April 27th, 2016
Listen to Women
Everyday as I look over the script, I am further invested in telling this real story from such a pivotal time in culture and society in the US and across the world. This play reveals so many social constructs that my generation and beyond may never understand, specifically when it relates to a woman's voice in War. I think within the rehearsal process, I faced the struggle of accepting the neutral stance that most women, like Steele, had to have maintain to graduate and function through the Armed Services during the Vietnam War. As a character, Steele is a wonderful person to play and discover with. I think her story is very vital to the plot of the play as she maps the perspective of women in "leadership" within the Armed Services during that time. She held many positions, but the societal, gender, and racial constraints would never allow those positions to really matter. Without giving too much away, Steele's ultimate goal, had she succeeded in getting people to listen and act, could've changed the way we know the history of the Vietnam War. I think it's essential to note how each woman's voice, if listened to or accepted then, could've changed the course of our history and how we as a society look at intersectionality. All the characters depict how the same issues parallel to the ones faced by women in many industries outside of the Armed Services.
Since this play, I have greater interest in speaking more to the women who have served in the Vietnam War with those serving today. There is continuity in the horror and glory of War from a woman's perspective, which I don't find to be discussed a lot. For this reason alone is why people should see Piece of My Heart. It's the voIce of women who are just as affected, important, and committed to the cause presented to them. This should be acknowledged and respected.
A Piece of My Heart runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays May 6-15. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here. Tickets $15| Advance, $20| Door, $10| Student & FREE to All Veterans
Jyreika Guest (Steele) is thoroughly excited about joining the cast of Piece of My Heart. She boldly made Chicago home performing her one-woman show 'Arn't I Still: Lessons of Her for the Solo Chicago Festival three years ago. She's an active performer in the Chicago area and house ensemble member of Chicago Slam Works where she starred in three of their debut season of original shows, Redlined, Have a Great Summer, and more recently, Incendium. She's featured for several festivals in the Chicagoland area including Ravenswood Art Walk and was a RAW Artist in Spoken Word in Cincinnati, OH. She’s obtained her Master’s in Public History and a BFA in Musical Theatre. Other theater credits include: Strong Women (Woman Two), Rhinoceros (Boss of Cafe/ Fireman), 2009 YES Festival World Premiere of Shock and Awe (Captain Martinez), Once on This Island (Peasant/Storyteller),Children of Eden (Storyteller), Freedom Speaks (Rosetta), and for colored girls (Lady in Blue).
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