Award-Winning Play 'Letters Home' Pays Homage Veterans at Schorr Stage

By WBNG News

Award-Winning Play 'Letters Home' Pays Homage Veterans at Schorr Stage

October 23, 2012 Updated Oct 23, 2012 at 3:29 PM EST

(WBNG Binghamton) The Goodwill Theatre presents Griffin Theatre’s production of Letters Home on Saturday November 3 at 7p.m. and Sunday November 4 at 2p.m. at the Schorr Stage.

According to a news release:

Letters Home puts the current wars in Afghanistan & Iraq front and center by bringing to life actual letters written by soldiers serving in the Middle East. The production is inspired by the New York Times Op-Ed Article “The Things They Wrote” and the subsequent HBO documentary Last Letters Home, and additionally uses letters and correspondences from Frank Schaeffer’s books, Voices From the Front, Letters Home From America’s Military Family, Faith of Our Sons and Keeping Faith.

The play, adapted by artistic director and founder William Massolia, gives audiences a powerful portrait of the soldier experience in the ongoing war. The initial production was critically acclaimed and was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for “Outstanding New Play.”

Although the title of the play implies that all the letters are from soldiers, the piece includes a small number of correspondences from parents – their words, being no less important. These letters were written under the most difficult of circumstances; the disorientation of training, deployment, separation from family and loved ones and combat, and occupation duties in Afghanistan and Iraq. The play helps define what it means to serve our country today, through acts of bravery, compassion, social responsibility, sense of community and brotherhood. Collectively the production gives a voice to a generation that went to war against terror in Afghanistan and to war in Iraq, for reasons that are still being debated and who are still fighting and dying in those wars today. More importantly, the play reveals the humanity that lies within the war as seen through the eyes of the men and women fighting it.

The production uses minimal props and set pieces to dramatize the letters. It employs the use of images and video projected behind the actors as they perform the letters as dramatic monologues. The photos and video used in the production are taken directly from actual soldiers’ blogs and websites such as MYSPACE and FACEBOOK. To enhance the theatrical experience of the play, the performance will be followed by a post-play discussion with Allison Miller from the Binghamton Vet Center.

“We are very proud to offer this show the weekend before Veteran’s Day in order to shine a light on the great sacrifices all our veterans have made on our behalf,” says CEO Naima Kradjian.  “We urge families to attend this show together. We hope to have a mix of community members and veterans in the audience to truly show support and pride in the spirit of unity” she added.

"The Southern Tier Veterans Support Group is very pleased that the Goodwill Theatre is bringing Letters Home to our area,” says Al Eaton, President of the Southern Tier Veterans Support Group.  “This show will allow those attending to experience the emotions felt by our military and their families during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars so we can better help them reintegrate into our communities."

The Southern Tier Veterans Support Group will generously provide complimentary tickets for all veterans and their families.  Interested veterans should call the box office directly at (607) 772-2404, ext. 301. Contact at www.stvsg.org

Tickets for Letters Home are $22 for adults, $18 for seniors and students and $10 for children. You can purchase tickets online at: www.goodwilltheatre.net or by calling the Box Office at (607) 772-2404, ext. 301.

The Schorr Family Firehouse Stage, located at 46-48 Willow Street in Johnson City, accepts cash, checks and all major credit cards. Doors open approximately one hour before show time. General Seating is based on a first-come; first-served policy. Refreshments will be available for sale.