The Body of an American
In 1993, Canadian photojournalist Paul Watson took a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of a dead American soldier being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu. As he shot the picture, Watson believes he heard the soldier say to him: “If you do this, I will own you forever.” Playwright Dan O’Brien was finishing a residency in Princeton when he heard Paul Watson tell this story on Fresh Air in 2007. Also obsessed by the idea of hauntings, Dan reached out to Paul and the two formed an unusual relationship spanning time and continents. The Body of an American is the story of their friendship, one conducted primarily by e-mail but eventually leading them to a meeting inside the Arctic Circle. The roles of Dan and Paul are shared by two actors, who also play over twenty other characters that the men encounter. A contemporary war story encompassing personal and global histories that’s told in strikingly theatrical fashion, The Body of an American breaks boundaries of convention in both content and form.