Trauma related to war-zone duty is the major factor in high suicide rates among enlisted and retired personnel. While the defense establishment does not like to admit this, or attempts to blame it on other factors, an overview of various studies indicates that this is undeniably so. How could it be otherwise, having watched your friends get blown up, or having gunned down men, women, and children?
In director and playwright Ami Dayan's world premiere of Reason, a former F-15 fighter pilot in the First Gulf War, Mark Payton (James O'Hagan Murphy), developed The STRATEGIC RESET Program (STRP) to ease post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). STRP overcomes conditioned reflexes arising from various horrific events through a set of techniques borrowed from various relaxation disciplines, including yoga. Under the advocacy of Brigadier General De Walton (Abby Wright) and her connection with the Undersecretary of Defense, Payton's program gets a pilot run at Ft. Carson, near Colorado Springs, Colorado. While the story is fictional, it is drawn from actual events.
|(Left to right) James O'Hagan Murphy as Mark Peyton|
and Josh Robinson as Andrew Read
The four subjects in the pilot provide an explosive and representative sampling of experiences found across the U.S. military population: Andrew (Josh Robinson), an angry and aggressive former Gunnery Sergeant who saved three of his men from an explosion and watched the fourth burn; Rosa Mendosa (Maruta Kalnins), the mother of a soldier who lost limbs and suffered head injuries in an explosion, later took massive doses of prescription narcotics and muscle relaxants in an attempted suicide, and is now on life support; Nick Lewis (Justin Michael Cooke), an enlisted soldier who pilots drones over Asia and Arabia from Las Vegas, half-way around the world, and cannot sleep after blowing up a dozen women and children and seeing the results; and Mari (Jennifer Faletto), a suicidal soldier's wife, who lives in fear of his death.
Dayan draws excellent performances from the entire ensemble. Without judging the events and policy-making that has drawn us into "the endless war on terrorism," Dayan's script details the physical, emotional, and spiritual devastation wrought by war. Cross-hatching dialogue, revealing the subjects' thoughts, and juxtaposed scenes, keep the drama taut and uptempo.
Though but a sampling of those broken by the sociopathic money masters who sit atop the power pyramid, Reason hits the nail on the head: the slashing of veterans benefits and care is a conscious policy illustrating the contempt of those who control the state and military apparatus (the .00001%) have for the troops and the rest of humanity. Creating the conditions for war is just another means for profit, power, propaganda, and population reduction.
|Josh Robinson as Andrew Read|
and Jennifer Faletto as Mari Di Fulvio
Maya Production's presentation of Reason runs Thursday Sept. 18th 7:00 pm, Friday Sept. 19th 4:30 pm, Saturday Sept 20th 1:30 pm, Monday Sept. 22nd 6:00 pm, Friday Sept. 26th 9:00 pm, and Saturday Sept. 27th 6:00 pm. For tickets: 303-444-7328 or www.ReasonOnStage.org.