Basetrack Live brings the harsh realities of war to Modlin Center
The reality of war has been a selling point across all forms of entertainment over the years. It’s become such a marketable concept, in fact, that films and video games and novels that attempt explain the harsh realms of battle tend to lean towards the side of entertainment rather than an informative reality.
Thankfully for the rest of us, there are those who still wish to highlight the struggles that take place on and off the battlefield by way of the arts.
Basetrack Live, a multimedia performance, will be making a two-night stop in Richmond this week on Wednesday and Thursday, October 22 and 23 at the Modlin Center for the Arts at the University of Richmond in the Alice Jepson Theatre the Alice Jepson Theatre.
“Basetrack Live,” presented by Engarde Arts, goes through the life of a Marine, AJ Czubai, during the War in Afghanistan and the challenges he faces and the sacrifices he makes before, during, and after the war.
The production is adapted from an online publication also named Basetrack. The publication, created by journalist Teru Kuwayama, followed the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines in 2010, photographing not only the soldiers, but the local Afghans as well.
The photos, taken by Balazs Gardi and Tivadar Domaniczky, are not the normal army hero flair you see in commercials or in Hollywood flicks. They are raw, intimate pictures; pictures that showcase the daily ins and outs of a soldier. They are images that give an inside look to the humanity on both sides of the battle front.
Nothing is glossed over.
In response to these pictures, Basetrack Live works to tell the story of those who served in the First Battalion, Eighth Marines in Afghanistan in a way that hits closer to home. The production serves up a unique blend of music, video, theater, interviews, and actual photos from Basetrack magazine.
Seth Bockley, director and co-adapter of “Basetrack Live,” is a Chicago native who has written several plays and has even adapted short stories from American writer George Saunders. Jason Grote, who is another adapter, has written for hit television series such as “Mad Men,” “Hannibal,” and “Smash.” The actor who plays the role of the Czubai, Tyler La Marr, served in the Marine Corps for six years, spending two of those years in Iraq, adding an additional set of realism to the production as a whole.
Basetrack Live is currently on a nationwide tour. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, with The Daily Texan calling it “a powerful, engaging multimedia production,” one that “allows its audience to be fully immersed in the action.” With the War in Afghanistan still ongoing, there has never been a more relevant time to see and hear from the first-hand perspective of those who have served and fought overseas.
“Basetrack Live” will perform October 22 and 23 at. Both performances start at 7:30. After each showing there will be a post-production discussion on the transition of military men and women back into civilian society.
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