woman's face

Annette Bening

In honor of the 100th year of Veterans Day and the fifth anniversary of the founding of the Center for American War Letters at Chapman University, the play If All the Sky Were Paper is coming home to Chapman’s Musco Center for the Arts stage for a special Veteran’s Day performance on Saturday, November 10 at 7:30pm. Acclaimed academy-nominated and returning actor Annette Bening, popular actor Gary Cole (VEEP), Daytime Emmy Award winning actress Kate Mansi, and celebrated actor Ed Asner have joined the cast to date. In addition, acclaimed composer Peter Boyer has created an original and compelling score for this production performed with live musicians.

If All the Sky Were Paper is a powerful, humorous, and unforgettable play about one man, Andrew Carrol, and his journey around the world for the “most extraordinary war letters ever written.” The play features actual letters written by troops and their loved ones from the American Revolution to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the play, Andrew Carroll is portrayed by a Narrator, who recounts Carroll’s real-life travels around the world, which are at times heartbreaking and harrowing, and inspiring. Professional and Celebrity Actors portray the military men and women (as well as their loved ones at home) who wrote the letters. Each of these letters chosen for the Play express the full spectrum of emotions and experiences in times of war—from the ferocity of combat to moments of camaraderie and levity. These are remarkable communications as captured during intimate moments of wartime.

A three-minute trailer about the play can be seen here: https://bit.ly/1Jeiou2

Photo assets are here: http://muscocenter.org/gallery/if-all-the-sky-were-paper/

If All The Sky Were Paper is directed by John Benitz, and produced by Victoria Morris of Lexikat Artists in collaboration with Chapman’s Department of Theater and Musco Center. The play is written by historian Andrew Carroll and is based on Carroll’s search across the globe for the most riveting and powerful war letters ever written. The play features letters from Carroll’s two New York Times bestsellers War Letters and Behind the Lines, all brought to life by an ensemble cast of actors.

“There has, I believe, never been a coordinated initiative of this size and scope to save American war-related letters and emails,” Carroll says. “These correspondences help us honor and remember the troops, veterans, and military family members who have served this nation—these are their words, their voices, and no one can tell their stories better than they can. I also hope this campaign encourages people to write letters to their loved ones about their wartime experiences, even if they relate to events that happened years ago.”

“In having actors bring these letters to life, we are allowing these brave troops and their loved one’s stories to live on in If All the Sky Were Paper,” said John Benitz, director of the play and chair of Chapman University’s Department of Theater.

The play premiered at Chapman University in 2010 and has been presented at The Kennedy Center and LA’s Kirk Douglas Theatre. Actors who have previously performed in the play include Laura Dern, Annette Bening, Common, Gary Cole, Ken Howard, Lauren Bowles, Peter Strauss, Mary Steenburgen, Jeanne Philips (aka Dear Abby), Sandra Seacat, Brad Hall, Scott Simon, and Kate Mansi.

If All the Sky Were Paper will be performed on Saturday, November 10 at 7:30pm at Chapman University’s Musco Center for the Performing Arts. Running time is 80 minutes. Tickets are available at muscocenter.org and range in price from $25-$65 with special 50% discounts for veterans and Chapman students.

Reviews and Praise for If All the Sky Were Paper

“Andrew Carroll has assembled a collection of previously unpublished letters that run the gamut of wartime emotion. An excellent compilation that I enjoyed very much—and believe you will, too.”
War hero and astronaut John Glenn

“From the American Revolution to Iraq, everything is here: the terror and exhilaration of…combat, love letters, funny letters, letters from civilians caught in the middle of war…”
Joseph L. Galloway, author of We Were Soldiers Once…and Young

About Musco Center for the Arts

Since it opened on March 19, 2016, Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University has been hailed as “an ideal opera house, potentially the best in the West and maybe even something more” by the Los Angeles Times. Designed by renowned architects Pfeiffer Partners, with acoustics by world-renowned Yasuhisa Toyota of Nagata Acoustics, Musco Center boasts an intimate seating chamber with 1,044 seats on three levels and a full-scale stagehouse capable of grand spectacle or lush symphonic sound with its unique orchestral shell in place. Musco Center serves as a dynamic focal point for campus life and the broader community, giving notice that world-class arts education and artistic achievement have found a new home in Southern California. For more information about Musco Center and its upcoming events, and to purchase tickets online, visit www.muscocenter.org.

 About Chapman University

Founded in 1861, Chapman University is rated fifth in the Best Regional Universities West rankings by U.S. News & World Report. The universities 10 schools and colleges enroll approximately 6,400 undergraduate and 2,100 graduate students studying business; the performing arts; science and technology; education; communication; film and media arts; pharmacy; the health sciences; the humanities and social sciences; and law. Based in the city of Orange, California, Chapman University also includes the Rinker Health Sciences campus in Irvine. In 2020, the University will open its 11th college, the Fowler School of Engineering, in its newest facility, the Keck Center for Science and Engineering.


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