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Play Review: Wounded

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Have you ever gone to a play and felt like your whole life could change? It might sound dramatic, but this is the theater after all, so maybe this kind of grandstanding and overwhelming support can be justified. Wounded, which opened this past weekend for the second year in a row at the Powerhouse Theater is Santa Monica is just such a production and being billed as "more timely than ever." Created by the Los Angele Theatre Ensemble under the direction of Tom Burmester, Wounded is a collaboratively conceived play researched and written by members of the ensemble. It is based on true accounts of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and set in the Fischer House rehabilitation home at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC. It is easy to connect with one of the of the four main characters, they all have something in them that we have in us.

You can watch as simply a voyeur into their lives, or you can let yourself be swept up into the pain and fear that certainly encompasses the everyday of returning veterans who surely up until this point have embraced a "no fear" attitude about life only to watch it be taken away from them in a moment. For those moments you let yourself be swept up, to truly think and consider a lack of peace to exists every day across the ocean in a desert we can barely fathom, Wounded strives to help you be able to articulate better your thoughts on the war, or tune in a little more intently on the news what protocols and policies are being discussed and put into action. Everything doesn't have to change, but good grassroots and small theater has the ability to do this - to move you to a place that no TV show or book can. And hopefully, you'll be moved to tell people to set aside a night to head to Santa Monica, grab some dinner with a friend, and head thee to the Powerhouse Theater for a night of theater.

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Politically charged and highly emotional, on opening weekend when LAist saw the play, it not only seemed to touche the heart of the almost capacity-filled audience, but also created intermission and post-play conversations where we overheard college students, theater regulars and Santa Monica activists discuss the war, our soldiers, and also our collective responsibility as citizens to what is happening every day right under our noses.

Rave reviews from the Santa Monica Mirror, Backstage, and the Daily Bruin aren't enough to get you out of your chair? Think of it this way, for the amount of time you would spend watching "24" or a news show talking about the war, you could see this ensemble cast give their all, weaving together the lives of four veterans and their families.

The play runs through May 19th on select Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $15 for military and students with ID.

The Powerhouse Theatre
3116 2nd Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405