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Stage Aurora Theatrical Company Awarded Big Read Grant From The National Endowment For The Arts 


The celebration will begin October 3-November 14, 2020. 

Stage Aurora Theatrical Company Awarded Big Read Grant From The National Endowment For The Arts 

Stage Aurora Theatrical Company, theatre that enlightens, will celebrate our military veterans and those that have served in the United States Armed forces as they partner with the Queens Public Library and present Tim O'Brien's Pulitzer Prize finalist The Things They Carried along with other programing. This presentation is made possible by a Big Read Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The celebration will begin October 3-November 14, 2020.

Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried is considered one of the finest books about the Vietnam War. Far from a combat story of pride and glory, it is a compassionate tale of the American soldier, brimming with raw honesty and thoughtful reflection. The book's narrator follows a platoon of infantrymen through the jungles of Vietnam. We see them trudge through the muck of a constant downpour, get hit by sniper fire, pull body parts out of a tree, laugh while they tell their stories to each other, and fall silent when faced with making sense of it all-both in the moment and twenty years later.

The celebration will kick-off on October 3 beginning with keynote speaker General Robert Dees' 'Leaving Behind The Things They Carried.' Over the course of the six-week commemoration will include several book discussions each exploring a different theme hosted by Prof. Shaun Illingworth, Director, Rutgers University Oral History Archives and Queens Public Library; panel discussions hosted by Veteran Deloris (Dee) Moton Quaranta, Founder and Executive Director of Northeast Florida Women Veterans, musical and theatrical performances by celebrity Broadway artists in Broadway Celebrates Veteran's Day, a reading of the 2017 NYMF selection 2000 Nickels: A Vietnam Legacy by Margaret 'Peg' and John Brochu, and a 60s-70s musical concert 'The Music of Vietnam'.

"A requirement for the NEA Big Read is to partner with a library in the selection of a book from the NEA's and Arts Midwest list of books. As an organization that thrives on diversity and serving underserved audiences, Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried focused on veterans of the Armed Forces, a celebrated group of warriors that need more celebration for their duty to the USA. I knew that I could generate and create a wide variety of activities that would showcase the themes of the book: war, family, peace, love, etc." Darryl Reuben Hall, Director and Executive Director of Stage Aurora.

The NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. Additional information about the NEA Big Read, including book and author information, podcasts and videos, may be obtained at

Due to Covid19, these events will be conducted virtually from any location at the allotted time. For a full schedule of events and participation guidelines, please visit and/or

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