Culture Project presents Temple University's acclaimed production
“It’s possible that no cast on or off Broadway these days shares fewer professional stage credits than the young ensemble of In Conflict, a sober and very affecting docudrama about veterans of the war in Iraq. Many of the performers in the show, which opened Wednesday night in a Culture Project presentation at the Barrow Street Theater, are still students at Temple University, where this production was first staged last year.
“Yet inexperience, in this instance, is an asset, part of a strangely harmonious matching of performers and the characters they embody. The men and women portrayed in In Conflict, adapted by Douglas C. Wager from Yvonne Latty’s 2006 book of interviews, describe themselves as woefully unprepared for the war that awaited them. As a Vietnam veteran, having served in Iraq under officers who were younger than he, marvels, “You had a whole command structure that had never been in conflict before.”
“It’s this double layer of rawness — untried actors trying to make sense of the feelings of untried soldiers suddenly tested in ways that strain sanity — that gives In Conflict its particular biting poignancy. Under Mr. Wager’s direction, the performers seem painfully in touch with the confused emotions they have been asked to give voice to, unprotected by the lacquered walls of well-honed technique. And the transcribed interviews of Ms. Latty’s book (its full title is “In Conflict: Iraq War Veterans Speak Out on Duty, Loss, and the Fight to Stay Alive”) acquire a specifically theatrical tension and immediacy.”
– BEN BRANTLEY, NY Times
In Conflict photo courtesy Ryan Brandenberg.