WILMINGTON — The Free Movement Project presents Carpetbag Theatre Company’s “Speed Killed My Cousin,” a tale of a soldier’s return home from war and her battles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The play explores the mental toll members of the military pay from tandem perspectives: The perspective of the soldier and of her father, a veteran of the Vietnam War. It uses lenses of race, class and gender to assess these issues and to tell powerful stories of redemption and recovery.
The story unfolds as Debra, the main character, drives down the Long Island Expressway in New York. Struggling with flashbacks and memories, she attempts to initiate a conversation with her father about his experiences in the Vietnam war and about his cousin — a returning, Vietnam veteran who died in a mysterious car crash. As she drives, memories unfurl in the rear view mirror like ribbons of spent road; Debra remembers her mother, for instance, and the women she left behind in Iraq, some of whom didn’t survive.
As she grapples with these recollections she also grapples with whether to let go of the wheel, with whether to choose life over death.
Since 1969, Carpetbag Theatre Company has told stories of empowerment, celebrated African American culture and revealed hidden stories. The theater company will hold several open artists workshops while in Wilmington.
The play is part of the Free Movement Project and brings together Working Narratives, a Wilmington-based arts and social justice organization, and Carpetbag Theatre, a multigenerational ensemble company from Knoxville, Tennessee.
“Speed Killed My Cousin” has received, among other honors, an award from the New England Foundation of the Arts. Its Wilmington presentation is supported by The Arts Council of Wilmington, the New England Foundation of the Arts, and Alternate ROOTS through grants to Working Narratives. The play will be followed by a frank, public discussion regarding veteran experiences and needs.
The reading will be presented at TheaterNow, located at 19 South 10th St. in Wilmington, on March 8, 2017 and begins at 7 p.m. There is no entry fee.
The event is being brought to Wilmington as part of Working Narratives’ ongoing Free Movement Project—a collaborative laboratory of creativity, freedom, and activism utilizing Southern organizing strategies—and will be prefaced by other veteran-centered Free Movement events including a workshop conducted by Carpetbag Theatre founder Linda Parris-Bailey.
Please visit www.freemovementproject.org for more details and updates.
“Our goal with Free Movement is to advance the idea of creating a culture of health in Wilmington. That includes creating awareness and understanding around the impact of PTSD on our military community,” says Martha Foye, project director of Working Narratives.
Tickets are free to the public and individuals can reserve them at:
The mission of Carpetbag Theatre is to give artistic voice to the issues and dreams of people silenced by racism, classism, sexism, ageism, homophobia and other forms of oppression.
Working Narratives is a non-profit working with communities to tell great stories that inspire, activate and enliven our democracy.
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