PROVIDENCE: Trinity Rep announces Veteran Voices, presented as part of the organization’s Green Light Ghost Light Project, which will be held on November 6 at 6:00 pm in Trinity Rep’s Dowling Theater at 201 Washington Street in Providence. Staged just days before Veteran’s Day, the special event will feature performances, music, and readings from local veterans about their time during and after military service. Veteran Voices is free and open to the public but capacity is limited and reservations are required. More information and RSVPs are available at trinityrep.com/veterans.
Veteran Voices will combine Trinity Rep’s longstanding theatrical traditions with the emotions and experiences of local veterans. Veterans will write and read an original work, perform music, or read an excerpt from a novel or a speech. By sharing work created by or that resonates with them, local veterans will be able to connect with and educate the community.
“Trinity Rep continues to grow as a public square and we want to include veteran-centered events here, and Veteran Voices is a space to do just that; to have our Veteran community tell their own stories.” Director of Community Engagement Michelle Cruz said.
Resident actor Rachael Warren will also participate, performing a piece from the play Boots on the Ground. This play by Laura Kepley and Deborah Salem Smith debuted at Trinity Rep in 2006, and Rachael was in the original cast.
Trinity Rep is working with Providence Clemente Veterans’ Initiative (PCVI) to coordinate Veteran Voices. Many of the participants are current or graduated students from PCVI humanities courses.
“As many veterans will tell you, ‘Thank you for your service’ too often feels like an empty gesture,” PCVI Director Mark Santow said. “What is more important, for those of us who haven’t served, is to listen. We need to listen to what veterans have to say not just because it might be a step toward healing for them, but because they have the wisdom to impart that we cannot access any other way.”
Veteran Voices is an extension of Trinity Rep’s ongoing engagement with Rhode Island’s veteran community, The Green Light Ghost Light Project. Created to share veterans’ stories, the Green Light Ghost Light Project is a combination of the Greenlight a Vet initiative, in which communities light a green light to show support for veterans, and the Ghost Light Project, in which theaters leave a light on to signal that the theater is a safe space for all. In May, Trinity Rep hosted the Memorial Day Reflection Walk to honor those who lost their lives in military service. The walk also included QR codes participants could scan to learn the stories of nine Rhode Island Marines who died during the Marine Barracks bombing in Beirut, Lebanon in 1983.