Lonely Soldier - Portland
The Lonely Soldier features seven women, ranging in age from 19 to 47, who vividly tell the real life stories of military women who served in Iraq. Their stories focus on the challenges they faced from warfare, discrimination, to their own consciences.
Journalist, author and playwright, Helen Benedict, based this The Lonely Soldier on interviews with female veterans for her book, The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women in Iraq. Benedict, a professor of journalism at Columbia University, has testified twice to Congress on behalf of women soldiers. Her work on women soldiers inspired a class action lawsuit in 2011 against the Pentagon and Defense Secretaries Rumsfeld and Gates on behalf of members of the military who were sexually assaulted while serving. Her work has also inspired several documentaries and many television programs and articles in the international press, including the Oscar-nominated 2012 film, The Invisible War, which galvanized legal changes in the treatment of sexual assault within the military, and is now mandatory viewing for many recruits.
"Sometimes, the theater is about character development or entertainment. Sometimes, it transports us to imaginative places. "Lonely Soldiers" is a production about the urgent need to listen to women warriors whose scars remain open and whose battles continue long after their guns have been silenced."
- Minneapolis Star Tribune
The Lonely Soldier offers audiences an enlightening perspective of the Iraq War and the challenges faced by women in today's military. This play will appeal to both veterans and non-veterans as the stories of the seven women featured in the play are human stories that are compelling and heart-breaking testaments to bravery and resilience.
The counties of central, western, and northern Maine have the highest percentage of veterans in the state. With its proximity to veterans, and Togus, UMA is perfectly situated to be the site of this project. The University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) has welcomed veterans as students on an ever increasing basis. For the past two years, UMA has been included in the list of "Military Friendly Schools" from G.I. Jobs, the premier magazine for military personnel transitioning to civilian life. In 2009, UMA was awarded one of the highly competitive grants from the American Council on Education and the Wal-Mart foundation to further its services for returning veterans. During the spring of 2014, 409 of UMA's 5,000 students are receiving VA educational benefits as veterans or dependents. 115 of those students are women. UMA also has a high number of faculty and staff members who are veterans.
Each performance will include a post-show discussion with cast members, the director, and veterans. In addition, each location will include a performance solely for veterans and their families, with trained counselors on hand to encourage discussion and share resources for veterans in need of assistance.
"If war-story fatigue prevents some theatergoers from checking out "The Lonely Soldier Monologues (Women at War in Iraq)," that will be unfortunate, because this energetically acted example of journalism as theater explores some issues that deserve more attention."
- The New York Times
Performance of The Lonely Soldier are possible through the generous support of the University of Maine at Augusta's Veteran Achievement Project,
the Maine Humanities Council, the Maine Arts Commission,
the Maine Community Foundation, and CODEPINK.
Portland Ballet Studio Theater (View)
517 Forest Ave
Portland, ME 04101
|Minimum Age: 16|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|