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Revisiting the Rosenberg Trial in The Brother

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Dec 17, 2012
Dec 17, 2012
Segal Theatre

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

In his riveting nonfiction book The Brother, now adapted for the stage by John Hancock and Dorothy Tristan (Weeds, Bang the Drum Slowly), New York Times investigative reporter Sam Roberts returns to the 1950s Cold War treason trial and execution of suspected Soviet spies Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. The affair caused a global uproar at the time. Pablo Picasso called the execution a “crime against humanity” and Jean-Paul Sartre called it a “legal lynching.” Emblazoned in popular memory, this polarizing case still reverberates in American culture and politics.

Meanwhile, after the opening of the Iron Curtain details continued to emerge. In 1996, KGB flies confirmed that Ethel Rosenberg’s brother David Greenglass, a former machinist at Los Alamos, was in fact a Soviet spy himself. He testified against his sister Ethel Rosenberg and lied under oath to protect his own family.

This Segal evening, co-presented with the Science & the Arts series, will feature a reading from the new play, directed by Ian Strasfogel, followed by a discussion with Roberts, playwrights John Hancock and Dorothy Tristan, Physics Emeritus at NYU Benjamin Bederson and Physics professor Brian Schwartz (Graduate Center CUNY).

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