After reading Kieron Barry’s review of Copenhagen at Clarence Brown Theatre [“Hazardous Material,” April 2, 2009], I am once again left with the bewildering idea that we have seen different productions. I found the script to be fascinating and was impressed with the Herculean task of the actors memorizing such brilliant and dense dialogue. Kudos go to David Alley and Dan Kremer who held the bulk of the script. Nuclear physics is explored, and human relationships and interactions (both personal and historical) are examined through this prism. Wonderful. The set that the audience was asked to stay off of was simultaneously both simple and complex as it beautifully evoked an atomic structure. It was wisely used by director Kate Buckley in an intricate dance of human and atomic movement. Unlike the reviewer, I found Linda Stephens’ performance to be warm and humorous. The reviewer, however, seems to have missed all of this and we are treated to my least favorite “I know more than you do about the history of this playwright and his opus of work.” Then we are given a lengthy report on the behavior of children in the audience (why would anyone bring them to a play about nuclear physics?) and the behavior of children attending past productions. How is this pertinent? Reading this left me feeling that the reviewer was dyspeptic and needed to fulfill a required number of words to fill the page. I felt that in the end it performed a disservice to the production, the company, and the community.
Curtis Pettyjohn, Knoxville