Winter Soldiers: Stop. Just Listen.

April 14, 2008

We should preface what follows by saying that Ravi Jain is a good friend of ours. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t a brilliant and inspiring figure whose Why Not? Theatre Company is turning the Toronto theatre scene on its ear.

When hundreds of Iraq war veterans gathered between March 14th and 16th to discuss their experiences, in an echo of the Vietnam era “Winter Soldiers” demonstrations of 1971, the media didn’t bother to show up. That really irked Ravi. So he’s decided to stage their testimonials in a one-night only show at the Theatre Centre in Toronto tomorrow (Monday, April 14 at 8pm).

Those who saw Why Not?‘s production of Hamlet at the Winchester Dance Theatre earlier this season know that the company would never simply stage the testimonials. They understand the power of the play between movement, words, and images. As a result, they’ve convinced photojournalist Rita Leistner to donate a few of her most stunning images from Iraqi prisoner camps.

This is the kind of show that doesn’t happen enough in this country. Stop by and make a pay what you can donation to Democracy Now!

Check out the story Richard Ouzounian wrote about the show in the Toronto Star. Or listen to the piece CBC Radio’s As it Happens did on the Winter Soldier story.

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