News

Play Planned in Conjunction with Vietnam War Photography Exhibition

In conjunction with its fall exhibition Requiem: By the Photographers Who Died in Vietnam and Indochina, the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University will present Jon Spelman's one-act play, War Stories: 'Nam, Thursday, Oct. 29, at 7:30 p.m. at the Historic Elsinore Theatre.

The theatre is located at 170 High St. SE in downtown Salem. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free. The play is geared toward viewers high-school age and older, and is not appropriate for younger audiences.

For the past 30 years, Spelman has conducted oral histories with dozens of Vietnam War veterans and nurses and has woven their stories into a powerful and riveting one-act play that explores the personal dimensions of the Vietnam War. Spelman has been a professional storyteller since 1980, and his play was originally commissioned for the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and has been presented at numerous venues throughout the U.S.

With richly crafted detail yet with an ease that suggests improvisation, Spelman guides the audience through first impressions of "The 'Nam" - night patrols, Vietnamese children, hookers in Saigon, hospitals of wounded, eyewitness atrocities and the difficult adjustments of coming home. He will underscore these word pictures with letters and poems by Vietnam veterans, offering what Joe Brown of the Washington Post called "as harrowing and moving as any recent play or movie on the subject."

Requiem: By the Photographers Who Died in Vietnam and Indochina, on display through Nov. 8,features more than 160 photographs on loan from the George Eastman House/International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, N.Y. Organized by photojournalists Horst Faas and Tim Page to honor the 135 photographers who died while working in Vietnam between 1945 and 1975, the exhibition includes work by such notable photojournalists as Robert Capa, Larry Barrows and a host of other international photographers who contributed significant pictures before they lost their lives.

The exhibition has been supported in part by grants from the City of Salem's Transient Occupancy Tax funds and the Oregon Arts Commission.

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is located at 700 State St. (corner of State and Cottage streets) in downtown Salem near the campus of Willamette University. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The galleries are closed Monday. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for seniors and students. Children younger than 12 are admitted free, and Tuesday is an admission-free day. For more information, call (503) 370-6855 or visit www.willamette.edu/museum_of_art.

10-21-2009