March 28 – Ft. Irwin National Training Center

We were invited to perform at the Ft. Irwin National Training Center. Since it was 3 hours away, we drove up the night before, grumbling about the distance, not knowing what to expect. We didn’t know if it would be for women soldiers only or men and women.

Cast rehearsing beforehandIt was a long drive. We were met at the Welcome Center by our host Sargeant. It didn’t take too long to realize she was 8 months pregnant. What a perfect example of the steps women have had to go through to be part of the men’s world.

We could not believe the reception to our performance. There were hundreds of soldiers — Susan B. Anyhony with soldiersmostly men — in the audience. Some of their wives were there. There were women soldiers as well.

Plaque we receivedThey laughed, they applauded. Our performance was spot on, and they loved it. Our host – a colonel – gave us a framed picture with the cover of the program and a dedication to us. And then he gave us a Certificate of Appreciation.  We took pictures of the cast with some of the soldiers and officers.Certificate of Appreciation

Receiving lineAnd then they all descended upon us and shook our hands. We were suddenly in a receiving line listening to person after personal telling us how they appreciated it.

We also thanked them. We stood at the podium and thanked them for what they are doing for us. It was incredible to have a standing ovation from them, while we were also applauding them.Woman colonel with Susan B. Anthony In the receiving line, we met with some women officers. They were very aware that they were a product of everything we had just presented.

We got lots of feedback. See the testimonials above to see what they said.

Members of the cast have some of their own memories:

“I’m still in awe of it all – what a wonderful group of people and an awesome experience. WOW!  The Colonel gave EACH OF US a Medal for Excellence!!  Mine is on display and will continue to be.” – Beverly (aka Radical 60s)

“I was pleased with the gracious reception we received. The group of soldiers were completely present with our play; their enjoyment of the characters we presented was evident in their laughter and applause. I was especially impressed by the “reception line” in which each of them filed past every one of us and personally thanked us for our play. Easily one of the best and most appreciative audiences we have ever had. It was wonderful to serve those who serve us…”  – Ginni (aka Eleanor Roosevelt and others)

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About tiberall

Thea Iberall is a multi-talented writer. She studied playwriting at the Moving Arts Theatre and the Academy of New Musical Theatre. Plays include: We Did It For You! Women's Journey Through History, At Seven (Toledo Rep), Primed for Love (Eclectic Company Theatre) and Amacry! The Neuronic Musical (Out Theatre). She has a Master's Degree in Writing (USC). Her novel The Swallow and the Nightingale (Strong Voices) is a fable about a 4,000 year old secret brought through time by the birds. Her collection of contextual poems The Sanctuary of Artemis (Tebot Bach) integrates science and history with the language of poetry. She also has a Ph.D. in Computational Neuroscience (UMass) and is the author of 3 scientific texts.
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One Response to March 28 – Ft. Irwin National Training Center

  1. Barbara Burgo says:

    This is exactly what I was hoping for all along…Bravo, not only for your educational, witty, and poignant play, but that it would told to an audience of both men and women – in this case predominantly men – as I have wanted to impress upon AAUW women throughout the nation. I spoke to the audience at last year’s AAUW National Convention in D.C. about not only designing programs such as Elect Her and $tart $mart to educate women on how to run for office and negotiate equitable salaries…but also to design programs for men to learn how important it is to accept women as equals, hence not making it so tough for us that we must consistently fight for equite!!! Congratulations, and I’m so glad that you taught us this play in Massachusetts!

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