Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Visit with Dr. Merzbacher



John and I had a visit with Dr. Eugen Merzbacher and his wife Ann Merzbacher today.  To say Dr. Merzbacher is the man who wrote the book on Quantum Mechanics isn't hyperbole.

Eugen and Ann were very generous with their time.  Eugen shared many documents concerning the play.  He has a file on the play and participated with the colloquium which coincided with the New York premier   He and Ann also shared their personal experiences from their trip to Copenhagen and Bohr's Institute for Theoretical Physics during Eugen's first sabbatical in 1951.  It was a real treat to meet and speak with someone who knew and worked with Neils Bohr and Margrethe Bohr.

When performing a historical drama such as Copenhagen, it is important to be mindful that one is playing a character in a play.  The goal is not necessarily to look or act like the historical person.  It is, rather, to present an interpretation of the dramatic character which is informed by the historical facts of the character's life.  That said, the more you learn about your subjects, the more richness and intelligence you can bring to a performance.  Often even the smallest word or story might give you an interesting idea.  It was really exciting to get to talk to Dr. Merzbacher and Ann Merzbacher.  Our deepest gratitude to them for their help, insight, stories and hospitality. 

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