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Arts In The Armed Forces Coming To San Antonio

Jennifer Emerling | Arts in the Armed Forces
From an AITAF Veterans Day event at the American Airlines Theatre in New York City

Arts in the Armed Forces is a non-profit founded by Adam Driver, an Academy Award-nominated actor and Marine. The program is coming to San Antonio on Saturday, June 29, for a one-time reading of Sam Shepard’s True West for the local military community.

Tickets are free of charge to all active military and veterans (including Guard/Reserves), their dependents and providers who work with service members and veterans.

True West is a character study that examines the relationship between two long-estranged brothers: Austin, a screenwriter, and his older brother Lee, a drifter. The play was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1983.

Arts in the Armed Forces showcases contemporary American plays at U.S. military installations domestically and abroad. San Antonio’s performance will be among the first made available to a broader community of veterans in a central location.

“Arts in the Armed Forces believes in the power of a shared artistic experience – that it can incite important dialogue, inspire hope and bridge the divide between two disparate communities,” said Lindsey Miserandino, executive director.

"A lot of people have come to us after these readings and said, ‘I recognize my family...This is how we interact,’” she said. “It very much connects, and elicits some personal responses to the family dynamic there."

AITAF team members take time to get familiar with the specialties of each installation they visit to facilitate an exchange between the artists and the service members. Ahead of the performance, the actors will pay a visit to Lackland Air Force Base and tour a C-5 aircraft.

The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Endeavors  is co-sponsoring the event with AITAF. Senior Clinic Director Dr. Jill Palmer says their missions are similar.

"So we really have a shared purpose,” she said. “That is, providing quality care to our military members and our veterans to help them live life and get back to better if they're struggling with something.” 

Palmer added information about the clinic’s offerings will be available at the performance.

The True West reading will take place June 29 at 7 p.m. at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre. Afterward, the AITAF creative team will hold a Q&A session with the audience, followed by an informal mingling period.

Military members, veterans and their families can get free tickets on Eventbrite on a first-come, first-served basis.

Disclaimer: TPR receives underwriting support from the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Endeavors.

Carson Frame can be reached at Carson@TPR.org and on Twitter at @carson_frame.

Carson Frame can be reached carson@tpr.org and on Twitter at @carson_frame