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Pre-July 2009 Press Archives

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11/20/2007 Veterans' stories performed in 'Soldier's Heart'

McMINNVILLE – Veterans from Vietnam and Desert Storm, including a nurse and veterans' wives, will tell their stories in "Soldier's Heart – II" on Monday, Nov. 26, at 7:30 p.m. in the Marshall Theatre of Ford Hall at Linfield College.

The performance, created to honor and support America's current returning veterans, is free and open to the public. Content is not suitable for children.

The performance will be followed by a talkback discussion with writers, actors and members of the Linfield faculty including David Massey, chaplain, and Kate Hawkes, adjunct professor of theatre arts at Linfield. The discussion will center on war and its effects not only on those who serve their country but also their families and friends, and, ultimately, all citizens.

Under the direction of Hawkes, nationally recognized arts in healthcare and theatre specialist, the theatrical performance will feature stories from American war heroes. Between 2002 and 2005, Hawkes worked with veterans of war and some of their spouses to create 13 short stories through an artistic writing process, and prepared them for performance on stage. These were produced by the Well Arts Institute in two productions, "After War – Our Lives in America" and "Soldier's Heart."

Writers include Ted Kiser, Don Mills, Kristine Kiser, Colleen Helmstetter, Mike Mullane, Pat Helmstetter and Sean Lewis. Performers include Ellen Christian, Mandy Elgin, Alexa Soles, Holly Harrison, Danny Roberson, Matt Blakeman and Lewis, a Desert Storm veteran who will perform his own story.

The writers are men and women living with the aftermath of serving abroad and sharing the experience of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The stories are told with raw detail, humor, honesty and deep compassion for the human experience, according to Hawkes.

"The experiences of working with veterans in this process reaffirmed the power of story telling to assist the individuals in overcoming loss, fear, pain and anger," Hawkes said. "It also highlights the necessity of the shared experience as a means by which we begin to heal. War belongs to all of us – not just those who go away to fight."

The Linfield performance is sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies' Frazee Lectureship, the Linfield Chaplain's Office, the Department of Theatre and Communication Arts, and the Dean's Speakers Fund. For more information contact Hawkes at 541-994-5904 or