Copenhagen focuses on the 1941 meeting between Nils Bohr and Werner Heisenberg in occupied Denmark. This play explores both Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and the uncertainty of the human condition, the ethical responsibility of the scientist, the dawn of the nuclear age, and the trauma that was World War II. But it also looks at what we can know, or what can be known. What are the bonds that bring us together as people, and what can science ultimately know.
Copenhagen won the Tony Award for Best Play in 2000.
News About Copenhagen at Austin Playhouse
BWW Review: COPENHAGEN Pontificates the Explosive Meeting of Atomic Minds in Austin, TX
April 26, 2019
The mission statement of Austin Playhouse is to "Provide opportunities for both Austinite performers and audiences to celebrate the human experience". COPENHAGEN, now playing at their temporary home in the ACC Highland Campus, examines a highly debated meeting between Quantum Mechanics pioneer Werner Heisenberg (played by David Stahl), and his mentor, the "Pope" of Quantum Mechanics, Niels Bohr (play by Ev Lunning Jr.). Also attended by Bohr's wife Margrethe Bohr (played by Babs George), this meeting of the minds takes place years after their first skiing vacations together, in which they collaborated to prove Albert Einstein wrong on atomic theory. The examined reunion took place in September 1941, when Heisenberg was working in Nazi Germany as part of their atomic program. Travelling to Denmark to meet with Bohr, a Danish Jew, tensions ran high as the time for the meeting came closer. Within the polarizing political climate of the time, the show displays the current debate and inherently speculative narrative of what was discussed during this visit and how it may have changed human history.