The Nuclear Option

Ian Walker is a playwright, a director‚ and a novice detective. For his first case, he took on a big one: President Harry S. Truman's decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan in World War II. Walker pored over countless historical documents, biographies, and declassified government papers, in addition to consulting World War II historians, to write The Tender King, which examines the hours leading up to Truman's fateful decision. Walker’s scholarly legwork deeply informs his three-character play, which offers a disorienting take on what many people thought they already knew. “There’s so much that goes contrary to how you learn it in school,” he says of his findings. He says each declassified document suggested a rewrite of history was needed, but admits that even once-classified documents can’t be entirely trusted. “When you’re reading other people’s perspectives, you have to figure out where everyone’s coming from,” he says. Walker employs a clever literary device to humanize the moment of the decision and frame an impossibly inhumane act, the gravity of which is often lost in remembering the war's many losses.
Thursdays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Starts: Nov. 26. Continues through Dec. 11, 2010

 
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