Through correspondence and monologues, in the style of reader’s theater, Women and War is a collection of fictional stories based on historical fact, told by generations of Americans impacted by conflict from The Great War to the War in Afghanistan. From housewife to worker, young bride to nurse, mother to widow, and now, young woman to soldier, these are tales of sacrifice, love, determination and hope told by those who bravely persevere on the home front and on the battlefield.
In Women and War, correspondence and monologues are used intermittently. The correspondence between characters places the audience in specific time frames and allows the audience a real sense of the relationships between characters. The characters are portrayed in their isolation, seeking an outlet for the expressions of their love and concern for their loved ones. Monologues are utilized to reveal what is truly going on in the mind of a character regarding the story they have to share. Correspondences and monologues are interwoven to create “through lines” of conflict, dramatic and situational irony.
While the individual stories are chronological, the entire play is not. For the purpose of comparison, suspense, and character development, lightheartedness is juxtaposed with the many obvious horrors of war. The element of relief has long been used as a theatrical convention in order to keep audiences entertained, while also addressing the need for a mental and emotional break from the severity of certain storylines.
"Deeply touching and educational...this play is an emotional roller coaster. These accounts are moving...funny, exciting, humbling, and incredibly sad all at the same time." - The Easy
"Awe inspiring. Playwright Cunningham is a magician delivering the internal voices of multiple generations of women who've served as wives, nurses, sweethearts and officers spanning from WWI to Afghanistan. Women and War is essential theater. A moving and poignant scrapbook of the American war experience." - United Stages