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Theatre Review: Copenhagen

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Thanks to a special invitation from Orlando blogger Katharine, three of my friends and I were treated to the Orlando Theatre Project's interpretation of the Tony Award-winning production Copenhagen. Written by Michael Frayn, Copenhagen tells the story of physicists Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg (who may be best known for his uncertainty principle) and their conversation about the science of nuclear weapons in the midst of World War II.



This was my first opportunity to see a performance by members of the Orlando Theatre Project, but even by this first exposure alone it is apparent that the drive behind the performers and staff is truly one based on a love for the theatre. As the show began and the lighting gently illuminated the three stars of Copenhagen, it was clear this art would be something very different and at the same time rather interesting. From the execution of the lines to the carefully constructed conveyance of every emotion, the players and this story grabbed at the audience and drew them into a world of fear, science, morality and discovery; one that would not ease up on them until the final word was spoken, the lights raised and the performers bowed.

As the story of Heisenberg's clandestine visit to Copenhagen to chat with his friend and ex-colleague Bohr progressed, I was increasingly impressed with Frayn's ability to discuss highly scientific topics without downing the audience in technobabble as I was with the collaborative operation of Philip Nolen (Heisenberg), Doug Truelsen (Bohr) and Christine Decker (Bohr's wife, Margrethe). And even when the dialogue was forced because of the subject matter to delve into fission, atomic structure and theoretical physics, it was handled by the performers with such drive and motivation, yet at the same time very delicately so as not to loose anyone during the recounting. Even if you had no idea what the difference was between protons, neutrons and electrons, you did not feel like a child stranded on the corner after having missed his school bus. The interaction between the characters and the actors was nearly indistinguishable, an obvious outcome from a performance by talented actors who really grasped and understood the play.

I found the philosophical discussions, the scientific fact and the basic historical outline all very intriguing. The point of view of the characters is one of reflection, questioning and resolution; a point of view which I felt really helped show the audience the full picture of the chain of events. If you are at all interested in the history of the atomic bomb, World War II in general or science and physics, I highly recommend a viewing of Copenhagen. Additionally for those who live in the metro Orlando area, support the Orlando Theatre Project and their abundant talent by catching a showing. You will not be disappointed and may find yourself at future performances as well.
Copenhagen
Presented by the Orlando Theatre Project
Directed by Kristian Truelsen


Show Information
08 January 2004 to 25 January 2004
Thursday - Saturday at 08:00 PM
Sunday at 02:00 PM

General Admission: $22.00
Seniors and Students: $18.00


Location
Fine Arts Theatre at Seminole Community College
100 Weldon Boulevard
Sanford, Florida 32773


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