16 March 2017

'She Went to War' Opens at Guthrie Theatre March 17

Opening Friday, four military veterans perform a script based on their military experience in The Telling Project's "She Went to War," The 50-minute production will play Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays March 17 to April 2 in the Guthrie Theatre's Dowling Studio, Minneapolis.

Friday and Saturday performances are 7:30 p.m., while Sunday matinee performance are at 1 p.m. General admission seating opens 30 minutes before curtain. Tickets are $9 and may be reserved on-line here.

Cast members include:
Jenn Calaway, who enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2006 as public affairs specialist, and later deployed to Afghanistan. She says struggled with the constraints of a male-dominated organization (the American military) in a male-dominated country (Afghanistan) “If it was known that the American military had a female in their ranks, they would lose respect from the Afghans. They wouldn’t want to have conversations with them or do business or work with them. I had to disguise myself as a guy most of the time."
Gretchen Evans, who served in the U.S. Army from 1979 to 2006 as an intelligence analyst and paratrooper. According to press materials, Gretchen’s career put her in the crosshairs of conflict around the globe, including Grenada, Kosovo, Bosnia, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. In 2006, while working as a sergeant major in Afghanistan, a mortar blast threw her into a concrete bunker wall. She suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (T.B.I.) and lost 95 percent of her hearing, ending her career in military service. "I always tell everybody I had 27 good years in the military and one really crappy day," she says. She now works as al lead veteran outreach coordinator at the Emory Healthcare Veterans Program
Tabitha Nichols, who served in the Army National Guard from 2003 to 2011. At age 19, Nichols was injured in a mortar attack in Forward Operating Base in Kalsu, Iraq, just days after her arrival there. "When I got out, it was like cutting loose a ball and chain. I’m gonna keep that ball and chain, but it’s not holding me back anymore. I just put it on a shelf, look at it sometimes, maybe polish it now and then,” she says.

Racheal Robinson
, currently serving in the U.S. Air Force, who originally enlisted in the Army National Guard as an emancipated minor at the age of 17. “The military has been my whole adult life," she says. "It’s who I am." 
Since 2008, the Austin, Texas-based non-profit Telling Project has presented nationwide more than 40 community-based performances by military veterans, service members, and family members. Each production's script is based on interviews with cast members about their military experiences.

The all-female theatrical presentation "She Went to War" is a first for The Telling Project organization.

A website for The Telling Project is here.

A public Facebook group for The Telling Project is here.

The "She Went to War" production is also part of the Guthrie Theatre's "Level Nine" series, through which the Minneapolis organization creates opportunities for community engagement and dialogue.

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