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Dogfight on Stage at Woodstock Arts

Dogfight on Stage at Woodstock Arts

Currently on stage at Woodstock Arts is the musical production of Dogfight, a romantic and heartbreaking theatrical journey inspired by the veteran experience of the Vietnam War and the 1991 Warner Brothers film. A young soldier learns empathy when he plays a cruel joke on an unsuspecting girl.

On November 21, 1963, three young Marines set out for a final night of debauchery, partying and even a little trouble on the eve of their deployment to Southeast Asia. When Corporal Eddie Birdlace meets Rose, an awkward and idealistic waitress he enlists to win a cruel bet with his fellow recruits, she rewrites the rules of the game and teaches him the power of compassion. Dogfight was originally produced Off-Broadway in 2012 and features music/lyrics by the Oscar, Grammy and Tony-winning duo known as Pasek & Paul, who would later be known for Dear Evan Hansen, The Greatest Showman, and La La Land.

An archival photo of the Woodstock Arts production of Dogfight, featuring (L-R) Caleb Price as Marine, Andrew Horton as Bernstein, and Bennett Morgan as Boland. Photo courtesy of Justin Spainhour-Roth.

“Set against the backdrop of a changing, tumultuous time in America, Dogfight is a complex and hauntingly beautiful story about the power and importance of loving empathy in a world built to stifle it,” Director Kyle Brumley explains. “It is an especially important story to tell now, with striking social parallels between today and our not-so-distant past of 1963. Dogfight also shows us that the ‘antiquated’ values and attitudes present in the musical are still with us today.” The rehearsal process included intense character study, historical background as well as context on America during the early Vietnam War era, and work with an Intimacy Coordinator to accurately and safely portray key moments.

"Theatre always explores empathy really well, and Dogfight is an amazing example of that,” Woodstock Arts Executive Director Christopher Brazelton says. “This story lets audiences find humanity and empathy in the midst of some shameful moments. This allows us, as an audience, to find empathy for the characters on the stage and extend that to our veterans today...closing with a 'welcome home' that was never provided following the Vietnam War." Dogfight is on stage at the Woodstock Arts Theatre in Downtown Woodstock for two more weekends, closing November 14th. The musical contains sexual content, strong language as well as violence and is recommended for audiences ages 16 and up. Teenagers, young adults, and parents will enjoy a more serious and mature musical that is intimate, thought-provoking, and inspiring.

Concessions, Reformation beer, and wine will be available for purchase. For more information, visit www.woodstockarts.org or call 678.494.4251.

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