About the Project
This November, Ellipse Theatre Community (ETC) will present the PTSD Awareness Project, a multi-faceted program intended to promote community understanding of the effects of war on military personnel, families, and communities. The centerpiece and culmination of this project will be the presentation of Craig Fox Had a Wife, an autobiographical new play by local playwright Beverly Allen, whose first husband served and was killed in action during the Vietnam War. The play recounts her story of how a veteran, a widow and a Vietnamese tour guide found healing decades after the war.
Allen’s play will premiere at Open Space Event Studios in Bend in conjunction with additional planned activities and events such as panel discussions with educators, mental health professionals, and veterans, pre and post-show talk-backs, an art exhibit titled Layers of Wars featuring work from veteran artists, as well as War Stories: Personal Retrospectives - a story-telling session with veterans as part of ETC’s ongoing Listening Project initiative. A complete schedule of events be found here.
Allen’s play has received tremendous support from the Central Oregon community over the years through development workshops and staged readings at Silent Echo Theatre Company, 2nd Street Theatre, and more. It has also received generous support from veterans throughout the nation. For the premiere production, a fundraiser was organized by the 116th Hornet division who served alongside Craig. They set a goal to raise $8,000.00 which was surpassed within days. Many have plans to travel to Central Oregon to witness Allen’s play and to take part in the planned events.
Debbie Levin serves as the director for Allen’s play. While set in time spanning during and after the Vietnam War, Levin believes the core themes and issues depicted in Allen’s play are relevant today. “So many veterans of all military backgrounds suffer from PTSD,” says Levin. “Our hope is that through these and other community engagement activities around PTSD, we will promote a deeper awareness and understanding of the effects of war and the many faces of PTSD.”
A portion of proceeds from performances and events will be donated to veteran organizations and resources.
Beverly & Craig
Beverly & Craig's wedding day
Beverly Allen, playwright
Beverly & Vinh