BALTIMORE (WJZ) – A set of seven military veterans perform this weekend in the play “To Be A Soldier” at the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company.
The play is a compilation of scenes from about a dozen Shakespearean plays specific to the military experience.
READ MORE: Theresia Zhang Wins Inaugural “The Art Of Racing” Competition Organized By Preakness Stakes, MICA
“The scenes they chose speak volumes about them,” said Ron Heneghan, CSC’s Director of Education.
Shows are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $22 for the general public and free for veterans or active duty military.
“Most of us had never acted before we started classes here a few years ago,” said David Hanauer, a Navy combat engineer from 1987 to 1993. “It’s really satisfying to be able to play and express myself artistically.”
Many veterans have come to the CSC Studio through its veterans programs.
“A lot of them have never been artists before and some of them had no intention of becoming artists when they came here,” said a retired Marine who studied acting at the university. “We can talk to each other about (past trauma). It’s just something I’ve never had with a cast.
READ MORE: A man was killed in a shooting in northwest Baltimore, police say
Veterans say they bring their individual experiences of service and combat with them.
“During the time that we are doing this game, two veterans are going to commit suicide. This resonates with me. And that’s something I can’t do anything about, but I try,” said Richard Wirth, a Vietnam veteran.
Acting is an outlet for many veterans, who would encourage others to find an art to adopt.
“Everything you do has a purpose when you’re in the military, and when you leave the military, you lose that purpose,” said Army veteran Chris Bennett. “All soldiers are poets and philosophers to some degree.”
The ‘To Be A Soldier’ production is a 75 minute production with selections from: Henry IV, V, VI (Parts 1, 2, 3); Richard II; Richard III; Two noble parents; King Lear; Timon of Athens; Macbeth; Hamlet; A lot of noise for nothing; and Antony and Cleopatra.
NO MORE NEWS: Mayor Scott calls on businesses to register with YouthWorks and employ young Baltimoreans this summer