Pearl River Community College

PRCC to host veterans in Telling: South Mississippi

  POPLARVILLE - An innovative production will bring the stories of South Mississippi veterans to the stage of the Brownstone Center for the Arts in Poplarville.
  Telling: South Mississippi will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, at the center on the campus of Pearl River Community College. There is no admission charge.
  Ten veterans will tell about their military service, its impact on their lives and their families.
  They are Edith James and Travis Johnson, who both served in World War II; Vietnam veterans R.B. Hill, Pete Edwards, Toxey Morris and Philip McIlwain; Karen Glendenning who served in the Global War on Terrorism, Afghanistan veteran Andrew Caldwell, Sheila Varnado and Frederick Varnado, who both retired from the U.S. Army.
  Telling: South Mississippi is a collaboration between PRCC, the University of Southern Mississippi and the Mississippi Humanities Council.
  The Telling Project is a unique performance in which veterans and veterans’ family members  - after interviews, performance training and rehearsal  - stage the “telling” of their stories of life and the military. Sometimes their experiences have to do with their families and home life or small anecdotal things they remember. Sometimes their stories have to do with great tragedy or great accomplishment in war scenarios.
  The Telling Project has put more than 140 veterans and military family members on stages in 15 states since 2008, said John Warrick, chairman of the USM theater department. Having two World War II veterans in Telling: South Mississippi makes it unique, he said.
   “There have been few Telling Project productions that have included veterans of World War II,” Warrick said. “The great part is that we hear the stories and feel the personal connection. These things happen because a veteran is directly in control of his or her story.”
S  tudents who attend will gain a better understanding of the veterans’ experience in addition to extra credit for some.
  “The Telling Project is important because it is South Mississippi veterans telling their stories to South Mississippi students and citizens,” said Jim Walsh, PRCC Honors history instructor. “I believe strongly that it will broaden and deepen understanding of the veterans’ military experiences.”           
  Telling: South Mississippi has been made possible by support from the Dale Center for the Study of War and Society and Partners for the Arts at USM, The Telling Project, Bob Woodruff Foundation, Mississippi Humanities Council and National Endowment for the Humanities.