Friday, April 16, 2010

A Piece of My Heart

As longtime readers know, I was once in the United States Marine Corps and wore a camouflage uniform every single day. My active duty ended in spring 2004, but my uniforms live on in New Gate Celtic Theatre’s costume shop.

Here, actress Tara Williams wears one of my old blouses to yell at me in a promotional shot for A Piece of My Heart.

I think she’s berating at me for not telling you about my new show, yet.

And wasn’t that a slick segue from style to shameless show promotion?

New Gate Celtic Theatre Company announces their latest production, A Piece of My Heart by Shirley Lauro, which runs May 21 through May 23 at the Madisonville Arts Center, 5021 Whetsel Ave. in Madisonville. Evening shows on May 21 & 22 start at 8:00 pm. Matinee’s on May 22 & 23 start at 3 pm. All tickets are $15*. For more information, checkout or call the Madisonville Art Center box office at 513-247-8100. Group rates are available by calling 513-617-0784.
*additional fees may apply

Based on a book of the same title by Keith Walker, A Piece of My Heart takes up a subject largely missing from the reams of material written about the Vietnam War, namely the women who served there. Ms. Lauro has taken six disparate characters and created a complex yet complete narrative from their stories. The women (three nurses, one USA entertainer, a Red Cross volunteer and a military intelligence officer) are depicted before, during and after their service. Dealing with the chaos of life in a war zone, they each adapt and survive. Upon returning to the States, they must cope with issues of Agent Orange poisoning, alcoholism, and what is now known as post-traumatic stress disorder. A visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial brings a measure of peace and hope.

A Piece of My Heart has become an enduring voice for those women warriors who stepped outside the accepted roles of the times to take a different path. The hundreds of productions of this drama include a Command Performance at the dedication of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial statue and a production at the Gates of Arlington Cemetery at the 10th anniversary of the statue’s dedication.

Director Daniel Cohen has assembled a remarkable cast of young acting talent: Kasmira Kit of College Hill as Whitney; Ellen Guffey, NKU theatre major, as Sissy; Chauntel MacKenzie as Steele; Megan Hudson, another NKU theatre major and Louisville native, as Mary Jo; Tara Williams of Colrain as Martha; Jolen Carlos from Cleveland, now living in Covington, as Leeann, and Simon Powell taking on the daunting role of Everyman, soldier, sailor or marine who touches the lives of these six extraordinary women.

The cast – being extraordinary. (But we’re missing Chauntel.)

Photos by Beefy Muchacho


Julia said...

Wow, it sounds so interesting. The Vietnam War is one of my significant interests. I wish I could see you perform!


angeline said...

That sounds like an awesome story! Also, just wanted to thank you for serving our country...hats off to you! (relatively new reader here)

Jerelyn said...

I am excited that I found your blog. I worked on the same floor as you at our company until last week, and would always compliment your beautiful yellow or red shoes and cute dresses as we ran into each other on the way to the restroom. I was just looking up a clothing brand and your blog came up. I've added you to my Reader and look forward to continuing to see your fashion creations, since I've moved to a different building...

Erin said...

Kudos to you for your service and for acting in this very significant production. You make us all proud!

Erin, The Cheap Chick

Stephanie N. said...

I'm on the play selection committee for the university theatre and dance department where I work, and we're always looking for titles with lots of strong women's roles. I've heard this title before, but had no idea what it was about, and definitely didn't know about the cast make-up. Thanks so much for sharing about it, as I'll definitely be suggesting it next year.

And break a leg!