NRT Presents: Copenhagen

After their deaths, physicists Werner Heisenberg, Niels Bohr, and Niels’ wife, Margrethe, discuss the question that is still heavily debated today: Why did Heisenberg visit Bohr in Copenhagen in 1941?

Based on real events, the characters discover the consequences of this infamous meeting in No Refund Theatre’s rendition of Copenhagen.

During World War II, German physicist Heisenberg risked being convicted of treason when he visited his Danish mentor Bohr. Germany had just invaded Denmark, and tensions were high between the two friends.

Both men told different stories about the contents of the conversation, but it is widely presumed that the building of a nuclear bomb was discussed. 

The moral dilemma of building nuclear weapons is intertwined with themes of friendship, science, and death. You don’t need to be scientifically-inclined to understand the true meaning of Copenhagen.

A show that has no specifics about time and place leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Director Katie Blankemeyer had an initial picture in mind when she first read the script, but it quickly changed once the actors had the chance to bring the words to life.

“I had this picture in my head of what it was going to be and once we got in to rehearsals [the actors] took the characters and ran with it,” Blankemeyer said. “It turned out being completely different than what I originally thought but better.”

Blankemeyer is a senior biomedical engineering major, so her passion for both science and theatre are what drew her to the show.

“You don’t have to understand them when [Heisenberg and Bohr] are explaining how to build an atomic bomb, but you can understand the moral struggle that they went through,” Blankemeyer said.

“The show isn’t about atomic physics — its about people.”

NRT presents Copenhagen at 9 p.m. Thursday, September 13 through Saturday, September 15 in the HUB Flex Theatre. You can find more info on the event’s Facebook page.

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About the Author

Cassady Potts

Cassady is a junior English and journalism major and Onward State's Student Life Editor. She is from York, Pennsylvania and loves iced coffee, books, and women's volleyball. You can find her on campus by looking for the girl who always wears stripes. Feel free to send any questions, comments, or memes via email ([email protected]) and follow her @cassady_potts on Twitter.

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