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The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer

The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer

Carson Kreitzer


Do I dare disturb the universe? J. Robert Oppenheimer’s rise and fall erupt in this kaleidoscopic play exploring questions of faith, conscience, and the consequences of the never-ending pursuit of knowledge. Act One: Math. The fevered wartime drive to build the first nuclear weapon, by a collection of previously academic theoretical physicists, many of them Jews fleeing Hitler’s Germany. Success turns to horror when the gadget is dropped, first on Hiroshima, then Nagasaki. Act Two: Aftermath. Oppenheimer confronts his conscience; Russia turns from ally to enemy. The Red scare is in full swing as we shift to the courtroom. Oppenheimer’s wife, Kitty, drinks; J. Edgar Hoover does the dance of the seven veils; and the Father of the Atomic Bomb has his security clearance revoked, cast out of the world he helped create. In a flash that is the end of his life, J. Robert Oppenheimer paces the desert of the Trinity Test Site, wrestling with his memories and one scary, sexy, unpredictable demon: Lilith, Hebrew mythology’s first woman, cast out of Eden for refusing to behave. Hissing in his ear, she goads him to admit what he refuses to acknowledge: an anger that mirrors her own. Oppie is haunted by actions, decisions, and a trinity of women – mother, wife Kitty, and lover Jean Tatlock. Her suicide is never far from his mind; her Communist ties are never far from the government’s.

Dramatic Publishing


Carson Kreitzer

A playwright, lyricist and librettist, Kreitzer received a 2016 Jonathan Larson Grant for “Lempicka”, a musical about art deco artist Tamara de Lempicka, written with composer Matt Gould.


Her plays include “The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer”, winner of the Rosenthal New Play Prize, American Theatre Critics’ Steinberg New Play Citation and Stavis Award and published by Smith and Kraus in “New Playwrights: Best Plays of 2004”, as well as by Dramatic Publishing (and available at DCPAS); “Self Defense, or death of some salesmen”; “Flesh and the Desert”; “The Slow Drag”; “Slither”; “Behind the Eye” and “Lasso of Truth”.


Her plays have been produced or developed by Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, the Public Theater, the Royal Court Theatre, the Guthrie Theater, Portland Center Stage, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, Mabou Mines and the Actors Gang, among others.


Kreitzer is a core writer with the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, an alumna of New Dramatists, a founding member of the Workhaus Collective, and an associated artist with New Georges and Clubbed Thumb.


She’s received the Jerome Fellowship two times and the McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting three times, and has been supported by the Toulmin and Mellon foundations, by the NYFA, NYSCA, TCG and NEA. She has also received residencies with MacDowell Colony, The Tyrone Guthrie Center in Annaghmakerrig (Dowling scholarship), the Hedgebrook (Alpert Award residency) and with The Hermitage. She was the first grant holder of the Playwrights Of New York (PoNY) in the Lark Play Development Center.


Her work has been published by Dramatic Publishing, Playscripts and Smithand Kraus. The anthology “Self Defense and Other Plays” has been made available by the No Passport Press.


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