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March 24, 2014

Theater of War: Soldiers & Citizens Tour Performance at ODU to Spur PTSD Awareness, Dialogue

topstory4-lgReg E. Cathey
topstory4-lgBMarin Ireland

The Theater of War: Soldiers & Citizens Tour will make a stop at Old Dominion on Saturday, March 29, for dramatic readings of Sophocles' "Ajax," designed to engage the audience in a town hall-style discussion about the visible and invisible wounds of war.

The ODU readings will be presented by actors Reg E. Cathey and Marin Ireland. Cathey's credits include "The Wire," "Oz" and "House of Cards," while Ireland has appeared in "Homeland," "Mildred Pierce" and "reasons to be pretty." The presentations are intended to foster understanding and compassion, while encouraging viewers to help improve the lives of service members and veterans, as well as their families and communities.

The Saturday performance at ODU will be held from 2:30-4 p.m. in the Mills Godwin Jr. Building (Room 102). The event, co-hosted by ODU's Theatre Program, Institute for the Humanities and Office of Military Affairs, is free and open to the public. Students from the Institute for the Humanities and the theatre and film programs at ODU will have the opportunity to talk with the actors at noon.

To make reservations, email theaterofwarnorfolk@gmail.com. Seating is limited.

Theater of War is a public health project that uses the ancient Greek dramatist's plays, and audience discussions facilitated by military community members, to increase awareness of post-deployment psychological health issues, disseminate information about available resources and foster greater family and troop resilience.

To date, Theater of War has presented more than 200 performances to military and civilian communities throughout the United States, Europe, Japan and the Middle East, which have been attended by 40,000 audience members. Attendees have included civilians, service members, veterans, caregivers, and high-level Department of Defense and Veterans Administration officials.

The program has also served as a training tool for Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine, Reserve and National Guard units, and has been integrated into the curriculum at the U.S. Army War College and the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences.

Organizers were able to expand the reach of the program through a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, in collaboration with the USO, to engage mixed civilian-military audiences at prominent theaters and universities throughout the U.S.

For more information about the Theater of War: Soldiers & Citizens Tour, and to view a trailer and other performance videos, visit the Outside the Wire website or the organization's Facebook page.