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Playwright, author David Rabe to speak at Torrington Campus

by Carolyn Pennington - October 27, 2008


Playwright and author David Rabe will discuss his Tony Award-winning play Sticks and Bones at the Torrington campus on Wednesday, Oct. 29, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

His talk is part of the Litchfield County Writers Project fall series. He will also talk about his new novel, Dinosaurs on the Roof, published in June. A book signing will follow the discussion.

Sticks and Bones is part of Rabe’s trilogy of Vietnam plays. It charts the reactions and dynamic of a middle-American family faced with the return of son David from Vietnam as a blinded and traumatized veteran. The play depicts the agony of David and the horrible solution he and his family reach to end his suffering.

Rabe’s work is characterized by its dark humor, satire, and surreal fantasy. In 1965, Rabe was drafted into the U.S. Army and later served 11 months in Vietnam until the end of 1967.

After leaving the service, Rabe earned an M.A. and began work on Sticks and Bones. The other two plays making up the Vietnam trilogy are the award-winning The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, which focuses on the brutalization of American troops and the effects of the war, and Tony Award-nominee Streamers, depicting racial and sexual tensions in a Virginia army camp.

His other plays include Hurlyburly, The Orphan, and In the Boom Boom Room. Rabe has also written screenplays for the Vietnam War drama Casualties of War and the film adaptation of John Grisham’s The Firm.

Davyne Verstandig, director of the Litchfield County Writers Project says, “David Rabe captures the conscience of the American people with his surrealistic play Sticks and Bones. It is one of the strongest plays I have read that deals with ethical crises and the consequences of war in a family setting. Both Arthur Miller’s All My Sons and Rabe’s Sticks and Bones deal powerfully with moral issues of private and public conscience.”

The Litchfield County Writers Project provides programs that celebrate the creative work of Litchfield County and support the academic aims of the University of Connecticut. The Torrington UConn Co-op carries all the books for related events.

A series of presentations, Playwrights of Litchfield County, is offered on Wednesday evenings at the Torrington Campus from 6:30 to 9 p.m., running through Dec. 3. Special events will run at different times. For details, see the web site www.lcwp.uconn.edu/

All discussions will be in the Francis W. Hogan Lecture Hall at the Torrington Campus, 855 University Drive, Torrington.

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