In 1941 German physicist Werner Heisenberg traveled to Copenhagen to speak with his Danish counterpart, Niels Bohr. Although they were old friends and colleagues, they found themselves on opposite sides in a World War, and embroiled in a race to create the atom bomb. Why Heisenberg went to Copenhagen, and what he said to Bohr, are questions that have intrigued and divided historians and scientists ever since. While much has been written about this real life event, the bottom line is that no one knows for certain what was said.
This Tony Award winning play recreates the possibilities that might have occurred in Copenhagen during this visit, and why — after years of deep-abiding friendship –these two men never spoke again. Copenhagen runs March 26 through April 11 in the Clarence Brown Theatre’s (CBT) Carousel Theatre. The production is sponsored by Lexus of Knoxville.
“Copenhagen hypothesizes how this event may have set off a chain reaction that altered the history of the world. It invites you into a provocative conversation about the moral responsibilities of science. It asks if you are able to understand the magnitude of your actions at the moment you choose to take them on,” said Kate Buckley, director.
Director Kate Buckley, UT Theatre faculty member, also is a founding member of Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and served as the Artistic Director of The Next Theatre in Chicago. She has been a Guest Lecturer on Shakespeare at universities and arts organizations nationally and abroad. Her productions have been seen on the stages of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Goodman Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, American Players Theatre, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and The New Victory Theatre in New York.
Technical Consultant Dr. Soren Sorensen received his undergraduate degree from the University of Copenhagen and his Masters and PhD from The Niels Bohr Institute. From 1981 to 1984 he was a post-doc at the Institute, and spent a year at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He started at UT as an assistant professor in nuclear physics in 1984. In 2000, he was appointed head of the UT Department of Physics and Astronomy.
David Brian Alley (Werner Heisenberg) most recently was seen reprising his role as Bob Cratchit in the CBT’s A Christmas Carol. He is in his 9th season as an Artist-in-Residence and member of the UT Theatre Department Acting Faculty. David also has appeared at PlayMakers Repertory in Stones in His Pockets, and at The Mark Taper Forum in Miss Evers’ Boys and Robinson & Crusoe. For The ImprovOlympic Theatre Chicago, he was with House-Team Faulty Wiring for a two-year run. David also has several film and television credits.
Dan Kremer (Neils Bohr) has appeared with ACT Seattle, American Conservatory Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Dallas Theater Center, Geva, McCarter, Milwaukee Rep, Missouri Rep, Playwrights Horizon, Portland Center Stage, Seattle Rep and Yale Rep. In fourteen seasons with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, he appeared in more than forty productions.
Linda Stephens (Margrethe Bohr) is a professional actress/singer of nearly 40 years, and has been awarded for her work in DC, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago and New York. She’s appeared on Broadway in The Man Who Came to Dinner with Nathan Lane and Jean Smart; as Meg, in the Broadway revival of Damn Yankees with Victor Garber and Bebe Neuwirth; as Kate at The Roundabout in the 50th anniversary production of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons with John Cullum, working with Arthur Miller; and as George’s Mother in Sunday in the Park with George as part of the Kennedy Center’s Sondheim Celebration and Sondheim Celebration Concert at Lincoln Center, working with Stephen Sondheim. Her television appearances include Frasier, New York Undercover, Spin City and Law and Order SVU.
Visiting guest Lighting Designer Mark Somerfield lives in Santa Barbara, California where he is the Resident Lighting Designer for State Street Ballet, Opera Santa Barbara, and The Music Academy of the West. He also is the Production Manager for the Department of Music at the University of California-Santa Barbara. Recent dramas include Love Letters with Carol Burnett and John Cleese, and A Christmas Carol. He holds an MFA from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and a BFA from Penn State.
Visiting guest Scenic Designer Jack Magaw works as a professional scenic designer and also teaches at The Theatre School of DePaul University in Chicago. He received Joseph Jefferson Award nominations for his designs of Fences (Court Theatre), Seven Guitars (Congo Square) and Bus Stop (Writers’ Theatre). Upcoming projects include Winesburg, Ohio (Kansas City Repertory) and Evie’s Waltz (Geva Theatre).
Costume Designer Bill Black has been designing, teaching and directing the production of costumes for the Clarence Brown Theatre and the University of Tennessee for more than 30 years. An active professional costume designer, his work is frequently seen around the country in venues such as Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Denver Center Theatre Company, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Pioneer Theatre Company, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Skylight Opera Theatre, Roundhouse Theatre, and for nearly 20 seasons at the Tony Award winning Utah Shakespearean Festival where he is the senior designer. Professor Black is Associate Head of the Department of Theatre and a former Paul Soper distinguished professor.
Resident Sound Designer Mike Ponder has been with the UT theatre program and the Clarence Brown Professional Company for 10 years. In addition, he designs sound for several regional theatres.
Preview for the show is March 26, and is free for UT students. Adult tickets are $20 and UT faculty and staff tickets are $17, buy one get one free. Opening night is March 27, 2009. The show runs through April 11, 2009. Evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Matinees begin at 2 p.m. Ticket prices range from $5 to $33. For tickets, call the Clarence Brown Theatre box office at 865-974-5161, Tickets Unlimited at 865-656-4444 or online at www.clarencebrowntheatre.com.