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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Stories to bridge veteran civilian gap

 
 

Bullets, tears and flooded emotions – military veterans and their families know the feelings of war. However, there can be a disconnect between soldiers and civilians who have never been a part of the military. “Telling Aggieland” hopes to bridge that gap and give audience members a chance to see the truth and connect to the real life experience of the military.
The Telling Project is a nonprofit organization that shares the truth of veterans and active duty soldiers’ lives through personal accounts across the nation. Through a full theatrical production of performances, veterans and family members connected to A&M retell their stories.
Over the past four months, Michael Greenwald, theatre arts professor, has been coaching veterans and family members on how to deliver their messages to an audience.
Greenwald said the actors have come a long way in developing their stories for the public and he has been enthusiastic to work with this group of actors.
“It’s interesting working with actors playing themselves,” Greenwald said. “This is a whole new approach to me. Our last couple of run-throughs have been absolutely sensational. So they are doing really, really well. I couldn’t be happier with what they’re doing.”
There will be 10 actors and each will perform two to three stories. Greenwald said these military stories will leave the audience breathless, shocked and even laughing at times.
“There is as much humor as there is darker stuff,” Greenwald said. “Some of it is very funny because military life can be that way. There are some great stories. I’ve got a woman in the cast who’s 82 years old, met and married an Aggie, class of ’52, and he was in Vietnam. She has stories about being at home and raising six kids. Everybody has got an extraordinary story to tell.”
Jonathan Wei, executive director of The Telling Project, said he is excited to present the program.
“This will be the 15th production nationwide,” Wei said. “It’s going to be the first of 10 that we’re going to be doing this year in 2014. It’s a great kick-off to the year for us.”
Tuesday and Thursday’s shows will have a reception afterward with an opportunity to interact with the cast. Thursday’s show will have a special video introduction by Gov. Rick Perry, an Air Force veteran.
Greenwald said the audience can expect a full emotional experience from this production. He hopes that people will walk away with a lesson, a laugh and love for what soldiers give to civilians.
“They can expect to learn about the challenges about serving in the military, other than just being on battlefields,” Greenwald said. “In an hour and a half the audience is going to get an extraordinary range of human experience and I think walk away with a great appreciation of what our military people do for us.”
“Telling Aggieland” will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday in Rudder Theatre. Tickets are free and available at the MSC Box Office.

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