Explosive Confrontation Between Science and Politics Explores the Individual’s Ability to Change the Course of World Events
If you’ve never seen Copenhagen, it’s hard to imagine that a play in which three dead people discuss atomic physics could be electrifying and intensely emotional. Yet this riveting drama, full of crackle and vitality, delivers a literary and theatrical punch that stays with you long after the curtain has fallen.
On the surface, Copenhagen turns around a mysterious 1941 meeting between the esteemed Danish physicist Niels Bohr and his former pupil, the German scientist Werner Heisenberg. Old friends who had revolutionized atomic science during the 1920s, they are now on opposite sides of a world war. But the science, it turns out, is merely a vehicle, a metaphor for a wrenching probe into deeply human quandaries and contradictions.
“Copenhagen takes us to the boundaries of human understanding, questioning what, if anything, we can ever know,” said director Ellen Honig. “It delves into the totally contemporary issue of whether an individual can make a difference in a world undergoing momentous upheaval. “One of the region’s most experienced directors, Honig directed the 2017 Performing Arts of Woodstock production of Patrick Shanley’s Outside Mullingar and the 2016 RTS production of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins as well as RTS productions of 1776 The Musical(2015) Sondheim’s A Little Night Music (2014) and Kaufman and Hart’s The Man Who Came to Dinner (2012).
To enable audiences throughout the Hudson Valley to discover (or rediscover) Copenhagen, the Rhinebeck Theatre Society production will be performed at three locations. The staged reading in Catskill will be followed by full productions in Woodstock and Rhinebeck. Copenhagen features three highly accomplished local actors, with David Smilow as Heisenberg, Andrew Joffe as Bohr and Christina Reeves as Bohr’s wife Margareta.
Bridge St. Theatre, Catskill: Staged reading performances Thurs. July 20 through Sat., July 22 at 7:30 pm and Sun., July 23 at 2 pm at 44 W. Bridge St. $15, $10 for Students age 21 and under. Tickets may be pre-purchased at http://copenhagencatskill.brownpapertickets.com or at the door one half hour prior to each performance on a space available basis.
Byrdcliffe Theatre, Woodstock: Performances Fri., Aug. 18 & Sat., Aug. 19 at 8 pm andSunday, Aug. 20 at 2 pm at 380 Upper Bydrcliffe Road. Tickets are $26 ($24 for students and seniors). Call the box office at 1-800-838-3006 ext. 1 or www.copenhagenwoodstock.brownpapertickets.com.
Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck: Performances Fri. Sept. 22 and Sat. Sept. 23 at 8 pm and Sunday Sept. 24 at 3 pm at 661 Route 308. Call the box office at (845) 876-3080 or visit www.centerforperformingarts.org.
For more information about RTS and Copenhagen, visit www.rhinebecktheatresociety.org