My Films

Monday, October 10, 2005

Review of the Play "What I Heard About Iraq"

I saw the play "What I heard About Iraq" at the Fountain Theater in East Los Angeles this past Thursday. I knew very little about it before hand, only that it was based on an article written by Elliot Weinberger by that same name. The play opened with five performers sitting in wooden chairs strewn across the stage. On the screen behind them, the date "1992" appeared. One performer stood up and said, "I heard that Dick Cheney, then Secretary of Defense say..." One by one the performers came to life sharing what they heard various officials says about the war in Iraq. We hear the perspectives of US politicians, US Soldiers, and the Iraqi people, the performers constantly interchanging their roles. As the play draws to an end, we hear the climbing numbers of the causalities of the Iraqi people and of our US soldiers. It's a chilling, intense, disturbing and powerful performance. When all these verifiable quotes that you've heard over the years are condensed into 70minutes, I couldn't help but feel shaken.
After the performance, the audience is invited to participate in a town hall meeting where they can discuss their experience and any thoughts about the war in Iraq. I was invited to get on stage with the cast and crew and talk with the audience members. I shared with them that personally whenever I watch a play like this, a film, or hear an inspiring talk I get incredibly energized. And instead of feeling overwhelmed by the information that I received, I choose to use my energy positively and proactively. I talked to the audience about the Department of Peace campaign and the positive role it would play both internationally and domestically. Though I probably spoke too fast and stumbled over some words, it was important for me to share how positive social and political change can be made even in times likes these. The play will continue to run every Thursday night until December. I encourage you to go and see it.

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