A quarter of a century ago, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev agreed on the need to abolish nuclear weapons. While their ultimate goal was not achieved, the Reykjavik summit in October of 1986 led to the elimination of intermediate-range ballistic missiles and helped to put nuclear disarmament back on the agenda.
Pulitzer-prize winning author Richard Rhodes’ new play “Reykjavik” is a dramatic reconstruction of those two intense days of debate, drawing extensively on the actual transcripts of the Reykjavik meeting as well as on the memoirs of both Reagan and Gorbachev. The play distills their conflict, their unlikely friendship, and their visionary hopes into one hour of compelling theatre. Renowned Broadway actors Richard Easton and Jay O. Sanders play the roles of Reagan and Gorbachev. The performance is directed by Tyler Marchant and produced by Primary Stages.
Tickets are available, free of charge, to a staged reading of “Reykjavik”, followed by a panel discussion and reception, on Thursday September 27 at 6:30 PM at the Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Avenue (@25th street), in New York City.
This event has been made possible by the generous financial contributions of the Governments of Japan, Australia, Kazakhstan, Mexico and Sweden, and the Ploughshares Fund, as well as with the assistance of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, the United Nations Department of Public Information and the Global Security Institute.
Former Soviet Union President Gorbachev will address the event through a video message from Moscow. In this interview with the CTBTO, he reflects on the historic Reykjavik summit and the role of nuclear weapons. See a low-res preview here.
Panelists will include:
Max Kampelman, American diplomat, educator and lawyer, was chief arms control negotiator for all summit meetings between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. Ambassador Kampelman was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1999, the highest civilian award in the United States.
Roald Sagdeev, Russian scientist and an expert in plasma physics. Professor Sagdeev was the key science advisor to Mikhail Gorbachev, counselling on matters of nuclear disarmament and advancing technology to promote a commitment to international arms control verification.
Morton H. Halperin, expert on foreign policy and civil liberties, was an advisor on both military affairs and arms control in the Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton administrations. Dr Halperin was instrumental in the negotiations of several nuclear non-proliferation treaties including the SALT treaties and the New START treaty.
Richard Rhodes, author and editor of over 24 works of fiction, non-fiction, biographies and memoirs. His work includes The Making of the Atomic Bomb, the first of four volumes of nuclear history, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize.
Philip Taubman (moderator), award winning journalist with the New York Times for almost thirty years, including periods as Bureau Chief in Washington and Moscow. He covered the Reykjavik summit for the New York Times.
If you are interested in attending the reading and discussion, please contact:
T: +43 1 26030-6457
F: +43 1 26030-5823