In partnership with
Returning Veterans Project and Wise Counsel and Comfort
Critics and audiences respond to Breaking Rank
“Well Arts’ BREAKING RANK Brings Women Veterans’ Stories Powerfully to Life…The result is a performance that is powerful and informative, and gives us greater insight into the lives of the people whose job is to serve and protect.”
– Krista Garver, Broadway World Review
“Dart has managed to keep the stories fluid, simple staging and yet, because of her terrific cast, emotionally charged and easily traverses 40 years and several locations without confusing us. I have seen most of the actors before and they are all assets to the shows they’ve performed in.”
– Dennis Sparks, Theatre Reviews by Dennis Sparks
“An important distinction when attending a Well Arts production. This work is crafted by an organization that asks that a story be told honestly and with compassion.
“Last night I found myself taking in these women and watching their stories come to life. They were holding hands in comfort, giggling, hiding their faces, tearing up and fully connecting with this art form that we love. This process is a huge gift to these authors and US the viewers – and honestly, our theatre community. These women and these audiences will know the true power of storytelling on a stage.”
– Charmian Creagle
“Because I believe in the power of theatre to heal people and promote well-being in the community, I made it a point last evening to witness BREAKING RANK, a show produced by the Well Arts Institute in partnership with the Returning Veterans Project and Wise Counsel & Comfort. The stories told were written by women who have served in the U.S. military, and the vignettes are acted convincingly by Margie Boule, Stephanie Cordell, Garland Lyons, Sofía May-Cuxim, Cecily Overman, and Andrea White. I found the stories impactful, giving me better insight into the lives of women who have experienced a kind of trauma I never knew. After the show, I talked briefly to one of the women writers whose story was acted on stage, and she told me that writing her story and seeing it portrayed was the most healing activity that she had experienced. It also was her first encounter with theatre. Thank you to Well Arts, to Facilitator/Director Jessica Dart, and to the actors for this theatre of wellness.”
– Ronnie Lacroute
“I think the actors made it so real it was easy to feel compassion for the women’s experiences in the military. The audience was totally attentive. I think there were lots of women veterans in the audience. I did hear a few tears, but mostly quiet attention with the periodic outbursts of laughter. I found the “counseling” sessions with Toe Jam surreal and the responses to his evaluations hysterical.”
– Rose M
“I had the honor of attending “Breaking Rank” today. It’s hard for me to find the right words to describe my experience. The stories these women were brave enough to share were so extremely personal…. As an audience member it felt like we were listening in on a private conversation or maybe something that would only be shared by a trusted friend.
Each of the five stories were unique and spread over many different generations but all were bonded together by being women in the military. These stories need to be told and I do hope the real women behind them find healing by sharing their truths.
All the women encountered obstacles and tragedy but that was not the theme. Instead it was focused on the hope and resilience of these women to overcome what they had endured.
Their stories were raw, honest, and at times heartbreaking.
If you have an opportunity to attend I highly recommend it. You will laugh and cry and leave with a greater understanding and respect for women in the military.
Thank you Jojo Jackson for inviting me and for sharing this part of your life with all of us.”
– Jessica Robbins
“Great play and a great cast, so great to see you on stage Steph. Great job, loved watching everyone’s work.”
– Pepe Raphael
“It was raw and honest, powerful and moving. The characters all had different experiences and attitudes, showing the reality that exists in the military. True, some people seemed to be offended by the language and maybe the show of disrespect, but that only seemed to add to the realism and power of the message. There is obviously a lack of support for veterans, but society appears to focus any support on the men who have served for our country, not women. Women veterans seem to be “falling through the cracks.” The play certainly gave me good food for thought and made me aware of the reality that many people are facing. My sheltered life needs to witness these kinds of things more often!”
– Susan S.
“Stories of fiercely strong women veterans, portrayed honorably by talented, sincere performances……. Words are inadequate to represent the emotions and thoughts and feelings depicted by these stories of personal courage and strength. To know the truth of these stories is to be in comrodery with a phenomenal sisterhood. I am honored to serve among them. Veterans standing strong is a unity that will always prevail.”
– Tammy M. Dibala Davis
“I can only begin to express my immense love and admiration for the strength and character of my sisters — it was such a privilege to share in the telling of the stories of our military women. Thank you for being you.
Happy to meet the cast and other women veterans”
– Tiffany DV Phoenix Johnson