The U.S. has been at war for more than a decade. In that time period lives have been lost for a cause that many question and that more feel was trumped up to justify the monetary benefit of an elite few, oil barons, as well as the lords of war and those supporting and fueling the military industrial complex. The casualties who have died for a cause that St. Thomas Aquinas would not have labeled just for its length of continuance, mismanagement and malfeasance are at peace. Those casualties who have remained alive and are scarred physically and emotionally are legion.
Many who have returned with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder now number in the hundreds of thousands. Statistics suggest that only half of them have sought treatment. There are many wounded warriors and returning vets who do not go for help because they feel therapies offered are ineffective. They remain hopeless and feel victimized by a government that is uncaring and callous and a culture that is indifferent, fatuous and ignorant. Oftentimes, their emotional state and symptoms of anger, drinking, drugging, hyper aggression, depression, anxiety, jumpiness, sleeplessness, restiveness spill out on their family, spouses and children. If coaxed to seek help, the suggestion is ignored or provokes an angry response. The tragedy is that PTSD is never eliminated. However, there is hope if a wounded warrior seeks help. Chances are with the right type of sustained assistance from a network of individuals using a variety of therapies, PTSD will be mitigated. One only has to reach out.
This is easier said then done. The problem, then, is not being at war, it is coming home from the war, forever. Such is the subject of Charles Fuller’s play, One Night which opens to a World Premiere in NYC on November 6th. The Cherry Lane Theatre commissioned the play and the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright of A Soldier’s Play answered the call. The play delivers a powerful and important message that we must be alerted to. For our men and women veterans are returning home but what are they returning to? A life of meaning and purpose, or one of emptiness and continual anxiety, stress, dislocation and fury?
Certainly, if they have seen combat, have seen their buddies sharded or incinerated by mines and explosive, have seen themselves or others losing limbs, if they have suffered Traumatic Brain Injury or worse, have walked away unscathed physically, only to labor under delusive aftershocks of heightened oppression, guilt, flashbacks, suicidal/violent thoughts and more, they are experiencing PTSD.
How do they cope? Will they seek help or slip into the convenient or overlooked statistic? One Night covers all of this and shadows how a woman responds in recompense to an unjust act effected by soldiers, themselves suffering from an inability to deal with their own trauma to act humanely. The sufferers unload onto the perceived weaker sex and the woman like many women who serve in the U.S. military ends up battling an additional enemy ones wearing the same uniform. War turns men and women against each other eliciting the worst in times of stress. It can happen in many times during a decade, it can happen “one night,” but if it happens woe to all it happens to.
The World Premiere of One Night is being presented by the Cherry Lane Theatre and the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater.
One Night directed by Clinton Turner Davis will be at the Cherry Lane Theatre from November 6 to December 15.
Mon and Tues at 7 pm., Thurs and Fri. at 8 pm, Sat. at 2 pm and 8 pm, Sun. at 3 pm.
Grantham Coleman, K.K. Moggie, Matthew Montelongo, Cortez Nance Jr., Rutina Wesley
Set John McDermott, Costumes Jessica Jahn, Lighting Nicole Pearce, Sound Sean O’Halloran, Video Gil Sperling, Fights UnkleDave’s Fight-House, Props Starlet Jacobs, Stage Manager C. Renee Alexander, Assistant Stage Manager Kristin Pfeifer
Running time is 2 hours with one 10 minute intermission.
FOR TICKETS CLICK HERE.
5% of ticket proceeds benefit IAVA, the first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Learn more and support the Next Greatest Generation at IAVA.org.