Did the United States government sanction torture in the wake of 9/11? Legendary actor and activist Vanessa Redgrave, joins international lawyer and acclaimed author Philippe Sands to examine this question in a staged presentation of his book Torture Team.

This one night only special event takes place on Sunday, January 16 on Stage II at 7 p.m. Tickets are $75. Additional cast members and panelists will be announced at a later date. Tickets will go on sale Monday, December 20.

“Vanessa Redgrave, one of the greatest living actresses in the world, has also spent her life as a political activist, infuriating some and inspiring others, often a combination of both,” said Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein said.

Torture Team tells the story of attorney Philippe Sands’ investigation of Donald Rumsfeld’s 2002 memo, authorizing the new interrogation techniques that led to torture at Guantanamo Bay and beyond. “May well be the best bit of contemporary investigative journalism you will read: it is right up there with Woodward and Bernstein, a tour de force of relentlessly dogged pursuit, of interviews with guilty men acquired against all odds, a beautifully told and humane narrative that follows a paper trail and nails the truth,” according to the Sunday Times in the United Kingdom.

Using Sands’ book as a basis, video clips from Judgment at Nuremberg, “24” and material from Murat Kurnaz’s Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantanamo, a memoir chronicling his unjust imprisonment at the hands of U.S. authorities, Edelstein has put together a provocative evening of theatre.

“One of the darkest chapters of American history was the officially sanctioned torture of prisoners of war in Guantanamo Bay following Sept. 11. In breaking Geneva Convention rules and the rules of all civilized nations, the United States slipped into a kind of behavior unbefitting the values that make this country great. In his book, Philippe follows the thorny path of denials and buck passing under the Bush administration regarding who actually ordered and approved the torture of prisoners. We are continuing our time honored tradition of using Long Wharf Theatre as a forum for the discussion of controversial ideas.”

Two years of interviews and research resulted in the publication of Torture Team. He consulted with European human rights experts, and predicted that several American officials could potentially be charged with war crimes in the futures. Sands’ prediction recently took the first steps towards becoming a reality. In 2009, a Spanish court began a criminal investigation of six Bush Administration officials prominently featured in Torture Team for their role in the systematized abuse of prisoners. “There’s not much dispute anymore: torture happened, and the law is clear—torture must be punished,” Sands told the New Yorker in its April 2009 edition.

After the presentation, Redgrave and Sands will hold a conversation with the audience on this controversial subject.

Redgrave is equally well-recognized as a passionate activist for children and as an advocate of peace, tolerance and reconciliation. She remains a wholehearted advocate for children, frequently alerting the world to the conditions of those directly caught up in conflict situations.

Born into a family of English actors, Redgrave’s career began on the stage with her first Shakespearean role in 1959, at the Stratford Memorial Theatre Company, playing Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In 1961, she played Rosalind in As You Like Itwinning the Evening Standard Drama Award. In 2003, she received the Tony Award for Best Actress in Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night and in 2007, was nominated again for her role in The Year of Magical Thinking. She is currently performing in Driving Miss Daisy on Broadway opposite James Earl Jones.

She has performed in more than 80 films, including A Man for All Seasons, Mary, Queen of Scots, The Bostonians, Mrs. Dalloway, Atonement, The Fever, and The Evening.  She won the 1977 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Julia.

Sands is a lawyer and a professor of law at University College London. He is the author of “Lawless World” and a frequent commentator on news and current affairs programs. He has been involved in many leading international cases, including those regarding the treatment of British detainees at Guantanamo Bay. As a practicing barrister he has extensive experience litigating cases before the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, and the European Court of Justice.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 203-787-4282. All media inquiries should go to Steven Scarpa, director of marketing and communications at 203-772-8255 or via e-mail at