NATIONAL TOURING PRODUCTION OF LETTERS HOME COMES HOME TO CHICAGO AT THEATER ON THE LAKE. Record breaking touring year in 2011/2012 includes CBS sponsored performance in Dallas, Texas on Veteran’s Day
LETTERS HOME will be presented Wednesday – Saturday, July 6 – 9, 2011 at 7:30pm and on Sunday, July 10, at 6:30pm. Tickets to LETTERS HOME are $17, and are on sale now at Theater on the Lake by calling the box office at (312) 742-7994. PLEASE NOTE: Tickets are not available online.
The production adapted by Artistic Director, William Massolia and directed by ensemble member, Kevin Kingston puts the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan front and center by bringing to life actual letters written by troops serving in the Middle East. Since its original run at the Chicago Cultural Center in January 2007 the production has become one of the most sought after national touring shows and has received critical acclaim throughout the United States. The production has been seen by over 50,000 people in 35 major US cities.
The upcoming fall 2011 tour includes stops in Oregon, Arkansas, Minnesota, New Jersey, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Florida and Texas. The tour will kick off on September 21, 2011 at Indiana State University in Terra Haute, Indiana. On Veteran’s Day, (November 11, 2011) the production will be performed in Dallas, Texas and will be presented and sponsored by CBS Radio.
The LETTERS HOME tour will be a part of a RECORD BREAKING touring year for the Griffin in 2011/2012. The combined productions of LETTERS HOME, Frindle and The Stinky Cheese Man will travel to 40 US cities.
The current cast reunites some of the finest performers the production has worked with over the years along with some new ones and includes, Christian Kain Blackburn (2010 tour), Chris Chmelik (2009 tour), LaNisa Frederick (2007 tour), Cameron Harms, Kevin Kingston (2007-2010 tours), Zach Kenney (2008-2009 tours), Alex Kyger (2010 tour), Ryan Lempka (2010 tour), Ellie Reed, Lynda Shadrake (2009-2010 tours).
The production is inspired by the New York Times Op-Ed Article, The Things They Wrote and the subsequent HBO documentary, Last Letters Home and additionally uses letters and correspondences from Frank Schaeffer’s books, Voices From the Front, Letters Home From America’s Military Family, Faith of Our Sons, and Keeping Faith. The play without politicizing gives audiences a powerful portrait of the soldier experience in the ongoing wars.
Although the title of the play implies that all the letters are from soldiers, the production chooses to include a small number of correspondences from parents – their words, being no less important. These letters were written under the most difficult of circumstances; the disorientation of training, deployment, separation from family and loved ones and combat, and occupation duties in Afghanistan and Iraq. One theme seems to unite their diverse voices; the belief that the person standing beside you is more important than you are. They also help define for the audience—patriotism and what it means to serve our country today, through acts of bravery, compassion, social responsibility, sense of community and brotherhood. Collectively the production gives a voice to a generation that went to war against terror in Afghanistan and to war in Iraq, for reasons that are still being debated and who are still fighting and dying in those wars today and reveals the humanity that lies within the war as seen through the eyes of the men and women fighting it.