Boots On The Ground
I performed with The OMR Theatre Lab on Saturday 18th May in “Boots On The Ground” – a devised theatre piece focusing of war and media corruption. I want to share this incredible experience and the concept behind the show.
THESE VOICES NEED TO BE HEARD.
About OMR Theatre Lab:
The OMR Theatre lab is an experimental theatre group and our debut show was our first experiment using devising to put the piece together and taking influences from Brechtian theatre.
Show Build Up:
On show day, it began with us setting up the theatre in preparation for the show including mounting artwork of buildings and suspending from the ceiling and hanging up toy soldiers to represent the many people who go to war. The rest of the afternoon was spent going over what we had put together and also creating the final scenes for the show – most of these were movement pieces to depict a variety of scenarios including the lies of war, what would happen if intervention occurred and the resulting deaths of certain characters in the show.
Themes & Story:
The theme of the show was war and media corruption, with the Syrian conflict being a major inspiration for communicating the points we wanted to put across. Boots On The Ground is a reference to troops being in place and formed the title of the show. The boots play a vital part in the show as they represent those who have fallen as a result of war – either through combat, crossfire, self destruction or innocents taken as a result of war actions. It begins the show with each person putting on their boots as we explore their lives. At the end of the show, the boots are removed to signify that these people are now dead.
The stories of these people are narrated by Torst, the sole survivor in this piece. The story revolves around a family – Isadora is the eldest daughter of Gustav, a war veteran who has fought for his nation before, and Ester, who works on the family farm. She has a younger brother Elky, who described his sister as bringing shame on her family through her actions. Jacques is Torsts’ childhood friend and is also the love of Isadora. Finally there is Anya, who is the youngest daughter of Gustav and Ester and Torsts’ love.
We begin looking at the lives of the family before the war. We are brought to the farm to see Anya born in the Spring. She grew up on the farm to help her parents harvest apples, feed their pigs and watched her father who shepherded his flock of sheep. When Anya has grown up into her early twenties, the war breaks out. The government comes to the villages to recruit soldiers. But at the same time, the rebellion is gaining its own support. Gustav fights for his nation once again whilst Isadora believes in the rebellion cause alongside Jacques and they lead together. Gustav is killed in the war, leaving his wife Ester distraught. After a near death experience trying to harvest crops in no man’s land, Ester leaves with Elky. She tries to convince Anya to come with her however Anya insists on staying to support Torst with whom she is to be wed.
The violence escalates and soon areas are being targeted by air raids and shelling causing the destruction of whole villages and the loss of many civilian lives. A truce is called following the destruction, but soon communications break down and there is a showdown between government and rebellion forces. Jacques, who has fought for the rebellion, is fatally injured and tells Isadora that he must complete one last act. In protest, he triggers a grenade – sacrificing himself for his cause – though his protest is unheard.
At the same time, in what is left of Anya’s village, she is making her way to escape with her child Yasmin. However she is caught in another air raid and whilst she tries to protect her child, it is futile. Both Isadora and Anya are thrown into a state of despair. However Isadora fights through and shows she will die with defiance.
The lies of war are then explored. The staging of a government soldier eating a rebel’s heart is filmed and sent to the BBC as is the celebration of the death of the president. Then, the scenario of if the USA intervened is explored with troops landing on the land from a helicopter. In desperation, the native government army sets of their chemical weapon warheads.
Anya is still trapped in her village following the death of her child. Things take a turn for the worse as she is captured by soldiers, attacked and violated. They leave but not before they have set off sarin chemicals. Anya succumbs to the effects immediately and dies. Torst, who in hearing of the chemical attack, searches for Anya only to uncover her dead body.
MORE PEOPLE NEED TO HEAR THESE VOICES.
In a follow up to the show, I have been inspired to explore certain avenues to allow these voices to be heard. Using show footage and news clips, I plan to create a short video to show the impacts of war on the people and the worldwide perception. I also plan to write up the stories of these character’s in full so we can see everything from their point of view.
All photography is by Ashley Carter (AJC Photography/Film)
For more information about The OMR Theate Lab and for more photos, please go to: https://www.facebook.com/TheOMRTheatreAtWTV
"Boots On The Ground" In Libya
By JUSTIN KOLOMPAR
Published on June 22nd, 2011
The “kinetic military action” – otherwise known as war – occurring in Libya is about to be further expanded to involve U.S. troops directly on the ground within the next few months.
As NATO airstrikes continue to murder innocent Libyan men, women, and children near the capital of Tripoli, U.S. soldiers are being told to prepare for deployment to Libya as an all-out ground invasion is set to occur by this autumn.
Military sources out of Fort Hood, Texas have provided Infowars.com with information regarding a U.S.-led invasion of Libya. The sources stated that additional Special Forces are headed to Libya in July, with the 1st Calvary Division (heavy armor) and III Corps deploying in late October and early November. Initial numbers are estimated at 12,000 active forces and another 15,000 in support, totaling nearly 30,000 troops.
This comes on the heels of the announcement by NATO members and five partner states to extend the Libyan mission by 90 days. United States President Barack Obama has received considerable amount of criticism from both Republicans and Democrats about his handling of the situation. In Canada, the parliament voted in favor of extending their participation in the Libyan conflict, while recognizing the rebels – who have admitted links to al-Qaeda – as the “legitimate government.” Even though the New Democratic Party (NDP) claim to be “progressive” and “anti-war”, the only dissenting vote against Canada’s continued participation in the illegal “kinetic military action” taking place in Libya came from Green Party leader Elizabeth May.
Almost two months ago, Robert Gates emphatically stated that there would be “no boots on the ground in Libya” as long as he was U.S. Defense Secretary. With his retirement now just days away, his comments have been given new meaning. By stating that there would be no “boots on the ground” in Libya while he remained Secretary of Defense, he was essentially admitting that there would be “boots on the ground” soon after his departure.
The timing of a new Marine drill taking place throughout the United States, from Virginia to Florida, is no coincidence. According to CNN, “The exercise is designed to test the capability of every type of Marine Corps aircraft, including MV-22 Ospreys and F/A 18 Hornets, as well as some Navy ships and Air Force planes.” There are thousands of Marines involved in Exercise Mailed Fist, making it one of the largest drills to ever take place in the United States. This exercise is being done in preparation for a full-scale invasion of Libya (and Syria in the very near future).
This also coincides with President Obama’s announcement that he will be removing thousands of combat troops from Afghanistan this year, in what is surely a strategic move to guarantee the necessary manpower needed for the impending attacks in Libya.
One of the major issues discussed by attendees at the 2011 Bilderberg Group meeting in St. Moritz, Switzerland was their desire to instigate a World War III scenario, involving a major war throughout the entire Middle East. Using the United States military, this conflict will begin in the North African country of Libya and quickly spread until it engulfs the entire region, from Syria to Sudan and Somalia.
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URGENT: Possible Marine And FEMA Mobilization In South Georgia
Posted By: RumorMail [Send E-Mail]
Date: Thursday, 28-Mar-2013 21:14:44
In Response To: Troop Movement in California (RumorMail)
I am a Marine Corps combat veteran living in Thomasville, GA. As of 10am - 3/25, I personally spotted four AH-1 Whiskey Cobra attack helo’s carrying FULL ordance, (hellfires, 1.75mm rockets,) Travelling on a NE heading. Not even two hours later myself and several LEO friends of mine spotted two CH-53 Sea Stallions headed in the opposite azimuth.
These helo’s were not behaving as if they were in transit, they were at tree top level lumbering across our town. I drove down to the FEMA warehouse, (we have two in this town, one for supplies, and the Federal Regional office, which is on every online list as being an underground FEMA facility.) Outside, there were Ford F-350’s loading pallets of supplies and ferrying back and forth to the Federal Regional office.
Steve, we could be wrong, but it looks like they are preparing to take cover or respond to some sort of crisis.
US Special Ops Commander: We’ve Sent Troops Into North Korea
U.S. Special Forces have been parachuting into North Korea to spy on Pyongyang’s extensive network of underground military facilities. That surprising disclosure, by a top U.S. commando officer, is a reminder of America’s continuing involvement in the “cold war” on the Korean peninsula – and of North Korea’s extensive preparations for the conflict turning hot.
In the decades since the end of the Korean War, Pyongyang has constructed thousands of tunnels, Army Brig. Gen. Neil Tolley, commander of U.S. Special Operations Forces in South Korea, said at a conference in Florida last week. Tolley said the tunnels include 20 partially subterranean airfields, thousands of underground artillery positions and at least four tunnels underneath the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas. “We don’t know how many we don’t know about,” Tolley said.
“The entire tunnel infrastructure is hidden from our satellites,” Tolley added. “So we send [Republic of Korea] soldiers and U.S. soldiers to the North to do special reconnaissance.” Tolley said the commandos parachute in with minimal supplies in order to watch the tunnels without being detected themselves.
Tolley outlined new equipment he said would boost the spies’ capabilities without giving them away to North Korean troops. For starters, he said his men could use a lightweight sensor able to “characterize what’s in a facility from standoff distance.” In addition, the commandos would benefit from a high frequency radio whose signal can’t be tracked back to its origin. Finally – and most dramatically – Tolley said a wireless power transmission system would allow his troops to jump into North Korea without heavy loads of batteries for their radios and other gear.
Through six months of war in the skies over Libya, the Obama administration has had one big, fat red line: it won’t put any troops on the ground. Except that red line turned out to be permeable, as CIA operatives made their way to the shores of Benghazi. And as the fall of Tripoli turns into a battle for the city, NATO isn’t closing the door on sending western peacekeeping forces to Libyan soil.
During a press conference on Tuesday in Brussels, NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu assured that there will be “no NATO troops on the ground in the future.” Only Lungescu left herself some wiggle room. Should the United Nations or Libyan revolutionaries request it, NATO “is willing to help in a supporting role,” she said, without elaborating.
Chippewa Valley Country Fest 2011: Summer Shandy, High-fives and Great Music. (Part III)
continued…(from Part I & Part II)
If you thought our raving about Miranda Lambert, Chris Young, and Dierks Bentley meant the rest of the Country Fest weekend couldn’t be any better — you’d be wrong. On the final day of the 2011 Chippewa Valley Country Fest, we made the Day of Rest a Sunday Funday!
Bucky Covington started off the last day with a set of mediocre slow to mid-tempo songs, like “I’ll Walk” and his first single after his stint on American Idol, “A Different World.” While Bucky was an adequate start to what could have been a slower day of music on the
main stage; it was Jerrod Niemann who proved that just because it was Sunday didn’t mean we couldn’t party!
This was my (Aly) third time seeing Jerrod in the last year [Class of 2010] [Rodeo] and each time his intro music comes on, I know I am in store for a phenomenal show. What I like about Jerrod is his easy going, yet commanding stage presence that captures an audience. Thankfully, the Saturday night party-ers were still shaking off their hangover and so we were able to make quite a few laps around the photo line. We high-fived, danced and held our Leinie’s high in the air to “One More Drinkin’ Song” and “For Everclear,” then went to the rodeo with “The Buckin’ Song” and “Good Ride Cowboy.” Jerrod took the pace down a notch with his second single “What Do You Want,” then closed it down with his breakout hit “Lover, Lover” which left us begging for more.
Riding our musical high, we headed back to the Miller Fest Zone tent for another cold beer and additional Sunday rowdiness with Lost Highway before Clay Walker’s set. Like Collin Raye, some festival attendees might not immediately recognize Clay Walker’s music, but song after song, even these two country girls were saying “OMIGOD. I love this song!” as he sang a string of hits from the early 90’s “Live, Laugh, Love,” “You’re Beginning to Get to Me” and “If I Could Make a Living” up to his most recent single “She Won’t Be Lonely Long,” which is one of my (Beth’s) favorites of his.
Opening for the last act of the festival, Josh Turner melted the ladies’ hearts with his warm, rich vocals and charismatic smile. Josh is known for his crooning a la “Your Man,” “Long Black Train” and “I Wouldn’t Be a Man.” However, unlike Carrie the previous night, he understood the venue and knew exactly what fest go-ers were looking for, playing the perfect summer tunes “All Over Me,” “Firecracker.” He finished out his set with his mega hit “Why Don’t We Just Dance,” which had EVERYONE dancing with friends and strangers alike.
As the lights went down for the final time at Country Fest 2011, the weary audience came back to life and gave the powerhouse trio of Lady Antebellum a standing ovation as the first riffs of “Our Kinda Love” echoed through the Chippewa Valley. Performing on a simple stage setup and backed by a small army of musicians, Lady A started their set off with the perfect festival tunes from their repertoire: “Stars Tonight,” “Run to You” and “Long Gone” and kept the favorites coming throughout the night. Country Fest was treated with a sneak peek of their upcoming album with the title track “Own the Night” as well. By the flavor of the song, which has a hint of the Kelley brothers’ “Georgia Clay” in the beginning chords, Lady A’s third album (Own The Night, release date 9/13/11) will be more like Need You Now than their freshman album. We both agree the latter is the better of the two, but we digress until we can hear more of the latest project.
Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley have been at the height of success over the past two years, and although they are a relatively new group on the country and popular American music scene, they headlined on Sunday evening with all of the conviction of the legends they will eventually become. As a staple of radio, TV and music award shows, Lady Antebellum’s image and sound risk overexposure, however humble roots and stripped down arrangements showcased the talents that have driven this group to where they have come to be.
Our favorite part of the set was a “Songwriter Showcase” where they each sang a sample of a song they had a hand in crafting. From Dave’s rendition of “Do I” (recorded by Luke Bryan), Charles’ “Georgia Clay” (written with and recorded by his brother Josh Kelley) and Hillary’s “Stronger” (Sara Evans’ latest #1 hit) it was an interesting and unique feature of their performance. As music fans, it’s refreshing to see one of our favorite mainstream acts demonstrate that they are not only successful recording artists, but three of the top songwriters in their industry.
As the first time at Country Fest for the both of us, we saw many differences that festival organizers implemented that others in this highly competitive market should follow suit on, such as the beer tents. The downtime between main stage sets flew by thanks to a fantastic job by the four Beer Tent regional bands. In some cases, we even wanted bands like Lost Highway to keep playing instead of the night’s headliner! The general admission photo line is also something unique that we really appreciated. If we weren’t hanging in the Leinie Lodge or Miller Fest zone tents, we were in line to get down to the front of the stage. Most times we went through the photo line during the performances on the main stage, so we ended up sitting in our chairs for a total of about 15 minutes the entire weekend.
The people of Wisconsin were great hosts! The fans we met throughout the weekend were rowdy and incredibly friendly, other than the unfortunate experiences of having Beth’s chair stolen (on the last day, thankfully) and Aly having a Clay Walker guitar pick stolen right out of her hand by a hairy half naked man. (Euw…)
We made it back from our excursion with both of our feet hurt from dancing and stomachs from laughing (not at all because of what we consumed…). Happy to report no sunburns or hangovers (other than the musical kind) here either. We want to thank K102 for making this experience possible, and we hope to see YOU out at a country music festival soon!
Enjoy the Music and keep rockin’
Aly and Beth
PS: Plan on coming out to Country Fest 2012 with announced performers Brad Paisley, Sugarland and The Band Perry!
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Kip Moore in the K102 Roadhouse 4.11.12
Georgia native and MCA Nashville recording artist Kip Moore stopped by the K102 Roadhouse recently to promote his breakout single “Something About A Truck,” a track on his new album Up All Night which is available today.
It was the singer-songwriter’s second visit to the K102 Roadhouse. He first toured country radio in support of his single “Mary was the Marrying Kind,” which he admitted didn’t do quite what he was hoping for on the charts. He now has a top twenty single, “Something About a Truck,” and had the Roadhouse audience of K102 listeners singing along.
Kip’s self-diagnosed ADHD added a personable touch to the intimate three man acoustic set as he shared stories from the road, like his perpetual forgetfulness of leaving his guitar at airports, how he never sticks to the set list and his former life as a beach bum in Hawaii that somehow lead him back east to chase his music dreams.
Since landing in Nashville in 2004, Kip Moore has been working on what he calls his most honest work for Up All Night and also co-wrote two songs on country duo Thompson Square’s debut album (“Let’s Fight” and “All the Way”).
He played an extended Roadhouse set of six songs from his new album, including the self-written “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Drive Me Crazy” and at the request of an audience member “Hey Pretty Girl,” which is his next single [music video]. His vocals were rich, smooth and full but with an edge that a growing number of male vocalists are adopting. Unfortunately, this also makes him less distinguishable in a growing class of new artists. In the future, hopefully he can showcase his songwriting talents with tunes like “Reckless” and “Faith When I Fall” to set himself apart; instead of blending in with cliche, expected (although catchy!) country songs like “Something About a Truck.”
Catch him on the road with David Nail and Billy Currington and connect via any of the social media sites listed below.
*This article is cross-posted at K102: Boots on the Ground [K102]