A World War II foot soldier comes home to a working-class town in Pennsylvania and doesn’t feel like he belongs anymore. That’s the premise of Odyssey’s End, a special reading being staged by Stark Naked Theatre Company (and sponsored in part by the Houston Press). A group of actors will read the play, written 25 years ago by professor William S.E. Coleman.
Coleman fought under Patton in World War II and came home to Pennsylvania, where he went on to became a theater professor. In Odyssey’s End, the main character is named Jim Martin, who gets a hero’s welcome on his return, Stark Naked co-founder Phillip Lehl says. “He’s a hero who doesn’t feel he deserves to be a hero. It looks at post-traumatic stress disorder before it had a name. It is a semi-autobiographical work,” he says.
“We decided to do it because it is a play that was written by [Bill Coleman], Phillip’s mentor at Drake University. They have a long relationship. He saw it done at the university and wanted to remount it after it had a rewrite,” says Kim Tobin-Lehl, co-founder of Stark Naked.
Directed by Leslie Sinclair, the actors at the reading will be Phillip Lehl, Kim Tobin-Lehl, Joanna Hubbard, Matt Hune, James Belcher and Joe Kirkendahl.
7:30 p.m. Spring Street Studios, 1824 Spring. For information, call 832‑866‑6514 or visit starknakedtheatre.com. $5.
Mon., Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m., 2014
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