Based on a true 1941 meeting in occupied Denmark, Cesear’s Forum is offering Michael Frayn’s drama COPENHAGEN, in a limited six-week September/October engagement, at Kennedy’s Down Under, Playhouse Square, Cleveland, Ohio. The play, set in the present but rooted in the past, concerns three historical characters, and their correlation to subsequent nuclear threat, policy, power and human motivation. Presented in London in 1998 at the National Theatre, it opened on Broadway in 2000 and won the Tony Award for Best Play. Adapted as a film in 2002, it was produced by the BBC and presented on PBS in the United States. The minimalist stage play is both haunting and ruminative in tone. Physicists Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, alongside Niels wife Margrethe, cannot agree on certain facts of the purported meeting. Within a stark fictional present, the audience becomes aware that each character, “inside their heads” is permitted to shift subsequent speculation, memory and points of view. Concepts of physics; “how did I get here?” and politics; “am I right? am I wrong?” resonates with Frayn’s accessible language and use of images.
Michael Frayn was born in London in 1933. He began his career as a reporter for the Guardian and later the Observer. After leaving the Observer he continued to write as a columnist as well as publishing novels and plays for television and stage. His plays include: NOISES OFF, DEMOCRACY, AFTERLIFE, DONKEY’S YEARS and he is highly regarded as a translator of plays by Anton Chekhov. Novels include: Towards the End of Morning, Headlong and Spies. Wide-ranging and prolific his work extends to documentary film, television and philosophy. He is recognized as one of a handful of writers in the English language to succeed in both drama and prose fiction.
Cesear’s Forum, a small theatre collective that produces intermittently, continues its mission of interpreting unusual or lesser known plays and sharing those perceptions regionally. The company has been both criticized and praised for the scope of its work within a minimalist imprimatur, works that offer “political, social, and cultural awareness.”
The Cleveland cast includes: Dana Hart, Brian Bowers and Mary Alice Beck. The production will be staged by Artistic Director Greg Cesear, with a setting by Michael LaRochelle, lighting by Andrew Kaletta and costumes by Aimee Kluiber. The production is sponsored, in part, by Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, the Bonne Bell Family Foundation and Scene Magazine.
Michael Frayn’s COPENHAGEN: September 20th through October 26th, Friday and Saturday at 8pm. Two Sunday Matinees at 3 pm on October 6th and 13th, Kennedy’s Down Under, Playhouse Square, 1501 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio. Call 216-241-6000 or visit www.playhousesquare.org. Ticket price is: $18