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October 3, 2013

Blinn theatre opens season with Vietnam War drama

‘A Piece of My Heart’ views war through women’s eyes

The Blinn College – Bryan campus will kick off its 2013 theatre season with a powerful true story about six courageous women sent to Vietnam and their struggle to make sense of a war that irrevocably changed them.

“A Piece of my Heart” by Shirley Lauro runs October 10-12, with each show starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Barbara L. Pearson Banquet Room. Admission is free.

The play portrays each woman before, during and after her tour in the jungle and ends as each leaves a personal token at The Wall in Washington.

“This play looks through one very specific lens, and that’s the experience of the Vietnam War through a woman’s eye,” said Theatre Director Greg Wise. “Many women served in Vietnam as nurses and intelligence officers. Women had always served in war zones as volunteers, but this is the first time we had enlisted, service women active in combat zones.”

The play will be part of a series of campus events honoring military veterans Oct. 10-12. The celebration kicks off at 8 a.m. Oct. 10 with a flag-raising ceremony. That day’s performance will be preceded with a noon panel discussion in the Pearson Banquet Room titled “Military and PTSD: A Look Inside.” The panel includes Blinn Physical Therapy Assistant Program Director and U.S. Army Lt. Col. Christy Gantt and U.S. Army Veteran Heather Huhnke, a certified peer specialist and resource coordinator at Brazos Valley Veterans.

A faculty awareness luncheon will be held Oct. 11, and on Saturday Blinn will honor veterans and their families with a 6 p.m. VIP reception and flag-lowering ceremony prior to that evenings’ performance of “A Piece of My Heart.”

The cast includes Anise Gray as Martha, Stephanie Hoxie as Marjo, Riley Donato as Sissy, Katie Riely as Whitney, Christine Ehresman as Leeann, Miriam Felder as Steele and T.C. March as all the American men. Wise directs while Jean Daniels serves as technical director.

The crew includes: Woody Uresti, carpenter; Amber Parker, light design; Lyndsey Edwards, stage manager; Braden Baumbach, light board operator; Jonathan Oby, sound board operator; Delvin James, projections; Tim Weaver, projection supervisor; Catherine Darnell and Rainy Harrison, props; Ca’Tarin Merrill and Diane Tran, wardrobe; and Josiah Butso, Makayla Hickman, Delvin James and James Young, stage crew.

“They are working very hard,” Wise said. “We’re rehearsing every day, five days a week, for three to four hours,” Wise said. “It’s a very big undertaking, and it’s going to show in the quality of the performance.”

The play is intended for mature audiences.

Blinn’s Theatre Arts program offers a quality educational foundation through study, application and experience. For more information, visit: