GARDINER — The Open Book Players are presenting the New England premiere performance of “Memorial … A Theatrical Oral History of Americans in Vietnam” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 9, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 10, at Johnson Hall in Gardiner.

This powerful, reflective piece begins at the Vietnam War Memorial and, in a series of flashbacks, will help the audience experience some of the personal histories as seen through the eyes and memories of the soldiers who participated in that war and returned home to a less-than-favorable welcome. The play ends where it begins, at the Vietnam War Memorial.

Winner of the First Readers Theatre Competition, co-sponsored by The Fireside Theatre and The Open Book, and written by Charles LaBorde, this play has been performed in various U.S. venues, including New York City, as well as in Europe.

LaBorde holds a Ph.D. from Ohio State University and has received 11 regional, state and national directing awards, as well as national and regional playwriting awards. His most recent plays are “Affinity,” a dramatization of the life of Frank Lloyd Wright and the murders at his home, Taliesen, and “Unbound,” a coming-of- age-story about a boy growing up on the Outer Banks of North Carolina at the turn of the last century, whose life is changed significantly when he comes to know two brothers from Ohio, Wilbur and Orville Wright.

The cast of 12 includes Kathleen Brainerd, Arthur Bourget, Gardiner; Rita Moran, Dave Brown and Ginger Smith, Winthrop; Cindy Turcotte, Bowdoin; Bob Giroux, Belgrade; Andy Tolman, Readfield; Kathy Kauffman, Auburn; James Hodgkin, Leeds; Linda McCann, Winslow; and Don Chimera, Augusta.

The play is directed by Lucy Rioux , artistic director of Open Book Players. Music accompaniment is provided by Curt Jack, Lewiston.  

Ticket prices are $8  for general admission and $5 for veterans. Reservations can be made by calling 207-582-7144 or on line at: www.johnsonhall.org. This play contains adult subject matter and strong language.


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