“Soldier’s Heart” Next for Theater-by-the-Grove

Posted on 2/11/2015 2:24:41 PM

Theater-by-Grove at Indiana University of Pennsylvania will next present the drama Soldier’s Heart, written by Pittsburgh playwright Tammy Ryan. The production will run February 19–21 and 25–28 at 8:00 p.m. A matinee, followed by a post-performance talk with the playwright, will be offered on Sunday, February 22, at 2:00 p.m. Performances will be held on the Waller Hall Mainstage of IUP’s Performing Arts Center.

Soldier’s Heart is set in 2006–07 and documents the heroic journey of one female soldier who must stifle her maternal instincts in order to serve her country. Though the circumstances of this story appear unique, the events depicted echo the private battles being fought in the homes of countless returning warriors. Despite the play’s unrelenting descent into darkness, we resurface with an undeniable image of hope and resilience.

Directed by April Daras, IUP assistant professor of Theater, the familiar rituals of civilian family life are torn apart when Marine Sergeant Casey Johnson—a loving, protective, and responsible single mother—is deployed to Iraq to provide security for military convoys. Nine months later, Casey returns home from the war to find herself locked in a loop of vivid, sinister flashbacks and pursued by lingering shadows.

Daras comments, “The number of veterans on IUP’s campus is close to 500 students, staff, and faculty members. Yet, we remaining civilians have very little awareness of what it’s like to serve in the Middle East or to come home from war.

“This production became an opportunity for us to acknowledge the sacrifices that soldiers and marines make in service to our country. The production is an opportunity for members of the community to experience, in some small way, what life may be like for a veteran and his or her family,” adds Daras.

In recognition of all veterans, Theater-by-the-Grove has designated its preview rehearsal as a “Military Appreciation” performance on Wednesday, February 18. For this preview, all members of the military and ROTC will be admitted free with presentation of a military ID card or the wearing of a military uniform.

Theater-by-the-Grove would also like to inform audience members that this production contains strong language and images to which some audience members may object or find uncomfortable. It is not recommended for younger students and children.

Tickets for Soldier’s Heart are available online, or the Lively Arts website. They can also be purchased at the Hadley Union Building, located on Pratt Drive of the IUP campus, or by calling the HUB Box Office weekdays at 724-357-1313. Seats remaining will be sold at the door starting 45 minutes before each performance.

Tickets are priced at $15 for regular admission, $12 for senior citizens and groups of 15 or more, and $10 with a university I-Card.

For more information, contact the Lively Arts at 724-357-2787 or e-mail us at lively-arts@iup.edu. Theater-by-the-Grove is produced by the Department of Theater and Dance and the College of Fine Arts. It is funded, in part, by the IUP Student Cooperative Association.

Scene from Soldiers Heart