A Piece of My Heart the powerful, true drama of six women who went to Vietnam: five nurses and a country western singer, opens Friday night at the Buddy Rogers Playhouse located at 500 E Loula in Olathe, Kansas. The play by Shirley Lauro has been produced over 1000 times throughout the world. Betsy Sexton will be directing the play for the Olathe Civic Theatre Association.
The Vietnam Veterans Association has dubbed the play, “The most enduring play on Vietnam in the nation.” The play was a finalist for the Susan Blackburn Prize as the Best English Language Play by a Woman; the Barbara Deming Prize for Women Playwrights and the Kittredge Foundation Award. Of the play Samuel French of the New York Times said, “There had been a number of plays dealing with Vietnam, but none with the direct, emotional impact of Ms. Lauro’s work.”
The play stars Devon Barnes as Mary Jo, Meghann Bates as Martha, Diane Bulan as Steele, Em Loper as Sissy and Guitar Player, Erika Crane Ricketts as Lee Ann, Alli Tunnell as Whitney and Andy Tyhurst as The Man.
Two special advisors join the theater for this production. Kathy Lee is a Veteran Service Officer for the Kansas City Veteran’s Administration Hospital and was a First Lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corp. Lou Eisenbrandt is a former First Lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corp. Both advisers served in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970. The theater will hold three talk backs on October 19 with Eisenbrandt, October 26 and November 2 with Kathy Lee. Both will discuss their experiences in Vietnam.
A Piece of My Heart opens Friday October 18 and runs through November 3. Friday and Saturday night performances begin at 8 p.m. and Sunday performances at 2 p.m. Tickets may be reserved on line at www.olathetheatre.org.
Christmas Belles, written by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, will be the holiday play to be produced by the Olathe Civic Theatre Association and will run from December 6 through December 22.