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 Walker pored over countless historical documents, biographies, and declassified government papers, in addition to consulting World War II historians, to write The Tender King, which examines the hours leading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. Walkers scholarly legwork deeply informs his three-character play, which offers a disorienting take on what many people thought they already knew. Theres 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 cant be entirely trusted. When youre reading other peoples perspectives, you have to figure out where everyones 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