On November 11th, Veterans Day, the Lobero Theatre will present If All the Sky Were Paper, a play created by Andrew Carroll from war letters gathered from around the world.
“Through real letters written from the battlefields and home-fronts, If All the Sky Were Paper explores the impossibility of making any sense of warfare. The performances bring together actors, writers, and veterans who give voice to the human side of war and history.” (chapman.edu)
As Carroll travelled around the world collecting letters from people in 40 different countries, he was deeply moved by their unexpected generosity. He met people who were willing to share letters with him that they had never shown to anyone; not even their closest relatives and friends.
Reading the letters, Carroll found that imminent death had sharped the minds and the moments for the soldiers, making their letters more thrilling because of what they were seeing and doing. He found “the love letters more passionate…the philosophical letters more intense and deeply expressed.” (soundcloud.com)
In an interview with Alex Cortright (soundcloud.com), Carroll talked about the remarkable ability of the soldiers’ to find humor in the most improbable places. Their capacity for humor, he said, appeared to be “the glue that bound them together, along with hope and redemption, in the midst of chaos.”
Carroll went on to say that some of the letters he chose to highlight in this play are funnier that people might expect. He wanted the quirky love letters, the unexpected reactions that were more intense and profound because they were seen through the eyes of war.
The following review by Terry Byrne (dcmetrotheaterarts.com) captures the essence of this compelling Veterans Day play:
“If All the Sky Were Paper says loudly what needs to be said. It explodes with humanity – humor, dread, pride, wisdom — and finally reverberates as an anthem for peace. If war is hell, this show is a little slice of heaven.”
Try Benchmark Eatery for dinner before the show!