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SLU To Present Veteran Storytelling Project Thursday, Friday

St. Lawrence Plaindealer - 9/12/2017

Female veterans of the U.S. military, as well as women from military families, will share personal stories of service and life after the military in "Veterans Project: Odyssey Home," which will be presented at the St. Lawrence University'sEdson R. Miles Black Box Theater at 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.

Director Erika Hughes from the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom has worked with military veterans in creating performances since 2013. These veterans-turned-performers, according to Hughes, "represent an incredible range of experiences and political viewpoints, and yet are all willing to share something of themselves with the community in which they live. I'm very grateful for their openness, willingness, and courage."

"Odyssey Home" and its companion piece "The Veterans Project" have brought veteran and civilian and community members to dialogue together since 2013.

The process of making the show entails a two-week long workshop with local veterans, many of whom have never before performed onstage. "Odyssey Home" is the product of a collaboration among veterans, members of the larger military community and St. Lawrence University to create space for veteran-civilian community dialogue. Using Homer's Odyssey as a basis, performers share personal letters, diary entries, and reflections on their time in and after military service.

"In our day-to-day lives it is very easy to forget that the U.S. has been at war for over 15 years and what that commitment has meant for military service members and their families," said Angela Sweigart-Gallagher, assistant professor of performance and communication arts at St. Lawrence, is serving as a faculty liaison for the performance. "With Ft. Drum so close and the Army reserve station in Canton just down the road from campus, I hope this presentation will give us all a moment to reflect on the experiences of the men and women in our community who volunteer to serve."

The production aims to push against preconceived notions about who serves, and why. Hughes, will use this iteration of the "Veterans Project" to focus on the experiences of women veterans. Female veterans of the U.S. military, as well as women from military families, will share personal stories of service and life after the military.

Both performances are free and open to the public. However, tickets are required and can be reserved at bit.ly/UniversityTheatre2017-2018. A reception will follow the performance on Friday.

For more information, contact the Department of Performance and Communication Arts at www.stlawu.edu/pca or call 315-229-5166.


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