Tina Priest is dead. Is it suicide? Or, is it because, just weeks before, this American soldier reported she had been raped on her Army base in Iraq. Her mother and twin sister are left with many doubts and unanswered questions.
Priest is not alone; six other soldiers recount their experiences as survivors of military sexual trauma. A Shot Away is a docu-drama about sexual assault in the US military, based entirely on interviews with American soldiers who have been sexually assaulted by their "fellow" soldiers. In their own words, the soldiers explore this ongoing epidemic in our military and examine what can be done to address and prevent instances of sexual assault and rape in the military.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. According to a 2009 U.S. Department of Defense report, there were over 3,000 reported cases of sexual assault committed by soldiers against soldiers. This number does not represent the estimated 80% of unreported cases of sexual assault.
On Tuesday, February 15th, more than a dozen U.S. veterans filed a class-action suit in federal court, attempting to force the Pentagon to change how it handles cases of military sexual trauma.
Panayiota Bertzikis, a Coast Guard veteran, is a plaintiff in the lawsuit and one of the veterans interviewed for A Shot Away."The problem of rape in the military is not only service members getting raped, but it's the entire way that the military as a whole is dealing with it," says Bertzikis. "From survivors having to be involuntarily discharged from service, the constant verbal abuse, once a survivor does come forward your entire unit is known to turn their back on you. The entire culture needs to be changed." http://tinyurl.com/APMilitarySexualTrauma
The production features scenic design by Katherine Akiko Day and lighting design by Marie Yokoyama. Ken Hall is the dramaturg.
A SHOT AWAY plays the following regular schedule through Sunday, April 17:
Thursdays -Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. | Sundays at 3:00 p.m.
There will be an additional performance Monday April 11 at 7:00 pm
Tickets are $25 and are now available online at www.theatermania.com or by calling 866.811.4111. Tickets may also be purchased in-person at the theater box office 1⁄2 hour prior to the performance.
Running Time: 90 minutes
More information on the lawsuit is available at http://servicewomen.org/
Location: LABA Theatre at the 14th Street Y
344 East 14th Street between First and Second Avenues
4/5/6/N/R/Q to Union Square; L to First Avenue
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Our 2010-2011 Season is also made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency.
The Dramatist Guild Fund, The Josephine Foundation, and The Puffin Foundation, Ltd, have also made generous grants to make the 2010-2011 Season possible.