Production runs October 11-21
(Santa Ana) - Santa Ana College (SAC) is set to open Matt Morillo’s American Soldiers on October 11. The play will be produced for the second time ever at Santa Ana College. The original production in 2010 ran in an Off-Broadway theatre. The play examines the effects on an Army veteran and her family when she returns emotionally unbalanced from the war in Iraq.
SAC brings American Soldiers to the stage beginning October 11 at Phillips Hall Theatre, 1530 W. 17th St. in Santa Ana. Show dates are October 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20 at 8:00 p.m. and October 14 and 21 at 2:30 p.m. General admission is $14; students/seniors/staff tickets are $12.
Following October 11th opening night performance, playwright Morillo will join the audience for a question and answer session. Besides his play, American Soldiers, Morillo is known for Angry Young Women in Low-Rise Jeans with High-Class Issues and All Aboard the Marriage Hearse. Also a screenwriter, he wrote the award-winning film The Pretenders (2000), and several short films, including Maid of Honor (2003).
American Soldiers is directed by Chris Cannon, SAC assistant professor of theatre. The play centers on the uneasy homecoming of returning war veteran Angela. Emotionally scarred from her military service, she now perceives her family as nothing more than cogs in the machine of conformity whose morals perpetuate dangerous myths. To escape their traditional values, she plans to move from her Long Island home and take her hard-partying younger sister Marie and her bartending boyfriend Hutch to the Colorado. Her father Vietnam War veteran Carlo Colletti, Sr., a widower, heavy drinker, and binge eater, struggles to keep the family together. At the same time, Carlo, Sr., grapples with his son Carlo, Jr.’s, loss of respect. Carlo, Jr., is an assemblyman and Congressional candidate. Now, Carlo, Sr., has one last chance to save his daughter, his family, and his self-respect as he and Angela fight for control, understanding, and meaning in a world that strives to strip it from them at every step.
“Of all the scripts I’ve read, this one captures the American mindset right now,” said Cannon. “It’s what we feel, but are afraid to talk about. It deals with our soldiers going away and having to do the dirty work for us and the problems we are facing in the U.S. right now. The first step to solving our problems is acknowledging we have them. I hope this production helps people open their eyes and see the truth about war and returning veterans.”
The cast of American Soldiers features:
From Whittier, CA: Ray Hicks [Carlo Colletti, Sr.]
From Anaheim Hills, CA: Megan King [Angela Colletti]
From Anaheim, CA: Justin Powell [Carlo Colletti, Jr.]
From Santa Ana, CA: Cynthia Aldrich [Marie Colletti]
From Santa Ana, CA: Daniel Gonzalez [Jonathan “Hutch” Hutchinson]
Returning to the stage after a long hiatus is Ray Hicks, SAC English as a Second Language professor. “It is absolutely thrilling to work with the students and be on stage in a different role,” said Hicks. “Addressing the reasons why a country goes to war, what the impact is on the soldiers while they are there, and what the aftereffects are on their lives is tremendously important. People in our community need to know what it means to be a soldier and what is demanded from someone who chooses to enlist.”
Also supporting the production is Anthony Jianuzzi, a SAC veteran student, who is serving as the play’s military advisor. Jianuzzi, a former Marine who was deployed twice to Iraq, has offered his expertise to ensure that veterans are portrayed authentically. “I have provided advice on props, how to handle a gun, and the proper military takedown technique,” said Jianuzzi. “I have also shared veterans’ perspectives on politics and religion as they apply to the play.”
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.sac.edu/theatre or call (714) 564-5661. Tickets purchased online are discounted by $1 each.
About Santa Ana College
Santa Ana College (SAC), which will turn 100 years old in 2015, serves about 18,000 students each semester at its main campus in Santa Ana. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions, provides invaluable workforce training, and customized training for business and industry. In addition, another 13,000 students are served through the college’s School of Continuing Education located at Centennial Education Center. Ranked as one of the nation’s top two-year colleges awarding associate degrees to Latino and Asian students, the college is also recognized throughout the state for its comprehensive workforce training programs for nurses, firefighters, law enforcement and other medical personnel. SAC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District. Visit www.sac.edu to learn more.
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