Theater performance on military, war stirs up intense emotions

 Legacies of War OnstageThe production “Legacies of War Ontsage in Three Acts” was held Sept. 20-21 at the Marshall Theatre in Ford Hall. The three act play consisted of two acts with a discussion of the production at the end.

Claire Lebowitz, an actor, director and play writer from New York City, and Jerry Goralnick, from The Living Theatre in New York, collaborated to write the three act production.

Gorlalink wrote Act I: called “NO SIR”. This act examines military recruitment, specifically for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Photo cred to Professor Ty MarshallThe act is also performed in front of a military requirement commercial.  Jackson Miller, professor of communication arts and director of forensics, said that this act was originally performed in on the giant screen in Times Square to protest war.

Act II, called “Bradass87” was produced by Lebowitz for the Whitsleblowers Theatre. This play investigates the actions of WikiLeaks whitslebower, Bradley Manning, private first class, who exposed private information to the U.S. public. He was put into solitary confinement at Quantico Marine Corp Brig in Quantico, Va. This act was composed from chat logs, trial transcripts and interviews from Manning’s case.

Act III consisted of a dialogue or discussion with Lebowitz and Goralink. The panel also featured Ronnie Lacroute, Linfield College trustee and arts benefactor, and Erick Shuck, professor of economics, who is also a third generation naval officer.

 The discussion was also open to the audience and actors from the play to share their opinions and ask questions.

In the dialogue Shuck portrayed the complications of war from a soldier’s standpoint. “The moment you begin killing people outside of arms reach, things become much more complicated,” Shuck said.

Senior Angie Aguilar, who starred in the ensemble, “Stop the War,” to the tune of the “Star Spangled Banner” in Act I was emotionally intense. “What would people do if they actually listened [to the song]?“ Aguilar said.

“I felt mixed emotions [about the production] because my dad is from the navy,” senior Samantha Javier said, whose father has encouraged her to join the U.S. armed forces before. “But how do I enter this job, but the people of the country don’t like what you’re doing?”

 “Legacies of War in Three Acts” affected the audience members and those who participated in the production in various ways.

However, Lacroute was there to remind the audience during the dialogue that it is the use of the arts, whether it is in a play or in music, it brought controversial issues to light.

Mariah Gonzales / Culture editor

Mariah Gonzales can be reached at