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A drama of romance and nuclear weapons

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By Special to the Monitor

Albuquerque — The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History will host “Broken Hammer,” a play written by Robert Benjamin, physicist turned playwright.
In the play, Benjamin blends loyalty and romance with stockpile stewardship. The staged reading will begin at 7 p.m. Sept. 21; it will be followed by a question and answer session with the author.  
Benjamin began his career in playwriting after 30 years as a research experimental physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Though his previously produced full-length plays focus on relationships and secrets, “Broken Hammer” is different because of its emphasis on science, politics and policy, he said.  
In a story where nuclear history is intertwined with intense family dynamics and romance, Benjamin tells a cautionary tale to our technological society of being deceived by computer simulations that are not extremely well validated by science experiments.
“I hope the public will become engaged in the questions raised about the role of computer simulations in our culture,” Benjamin said, “and by issues of assuring the reliability of nuclear bombs without full-scale testing.”
Due to his interest in serving science museums, Benjamin found the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History to be a fitting venue for the staged reading.  
“The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History has an audience of Albuquerque residents interested in nuclear history,” Benjamin said. “This will be an interesting venue to promote performing arts related to nuclear history and science.”
The reading of “Broken Hammer” will be preceded by complimentary refreshments and access to Museum exhibits beginning at 6 p.m. Admission is $5 for Museum members and $10 for non-members. Seating is limited, so RSVP to Jennifer Hayden at 245-2137, extension 114.
The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History is located at 601 Eubank SE in Albuquerque, at the entrance to the Sandia Science and Technology Park.