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Fit for Society

Fit for Society is a pastiche of war veterans’ stories, written by Brian Monahan (who is from a military family) and Stephen Wolfert (a veteran of the U.S. Army). Some are direct, personal accounts, some are first-person dramatic monologues delivered straight to the audience, and some are monologues to an invisible character. While the work is earnest and, at times, powerful, the stylistic disunity weakens the overriding idea. And because the evening runs scattershot over a wide range of veteran themes — most of which have been introduced to us in media coverage of the last 40 years of war — we aren’t challenged by the kind of specificity that opens up new ways of understanding the futility, waste and tragedy of war. Director Stephan Wolfert, however, shapes the performances of his excellent cast well, inspiring an authentic, gripping tone throughout. Standouts include Ian Casselberry’s infantryman divested of his humanity and Arnell Powell’s brusque drill sergeant. And Randy Brumbaugh’s lights are particularly effective on the small, open stage. But what we ultimately see is a truly inspired series of previews for several potentially stirring plays.
Mondays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m.; Tue., Nov. 11, 8 p.m. Starts: Oct. 11. Continues through Nov. 11, 2008

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