“Tuesday Mourning” by Effulgent Productions
With book by Duane Hahn and music by Richard Adams, Tuesday Mourning tells the story of one small rural town in Virginia and its ultimate sacrifice. As Germany overran Europe and threatened to control the world, Bedford, Virginia sent 33 young men (most of their young men) off to war. On June 6, 1944, 19 of their sons died on Omaha beach in the first bloody minutes of D-Day; three more died later. Bedford suffered more losses per capita than any other U. S. city.
Six boys from Bedford tell this poignant story of growing up together and going off to war together. This is their story full of warmth and humor and thought-provoking questions. The play also captures the emotions of their wives and mothers. It is an accurate and personal story told by the boys themselves and the mothers and girls left behind.
The story and dialogue are taken from the words of the few survivors and the community that remembered. The play is presented with music, at times provocative and haunting, at other times lively and humorous. The music is combined with dialogue that is at some moments laugh-out-loud funny and at others filled with intense fear or great hope. Together they take the audience on a roller coaster of emotions. The simplicity of staging, using only lights and slide projections, helps concentrate the focus on language and emotions.
But Tuesday Mourning is about more than Bedford. The characters are universal the war is universal. The husband who writes daily to his wife back home, the shy younger brother who falls in love with an English girl, the lieutenant who tries to keep morale high, the twin brothers always in a ruckus, the playboy, the wives and mothers left behind to worry and grieve characters no different than young men and women today. Tuesday Mourning is about all wars and the sacrifices that families and communities are making even today.