OSU to present staged reading of Frayn's "Copenhagen"


CORVALLIS - Oregon State University will present a staged reading of "Copenhagen," Michael Frayn's acclaimed play about a meeting between physicists Werner Heisenberg and Niels Bohr that took place in 1941 during the race to build an atomic bomb.

The reading on Saturday, April 12, begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Withycombe Hall lab theater at 30th and Campus Way. Admission is free, but seating is limited.

The presentation is in conjunction with an event that is part of the 2002-03 Horning Lecture Series at OSU, which looks at how science is portrayed in literature and culture. On Monday, April 14, Finn Aaserud will deliver a Horning lecture called, "Bohr, Heisenberg and 'Copenhagen': Drama Meets History of Science" that begins at 4 p.m. in Weniger Hall 153. He is the director of the Niels Bohr Archive in Copenhagen.

During the war, Heisenberg made a trip to Copenhagen to see his former colleague and mentor - a trip that has been shrouded in mystery. Frayn's play sheds some light on the relationship between the two theoretical physicists, as do recent documents released by Aaserud and the Niels Bohr Archive.

In the OSU reading, local actor Kevin Allen will portray Heisenberg; Robert Iltis, an associate professor of speech communication at OSU, will act as Bohr; and Charlotte Headrick, an OSU professor of theater arts, will portray Bohr's wife, Margrethe.

Marion O. Rossi, an OSU theater arts faculty member, will direct the production. Barbara Mason, also on the theater arts faculty, designed the costumes. Doors will open at 6:45 p.m. for the reading, which is a collaboration of the OSU Horning Endowment, the Department of History, and the University Theatre.