Docudrama TOP SECRET: THE BATTLE FOR THE PENTAGON PAPERS Available for Podcast

L.A. Theatre Works' all-star recording of Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers, directed by John Rubinstein and featuring Gregory Harrison, John Heard, Susan Sullivan, John Vickery, Channing Chase, Bo Foxworth, James Gleason, Russell Soder, Peter Van Norden, Tom Virtue and Geoffrey Wade will become available for podcast from Wondery on NPR One, Stitcher, Google Play and Apple One on iTunes beginning Thursday, May 11.

Top Secret is an inside look at The Washington Post's decision to publish a study labeled "top secret" that documented the history of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Based on a wide range of sources including interviews with participants and documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the play follows our government's relationship to the media and the citizenry's right to information- all set against the backdrop of the secretive Nixon White House. The epic legal battle that followed went to the nation's highest court and led to the historic decision that re-affirmed the First Amendment

"In an era when the government is once again obsessed with the need to attack those who provide the press with vital information that the public has a need and right to know, we wanted to make sure that this production is as widely available as possible," says L. A. Theatre Works Producing Director Susan Loewenberg. "We were fortunate that the writers of our play, Geoffrey Cowan and LeRoy Aaron, were friendly with almost everyone involved and able to conduct extensive interviews with all the participants, Although most accounts of the Pentagon Papers story were concentrated on the role of The New York Times, Geoff and Roy felt that it was a powerful woman's story that should concentrate on Washington Post owner Katherine Graham."

L.A. Theatre Works first produced Top Secret in 1991 as a Live National broadcast on NPR with Marsha Mason as Mrs. Graham and Ed Asner as Post editor Ben Bradlee. Reviewing the play for Vogue magazine, GrayDon Carter called it "quite magnificent." The broadcast won the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Gold Award for Excellence in Best Live Entertainment.

In 2007, as the country was fuming about the Iraq War, L.A. Theatre Works launched a national tour, taking the play to more than 20 cities with another terrific cast that featured Susan Sullivan as Katherine Graham. It is that production with will be available for podcast beginning Thursday.

In 2010, L.A. Theatre Works took the play to New York, where it had a five week run off-Broadway, and in 2011, the company received funding from the State Department to bring the play to China for a three-week tour. The audiences in China were so enthusiastic that the play was invited back again in 2013, and L.A. Theatre Works became the first American theater company to perform at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Tiananmen Square, Beijing.

Over the years, a great many performers have played Katharine Graham in L.A. Theatre Works' many productions of Top Secret including, most recently, Jane Fonda.

The play will continue to be produced around the country and to impact global audiences for decades to come through L.A. Theatre Works' recording, which is distributed through iTunes, Amazon, Audible, the company's own website, www.latw.org, and LATW's weekly radio show, which is carried on more than 60 radio stations nationally.

"It's a story that has never been more timely or relevant," says Loewneberg.

It was recently announced that an upcoming movie on the subject will be directed by Steven Spielberg and star Meryl Streep as Katherine Graham and Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee.

Click here and use promo code "tops" to get a free mp3 download of Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers directly from the LA Theatre Works website.

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