The Body of an American speaks to a moment in recent history when a single, stark photograph - of the body of an American dragged from the wreck of a Blackhawk through the streets of Mogadishu - reshaped the course of global events. In a story ranging far in time and place, from Rwanda to Afghanistan to the Canadian Arctic, and in powerful, theatrical language, Dan O'Brien explores the ethical and personal consequences of Paul Watson's photograph, as well as the interplay between political upheaval and the experience of trauma in an age saturated by images and information. Flying from Kabul to the Canadian High Arctic, The Body of an American sees two actors jump between more than thirty roles in an exhilarating new form of documentary drama. It urgently places those two mean's battles - both public and private - against a backdrop of some of the world's most iconic images of war.
Dan O'Brien's current projects include The Body of an American, which also received the PEN Center USA Award for Drama and the L. Arnold Weissberger Award, and premiered at Portland Center Stage in 2012. O'Brien's debut collection of poetry entitled War Reporter was published in 2013 from Hanging Loose Press in Brooklyn and CB Editions in London. War Reporter is currently on the shortlist for the UK's Forward Prize for Best First Collection.