Last night we saw three short plays performed for free in a courtyard of an apartment building.
"Eight To One," was the first production by LERT, Living Engaged Radical Theater
It was inspired by the Winter Soldiers Iraq Veterans Against the War event in Seattle on May 31.
Artistic director of LERT Andrew Perez, and a group of young actors from Seattle University and Cornish, as well as a few other actors that responded to the call, put on three plays that addressed the effects of war on soldiers after they return home. It included real incidents from the Iraq war, the difficulties of achieving intimacy, the insanity of caring about others in the midst of the mindless killing in Iraq, the craziness of life's random acts of violence, and much more.
Hidden Wounds, Hidden Costs, involved the unwillingness of young returned soldiers to talk about their experiences, the high suicide rate and the echoes of suicide among Vietnam soldiers.
Beverage Oasis was about the insanity of everyday life, the disconnects between people, and the perpetration of violence that can erupt mindlessly in response to PTSD
To-morrow we reach was more of a performance piece with a series of scenes about traumatic failures of intimacy, memories of death, and the distance between those who have killed and those who have not.
It was puncutated by the cast standing in rows calling out "move, move, move, move, move"
The effect of this sequence was both echoes of war and military, as well as perhaps directed at the audience to respond to the crisis.
Hats off to these young people for responding to the current world.
I don't have any pictures because I forgot to take a camera and they don't have a website. Just keep your eyes open for LERT in Seattle.
"Eight to One" is the ratio of wounded:killed in Iraq, in WWII it was 2:1 in Vietnam it was 3:1
What I was happy about is that their college programs are encouraging them to speak about issues.
Quite a contrast to visual art training!