Falling together to give you a lift


“Conscious Falling,” a collaborative adventure in performance with Barbaria Maria, Kathryn Robyn and Beverly Mann opens at the Playhouse (107 Church St. in Belfast) for one weekend, July 8-10, at 7:30 p.m. all three nights. Tickets are $10 at the door.

A themed admixture of poetry, video projection, music, and mask performance, “Conscious Falling” approaches the subject of falling from many angles, political, personal, poignant, and whacky. Seasoned performers, the three Midcoast artists have collaborated here to create a cohesive hour of entertainment that will make you think, feel, and laugh.

Seating is limited. For reservations, please call Mary Weaver at the Playhouse (207) 338-5777,

Battle wounds: Women at War in Iraq explores abuse, hostility in the ranks

Review in the Portland Phoenix by Megan Grumbling, March 18, 2015

In Helen Benedict’s play The Lonely Soldier: Women at War in Iraq, the women of the play are engaged in more than one war: They must contend not only with a hostile enemy, but with the disrespect, hostility and even aggression of their own fellow troops. The Lonely Soldier tells the true stories of seven real women whose experiences in the military left them disillusioned, hurt or damaged. This superb and important production — a joint presentation of the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine, The University of Maine at Augusta’s Veteran Achievement Project, the Maine Humanities Council, the Maine Arts Commission, the Maine Community Foundation, the UMA Diversity Committee, the UMA Student Government Association, and the UMA Activities Program — is touring the state this month, under the direction of Jeri Pitcher.

Beth Somerville playing Clara in The Lonely Soldier: Women at War in Iraq,
Beth Somerville playing Clara in The Lonely Soldier: Women at War in Iraq

First produced in New York in 2009, The Lonely Soldier presents the interwoven monologues of seven women veterans, based on oral history interviews conducted by Benedict, a journalist and novelist who writes frequently on sexual assault in the military. The arc of stories starts with enlistment; we’re introduced to a wide range of women, backgrounds and reasons for enlisting, before following them through the challenges and affronts of life during wartime in Iraq.

Santiaga (Beverly Mann), a Native American in her forties and married to a man who raped her, has been a proud drill sergeant for years, but in Iraq, she finds herself humiliated by command and concerned about soldiers’ lack of psychological care after combat; while younger Maria (Catherine Buxton), a 21-year-old Mexican-American, talks of not being taken seriously by her male colleagues, and about the comforts and trials of romance in the military. The violence of Washington, D.C. made African-American Terris (Rene Johnson) seek a way out in the military – but in Iraq, she questions the judgment of her command, which doesn’t go over well coming from a woman.

Read the full review in the Portland Phoenix

The Lonely Soldier

I will be appearing in The Lonely Soldier , A play sponsored by the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine

The Lonely Soldier offers audiences an enlightening perspective of the Iraq War and the challenges faced by women in today’s military. This play will appeal to both veterans and non-veterans as the stories of the seven women featured in the play are human stories that are compelling and heart-breaking testaments to bravery and resilience.

UMA – The Holocaust Center of Maine
Michael Klahr Center, 46 University Drive, Augusta
Friday March 13 – 7 PM
Saturday, March 14 – 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 15 – 2 p.m., women only

Portland Ballet Studio
517 Forest Ave, Portland
Friday, March 20 – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 21 – 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 22nd – 2 p.m.

Gracie Theatre Black Box – Husson College
1 College Circe, Bangor
Friday, March 27 – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 28 – 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

All tickets may be purchased at brownpapertickets.com