Play Inspired by War Letters Staged in Grove


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Contact: State Rep. Josh West
Phone: (405) 557-7415

GROVE – Best-selling author, editor and playwright Andrew Carroll’s play “If All the Sky Were Paper” will be staged at the Grove Playmakers Theater Sept. 15-30.

The play, which began touring the United States in August 2013, is based on Carroll’s search for the most extraordinary war letters ever written and is part of Carroll’s “The Million Letters Campaign,” which started in April. Grove and the production of his play will be the only Oklahoma stop on this tour. He’s hoping to collect war letters from Grove and surrounding area residents during his visit.

“As a veteran, it’s a privilege to help spread the word about this play and its significant message,” said State Rep. Josh West, R-Grove. “Preserving the words of our service men and women written during times of war help preserve history from a frontline view of conflict to which everyone in America – from school children to our state and national leaders -- should be privy.”

Carroll plans to attend the opening night performance of his play in Grove on Sept. 15.  He will speak to the Grove Rotary Club at noon Wednesday, Sept. 13 and to the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon Sept. 14.  Other appearances are being planned for veterans, families of veterans and students and parents at Grove High School.

“Paper the Town with Art,” an arts festival planned by the newly formed “Grove Springs Cultural District” will be Sept. 16 in conjunction with Carroll’s visit.  Downtown businesses and arts and humanities organizations throughout Grove will participate.

Also on opening night of the play, Gen. Myles Deering will be in attendance. Deering served 43 years in the Army, is the former Adjutant General of the Oklahoma National Guard and is the current Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Executive Director of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs.

“It is an honor to have General Deering attend this production and it is a testament to his willingness to serve our veterans community,” West said.

Carroll is the editor of several New York Times bestsellers, including “War Letters,” “Letters of a Nation,” and “Behind the Lines.” “War Letters” inspired the critically acclaimed PBS documentary of the same name, and the audio version of the book was nominated for a Grammy in the Spoken Word category.

In 1998, Carroll founded the Legacy Project, an all-volunteer initiative that honors veterans and active-duty troops by preserving their wartime correspondence. He has traveled to all 50 states and more than 40 countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan, and has collected, to date, an estimated 100,000 previously unpublished letters (and emails) from every war in U.S. history.

Carroll donated this massive collection, free of charge, to Chapman University in Orange, CA. The Legacy Project has been re-named “The Center for American War Letters,” and is now part of the university. The center’s mission is to continue to collect, preserve, and promote extraordinary war-related correspondences so this and future generations will better understand the sacrifices and experiences of U.S. troops, veterans, and their loved ones.

For a complete list of play times and dates as well as costs, visit: http://www.groveplaymakers.com/. The play is produced with assistance from the Oklahoma Arts Council, and in cooperation with Andrew Carroll.