Richmond Civic Theatre actors Allison Mopps, left, and Daniel Cly- mer are among those rehearsing “Breaking the Code,” the story of Alan Turing. Supplied photo

“Breaking the Code” play shows Turing’s life and work

An eccentric genius secretly played a major role in the Allies winning World War II after he broke a complex German code.

However, instead of being celebrated for the rest of his life as a hero, Alan Turing died forgotten and alone after breaking another code: being gay.  

Starting Thursday, Richmond Civic Theatre presents Turing’s true but tragic story – the historical and biographical drama called “Breaking the Code.” The final show is March 26.

“Breaking the Code” is the downtown Richmond theater’s first play featuring a realistic openly gay main character, said David Cobine, the show’s director.

Turing broke the complex German code called Enigma, enabling allied forces to foresee German maneuvers.

However, his achievements remained classified for years after the war. Thus, no one knew how much was owed to him when he was put on trial for being gay.

Turing, who was also the first to conceive of computers, was convicted of the criminal act of homosexuality. He was sentenced to undergo hormone treatments that left him physically and mentally debilitated and led to his suicide.

“Breaking the Code” describes who Turing was, what happened to him and why in a story that Time magazine calls “elegant and poignant.”

If you go

What: “Breaking the Code”

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 16-Saturday, March 18 and Friday-Saturday March 24-25; 2 p.m. Sunday, March 26

Where: Richmond Civic Theatre, 1003 E. Main St., Richmond

Cost: Adult, $20; student/senior 65-plus, $17. Day of show, $2 and $1 more, respectively.

Info: or (765) 962-1816

Production team: David Cobine, Terri Mitchell, Hollie Caskey, Carvin Rinehart, Mickey White, Brennyn Bailey, Erica Kretchman, Cameron Kretchman, Ben Sexton, Sajen Hernandez, Phil Baisley, Jennifer Brokamp, Paul and Jan Jordan, Luke Adam, Ron Itnyre, Jessica Raposo, Thomas Gard, Jackson Thompson and Aaron Clarke

Cast: Daniel Clymer, Andy Shepherd, Austin Snyder, Teresa Kaye, Jarrod Davis Jr., Phil Baisley, Shane R. Edington, Allison Mopps and Duane Coddington

Sponsors: RCT’s 2022-2023 Main Stage Series Sponsor — First Bank Richmond; co-sponsors — Reid Health, Reid Health Alliance Medicare. “Breaking the Code” is sponsored by Earlham College.

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A version of this article appeared in the March 15 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.