In celebration of Veterans Day 2021, the Atlantic Council is producing staged readings of the Pulitzer-nominated play War Words in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Syracuse, and here in Fort Worth...
“Few movies or plays have ever captured for me as powerfully as War Words … the experiences of American Veterans, especially those who have served in uniform since 9/11.” -General David Petraeus
Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, War Words depicts the funny, strange, heroic, and heartbreaking stories of men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Based on the playwright’s interviews with these veterans and their families, this richly entertaining work serves the larger purpose of shortening the distance between veterans and ordinary Americans.
Performances are November 10th and 11th at 6:30pm. Doors open at 5:30pm, with the Lobby Café’s bar available for pre-show drinks and appetizers.
The evening includes a video introduction from General (Ret.) David Petraeus. This 90-minute event includes special guests and a brief post-show discussion.
Directed by Gregg Wiggans
Featuring Sasha Maya Ada, Jakie Cabe, Conor Clark, Allen Dean, Sam Henderson, Sean Massey, Blake McNamara, Dana Schultes, and Morgana Wilborn. Catie Choate will serve as Moderator.
Stage Manager: Hailey Green
Lighting and Technical Designer: Bryan Stevenson
Sponsored by Elbit Systems of America, Bell Flight, and Textron Systems.
Tickets are $10 for general public and $5 for Stage West season ticket holders (Y'all will get a discount code via email, or call the box office 817-784-9378).
Parental discretion is advised.
Note from the Playwright, Michelle Kholos Brooks:
A few years ago, I considered myself a progressive, open, unbiased person. I didn’t believe in having preconceived notions about individuals based on, for instance, gender, or ethnicity or religion. I didn’t see any of those things.
But you can bet your boots I saw military.
I believed all the clichés I’d heard about people who serve—they join up because they don’t have other choices; they can’t afford college; people in the military like the adrenalin of the fight, right?
Then I started this project and my view completely changed. War Words is based on interviews I did with real people who have served during our twenty year “Long War” in Iraq and Afghanistan. Once I began hearing their personal stories, I started to care.
I understand a little more about the military now, and I can even follow some (some!) of the acronyms. But I don’t think the information I’ve gathered really matters. What’s important is that I now feel something for the people who I once viewed as “other.” And In feeling something for them, I have started to become more invested in the national policies that send these people away from their families and ask them to do things I would never volunteer to do. I don’t have to agree with these policies to care about the people who are charged with the extraordinary task of carrying them out. A very small fraction of our citizenry bears an enormous burden for the rest of us. It is now clear to me that a little understanding is the very least I can offer to help lighten the load.
Additional Note: I would like to dedicate War Words to the memory of my friend, Grant Woods who passed away suddenly, not long before this production. You might know of Grant because he was the former Attorney General of Arizona, John McCain’s Chief of Staff, a champion of civil rights, a regular commentor on cable news shows, a committed public servant, and a rare patriot who, very publicly, put country over party. First in my heart, however, is that Grant Woods was a wonderful playwright.