“War Stories” Veterans Performance at the Quick, March 31
Bold truths, monologues based on the real-life experiences of veterans, as they battle with addiction, homelessness, loves and losses are the basis for WAR STORIES: A Veterans Project, a unique theater event at the Quick Center for the Arts on the campus of Fairfield University on March 31 at 8 p.m. and April 1 at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
The project, backed by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Connecticut Office of the Arts and Fairfield’s Quick Center is a collaboration between writer Sonya Huber, artist Nina Bentley and theatre-maker and Executive Director of the Quick Center Peter Van Heerden, with veteran performers from ABRI/Homes for the Brave in Bridgeport, Conn., an organization that has provided transitional housing, vocational training, job placement and life skills coaching to veterans since 2002.
The entry point for the performance process is based on courageous storytelling using personal narratives in performance; the veterans open up and share stories from their past and present to create the framework for the performance. The rehearsals and participation in the project have had a therapeutic influence on the group of veterans, all of whom volunteered to take part, but are contracted and paid for their engagement by the Quick Center.
The evening will feature 13 men and three women, giving voice to what they experienced during their time of service and, perhaps more significantly, what they’ve dealt with since they left. It is their lives, their stories, and their voices.
In one of the first stories from the group, the audience meets a homeless veteran of the U.S. Army who has suffered substance abuse and addiction because he fell in with the wrong crowd once in the service. In and out of jail for more than two decades — now 16 months sober — this vet said he has found the production to be an empowering and confidence building experience.
Then the audience meets a Brooklyn, N.Y. native who was a college football star and used the Coast Guard as a way to help pay for his education. He now suffers from PTSD and is a recovering addict. After leaving the service, he found the transition back into civilian life filled with challenges. Homes for the Braves has assisted him in his sobriety. Telling his story has helped him to take stock of how far he has come.
An airborne soldier says his war story began when he was three years old. Born into a family of humble circumstances, he fled domestic abuse at the age of 14. Soon after, he was sent into the military by the court as an alternative form of sentencing, and spent six years in the service. The military was a refuge of sorts for this vet, but his war story continued once back on U.S. soil.
Don’t miss WAR STORIES: A Veterans Project on Friday, March 31 at 8 p.m. (Sold out! There is currently a waitlist for this performance time) and Saturday, April 1 at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets, on sale now, $20 $15 for Quick Center members. For more information on tickets, please visit quickcenter.com or call the Box Office at 203-254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. This event is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Connecticut Office of the Arts.