ONE RED FLOWER, a new musical production starring Maureen McGovern, Elijah Kelley (Hairspray) and Hunter Parrish (Weeds), produced and created by Emmy Award-winning director Paris Barclay, is presented in a staged reading format on Tues., June 24 & Tues., July 1 as part of the Fashion Forms™ 'Plays-in-Progress' series at Rubicon Theatre in Ventura. Inspired by Vietnam veterans' letters, ONE RED FLOWER, will have two additional readings benefiting New Directions and Rubicon Theatre's Innovation Fund on Fri. & Sat., July 11 & 12 at the Brentwood Theater, sponsored by HBO, Showtime, ASCAP, the Richard and Harriet Orkand Foundation and Paradigm.
With original music by Barclay and directed by Ken Sawyer, ONE RED FLOWERr's book and lyrics were adapted for the stage by Barclay from the book Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam, edited by Bernard Edelman for the New York Vietnam Veterans Memorial Commission. Actual letters written by Vietnam War soldiers and their loved ones featured in Dear America, serve as the source material for the play. Evoking a particular time and place in the American landscape and psyche, One Red Flower is an interpretive presentation of the soldiers' real feelings and experiences. The musical play poignantly expresses and conveys the raw emotions and the human toll of war, in effect, speaking directly to a contemporary America at war today.
Serving on the Benefit Committee for this special presentation are Oscar winners Helen Mirren, Taylor Hackford, Bruce Cohen and Stephen Schwartz (whose ASCAP Workshop originally helped to develop the work). Other notables lending their support include actors Anthony Edwards,Neil Patrick Harris, Katey Sagal, Jerry O'Connell, Rebecca Romijn and Blair Underwood; directors Michael Apted, Walter Hill, and Rodrigo Garcia; and producers Gil Cates,Thomas Schumacher, and Bonnie Curtis. Rich Willis serves as Honorary Chair.
The July 11 & 12 ONE RED FLOWER performances benefit New Directions (www.NewDirectionsInc.org), an organization whose mission is to empower veterans and facilitate their successful return to families and society; and The Rubicon Innovation Fund which underwrites special projects and initiatives for the development and creation of bold new works, and the productions of existing works in reconceived, re-imagined and reinvigorated forms.
"We've been entrusted with the words of many loved ones lost to war," Barclay says, "and we've chosen to honor them with a play that brings us back to the war, but shows the hope and humanity that many soldiers found in it."
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