Lee Blessing's Pulitzer-nominated play casts two people with the awesome responsibility to reduce the risk of nuclear war through negotiated arms reductions. This brilliant and well-acted play highlights the urgent necessity and daunting challenge of responding to the danger posed by nuclear weapons just in time, as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to take its most important vote on arms control in a generation by the end of the month. Statesmanship will be at a premium in consideration of this landmark agreement, as the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) between the United States and Russia moves to the Senate floor where a two-thirds majority -- and therefore bipartisan cooperation -- will be necessary to ratify it.
In the play, negotiators John Honeyman and Andrey Botvinnik represent the Cold War adversaries, the
Some argue that nuclear weapons make war too horrible for any "rational" leader to risk. Blessing's Soviet presciently observes how globalization complicates this delicate logic: "Once we only had to be rational in English and Russian." Today we must do so in more languages and perhaps with terrorists who have no territory or population for us to threaten. And as the Gulf oil spill attests, accidents happen. Nuclear weapons endanger human civilization.
Blessing's heroes offer hope by rising from their seats and opening their imaginations to each other. History agrees. In the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, arms negotiators moved their work from
A generation later, over 22 thousand nuclear weapons remain. This spring,
Still, survival requires that someone take up this work, and the brave few who do have each other. Why should arms negotiators become friends? Andrey Botvinnik argues "because someone has to."
Not all of them will, but you still can. Three of the five performances of this important production are already sold out, a few tickets remain for the 11:30 a.m. show on Saturday (July 17) and the 3:00 p.m. show on the following Saturday (July 24). Get your tickets now.