Hofstra University Natural Science Professor David C. Cassidy has briefly taken off his lab coat in exchange for some time in the show business spotlight. This summer he will see the premiere of his play, Farm Hall, at the Midtown International Theatre Festival, July 15, 19 and 20 at the June Havoc Theatre at the Abingdon Theatre in Manhattan.
Dr. Cassidy, a Bay Shore, Long Island resident, and recipient of the 2014 Abraham Pais Prize for History of Physics and author of the 2009 biography Beyond Uncertainty: Heisenberg, Quantum Physics and the Bomb (Bellevue Literary Press, New York)1993’s groundbreaking Uncertainty: The Life and Science of Werner Heisenberg (W. H. Freeman, New York), wrote the play, inspired by the declassified, historic Farm Halltranscripts.
During WWII, Farm Hall was a British estate where Allied forces held 10 German nuclear scientists for six months and bugged their conversations. The Allies hoped to find out how close Germany was to developing an atomic bomb.
The scientists – among them Otto Hahn, Werner Heisenberg, and Walter Gerlach – were unaware of why they were being held and for how long. Thinking themselves far ahead of the Allies, how will the scientists react to the news of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? How will they explain to themselves and to the world their failure to achieve even a chain reaction? How will they come to terms with the horror of the Third Reich, their work for such a regime, and their behavior during that period? Farm Hall is based upon the declassified transcripts of these conversations as well as Dr. Cassidy’s own historical work on the subject.
Farm Hall had a staged reading at the CUNY Graduate Center, February 2013, and during the March 2013 annual meeting of the American Physical Society. July marks the play’s first full production.
The June Havoc Theatre at the Abingdon Theatre is located at 312 West 36th Street in Manhattan. Show times are 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 15; 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 19; and 1 p.m. on Sunday, July 20. A talk-back with the audience will take place after each performance. A veteran of the Manhattan Project will be an invited speaker following the performance on July 15.
Ticket prices are $18 and may be purchased online. Enter the discount code EBlast for a $2 discount. Proceeds go entirely to the festival organizers for their production costs.