The Warrior by Jack Gilhooley
Flashpoint Mead Theatre Lab

Remaining performances:
Wednesday, July 23 @ 9:00 PM; Friday, July 25 @ 8:30 PM
Saturday, July 26 @ 5:45 PM; Sunday, July 27 @ 7:00 PM

They say: “Tammy is back from two tours of duty in Iraq. All she has to show for it are PTSD and a broken marriage. Her filmmaker friend thinks she deserves a forum. Roll camera!”

Majeedah’s take: Having close friends and family members affected by the current war, this play is extremely touching and applicable to my life as well as to that of others I love, honor and cherish dearly.

The remnants of Tammy’s life are held within a military issued travel bag which she has carried through her first and second tours in Iraq. Upon an invitation from an old high school friend to begin a documentary charting her experiences during the Iraq war, the mementos within the bag spark a dialogue of fury which Tammy has suffered.

Through a series of streams of consciousness to tearful rants and flashbacks, Tammy highlights her transition from sanity and stability to what remains of her delicate self and deteriorated life. Her daughter, Stephanie, the essence of purity, truth, and reality becomes that to which Tammy desperately clings and lives for.

There are a number of stories and conflicts riding under one play, each of which may warrant a life of their own. Within 75 minutes, playwright Gilhooley addresses various traumas that await soldiers upon their return from the war including psychological disorders, deteriorating marriages, religiosity and conflict with one’s own country.

The play is a great piece but I felt that it was a bit too structured and too ideal. Because Tammy is unstable and suffering from PTSD, there could have been more unpredictable unraveling in the play’s conclusion. It is a powerful summation of the traumas that soldiers confront upon returning home from any war. Each item from the bag is a story in and of itself. Enough cannot be said of this play whose relevance extends from World War II, which Tammy discusses, to present day wars and conflicts, each of which will continue to destroy the minds and lives of those who have purportedly “won” the war and those who have perished in any manner.

See it if: If you enjoy great plays and being engaged.

Skip it if: If you have no interest in dialogue regarding the traumas that war brings about.