Tiny Ninja Theater presents The Effects of Nuclear War is, in fact, the abridged title of Tiny Ninja Theater's third suitcase show. The full title, Tiny Ninja Theater presents The Effects of Nuclear War; based on the U.S. office of technology assessment report as originally issued in 1979, augmented by two reports intended for the never-published Volume 2 and an interview with project director Peter Scharfman, was deemed too long for general usage.

The Effects of Nuclear War takes a lighthearted look at the upcoming global thermonuclear apocalypse. The show is both inspired by and centered around the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment report of the same name, which was purchased in a used bookstore for $10 by company director Dov Weinstein.

Founded in 1972, the Office of Technology Assesment (OTA) was called into existence by the Technology Assesment Act. Sadly, the OTA was shut down in the mid-nineties. According to their website, "The 104th Congress voted to withdraw funding for OTA and its full-time staff of 143 persons on September 29, 1995. For 23 years, the nonpartisan analytical agency assisted Congress with the complex and highly technical issues that increasingly affect our society."

Now, congress has no such way of assessing technology. Important issues such as those covered in the classic OTA reports High-Temperature Superconductivity in Perspective (1990 --
download pdf), Plague of Locusts - Special Report (1990 -- download pdf), and Copper: Technology and Competitiveness (1988 -- download pdf) are left in the hands of an uninformed congress.

Rest assured, Tiny Ninja Theater has pledged never to perform a show based on Technologies for Reducing Dioxin in the Manufacture of Bleached Wood Pulp (1989 --
download pdf).

We make no such guarantee about the 1991 report Miniaturization Technologies (
download pdf).

Tiny Ninja Theater presents The Effects of Nuclear War premiered on July 14, 2001 as part of The Quorum's Format. Its final performance was July 28, 2001 as part of The Quorum's Format.

the report
| download pdf

"The study examines the full range of effects that nuclear war would have on civilians: direct effects from blast and radiation; and indirect effects from economic, social, and political disruption. Particular attention is devoted to the ways in which the impact of a nuclear war would extend over time. Two of the study's principal findings are that conditions would continue to get worse for some time after a nuclear war ended, and that the effects of nuclear war that cannot be calculated in advance are at least as important as those which analysts attempt to quantify.

This report provides essential background for a range of issues relating to strategic weapons and foreign policy. It translates what is generally known about the effects of nuclear weapons into the best available estimates about the impact on society if such weapons were used. It calls attention to the very wide range of impacts that nuclear weapons would have on a complex industrial society, and to the extent of uncertainty regarding these impacts."

Acting Director
Excerpted from the Foreword

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