Claire Willett

writing books and plays in portland, oregon

The official website of Portland writer Claire Willett.

Dear Galileo

Staged Reading, Theatre 33 at Willamette University (June 2014); Staged Reading, Pasadena Playhouse (March 2013); Staged Reading, Artists Repertory Theatre (January 2012); 2012 Oregon Arts Commission Career Opportunity Grant; Finalist, 2011 Fox Valley Collider Project; summer 2011 Writer-in-Residence, I-Park Artists Colony (East Haddam, CT)



Three women in three different times wrestle with their identity, the conflict between science and religion, and what it means to be their fathers' daughters. In Renaissance Italy, Celeste Galilei lives under house arrest with her elderly father Galileo, the disgraced astronomer who wants to defy the Pope yet again by publishing one last book. In a small town in Texas, creationist author and TV pundit Robert Snow is at a loss when his 10-year-old daughter Haley's newfound passion for science begins to pull her away from the Biblical teachings of her upbringing. And in Swift Trail Junction, Arizona, home of the Vatican Observatory's U.S. outpost, New York sculptor Cassie Willows arrives to find that her estranged father, world-renowned astrophysicist Jasper Willows, has gone missing. As the three stories move toward their point of convergence, the destinies of each become inextricably bound with the others, linked through time by love, family, grief, the search for identity and the wonder of the stars.



Pictured At Right:

Connor Trinneer as Robert Snow, Melanie Lora as Cassie Willows, Robert Mammama as Gabriel Vaughan, Kristy Johnson as Celeste Galilei, Lawrence Pressman as Galileo Galilei (back); Danielle Soibelman as Haley Snow, Robert Picardo as Jasper Willows (front). 

Pasadena Playhouse, March 2013.  Photo by Christopher Willett.


January 23, 2012: Stage & Studio Preview Claire Willett is interviewed on Dmae Roberts’ radio show Stage & Studio about her upcoming reading of Dear Galileo.

January 23, 2012: Oregon Arts Watch Review “At last summer’s JAW new play festival, a couple of plays had a science orientation, too, and now I’m thinking that the city may need a ‘science theater’ to stage them all. Dear Galileo should be in its first season.”

January 2012: Oregonian Festival Recommendations Preview and Review “Willett’s ambitious writing was worthy of such resources . . . [Dear Galileo is] a very promising work . . . wears a love of learning on its sleeve . . . scrupulously shaped.”

January 2012: Portland Mercury Festival Recommendations Preview and ReviewDear Galileo is a promising new work, smart and sensitive . . .”

January 31, 2012: Willamette Week Review "It’s a potent, important idea, and Willett’s smart concept and attractive characters display real potential . . . [Dear Galileo is a] scientifically, dramatically, and emotionally intelligent play in progress.”

Pictured Above:

Chris Porter as Galileo Galilei, Adrienne Flagg as Celeste Galilei, and David Bodin as Jasper Willows.

Artists Repertory Theatre, January 2012.  Photos by Michelle Rajotte.