In Her Words: Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue Ten Years Later

Anthony Lam as Elliot in Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue at Profile Theatre 2017. Photo by David Kinder

From Quiara Alegría Hudes, January 2017

It's over ten years since Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue premiered in New York. It's almost fourteen years since my real-life cousin Elliot crossed the border north into Iraq from Kuwait. He was among the first marines to enter the conflict, and they were learning as they went. They were the real-life guinea pigs in a very real war. The medical response teams were unsure what the nature of the injuries would be, and therefore had to improvise treatment–there was much trial and error in those early years. One of the surprises was the amount of severe trauma that would be survived. My cousin described the scene in an evac hospital where there was row after row of guys in such extreme pain that the nurses practically threw pain meds at them. My cousin was one of those patients–and a fortunate one. He didn't have to lose his leg after his severe injury, though many surgeries followed and his physical health remains compromised.

At that time–when he enlisted–it seemed to me that was the beginning. But there's always a beginning before the beginning. I've been reflecting a lot since then on the war before the war. As a child of the 80s I came of age when AIDS was ravaging our Latino community in Philadelphia. Add to that the extreme toll the War on Drugs took on the same community. It left us decimated. Fathers, sons, brothers in jail–sentenced to decades for low-level possession, for the “crime” of addiction. Daughters, mothers, sisters left behind to the scrape up the pieces, to raise sons in this toxic environment where being a Latino was increasingly criminalized.

It seems to me our community's youngsters fled this domestic war–the War on Drugs–determined not to be a victim of its fallout, determined to “escape” the vicious cycle of addiction, dealing, and criminalization. For many of them, higher education was not financially viable. So they enlisted–the military offered prestigious, respected, paying jobs.

It seems to me a complicated web. Young men of color escaping a domestic war, determined to rise above, and thereby enlisting in a foreign war to go fight abroad. And some of them, when they got hurt, became a new kind of addict–opioids to cure the war wounds.

These generational echoes continue to resonate for me. These echoes are why I wrote Elliot.

Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue
February 2-19, 2017

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Cast and Creative Team for Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue

Cast


Jimmy Garcia*
Pop

After studying at Southern Oregon University and performing at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Jimmy is happy to be back in Portland where he began his acting career years ago on the stages of Miracle Theater, Stark Raving Theater and Portland Center Stage companies. In Southern Oregon, he performed a variety of roles working with such esteemed directors as Bill Rauch, Libby Appel, and Pat Patton to name a few. He has most recently performed in ART's A Civil War Christmas and can next be found at Miracle Theater's world premiere Oye Oya.

Anthony Green*
Grandpop

Tony holds a BFA in Acting and a Master of Theatre Studies in Production and Design from Southern Oregon University.  Most recently Tony was seen in Defunkt Theatre's critically acclaimed production of Hir, Jewish Theatre Collaborative's production of Davita's Harp and Into the Beautiful North at Milagro Theatre.  Other Portland credits include American Night, O! Romeo!, How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent, BoomCrackleFly and the Drammy Award winning Oedipus El Rey at Milagro, Equus at Post5, Cymbeline with Anon It Moves, Antony and Cleopatra with Portland Actors Ensemble, King Lear, King John and Mary Stuart at NWCTC.

Anthony Lam
Elliot

Anthony is excited to be performing at Profile Theatre for the first time. He was last seen as Atómiko in Into the Beautiful North at Milagro Theater. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.F.A. in Theater Arts. He has done commercial work throughout the Northwest and recently played the tactical cop in the season premiere of Grimm. When he is not acting, he spends his time with his wife, chasing his three children all over the place.

Cristi Miles*
Ginny

Cristi is a performer, director and teacher based in Portland, OR.  Portland credits include: The Journey Play is the Whole thing, Enter THE NIGHT, The Three Sisters, Song of the Dodo and  R3 with PETE; Midsummer (a play with songs) with Third Rail Rep, Mr. Burns: A Post Electric Play, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Dying City with Portland Playhouse. She is co-artistic director of PETE, an Assistant Professor of the Theatre at George Fox University and trained at The Oregon Center for Alexander Technique (AmSAT certified teacher). Brandeis University, MFA.

 

Creative Team

Alice Reagan
Director

Alice is a New York-based freelance director.  Credits include Jackie by Elfriede Jelinek at Boom Arts, Or, by Liz Duffy Adams at Shakespeare & Company, Phaeton (a diggle of a fragment) by Mac Wellman at Classic Stage Company, Enter THE NIGHT by Maria Irene Fornes with Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble, The Miser by Molière with Brave New World Rep, Nomads by Julia Jarcho at Incubator Arts Project, I Came to Look for You on Tuesday by Chiori Miyagawa at La MaMa.  She is the recipient of two Foundation of Contemporary Arts Grants, the Princess Grace Award (Fabergé Theater Award) and Princess Grace Special Project Grant, and was a Drama League Directing Fellow.  Alice is Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in Directing at Barnard College.  MFA: Columbia.  alicereagan.com.

Kaye Blankenship
Scenic Design

Kaye is a scenic, lighting, and props designer originally hailing from Sammamish, Washington. She earned her BA in theatre from Lewis & Clark College in 2012, and after a year working in New York, she is back in Portland and excited to work with Profile Theatre once again. Favorite past shows include: The Antigone Project (Profile), Annapurna (Third Rail), Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood LIVE (Mills Entertainment), A Winter's Tale (Anon It Moves), Static (Third Rail), Ramona Quimby (OCT), Snowstorm (CoHo), In The Next Room (Profile Theatre), and Waxwing with String House Theatre, where she is also a founding company member.

Miranda K. Hardy
Lighting Design

Miranda is a Lighting Designer based in Portland.  Previously with Profile she lit Bright Half Life and Master Harold and the Boys.  She is an associate company member with Portland Experimental Theater Ensemble designing lights for R3 [Drammy Award], The Three Sisters, All Well, or, the whale, and Procedures For Saying No, designing scenery and lights for Song of the Dodo and Drowned Horse Tavern.  She has worked on shadow/animation spectacular The Letting Go and Kaddish For Bernie Madoff.  Miranda has worked in New York City, as well as nationally and internationally including four seasons as the resident Lighting Designer at Festival Di Due Mondi (Spoleto, IT).  M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts.

Jenny Ampersand
Costume Design

Jenny is a designer based in Portland OR.   Her costume work was last seen at Profile for Bright Half Life.  She is an associate artist with PETE (Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble), Liminal, and The Late Now.  Other local credits include, costumes for Third Rail's The Realistic Joneses, Oregon Children's Theatre's Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Liminal's 7deadly Sins (Drammy Award), scenery for PETE's Enter THE NIGHT, Shaking the Tree's A Doll's House, Phame's Up the Fall, and puppets for Strawberry Theatre Workshop's This Land-Woody Guthrie.  She received her BFA in Scenic and Costume Design from Cornish College of the Arts.

Phillip Johnson
Sound Design

Phillip is a theatrical artist based in Portland Oregon and the Technical Director of Ridgefield High School’s drama program. His recent productions include Hands Up (Red Door Project), Worse Than Tigers (ACT Theater/Red Stage), Contigo Pan y Cebolla (Milagro Theater), The Antigone Project, A Lady Onstage (Profile Theater), and The Importance of Being Earnest (Valley Repertory Theater).  When he isn't designing or teaching Phil  is traveling the world spreading art education to impoverished areas. He most recently taught theater in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Phil Has a B.F.A. and M.A. from Ohio University. For updates, downloads and links to show soundtracks please visit PhilJohnsondesignstheworld.com.

D Westerholm*
Stage Manager

Profile Theatre: 2014 Tanya Barfield Season, 2013 Sam Shepard Season, 2014 Sarah Ruhl Season, The Road to Mecca. Other Portland stage management credits: Trevor, The Skin of Our Teeth (ASM), The Price (Artist’s Repertory Theatre); The Light in the Piazza (Portland Playhouse). Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Production Assistant: The Unfortunates (2013), A Midsummer Night's Dream (2013), Troilus and Cressida (2012), The Very Merry Wives of Windsor, Iowa (2012), Julius Caesar (2011), The African Company Presents Richard III (2011). BA in Theatre Management from Western Washington University, MFA in Stage Management from Columbia University. Active member of Actor’s Equity Association.

Esther McFaden
Production Assistant

Esther is making her Profile Theatre debut with Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue. Recent credits include A Christmas Carol (PA), To Kill a Mockingbird, Blues for Mister Charlie, The Heidi Chronicles, and Julius Caesar (SM Intern) at Trinity Repertory Company, and Trevor (PA) and The Skin of Our Teeth (PA) at Artists Repertory Theater. Other favorites include Upside Down, A Musical Tale After the Christ (SM) with the Upside Down Theatre Company, Godspell (SM) with YA4Ever, and Chicago (SM) with the Young Artists Ensemble. She is a graduate of Emerson College.

*Member Actors Equity Association, the professional union of actors and stage manager.

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