‘Letters Home’ tells stories of real soldiers

“Letters Home,” a gripping production about the lives, struggles and triumphs of American soldiers serving in the Middle East, will appear at 8 p.m., Saturday, March 22, at the Lee College Performing Arts Center (PAC).

Presented by the Griffin Theatre Company of Chicago and touring nationally for several years, “Letters Home” draws its content from real letters written by soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan — as well as a few pieces of correspondence from the parents and other loved ones left behind in the states. The critically acclaimed play is inspired by the New York Times op-ed article, “The Things They Wrote,” and the subsequent HBO documentary, “Last Letters Home,” with additional material taken from books written by best-selling author Frank Schaeffer.

Using minimal props and set pieces, actors in “Letters Home” dramatize the soldiers’ varying experiences at war: the disorientation of training; deployment; separation from family and friends; combat; and all the duties associated with occupying another country. Meanwhile, images taken directly from the soldiers’ blogs and social networking pages are projected on to a screen at the back of the stage, heightening the authenticity of the production.

Though the soldiers whose stories are brought to life in “Letters Home” are from diverse backgrounds and facing different circumstances, the play reveals a single unifying theme among military service members and their families — the power of patriotism and the humanity, courage and sense of brotherhood that binds them all.

Tickets for “Letters Home” are available now, but selling fast. For more information or to purchase, contact the PAC Box Office at 281.425.6255 or visit www.lee.edu/pac.