Telling stories: National veterans project puts local vets in front of local audiences

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The stories of 10 South Mississippi veterans will come to life during a theater performance called “Telling: South Mississippi” on Nov. 12 at PRCC’s Brownstone Center for the Arts in Poplarville.

The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. During the presentation, the veterans will share stories about their military service and how it’s impacted their lives and that of their families, according to a press release from PRCC.

The veterans include Edith James and Travis Johnson, who served in World War II; Vietnam veterans R.B. Hill, Pete Edwards, Toxey Morris and Philip McIlwain; Karen Glendenning, who served in the Global War on Terrorism; Afghanistan veteran Andrew Caldwell, Sheila Varnado and Frederick Varnado, who both retired from the U.S. Army, the press release states.

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The Telling Project is a national project and, in Mississippi, it is a collaboration between PRCC, the Mississippi Humanities Council and the University of Southern Mississippi. The theatrical project explores the obstacles veterans and their families face and exposes their truths to an audience. The Telling Project has put more than 140 veterans and military family members on stages across 15 states since 2008, according to the release.

Students who attend the performance at PRCC will better understand a veterans’ plight, Jim Walsh, PRCC Honors history instructor, said in the press release.

“The Telling Project is important because it is South Mississippi veterans telling their stories to South Mississippi students and citizens,” Walsh said. “I believe strongly that it will broaden and deepen understanding of the veterans’ military experiences.”

Telling: South Mississippi was made possible from the support of the Dale Center for the Study of War and Society and Partners for the Arts at USM, The Telling Project, Bob Woodruff Foundation, Mississippi Humanities Council and National Endowment for the Humanities, the press release states.

Admission is free. The center is located at 101 Highway 11 N. in Poplarville. For more information, contact the center at 601-403-1316.