Mainstage Production: If All the Sky Were Paper
"The world’s greatest undiscovered literature." That’s how author Andrew Carroll describes letters written during wartime by Americans in combat and their loved ones at home. Over the last 15 years, Carroll collected more than 90,000 letters from every war in which Americans have fought. They provide the essential script for If All the Sky Were Paper, the spring mainstage production presented by the Theater Department.
Directed by Lary Opitz, professor of theater, the play is based on War Letters and Behind the Lines, the two best-selling books Carroll produced from the Legacy Project, which encourages Americans to honor military service members by preserving their letters and e-mails home. Opitz says he selected the play for its timeliness and the "opportunity to remind students and those who see the play that thousands of our fellow Americans are actively engaged in a war in Afghanistan." But he continues, "The play is not political in any way. It honors all of those who have fought for their country and continue to fight today. It reminds us of the impact of war.”
Opitz first discovered the play when it came to Albany last year as part of a 50-state Legacy Project tour and he joined the production as one of five actors. For Skidmore, he adapted it for 11 actors and dramatized the narration for more action. Students play the roles of military men and women and their families and friends, acting out the full spectrum of emotions and experiences in the letters.
There will be seven performances: Thursday, April 10, Friday, April 11, and Saturday, April 12, 8 p.m.; Sunday, April 13, 2 p.m.; Thursday, April 17 and Friday, April 19, 8 p.m.; and Saturday, April 20, 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for general admission and $8 for students and seniors.