On Wednesday, June 7th at 7:00pm, my play Noms de Guerre will receive a staged reading at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company as part of their annual spring play reading series.
Directed by David de Vries, the reading will feature Tonia Jackson as Mira Hamilton, Geoffrey D. Williams as Douglas Hamilton, Anja Lee as Jude Nolan-Belizaire, Neal Ghant as Cooper Belizaire, Jen Harper as Leeda Hamilton-Ramsey, and Valeka J. Holt as Sophie Williams. Stage Directions will be read by Victoria Smith and our stage manager is Lark Hackshaw.
Noms de Guerre is a haunting story of friendship, love, war, and politics. The play follows, Mira, a rising star in the Democratic Party, who decides to run for Governor of Virginia. At the height of her unprecedented campaign, her best friend, Jude, lands a story that threatens to reveal the cover-up of a covert military operation. Suddenly, Mira is thrown into a whirlwind of political intrigue. In a rush against time, can Mira hold on to her career, salvage her friendship, and save her husband's life.
I'm honored to be a part of this play reading series and beyond excited to hear the latest draft of this play. The entire series is free to the public and runs from June 6th to June 9th at Fulton County’s Southwest Arts Center’s Performance Theater. Click here to learn more.
Last week, I had a chance to connect with the cast about the play. Given the play addresses U.S. military policy and the damaging impact of PTSD on veterans and their family, I wanted to know if they felt the themes were relevant to today’s audiences. Here are a few of their responses:
ANJA LEE: War continues to rage on in several places around the world and our men and women are out there fighting and protecting. We often forget what is happening overseas because the media often downplays these wars and our involvement. Unless we know someone in the military, it is easy to live our daily protected lives in the US and forget the sacrifice these people make on our behalf.
JEN HARPER: As a physician I see a lot of PTSD. I worry sometimes that the label is over used as a diagnosis, but certainly see that many of us are impacted by PTSD, if not personally then with family members or friends. Any medium that heightens awareness of PTSD is valuable to the public health.
VALEKA J. HOLT: A good friend of mine lost the love of her life from PTSD. He had over 3 tours, and was never the same man, and they couldn’t figure out how to love each other in this new space. It broke my heart to see their love crumble. If we never put a spotlight on these issues, these families will never get the care they so desperately need. It’s not fair to train a solider for war, and then when the solider returns home, leave it to chance that they’ve healed from their time at war. It took time and money to train them, and it takes more time and more money to heal them.
I'm a playwright, dramaturg, and teaching artist. It is here where you'll find my queries and musings on life, theater and the world. My posts advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity in the American Theatre and updates on my own work. Please enjoy!