CMU School of Drama

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

From ‘Camp David’ to ‘Oslo,’ Forging Drama from Diplomacy

The New York Times: In J. T. Rogers’s “Oslo,” which opens on Broadway on Thursday, April 13, married diplomats foster peace in the Middle East with the help of cardamom-scented waffles. In Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s “Pacific Overtures,” which opens at Classic Stage Company on May 4, gunboats are the pertinent goad. And in Rogelio Martinez’s “Blind Date,” set for the Goodman Theater in January, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev achieve rapport after misquoting ’80s films.

Call it the art of the deal.

1 comment:

Simone Schneeberg said...

I have always enjoyed shows like this that take real life events and dramatize and humanize them in a way that gets audiences thinking beyond what they learned in books and in classrooms. I had the pleasure of seeing a show about Arthur Rudolph's life called "Some Brighter Distance," which focused on his being accused of war crimes and kicked out of America with intermittent flashbacks from various points of his life. As an audience we were made to confront the complexities surrounding the United States' acceptance of Nazi scientists beyond the black and white facts and feelings presented in schools or in textbooks. I think that shows like this provide an excellent opportunity to learn about people and reflect upon history and upon the present, as well as simply educate about events. We know going into these shows that they are works of fiction, we do not always know how much is fabricated and how much is fact, which I see as dangerous. Richard Rhodes mentioned thinking his work was "too tied to the history and not free enough." I think we have to be careful about how free with make it, while still presenting as related to these historical events. We don't want people walking away armed with what they believe to be fact but simply isn't.