Tuesday, October 9, 2012

New Play Offers Tribute to Vets

Developed from Conversations with 40+ Returning Vets from Iraq, Afghanistan
The performance piece Cadence: Home offers an intimate, honest and compassionate entry into the world of four veterans returning to New York from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a site-specific theatrical experience at Manhattan’s Metro Baptist Church, as the audience is invited to a memorial for Scott Matthews, a character based on a real man, a soldier who died in Afghanistan. It begins and ends with his memorial. Cadence: Home is a tribute to all of the men and woman who served, both those who made it home and those who did not.

In honor of Veterans Day it will be presented at 7 pm Nov. 7-10 and Nov. 14-17 at Metro Baptist Church 410 W. 40th St. NYC. The price is $18 general/ $15 for veterans. Group rates available. To purchase tickets, visit cadencehome.brownpapertickets.com. For more information, visit

Cadence: Home was developed over nearly two years from Insight conversations with more than 40 returning vets – learning about their decisions, their fears, their hopes and their dreams. Guided by the Insight approach to documentary-style theatre, this theatrical experience helps close the gaps in understanding and compassion that divide military and nonmilitary civilians from each other through the dramatic insight of the performing arts.

The show considers several questions: What do we lose on the home front when friends and lovers go to war, and how do we replace "that?" And how do we make room for change – can we make room for change – when they come back?

Cadence: Home, which features live music, follows the inner journeys and outer struggles of four veterans, recently returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, who are trying to reestablish their lives and their relationships with their loved ones. One event affects and connects them all, the death of Scott Matthews, a marine killed in Afghanistan through an act of his own heroism. The prospect of a memorial service to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Scott’s death alerts these characters to the reality that they have not yet found either ease or rhythm in their postwar lives.
Donovan, an air force vet, longs for the relatively carefree days of high school with Scott, Nate, and Matty. .. Nate and Matty have polarizing views of Donovan's choice to join the military and his status now that he is home.... Lisette, a marine vet, needs to reconcile her experiences of trying to measure up to the "boys" in the marines before she can find her womanhood as a civilian. Austin, a marine vet, cannot be fully present with his fiancee until he faces his guilt and the accompanying ghosts.... Ethan, an army vet, must count on himself, alone, to get him back on his feet and begin to accept a loss.

With four unique-yet-connected story lines unfolding at once in this site specific theatrical space, audiences engage dramatically in the range of complicated relationships and courageous journeys of these veterans on the way to the memorial of a fallen comrade, and the discovery of the courage it takes to find their Cadence: Home.

Created and co-produced by TE’A (Theatre, Engagement and Action), the production is spearheaded by Intersections International as part of its larger effort to heal the domestic consequences of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by organizing events and by convening dialogues that help veterans and nonmilitary civilians bridge the gaps in understanding, recognition and affirmation that separate them from each other and divide the nation as a whole.

The original company and creators of Cadence: Home are Joseph Reese, August Dannehl, Chuk Obasi, Nalini Sharma, and Amanda Marikar.

Michael Goldfried and Stefano Brancato co-direct. Alex Gemignani* composed the music. Members of TE'A Company are Jake Robards*, August Dannehl, Chuk Obasi, Purva Bedi*, Amanda Marikar, Collin Leydon*, Karen Eilbacher and Nabil Vinas. *Equity approved Showcase.

Intersections International is a New York-based non-government organization (NGO) that works at the intersection of communities in conflict to promote peace through dialogue, using direct service programs, advocacy, educational and informational outreach. Founded in 2007, Intersections is a multicultural initiative of the Collegiate Churches of New York, the oldest corporation in North America, dating back to 1628.

Using arts immersion, social marketing, intentional dialogue and other innovative methods, Intersections' work includes projects that promote pluralism in emerging democracies, eradicate ignorance regarding Islam, nurture global peacemakers, and initiate conversation among disparate groups to develop new ways of problem-solving for some of society's most intractable issues.

Since 2008, Intersections has conducted numerous Veteran-Civilian Dialogues, three-hour live events with equal numbers of veterans and civilians in facilitated conversations around the impact of war upon both groups. Two will be conducted in conjunction with Cadence: Home. These free gatherings will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 12 at Intersections, 274 Fifth Ave. (between 29th and 30th Streets) and 6 p.m. Nov. 19 at John Jay College. Reservations are required: RSVP@Intersectionsinternational.org, attention Elaine.

The TE’A Project, founded in 2009 by Radha Kramer, integrates documentary-style interactive theatre with the “insight approach” to conflict mitigation and transformation, a recent development in the field inspired by the thought of Canadian philosopher Bernard Lonergan. The insight approach places careful attention to the roles played by our inner capacities for feeling, thinking and meaning-making when we lock ourselves into conflicts with other people — as well as the roles they play when we transform those conflicts. The TE’A Project dramatizes this performance on stage.

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Our reviews are professional reviews written without a religious bias. At the end of them, you can find a listing of language, content or theological issues that Christians might want to know about when deciding which shows to see.

** Mature indicates that the show has posted an advisory because of content. Usually this means I would recommend no one under the age of 16 attend.

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/.

She is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection (http://ctarts.blogspot.com), an award-winning website featuring theater and arts news for the state. She is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com and is a theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer. She previously served as Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp.com and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web.

Yarger is a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly and freelances for other sites. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

She is a freelance writer and playwright and member of The Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association and The League of Professional Theatre Women. She served as a judge for the SDX Awards presented by the Society of Professional Journalists. She also is a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle and the CT Press Club.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.


All material is copyright 2008- 2017 by Lauren Yarger. Reviews and articles may not be reprinted without permission. Contact reflectionsinthelight@gmail.com


Key to Content Notes:

God's name taken in vain -- means God or Jesus is used in dialogue without speaking directly to or about them.

Language -- means some curse words are used. "Minor" usually means the words are not too strong or that it only occurs once or twice throughout the show.

Strong Language -- means some of the more heavy duty curse words are used.

Nudity -- means a man or woman's backside, a man's lower front or a woman's front are revealed.

Scantily clad -- means actors' private areas are technically covered, but I can see a lot of them.

Sexual Language -- means the dialogue contains sexually explicit language but there's no action.

Sexual Activity -- means a man and woman are performing sexual acts.

Adultery -- Means a married man or woman is involved sexually with someone besides their spouse. If this is depicted with sexual acts on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Sex Outside of Marriage -- means a man and woman are involved sexually without being married. If this is depicted sexually on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Homosexuality -- means this is in the show, but not physically depicted.

Homosexual activity -- means two persons of the same sex are embracing/kissing. If they do more than that, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Cross Dresser -- Means someone is dressing as the opposite sex. If they do more than that on stage the listing would include the corresponding "sexual activity" and/or "homosexual activity" as well.

Cross Gender -- A man is playing a female part or a woman is playing a man's part.

Suggestive Dancing -- means dancing contains sexually suggestive moves.

Derogatory (category added Fall 2012) Language or circumstances where women are referred to or treated in a negative and demeaning manner.

Other content matters such as torture, suicide or rape will be noted, with details revealed only as necessary in the review itself.

The term "throughout" added to any of the above means it happens many times throughout the show.

Reviewing Policy

I receive free seats to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows made available to all voting members of the Outer Critics Circle and The Drama Desk, the two professional critics organizations with journalists covering NY theater. Journalistically, I provide an unbiased review and am under no obligation to make positive statements. Sometimes shows do not make tickets available to reviewers. If these are shows my readers want to know about (I review all Broadway shows and pertinent Off-Broadway shows), I will purchase a ticket. If a personal friend is involved in a production, I'll let you know, but it won't influence a review. If I feel there is a conflict, I won't review their portion of the production.

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