Poetic Drama   By E. Thomalen
20m/10f ensemble with 4 lead roles
This is a play in four Acts performed in masks. The first and fourth Acts are the scenes rendered in verse about a pilgrim in a strange land, a survivor of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki (August 9, 1945) searching through the ruin of the city for her children. Act II focuses on the American decision to use the atomic bomb and revolves around the ultimate decision maker ("the buck stops here") President Harry S. Truman. Act III presents the Japanese struggle to surrender by looking at a sequence of all day meetings of the Japanese government on August 9, 1945 (the day of the Nagasaki bombing); i.e. the meeting of the Supreme War Direction Council 10:30 AM - 1:30 PM, the meeting of the Japanese Cabinet 2:30-5:30 PM and 6:00 - 10:00 PM, and finally the meeting of the Imperial Conference which began at 11:30 PM that evening. The Japanese meetings of the Cabinet and the Imperial Conference are translated from detailed notes by one of the participants at those meeting which has been edited for clarity and to eliminate redundancy. The story is told in all its human detail, and by a mixture of prose and poetry. The prose represents the actual historical record. The poetry, placed in the mouth of the chorus, speaks to the myth and symbolism of events that have been dramatized from largely first hand accounts.
Estimated Running time: 105 minutes with one fifteen minute intermission