drama/comedy was written in 1964, before awareness campaigns about parental abuse.