Performing Arts

Magnetic Theatre: Uranium 235

Magnetic Theatre: Uranium 235

Pictured (L to R) Jim Weyhenmeyer as General Leslie Groves, Dan Clancy as J. Robert Oppenheimer, Mike Yow as President Harry S. Truman and Mary Katherine O’Donnell as Clio, the Muse of History. Photo by Rodney Smith Tempus Fugit Design

The Magnetic Theatre presents the world premiere of David Brendan Hopes’ Uranium 235, opening Thursday, November 2, and continuing Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. through November 18.

“These times of nuclear brinksmanship,” says Hopes, “may bring to mind the first occasion on which the atomic bomb entered the world’s consciousness. President Roosevelt was just dead, and the new President Truman— untried, beset by ferocious enemies and by friends even more ferocious—found himself in possession of the most terrible weapon in history. Uranium 235 is a play (with music of the time) about Truman’s decision to drop the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima.”

The play, he says, is part of his American history cycle, which includes a play about the assassination of William McKinley and a trilogy of Abraham Lincoln. His last Magnetic Theatre production was Washington Place, about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911. “If the perspective is wry,” Hopes says, “and the history is correct, those who want to learn and those who come to the theater for a good time will be equally engaged.”

The play is being directed by Andrew Gall, who is also serving as the theatre’s interim managing artistic director. “The Magnetic Theatre,” Gall says, “is unique in its commitment to creating original work which differentiates it from many theatres. My goal is to make sure that The Magnetic Theatre develops a long-term strategy for both nurturing and developing compelling work that cannot be seen elsewhere.”

The Magnetic Theatre is located at 375 Depot Street in Asheville’s River Arts District. Low-priced preview performances will be held November 2–3 for $12. All other performances are $16, with $10 student rush tickets available 15 minutes before curtain with valid ID. To order tickets, visit For more information, call 828.239.9250.

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