"Pentagon Papers" Docudrama China Premiere
Watch this video about the 2011 China Tour
L.A. Theatre Works brought Geoffrey Cowan and Leroy Aarons' riveting historical docudrama "Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers" to Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Beijing, including post-performance panel discussions with leading Chinese and international lawyers and journalists after each performance.
Multiple award-winning director Stephen Sachs directed a cast of stage, screen and television veterans including Josh Stamberg, Amy Pietz, JD Cullum, James Gleason, Nicholas Hormann, Russell Soder, Henry Clarke, Peter Van Norden, Steve Vinovich and Tom Virtue.
Accompanied by author and former Voice of America Director Geoffrey Cowan, L.A. Theatre Works offered workshops and lead panel discussions with participation from China’s leading law and journalism schools, as well as with the general public.
It was thrilling.
It speaks very well of China that they have embraced this tour. That is the real story.
About "Top Secret" and L.A. Theatre Works
Top Secret: The Battle for The Pentagon Papers is based on a wide range of sources including interviews with participants and documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. It follows the debate played out at Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee's home as his staff sorts through the documents and tries to decide if publishing The Papers will violate national security – and as the lawyers and publisher decide if publishing will risk criminal action and possibly huge financial consequences.
The play includes their momentous decision and the legal wrangling that followed. The government's relationship to the media and the citizenry's right to information are critically explored against the canvas of the Vietnam War and the secretive Nixon White House. Unknown to the press and other government officials at the time, President Richard Nixon and his national security advisor, Henry Kissinger, were terrified that publication of secret documents would disrupt their plans for a visit to China. The plans for this visit were kept so confidential that even the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense had been kept in the dark. Interested readers and viewers can find a vast array of background material at the play’s website, www.topsecretplay.org.
For three decades, L.A. Theatre Works has been the leading radio theater company in the United States, committed to using innovative technologies to preserve and promote significant works of dramatic literature and bringing live theater into the homes of millions.
The company’s public radio series, featuring stage plays performed by America's top actors augmented by interviews with the artists and others, can be heard in over 100 markets nationwide and can also be streamed on demand at www.latw.org. Over 9,000 libraries carry LATW's plays on audio, and recordings and teaching materials are used by over 3,000 middle and high schools across the country.
Tour Schedule & Selected Press
- November 22 - 27, 2011: Shanghai International Contemporary Theater Festival, Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre
- November 29, 2011: Guangzhou Sun Yatsen University, co-produced with Caixin Media
- December 2, 2011: Peking University Centennial Hall
- December 3 - 4: Beijing Tianqiao Acrobatics Theater
RAVE REVIEWS for L.A. Theatre Works' 2011 China Tour of "Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers"