ETD to Premiere VETERANS' VOICES, Begin. 11/11
Erasing the Distance (ETD) is very excited to present the world premiere of Veterans' Voices, directed by Julie Ritchey (Artistic Director, Filament Theatre Ensemble).
Nov. 11th (Veterans Day): Opening Night Reception and Performance, 5:00-9:00pm
Pre-show reception at the National Veterans Art Museum (2nd Floor above Filament Theatre)
Featured Exhibit: Espirit de Corps, an exhibition highlighting the spirit of creative resilience
6:00pm: Guest Speaker
7:30pm: Performance (1st floor theatre space)
Nov. 12, 13, 18, 19, & 20: Performance Only, 7:30pm
NVAM's Espirit de Corps exhibit will be open before every performance (except Nov. 18th) for audience members to view before the show.
TICKETS: $15.00 in advance, $20.00 at door, $10.00 students/seniors/groups. 30 FREE TICKETS per performance available for veterans and active military. Must reserve tickets in advance. For tickets, visit veteransvoices.brownpapertickets.com.
Veterans' Voices was created in collaboration with students from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) and focuses on the mental health issues facing servicemen and women, veterans, and their families. The play features five true stories performed as monologues, with connecting scenes between each piece. Each storyteller talks about the devastating effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but each teller's voice and perspective is very unique. Here's a brief description of each story:
- Ashley (played by Heather Bodie) loses 26 men in her unit during service in Iraq. She comes back punching holes in walls and driving her motorcycle recklessly on the freeway before realizing that something is terribly wrong.
- Paul (played by Walter Brody) comes home from the Vietnam War and builds a fruitful corporate career. It isn't until 30 years later, upon retirement from his job as the President of Sears, that his PTSD symptoms finally get the better of him.
- David (played by Len Bajenski) sees tremendous loss of those close to him during his time in Vietnam. He struggles to make sense of it all for almost 40 years, until the right therapist opens the door and David finally begins to get help.
- Nicole (played by Taylar Fondren) experiences military sexual trauma on several different occasions as part of her service as a Marine. In each instance, she speaks up on her own behalf. While some action is taken, the overall attitude in response is one of dismissal and blame.
- Vanessa's (played by Antonia Arcely) brother comes home with PTSD after his third tour in Afghanistan, yet is blocked by bureaucratic red tape and is unable to get the support he needs.
Each performance will be followed by a moderated, interactive dialogue between the cast and audience that addresses some of the themes just seen in the play. To better prepare the cast in this process, every performer is receiving mental health training from Dr. Grady Garner, Ph. D., a retired officer and commander as well as a member of ETD's mental health advisory board.