Truth to power
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  June 21, 2006

By now, a clear majority of Americans have a thing or two they’d like to drive into Administration heads about what’s going on in Iraq. And the Winter Harbor Theatre Company is right in step with the dissidence of the times. After its first two shows in a series of speaking out to power from the proscenium — first with Letters to Ohio, in the despondent aftermath of the 2004 election, and then with Letters to Katrina, as a response to the Bush Administration’s horrific domestic failures — the WHTC is back with Letters to Baghdad. Continuing the series’ revue-style coalition of actors, musicians, playwrights, politicians, and writers, Letters to Baghdad will mount the boards of the St. Lawrence this week (June 26-29) with a collection of all-original responses to the ever-escalating war in Iraq.

The convictions and talent behind Letters to Baghdad are both local and from cities as influential as Los Angeles, New York City, and D.C. One of the show’s featured participants is L.A.-based playwright Sean Huze, who served in the Marines from 2001 to 2005 in Iraq, and who has since authored the critically acclaimed The Sand Storm: Stories from the Front, and The Dragon Slayer, a treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder which will premiere in L.A. in the coming months. New York playwright Amy Fox, whose play Heights was recently produced as a film by Merchant Ivory, will be represented by her monologue from the mother of a Marine who participated in the Haditha massacre. Letters will also feature work by Houston Chronicle editor Burke Watson, whose son was stationed with the Marines in Iraq, songs from New York-based singer/lyricist Jeremy Schonfeld, and excerpts from Fear Up: Stories from Baghdad and Guantanamo, compiled by the Democracy Cell Project.

Local writers and performers who’ll be weighing in on this most consequential quagmire of the day include Phoenix contributor Sam Pfeifle, prolific playwright John Manderino, and actors Denise Poirier, Jared Mongeau, Stephen McLaughlin, and Caroline Latorre. On opening night, state senator Ethan Strimling will host a post-show panel discussion, and you can raise your own voice both toward the proscenium of the St. Lawrence and to the wider, ever louder political stage. See "Listings" for the details.


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