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LETTERS

These Iraq dramas also saw action

September 02, 2007

IN an otherwise insightful and intriguing article about the genesis of the play "Flags," and its mysterious author Jane Martin ["A Dramatic Battle to Bring War Onto Stage," Aug. 26], Sean Mitchell laments the fact that the American stage has yet to produce a signature piece of the ongoing Iraqi conflict.

Curiously, he overlooks two local productions -- "Sandstorm," which ran at the Elephant Theatre from March through May 2005, and "The Wolf," which ran at the Art/Works Theatre from March through May 2007.

Both were written by Sean Huze, a combat veteran of Iraq, and produced by VetStage, an ensemble of vets that span time of service from WWII through Iraq.

Max Thayer

West Hollywood

I would like to remind Sean Mitchell, your staff and Times readers of another play, produced locally, that boldly took on this subject in its earliest days.

In the summer of 2003, the Actors' Gang theater company premiered "Embedded," a play that exposed the confusion and heartbreak of this war and the culpability of a media machine that became a clarion despite unprecedented worldwide protest.

It was/is a satirical yet unblinking portrait of the corrupt and morally bankrupt mind-set of a cabal of political "leaders" hellbent on imperialistic glory and determined to dictate the public interest.

Written and directed by artistic director Tim Robbins for the Actors' Gang, "Embedded" went on to have extended runs at the Public Theater in New York City and at London's Riverside Studios with the original Actors' Gang cast, and every staging of the play encountered enthusiastic dialogues with audiences that seemed to crave an artistic point of view that spoke to their concerns.

V.J. Foster

Valley Glen

Foster is associate artistic director and founding member of the Actors' Gang.

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