NEW YORK, Feb. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the nation involved in two wars and facing continuing threats of terrorism, USC Annenberg's Center on Communication Leadership & Policy presents TOP SECRET TALKS, a timely examination of the tension between the government's need for secrecy and the public's right to know, in conjunction with the New York production of Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers.
"We hope that the series of Top Secret Talks will engage New Yorkers in a lively and important dialogue as these issues continue to be debated on the national stage," says Geoffrey Cowan, Top Secret playwright, USC Annenberg dean emeritus and CCLP director. "The courts have changed, technology has changed, the financial stability of the press has changed, and we live with a new fear of terrorism. But the issues endure."
Individual programs are presented by organizations such as the Columbia Journalism Review, Human Rights Watch, NYU, Asia Society, and the Center for Public Integrity. Speakers include Daniel Ellsberg, the former Defense and State Department official who gave the Pentagon Papers to the Washington Post; legendary Washington Post investigative reporter Carl Bernstein; New York Times managing editor Jill Abramson; Washington Post editor Marcus Brauchli; and Cowan; among others.
Originally produced by LA Theatre Works and presented in partnership with New York Theatre Workshop and Affinity Collaborative Theatre, Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers, opens Off-Broadway at the New York Theatre Workshop with previews beginning February 24.
Writing in Vogue, Graydon Carter called Top Secret "quite magnificent." Reviewing the play during its national tour in 2008, the Philadelphia Inquirer's Howard Shapiro wrote, "I was processing Vietnam – but thinking Iraq. Top Secret vigorously maintains that the American press is not just a prodder and inciter; it has a rigorous job to do in order for democracy to work ... it resonates directly into this decade… it's all the sharper for its dramatic nuance, for plumbing the jittery politics of the '70s and the internal machinations of the Post."
All Top Secret Talks will be presented at New York Theatre Workshop, 79 East 4th St., New York. For more information and a list of programs, visit www.topsecretplay.org.
SOURCE University of Southern California