Among playwright Mark Oristano’s earliest childhood memories is a photograph in his grandmother’s New York apartment. It was of Albert Einstein, inscribed to his grandfather, Herbert Maass, Sr., thanking him for everything he had done.
“My grandfather was a top Wall Street lawyer from the 20’s through the 50’s. But it wasn’t until long after he was gone that I learned he had been instrumental in both bringing Einstein out of Nazi Germany to the U.S., and building the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, where Einstein spent the last part of his career.”
Having read a few of the thousands of books on Einstein, Oristano said he was struck by an idea.
“I always thought it amazing that we had this genius of geniuses in America, but he was not involved in the Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb. He was, however, longtime friends with the project director, Dr. Robert Oppenheimer. So, in ‘what if’ playwright mode, I wondered what would happen if Einstein wangled an invitation in March of 1945 to Los Alamos, New Mexico, and spent a day trying to convince Oppenheimer to make sure the bomb was a dud.”
The result, The Impact of the Gadget on Civilization, will be shown in online streaming form, produced by Dallas theater company IMPRINT Theatreworks. The streaming schedule runs from Sept. 17-26 at 8 p.m, US Central time each night. Tickets are available at www.imprinttheatreworks.org.
An ensemble-driven company, IMPRINT Theatreworks dedicate each of their seasons to providing unique and thought-provoking theatre while uniting and engaging the community. IMPRINT remains committed to providing a safe space for artists to work together to create, with intention toward inclusivity and collaboration. We promise to not allow hate to define this critical moment.