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SOS: SIGNS OF STRENGTH

(Premiere 2022)

 

The piece retraces the epic journey of a group of soldiers advancing through a landscape of battlegrounds, revealing how they face danger and meet adversity through individual feats of strength and resilience, and find unity and a common sense of belonging that gives meaning to their personal sacrifice for their service to the greater good.

In the quintessential “no-holds-barred” style of DIAVOLO, the piece is performed by an extraordinary cast of actual military veterans and dancers, and built on architectural structures that create a surrealistic setting for powerful storytelling.

This seminal piece from DIAVOLO stems from nearly six years of creative and therapeutic workshops for hundreds of veterans all across the United States. S.O.S. Signs Of Strength is more than a performance piece; it is first and foremost a movement program that helps military veterans restore their emotional, mental and physical strengths, and prompts individual reflections about their service, their motives for enlisting, and their deployment experience.

Throughout S.O.S. we hear excerpts from original WWI military reports as well as poems from WWI veteran Siegfried Sassoon, which in addition to our veterans’ own voices provides historic context during this current period of persistent conflict, and also points to the unrelenting timelessness of human wars.

S.O.S. was commissioned by Selby Artists Mmgt LLC and supported in part by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Los Angeles County Department of Arts & Culture, EB & JB, Jennifer Cheng and the Cheng Family Foundation, the Vladimir & Araxia Buckhantz Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Dr. Art DeGroat and the Office of Military and Veteran’s Affairs at Kansas State University, the McCain Auditorium and Curtis and Andre J. Cronthall.

S.O.S. Veterans Program Founder: 

Jennifer Cheng

Veterans Program Executive Producer:

Lieutenant Colonel Art DeGroat

Veterans Project Program Director:

France Nguyen Vincent

 

Veterans Coordinator & Recruitment:

Chris Loverro

 

Project Director:

Kate Dougherty

 

Director and Choreographer:

Jacques Heim

 

Associate Choreographer & Rehearsal Director:

Majella Loughran

Cinematographer: 

Aaron Mendez

 

Sculptor & Structure Designer:

Daniel Wheeler

 

Structure Associate Designer, Fabrication & Engineering:

Mike McCluskey & Tina Trefethen

 

Writer & Dramaturg:

France Nguyen Vincent

 

Lighting Concept & Designer:

Jean-Yves Tessier

 

Music: Max Richter, Jed Kurzel, Steve Jablonsky

Poems by WWI Veteran: Siegfried Sassoon

 

Sound Designer & Engineer:

Simon Greenberg

 

Production Manager:

Caribay Franke

Stage Manager:

Arianne Villareal

 

Technical Director:

Steven Jasso

 

Marketing Designer:

Simon Greenberg

 

General Manager:

Jose Hernandez

 

Agent & Manager:

Margaret Selby, Selby Artist Management

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Veteran Performers:

Freddie Basnight (US Army, Iraq War Veteran)

Veronica Burgess (US Navy, Iraq War Veteran)

Valentina Cahill (US Army, Iraq War Veteran)

Chris Loverro (US Army, Iraq War Veteran)

Daemion Marcuz (US Marines Corps, Afghanistan War Veteran)

Ejay Menchavez (US Army, Afghanistan War Veteran)

Tess Rutherford (US Marine Corps Veteran)

Anthony Simpson (US Marine Corps, Iraq War Veteran)

 

Civilian Performers:

Kate Dougherty, Caribay Franke, Emily Grable, Simon Greenberg, Steven Jasso, Micah Lagunas, Derion Loman, Majella Loughran, Abe Meisel, Gabby Pariseau, Matt Wagner

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