Los Alamos Historical Society Annual Meeting Features Richard Rhodes ‘Reykjavik’ Performance

The Pajarito Players will present Reykjavik’ by Richard Rhodes May 14. Courtesy image


The Reykjavík Summit, held on October 11 and 12, 1986, was considered by many experts to be a turning point in the Cold War. During those two days in Reykjavik, Iceland, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev debated terms for nuclear arms reduction.

Though the two leaders ultimately failed to reach an agreement, at times during the talks both countries were on the verge of eliminating nuclear weapons.

The negotiations did result in further discussion and led to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces or INF Treaty in 1987 and, four years later, the Strategic Offensive Arms Reductions or START I Treaty in 1991. Limitations on nuclear testing followed.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Richard Rhodes used words and emotions from the 1986 summit to create the play Reykjavik. In writing the script, Rhodes used not only Reagan’s and Gorbachev’s actual words from the summit but also insight from their memoirs.

The Los Alamos Historical Society will offer Reykjavik as a staged reading by the Pajarito Players May 14 in conjunction with this year’s annual meeting.

Founded in 2017, the Pajarito Players is an informal troupe that produces staged readings and plays with themes that resonate with Northern New Mexico communities. They are committed to performances based on needs and wishes of the community and have been well received. They have entertained in Jemez Springs and in venues in Los Alamos including the Senior Center and the Art Center.

The Reykjavik performance begins at 7 p.m., May 14, following the annual meeting that is for members only. The play is open to the public. However, there will be limited seating and parking, it is encouraged to plan ahead.