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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Hot’ gives military women a voice

    The UA Poetry Center will expand its literary horizons tomorrow, playing host to a reading of a contentious new play.

    “”Coming in Hot”” explores the role of women in the military through the stories of female soldiers and veterans. Based on the book “”Powder: Writing by Women in the Ranks, From Vietnam to Iraq,”” it was adapted for the stage in December 2008 and first performed in September 2009.

    The play’s debut met with great acclaim, as well as debate from both anti-war and pro-military groups, said Madeline Fearon, marketing and publicity director for Kore Press, the company producing the play.

    The performers and producers were not aiming to make a political point, said Jeanmarie Simpson, the principal performer.

    “”People really want storytelling to make a statement,”” Simpson said. “”And good storytelling doesn’t do that.””

    Instead, she hopes audiences will come away from the performance with a sense of the diverse experiences of women in the military.

    “”I hope that audiences appreciate that the experience of the women military personnel is complex,”” Simpson said. “”We really don’t know anything about what these women are dealing with. We must not generalize or assume.””

    Simpson and Fearon both emphasize the importance of bringing the performance to the UA, particularly to the Poetry Center.

    “”The Poetry Center is such a beautiful space, such an acclaimed center of literature for the region. It seemed like a really good fit and an appropriate time,”” Simpson said.

    Fearon said she looks forward to getting both students and community members involved in the dialogue about women in the military.

    The performance will consist of a reading of the play by Simpson accompanied by Vicki Brown, a sound artist, who will play the viola as well as use some prepared sounds. Both women have been involved in “”Coming in Hot”” since its conception.

    “”There’s no way I could have resisted participating in it,”” Brown said of her role in the production.

    Simpson said she is confident people will enjoy the reading regardless of their stance on war.

    “”Everyone has said that it’s a beautiful show, the writing’s gorgeous, it’s beautifully staged, but thematically it’s very controversial,”” she said.

    “”Coming in Hot”” will be read at the UA Poetry Center Thursday from 6 p.m to 8 p.m. Admission is by donation.

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