By Kathryn Smith McGlynn
ReEntry was the inaugural show for Frontera Repertory Theatre this weekend. The production team created a world of truth and investigation into the lives of marines. The time is present day and there is a war raging. Iraq, Afghanistan, take your pick. Parents, spouses and children see their loved ones deployed. Then there is the waiting…waiting for the soldiers to return. For the soldiers that go home, there is a process, a reentry to civilian life.
As opposed to a linear play where action happens sequentially, ReEntry is a docudrama whose dialogue is culled from hundreds of hours of interviews. The convention employed is the Joint Stock Method that ReEntry playwright Emily Ackerman uses with The Civilians. This is a piece that resonates alongside the El Paso community, as many residents are at least one or two degrees of separation from an enlisted soldier.
ReEntry shed a bit of light on the process of the military deployment and reentry experience from a soldier, commanding officer, and a family’s point of view.
ReEntry has been performed on military bases throughout the country to critical acclaim and Frontera Rep’s October production at Ft. Bliss and UTEP. This marked the play’s Southwest premiere. The first professional Equity company in West Texas, Frontera Rep is launching with the support of a creative partnership involving four entities: Frontera Rep, the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), the Tom Lea Institute and Ft. Bliss.
Photographs courtesy of Frontera Rep Theater