On Sunday, May 22, 2016, my husband, Doug, and I attended the Adam Clayton Powell biopic at the Townsend Library housed on the NMSU-A campus in Alamogordo, New Mexico. It was an excellent film and a good discussion ensued at the end of which, attendee Wacinque Armistad Kaizen BeMende, who retires on June 30, 2016 with 40 years of military service, invited everyone to come to the Flickinger Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday evening, May 25, 2016 at 7:00 PM to hear five veterans from "Telling: El Paso" tell their stories.
This was an impromptu presentation starting out with five empty chairs on the stage. A young woman comes out on the stage to announce the event (I apologize for not getting her name.). Then, four men and one woman come out one at a time each taking a chair on stage and one by one, they begin telling their stories.
In December, 2015, Max Rayneard, the Telling Project's senior writer and producer, interviewed these veterans and their spouses. From those interviews, Rayneard constructed a script that interweaves stories of service into a one-act play. Hector Serrano, an El Paso native, retired EPCC professor of drama and English, and area theatre professional, began the process of performance training and directing rehearsals with the cast of local veterans (there are six originally; one was unable to be in this particular show).
Telling: El Paso was the 40th production of The Telling Project since its inception in 2008. KCOS 13 of El Paso is a co-sponsor. One of the performances will be filmed and will air on KCOS near Veterans Day 2016.
For many civilians, the realities of war are just images on the local news from far-off lands in upheaval. Most only hear about war from talking heads, not from those who lived it. In Telling: El Paso, a performance piece organized by playwright Max Rayneard, six local veterans are given a voice to share their stories of service and coming home.
What they share will make you laugh, and make you cry. If the opportunity arises again, you should make a point to see this short play. They do such an excellent job of telling the good, the bad and the ugly and their stories are mesmerizing.
|Introducing the play|
|Taking the Military Oath of Service|
|Mr. BeMende (far right) barking orders|
|A military salute to all|
We had a lovely visit with most of the cast in the Founders Hall next door to the Flickinger. Also Flori McElderry and her husband were there with friends so it was a great opportunity for conversation, eating some excellent ice cream, and getting to know these veterans even better. If the opportunity arises, I highly recommend you attend The Telling Project production. You will not be bored!
Thanks to Douglas A. Kerr, Photography for the wonderful pictures.
This is all I have to say for now.