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Original play on stage tonight
May 05, 2011 Jerry Purvis   

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Natalie Barber

“The Unforgotten,” a one-act play about a soldier’s life in Iraq, makes its world debut at Western Nebraska Community College.

Natalie Barber, a member of the college’s student staff in the theater department, wrote and co-directed the show, along with Byron Allen.

“The play is about a girl in the Army who’s deployed in Iraq,” Barber said. “A tragedy happens in her platoon, leaving her and her fellow soldiers to deal with the aftermath. The show is based on real events that happened to me when I was in Iraq for 15 months.”

Barber said she was involved in one-act plays during high school, but the military put that on hold. After returning to the states in 2007 and enrolling in college, she started getting back into theater.

“I wrote this plays because it’s a story people need to know,” she said. “This is what soldiers go through and what their daily life is about. I have a better understanding now of the frustration and psychological problems some returning vets can go through because of their experiences.”
Allen said “The Unforgotten” is a short play that has the potential of growing into something bigger. “A lot has been written about the glories of war, but this is about the reality of war and what happens to people because of it,” he said. “We warn people there are adult themes and language in this play, but it’s the reality of what’s over there. I think it’s something people should see.”

Barber started to write “The Unforgotten” at Allen’s encouragement last October. After a couple of revisions, it’s being staged on May 4 and 5.

“There are stories to be told from right here in the community,” Allen said. “We don’t have to always go outside our local area to find material to perform. That’s what theater is for – people you know showing what they can do.”

Two other one-act plays will also be performed Thursday evening. The comedy “The Judgment of Paris” takes place at a beauty contest involving three goddesses from Greek mythology. It’s directed by Sean Ennis.

Another comedy with a cast of 17 is “Romeo, You Idiot,” directed by Staysha Adams. It’s an adaption of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, involving two Mafia families.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 5 in the WNCC Little Theatre. The public is invited to this free performance. Doors open at 7 p.m.
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