WANT TO GO?
"A Piece of My Heart"
Presented by Charleston Stage Company
WHERE: Capitol Center Theater, 123 Capitol St.
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and March 1-3
TICKETS: Adults $15, students and seniors $10.
INFO: 304-343-5272 or www.charlestonstagecompany.comCHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A lot of plays have been produced about soldiers returning home after war. Not so many have been produced about the women who came home, too. Shirley Lauro's "A Piece of My Heart," presented by the Charleston Stage Company beginning Thursday, is one of the few.
"The basic message is the same as a lot of others: war is hell," said the company's artistic director Frieda Forsley.
But "A Piece of My Heart" is a tour of a different, perhaps lonelier, part of hell. It focuses on six stories from Keith Walker's eponymous book of accounts from women who served in Vietnam.
"It covers a wide spectrum of experience," Forsley said. "There are nurses, Red Cross workers and a WAC [Women's Army Corps]. There was a lot of tension and some disillusionment.
"Some of the nurses were promised they would be working with the most modern equipment in what they thought were regular hospitals. Instead, they found themselves in places that weren't that, working in difficult conditions, treating men blown apart and missing limbs with their faces torn off."
They were told they'd be safe. Instead, they were shot at, shelled and traumatized like anyone else in a war zone.
"And none of them," she pointed out, "was drafted. They were all volunteers."