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Soldier's Heart Synopsis


3 female, 4 male


Before heading off to war in Iraq, Casey Johnson neatly organizes her life into a box of lists, envelopes and registration forms for her son's activities.

Months later, she returns to Western Pennsylvania forever changed, with deep psychological scars that no amount of arranging seems to be able to fix.

Tammy Ryan's poignant Solider's Heart shines a light on the struggles facing woman warriors. "a tense, raw, troubling and no-nonsense examination of what happens to soldiers, particularly female soldiers, serving in the military. ...This is not an easy play to watch.
Nor is it meant to be." - Alice Carter, Tribune Review

“Portrayls of soldiers wrecked by war date to the ancient Greeks (see Aeschylus), but Mr. Ryan adeptly reworks the time-tested recipe from a woman’s perspective to make it seem fresh again….Briskly written in brief scenes that easily flash back and forth….the subject of sexual assault in the military gives the play weight and merit. Ms. Ryan deftly layers critical incidents that culminate in a forceful climax….Frank, colloquial language delivers a strong sense of spontaneity.”
      Michael Sommers, New York Times

“Ryan brings a searing story to life about the high cost of war…Ryan’s play could border on political [but] it’s all about relationships: what you give up in times of war and how families are destroyed in the process…a disturbing, topical production, building on the terror and sacrifices that never-ending wars entail.”
      Liz Keill, The Alternative Press

“Ryan brings a heart-wrenching experience into alignment with the blisteringly traumatic aftershock of rape….It is a story worth telling.”
      Simon Saltzman, Curtain Up

“Tammy Ryan has written an intense drama that grabs you from the first scene and doesn’t let go until the lights go down two hours later….a story with a strong dramatic arc…on an important subject with which we must deal decisively, now.”
     Ruth Ross, NJ Arts Maven

“…richly nuanced, three dimensional characters and a neatly constructed, riveting story. Ryan has done her homework.”
     Bob Rendell, Talkin’ Broadway

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