Playwrights from The Telling Project are seeking Chicago-area military veterans of all branches and eras, as well as military family members, for oral history interviews leading to a November 2014 production of "Telling: Chicago." Since 2008, the Austin, Texas-based non-profit has put more than 90 actors on stages in 15 states. In each production, cast members share their own life experiences in their own words. Casts typically comprise from five to seven performers.
Interviews in Chicago will be conducted June 29 to July 2. For more information, e-mail: info AT thetellingproject.org.
No previous stage or theatrical experience is required. The development process begins with interviews, the transcripts of which are then distilled into a unique script for theatrical production. Participants in interviews have the option of not taking the stage. All interviews are archived by the organization.
The organization's mission statement reads in part:
The most direct path to understanding veterans’ experience is person-to-person contact. With the dramatic decline in the numbers serving in the military—less than one percent of the population over the last eleven years of war—this contact will not happen through day-to-day life. It must be created and supported. Through performance, The Telling Project puts veterans and military family members in front of their communities to share their stories. We give veterans and military family members the opportunity to speak, and their communities the opportunity to listen.In the weeks and months leading up to performance, cast members will receive training by theatrical professionals. Performances of "Telling: Chicago" will be Nov. 7-9 and Nov. 14-16 at the Filament Theatre.
"Telling: Chicago" is a partnership among The Telling Project, the Bob Woodruff Foundation, National Veterans Art Museum, as well as artists and volunteers in the Chicago community.
In the Midwest, past projects include "Telling: Iowa City" (2011); "Telling: Des Moines" (2013); and "Telling: Minnesota" (2014). The latter was presented in a February 2014 encore performance.
Other Telling Project productions and performances scheduled for 2014 include:
- "Telling: Albuquerque": Sept. 11, 13, 19, 20; South Broadway Cultural Center
- "Telling: Portland, OR 2014": September 10-13, Portland Center for the Performing Arts, Brunish Theater
- "Telling: Baltimore, MD 2014": September 11, Johns Hopkins Medical University (additional performances TBA)
- "Telling: San Antonio": September 30-October 5, Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, Studio Theater
- "Telling: Austin 2014": October 25-November 9; times and venue TBA
- "Telling: NYC 2014": dates, times, and venue TBA