Original Theatre at UW-Parkside: “Shrapnel”
The thought-provoking and beautiful play "Shrapnel" has its final performance Tuesday, April 24, at 7 p.m. Created by the UW-Parkside Theater Arts Department's Graduating Class of 2011-2012, Shrapnel bears witness to war by presenting the words of veterans, spouses, and family members who created books for the Veterans Book Project currently showing in the UW-Parkside Foundation Gallery.
Inspired by the emotions and significance of the stories in the Veterans Book Project--a library of books written by veterans and their families--senior theater students created a collage of short narratives drawn from the books. Rather than act out "characters," Shrapnel performers serve as vessels for the voices of others, speaking for those with firsthand experiences of war, while images gathered from the Veterans Book Project and from their own photo albums are shown on a screen behind them.
"UW-Parkside Theater Arts Department students are special," said UW-Parkside Gallery Director Patricia Briggs. "The Theater Arts program encourages them to fully live the creative life of the artist while they are still in school. This excellence and passion shines brightly in the production of 'Shrapnel.'"
A "talk back" session following the performance promises to be powerful because it provides an opportunity for thoughtful discussion about war and its impact on all of our lives.
"We learned from making this script that the war was officially declared finished in December 2011, but people are still dying there," said Theatre Arts major Maddie Wakley.
"And also, just because someone isn't physically in the war, it doesn't mean that the war is over for them, or for us," added cast member Bobby Johnson. "I feel like this material is so ageless and timeless, and war is still with us and it will continue to affect our country for a long time to come."
The final performance of "Shrapnel" is held in Rehearsal Studio A in the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities. Admission is free and the performance is open to the public. For more information, call 262-595-2457.In the photo, "Shrapnel" cast members are, from left, Sarah Lord, Tiffany Lutz, Julie Middendorf, and Bobby Johnson.