Happiest Song Plays Last

A stage for veterans’ stories

Profile's "Elliot" trilogy tells the tale of a soldier's difficult return. On the same stage Monday, real-life vets' own stories will be told.

By SEAN DAVIS

What do an 82nd Airborne infantry Afghanistan War veteran and an Ivy League educated, Pulitzer Prize winning dramatist have in common? Both have works being featured onstage by Profile Theatre over Veterans’ Day weekend. In fact, multiple veterans and veterans’ family members will have their words read on stage by professional actors on Monday, Nov. 13. And Profile Theatre is producing two award-winning plays by Quiara Alegría Hudes and holding an exclusive speaking event with the playwright herself on Nov. 18. This is the culmination of an eight-month collaboration among Profile, the Writers Guild Initiative, and several veterans’ groups around Portland.

Cast of “Elliot: A Soldier’s Fugue,” which began Profile’s “Elliot” trilogy in February: Cristi Miles, Anthony Lam, Jimmy Garcia, Anthony Green. Photo: David Kinder

As the focus of its 2017 season, Profile presented Quiara Alegría Hudes’ award-winning “Elliot” Trilogy: Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue, the Pulitzer Prize winning Water By The Spoonful, and The Happiest Song Plays Last. The Elliot in the “Elliot Trilogy” is a Marine combat veteran who survived his soul-wrenching experiences at war and tries to integrate back into the society he left. The plays are also about how both physical and mental injuries suffered in combat can echo through the generations, and how families are affected by the trauma.

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