Oslo by J.T. Rogers

At our October 2018 discussion meeting we will discuss a selection suggested by Neil Bergeson,

Oslo by J.T. Rogers, Winner of the 2017 Tony Award for Best Play, script published by Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

Neil offers the following pre-discussion background information about his selection:


Some thoughts and offerings:

Reading the written version of a play can seem like a pretty thin literary experience, and for that reason I was hesitant to make this choice. After all, how long might it take to read a play that can be acted out in two and a half or three hours? Substantial content needs to exist in that short span or we won’t have much to talk about. I hope you’ll agree that Oslo lives up to that goal.


Oslo originally came to my attention because it is the highlight of the season for ACT Theater, where we have been ticket holders for several years. Although the action takes place 25 years ago, it is relevant to today. We will find more than enough to fill our 90-minute meeting in October.

Each of us will tackle this in our own way. For your convenience, I offer the following comments and links only as suggested ‘add-ons’:


  • From the ACT Theater brochure announcing the 2018 season schedule:

“OSLO is about the individuals behind world history and their all too human ambitions. The play is the true story of Norwegian diplomat Mona Juul and her husband, Terje Rod-Larsen, who together coordinated top-secret peace negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Robin and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat in the early 1990s. Their efforts culminated in the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993. At this cultural moment when finding common ground is paramount, OSLO is about hope. “

  • In addition to winning the TONY Award for Best Play of 2017, OSLO also won the following: New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics’ Circle Award, the Drama League Award, the Lucille Lortel Award and the Obie Award.
  • By googling ‘Oslo play YouTube’, you can watch several videos related to the play, beginning with a News Hour segment run a couple of days before the TONY Award television broadcast.
  • This link provides maps, pictures and other historical memorabilia you may like:  http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/mapstellstory.html
  • Use this link to read the entire Declaration of Principles agreed to by the two parties:


  • Here is a link to a New York Times article by Thomas Friedman published on the day of the signing, well written, contemporaneous, thorough.




About Ron Boothe

I am a Professor Emeritus at Emory University, currently living in Tacoma Washington USA.
This entry was posted in 2018 Selections, Oslo. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Oslo by J.T. Rogers

  1. Neil Bergeson says:

    Today is the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo accords. These links take you to articles about that:




  2. Neil Bergeson says:

    If you have HBO, you will want to watch the special entitled The Oslo Diaries. Originally broadcast last Thursday, it is being rebroadcast daily over the next few days. It’s easily found by doing a program search on your TV.

    Here is an article describing the program’s contents and providing some useful background information:


  3. Mohsen Mirghanbari says:

    This link is a brief written history of Israel by an Israeli Historian, hoping it will help start your book read and the discussion thereafter, I’ve also prepared my own personal references notes which I will forward before the discussion date. Richard’s Al Jazeera referral-though, politically “cautious” had great points of interest and more accurate than the NYTimes.



    • David Gilmour says:

      Mohsen brings up names from recent book discussions: Shlomo Sand’s iconoclastic book was one we came upon some years back when Mark Jensen held his Monday Night Mandolin Coffee House Book Club. I can’t remember if it actually was one of Mark’s selections though. Also, in Bill’s Vienna fin de siecle selection by Schorske, the origin and distortion of the Zionist myth was well noted in the section about Theodore Herzel. When I worked as librarian in a seminary, I came across the Sheffield University scholars of the so-called Minimalist school, who found the Holy Land pretty much barren of actual archeological sites and artifacts and genuine personages to validate the importance and reality of Jewish biblical history. Thomas L. Thompson comes to mind in his study, The Mythic Past. The Oslo Accords does seem to ring many bells and maybe it blows a few whistles, too. — David

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