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Combing "Art" and "Knowledge"-NTU Staged the Famous "Copenhagen" Drama to Promote Humanity and Art

Under the recommendation and patronage of the University of Taiwan, playwright Michael Frayn's immensely popular scientific drama "Copenhagen" finally had its debut in Taiwan. From March 21st to 23rd, and 28th to 30th, for two consecutive weeks Copenhagen was put on stage during "NTU Azalea Festival's Art Feast," and ended on a perfect note on March 30th.

The play had won several dramatists' awards in Europe and America, and was widely discussed in academic and theatrical circles. This controversial play was brought to Taiwan through the planning of NTU's Theatre Department head, Professor Wei-Jan Chi, and the assistance of Physics Department's Professor Yeong-Chuan Kao.

Hong-zheng Fu, a leading member of the M.O.V.E. Theatre Group, was commissioned to be the director of the premiere performance. Over a month before the play was officially launched, and all the tickets at the box office were depleted by demand. The enthusiasm displayed on the part of the audience could be described as a separate and distinct "Copenhagen phenomenon."

Director Hong-Zheng Fu assigned the roles of the three leading characters—20th century physicists Niels Henrik David Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, and Bohr's wife Margrethe Norlund—to be played by veteran actor An-Zheng Chiu and two neophytes Ting-Chien Wu and Chun-huei Hsieh. Their natural and subtle cinematic acting transformed the definition of the historical enigma and the discourse of physics and chemistry into the conflict, confrontation and clash of their relationships, and cast the issues of human nature, morals, war and technology into a constant dialectic.

Unlike the European and American version whose plot revolved around the three protagonists, Director Hong-Zheng Fu audaciously used several actors clothed in black dress, who interacted with the three leading characters in a ring-shaped stage space. These black-clothed actors were seen shuttling on stage, or displaying the orbits of electrons, particles, and neutrons, lending a poetic and surrealistic flavor to the play. This bold and innovative directorial approach provided multiple interpretations to the function of the black-clothed actors (they could be deemed as the ghosts of modern scientists, or the victims of a nuclear holocaust, or the Gestapo agents spying on the dialogues between the three leading characters), thus allowing the audience extra room for interpretation, discussion, and imagination.

Chinese version