Take a trip to the Cold War: Theater By the Book shows ‘Sonja Weissman and the Atomic Secrets’ in Nevada City | TheUnion.com

Take a trip to the Cold War: Theater By the Book shows ‘Sonja Weissman and the Atomic Secrets’ in Nevada City

Robin Wallace's newest play, "Sonja Weissman and the Atomic Secrets," takes place in both the past and present during two New Year's Eve parties in Ottawa, Canada.
Submitted photo to Prospector


WHO: Sierra Stages and Miners Foundry Cultural Center present Theater By the Book: “Sonja Weissman and the Atomic Secrets“

WHEN: Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 18

WHERE: Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City

TICKETS: $10 suggested donation. Tickets are available online at http://www.minersfoundry.org, by phone 530-265-5040 or in person at the Miners Foundry, or at the door.

INFO: http://www.minersfoundry.org

On Wednesday, April 18, Sierra Stages and the Miners Foundry will present, “Sonja Weissman and the Atomic Secrets,” as part of Theater By the Book, a series of informal play readings for the community.

Written by Robin Wallace and directed by Dinah Smith, “Sonja Weissman and the Atomic Secrets” is a new play-in-development, a sequel to “Sonja Weissman and the Miracle Play,” and features an all-star cast of local actors including Brian Arnold, Rachel Darrow, Lindsay Dunckel, Laurence Fogiel, Jozi Gullickson, Makenna Harrison, Carol Menaker, Crystal Miles, Adele Mills, Sandra Rockman, Emerald Stara, and Iris Tilton

“Besides adding new characters and creating a plot, I researched for a backdrop of what was going on in the capital of Canada back in 1946,” said Wallace. “As it happened there were many earthshaking events including the uncovering of a Soviet spy ring to acquire atomic secrets developed in the Manhattan Project. The characters in this sequel will react to the start of the Cold War in varied and personal ways.”

“Sonja Weissman and the Miracle Play” premiered to rave reviews in 2013 at the Off Center Stage. It was set in a religious Canadian boarding school just after the end of World War II and was about how a mysterious young Polish refugee brought the classmates to a deeper understanding of life and friendship.

Wallace’s newest play takes place in both the past and the present during two New Year’s Eve celebrations in Ottawa, Canada. At the beginning of the Cold War, Sonja and her friends become aware of a rapidly changing world, personally and politically, in ways that will impact the women they become.

Their reunion 70 years later brings startling new insights about what has happened in the intervening years.

Wallace and Smith are both familiar faces to local theater audiences having written, directed, and acted in productions and taught classes throughout the years. Both agree that Theater By the Book is a wonderful platform for local thespians and writers.

“Personally, Theater By the Book is especially important for me as a writer to have this unique opportunity to revise a play-in-development based on the responses from Dinah, all our amazing actors, and then of course the live audience,” said Wallace. “It’s absolutely invaluable.”

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