If you haven’t seen it already, there’s still time to catch Clovis West High School’s touching presentation of Women and War.
The poignant play, written by Jack Hilton Cunningham, consists of a series of monologues and letters based on real-life wartime experiences. Originating from the Great War and continuing through the War in Afghanistan, the women’s stories run a full range of emotions: humor, grief, loneliness, determination, anger, and hope. Especially hope.
Authentic newsreels played on overhead screens, and coupled with nostalgic music, identified each war era as the stories came to life. Women’s roles during wartime evolved over time, from that of wife to that of a soldier. Among the roles depicted were those of a Hello Girl, Navy nurse, Doughnut Girl, camp follower, Los Alamos spouse, a Gold Star Mother and Vietnam nurse. The actors did an excellent job of connecting with the audience.
“It brought tears to my eyes,” said Christine Hofmann, President of the Central Valley Blue Star Moms. “The students portrayed their characters with passion and respect. They made you believe that they were really the characters they were playing. It was all very moving for me, especially the Blue Star Mother, and when the boys were writing home.
“The teachers and directors did a fantastic job of presenting the materials. This play brings the audience back in time through the different wars and touches the present day. A wonderful play for everyone to see!”
Actors carefully researched the characters they portrayed. By doing so, they brought authenticity and respect to their performances and to their characters. Additionally, a member of the military visited and taught the cast how to salute, stand and the proper way to retire the flag.
“This story might be about ‘women and war,’ but within every woman’s life are husbands, brothers, children, etc., that end up serving in the military,” said Director, Sandra Hahn. “This play has been very special to the cast and to me. There is a belief that we all can play a role in protecting our country. Not all of us can enlist, but we can raise awareness about the dedication our military personnel gives every day to protect our freedom.”
Vietnam Marine/Blake Plumlee
Camp Follower/Kiley Diaz
Los Almos wife/Katie White
Women and War will continue its run Feb. 6-8 at the Dan Pessano Theater at Clovis North High school, located at 2770 E. International Ave., Fresno. Doors open at 7 p.m., curtain time is at 7:30 p.m.
A matinee will be held on Sat., Feb. 8. Doors open at 1:30 p.m., with curtain time at 2 p.m. Student tickets are $8, adult tickets are $10 for all performances.
To purchase tickets, visit cwhsdrama.weebly.com or call 559-327-2043. The play is rated PG-13 with parental guidance suggested.