Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Rosenthal winner set in Cold War

By Jackie Demaline jdemaline@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The 2003 Lois and Richard Rosenthal New Play Prize has been awarded to The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer, a drama by Carson Kreitzer.

        The political and spiritual fantasia of Jews, Communists, spies, a pre-biblical demon and the father of the atomic bomb, Oppenheimer will have its world premiere production at Playhouse in the Park from March 22-April 20.

        The style of the debate of atomic science versus moral responsibility is sure to disturb some audiences.

        “People are afraid of what makes the theater beautiful — theatricality,” says Ms. Kreitzer. 33. “It's about what can only happen on a stage. I love that one person can stand up and speak to people sitting in the dark.”

        Ms. Kreitzer is in residence at the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis. Her most recent play, Self Defense: Or, Death of Some Salesmen, ran off-Broadway in June. Her work also has been produced as part of Brooklyn Academy of Music's famed Next Wave Festival.

        Oppenheimer's provocative debate offaith, science and conscience pits the scientist against Adam's first wife, Lilith (she who was cast out because she refused to be subservient to him).

        “It's a long way from American naturalism,” Ms. Kreitzer says with a laugh.

        The predominant trend in American theater, she observes, “isn't about what people are writing but about what gets rewarded with a production.”

        Ms. Kreitzer is a 1991 magna cum laude graduate of Yale University. She is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts' Artist Fellowship; grants from New York State Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts and Theatre Communications Group; and two Jerome Fellowships.

        Tickets to Oppenheimer are available through season subscription. Single tickets go on sale Aug. 23. Call the box office at 421-3888 or (800) 582-3208.


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