“If you do this, I will own you forever,” words that haunted Canadian photojournalist Paul Watson. A single, stark photograph—of the body of an American soldier dragged from the wreckage of a Blackhawk helicopter through the streets of Mogadishu—reshaped the course of global events and won war photographer Paul Watson the Pulitzer Prize. Yet, he is haunted by that shutter click. Playwright Dan O’Brien, struggling with ghosts of his own, reaches out to Watson, and the two forge a friendship as they reckon with the traumas that have shaped their lives. In this gripping true story, the two explore the ethical and personal consequences of the photograph, as well as the interplay between political upheaval and the experience of trauma in an age saturated by images and information. Winner of the inaugural Edward Kennedy Prize, the Horton Foote Prize for Outstanding New American Play, and the PEN Award for Drama, Body of an American is a bold, radically charged, theatrical and poetic true story that ranges from Afghanistan and Iraq to the Canadian High Arctic.
O'BRIEN (Playwright) The Body of an American premiered at Portland Center Stage, directed
by Bill Rauch, and received the Horton Foote Prize for Outstanding New American
Play, the inaugural Edward M. Kennedy Prize, the PEN Center USA Award for
Drama, and the L. Arnold Weissberger Award. In 2014 The Body of an American received a European premiere at the Gate Theatre in London and Royal & Derngate in
Northampton, directed by James Dacre, and was shortlisted for an Evening
Standard Drama Award. O’Brien’s debut poetry collection War Reporter was published in 2013 in the US and the UK,
where it received the Fenton Aldeburgh Prize. O'Brien's most recent
PAUL WATSON (Journalist) is a Canadian photojournalist, Pulitzer Prize-winner and author of three books: Where War Lives, Magnum Revolution: 65 Years of Fighting for Freedom, and Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition (2017). The Guardian newspaper named ICE GHOSTS one of the best science books of 2017. The CBC, Canada’s national broadcaster, put Ice Ghosts at the top of its 2017 "Holiday Gift Guide: 12 Books for the Science and Nature Enthusiast on Your List."
FRANK LICATO (Director) Artistic Director of HTW. Frank has been working for over 30 years as an actor, director, producer and teacher. He has collaborated with such theatre luminaries as Joseph Chaiken and Peter Brook. As a director his production of Neil LaBute’s The Shape of Things was selected as a regional finalist in the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival. Other credits include an Off-Broadway production of Lamppost Reunion and On the Waterfront, which was attended by Budd Schulberg the week before he passed away. Some others are: Neil Labute’s Fat Pig and My Italy Story by 12 Miles, Tannhauser: The Play at the Obie award winning Ice Factory Festival, Clifford Odet's Rocket to the Moon at Soho Rep and Golden Boy at the Raw Space. He staged the Off-Broadway hit revival of Rod Serling's Requiem For A Heavyweight and the award winning Off-Broadway revival of Sam Shepard's Seduced.
GREGORY ERBACH (Paul) Co-Founder, Vice President and Producing Director of HTW. Roles include: Pockey in Hudson Theatre Works Production of Uncle Vanya, Joey in “A Steady Rain” and Lenny Smalls in Of Mice And Men; Terry Malloy in the Northeast’s premier of Budd Shulberg’s “On the Waterfront,” Art Kroeger in the critically acclaimed “The Shannon Doyle Incident” at the Samuel Beckett.
TONY KNOTTS (Dan) Tony Knotts' past credits include Regional: Master Harold...and The Boys (Hally), Tranquil (Aaron), Of Mice and Men (Curley), Tilt the Unlit Candle (Brenden), Enchanted Arms (Charles), (NYC Theater): Den of Thieves (Sal), Really, Really (Johnson), Claire Went to France (Johnathon), Night Blooming Jasmine (Ibrahim/Gabe), Film/TV: The Renovation (Joe), Rolling (Ben), SciFi's School Spirits (College Student), The Bar (Rob), La Traviatta (Craig). The Renovation, directed by Brian O'Neill, premiered at Lincoln Center and won The Merit Award at The Big Eddy Film Festival. Tony is absolutely thrilled to dive into such a rich and challenging body of work such as this and it is sure to be an experience he will never forget.