Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Louisiana Tech's Kenneth Robbins to read his play, "Atomic Field" during the New York Peace Film Festival

Tech professor to read play during New York Peace Film Festival
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RUSTON – The name of Kenneth Robbins, director of Louisiana Tech’s School of Performing Arts, will be noted in New York City this weekend as a reading of his play, “Atomic Field,” will take place during the New York Peace Film Festival.

“Atomic Field,” which was performed in 2005 at Tech, tells a story of Howie Long, who dies of lung cancer in 1985, and his family discovers that not only had he been stationed in Nagasaki after the atomic bombing, but he was also part of the nuclear testing program following the end of WWII.

The reading is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Interborough Repertory Theater in New York.

“This is its first exposure in New York, but it has been produced a number of times,” Robbins said. “When it was performed at Tech, it was to commemorate the 65th anniversary, when the first and last atomic bomb was used against a population.”

Robbins added that he hopes to have a repeat performance at the university in 2015 for the 75th anniversary.

“My dream is that in 2015, atomic weapons will not be used against a population,” he said. “I think it’s essential.”

Robbins has a special connection to the dropping of the atomic bomb, as his father was a member of the clean up crew and died due to exposure from the bomb’s after effects.

“The curators of the Atomic Bomb Museum in Nagasaki accepted his name in the highly selective Book of the Dead,” Robbins said, referring to a comprehensive list of victims of the atomic bomb. “I had a picture of him; he was in the epicenter of the (where the) bomb (exploded).”

Robbins’ father was 65 when he died.

Robbins also shares ties of the dropping of the atomic bomb with Arthur Stone, whom Tech’s Stone Theatre was named for. Stone was a navigator aboard the observation plane when Bockscar, the U.S. B-29 bomber, dropped the second A-bomb over Nagasaki. Stone’s plane was airborne to document the explosion.

For more information about the New York reading of Robbins’ play, e-mail nypeacefilmfestival@gmail.com or call (212) 592-3311. The reading is free and open to the public, but seating is limited.

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