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Date: Oct 02, 2007
Highlighting Powerful Messages to Loved Ones on the Vietnam Memorial's Web Site, "The Remembered" Has Its World Premiere at Hofstra, October 13 and 14, 2007
Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY … The Remembered, a performance compilation of messages from family and friends of soldiers killed during the Vietnam War, will have its world premiere at Hofstra University's John Cranford Adams Playhouse, October 13 and 14, 2007.
Written by Elliott Levine, directed by Bob Spiotto, and featuring visual images from the book Letters on the Wall by Michael Sofarelli, The Remembered is being presented in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. Proceeds benefit the Stephen B. Carlin and Walter W. Rudolph Endowed Memorial Scholarship for Hofstra first-year students who are the children or grandchildren of Vietnam War veterans.
Messages excerpted for The Remembered are the emotional thoughts posted by visitors to the Memorial's Virtual Wall Web site during its first week of operation in November 1998. From the soldier who re-enlists only to discover the horrors of war, to the teacher who continues to grieve the loss of a former student, the play shares stories of war and messages from loved ones and friends. It portrays the sadness and challenges faced by those who, so many years later, are still trying to come to terms with the Vietnam War.
Jan Scruggs, founder and president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, said The Remembered "… is the first creative work I've read that explores the messages left at the Wall. This play allows a new generation to understand and appreciate the sacrifices of so many."
Hofstra alumnus Elliott Levine of Oceanside, New York, developed The Remembered as part of a yearlong graduate research project in the University's Department of Speech Communication, Rhetoric and Performance Studies. Mr. Levine had worked with WinStar for Education, the company that created the Virtual Wall Web site, and was intimately involved in development of the online memorial.
Michael Sofarelli's Letters on the Wall (2006) is a collection of images and letters left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. He is an award-winning creative director and graphic designer and the son of a U.S. Marine who received the Purple Heart for wounds suffered in combat during the Vietnam War. Images from Mr. Sofarelli's book will punctuate the performance.
Bob Spiotto is artistic director of community arts programs at Hofstra and the executive producer of Hofstra Entertainment, an on-campus production company that has provided unique and thought-provoking theatrical productions and related presentations for more than 30 years. In March 2007 Mr. Spiotto directed actresses Susan Sullivan and Talia Shire in Agnes of God, a benefit reading for Hofstra's Department of Drama and Dance.
Mr. Levine, Mr. Spiotto and Mr. Sofarelli are Hofstra graduates. Mr. Sofarelli's father, who served as an inspiration for Letters on the Wall, is also a Hofstra alum.
Show times for The Remembered are October 13 at 8 p.m. and October 14 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20; $18 senior citizen (over 65); $12 matriculated non-Hofstra student with ID. One free ticket with current HofstraCard. Tickets go on sale beginning September 18, 2007. For tickets and information please call the Hofstra Box Office at (516) 463-6644, M-F, 11 a.m.-3:45 p.m. or order online at www.hofstra.edu/HofstraEntertainment.