TheatreUNCA Presents Story of Veteran Haunted by War Memories – "Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter"

Featured image: 
Venea King, in Army hat, looks wistfully at American flag

Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter, Julie Marie Myatt’s play about a Marine veteran who has lost a leg in the Iraq War and is struggling to reintegrate into civilian and family life, will be presented by TheatreUNCA in UNC Asheville’s Belk Theatre, with performances at 7:30 p.m. on March 1-3, and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, March 4.

After debuting at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter was produced in many venues around the country, and Myatt won plaudits from the Chicago Tribune for “approaching the issue with a particularly restrained kind of dignity … that, as a consequence, rings very true.”

Lise Kloeppel, UNC Asheville associate professor of drama who is directing this production, says, "Although the story centers on a female Iraqi War veteran's re-entry into civilian life, the broader themes of the play explore how the characters find connection, purpose, and strength in their brokenness. To quote Leonard Cohen, 'There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.' We have also been reaching out to student veterans and veteran-centered community organizations to use our production as an opportunity to highlight the work being done in our local community to support veterans who are returning home."

Venea King, a UNC Asheville senior, has the lead role, playing Jenny Sutter. The cast will also feature students Grace Siplon, Anna Zurliene, Rachel Anderson and Daniel O’Grady, and university staff member John O’Neil.

Myatt, whose plays have been produced at The Kennedy Center, Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Cornerstone Theatre in Los Angeles and many other venues, has had commissions from the off-Broadway Roundabout Theatre in New York City, the Denver Center Theatre Company, Yale Repertory, and others. Now on the faculty at Northwestern University, Myatt earned her undergraduate degree at Appalachian State University.

Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

Tickets are $12 general admission; $10 for military veterans/seniors/UNC Asheville faculty; $7 students and OLLI members. Tickets are available online.