Damon DiMarco’s “Shock & Awe – A Play in Two Acts”
Adapted from interviews with U.S. veterans of the War in Iraq, SHOCK & AWE weaves individual lives to form a violent, surreal, and darkly comic tapestry. One man endures the long-distance fracturing of his family while another mounts an intense pursuit of Saddam Hussein’s limousine. An Iraqi mother searches for ‘someone in charge’ while a soldier tries to convince the Army that he bears a mysterious wound. Taken individually, these stories are too strange to be anything but true. Taken together, they form an ensemble piece that’s gripping, funny, abominable, and insane – in other words, it’s war. SHOCK & AWE presents one of the most controversial conflicts in American history as only the people who’ve been there have known it. (8M, 1W)
“. . . an admirable production . . . Shock & Awe is a polished script . . . taken from interviews [DiMarco] did with returning Iraq veterans . . . it’s impossible not to be moved by sacrifice piled on sacrifice . . . there was a true, life-and-art affirming sense of theatrical community.”
– The Cincinnati Enquirer
“Above all, this play points out that the true casualties from this war [in Iraq] are largely hidden to the naked eye.”
– Dayton Daily News
Shock & Awe was
- a finalist for the Princess Grace Awards (2005)
- a finalist for Reverie Productions Next Generation Playwright’s Award (2008)
- a semi-finalist for the Julie Harris Playwright Award (2008)
- selected for World Debut as part of the 2009 Y.E.S. Festival at Northern Kentucky University.
Scenes from Shock & Awe were produced around Manhattan at various venues, but “We’re Nobody” was done as part of the Fire Dept.’s acclaimed event AT WAR: American Playwrights Respond to Iraq, moderated by Janeane Garofalo and David Straithairn (2008)
A scene from Shock & Awe (“I Like to Work”) won the January 2010 Manhattan Monologue Slam as performed by Garrett Hendricks (below)
Shock & Awe’s premiere production at Northern Kentucky University used amazing and inventive props, costumes, set, and lighting design to create an incredibly lifelike environment:
Actor Garrett Hendricks uses the “I Like to Work” scene from Act 1 of Damon DiMarco’s Shock & Awe, A Play in Two Acts to win the January 2010 Manhattan Monologue Slam.
Still shots from the NKU production of Damon DiMarco’s Shock & Awe, A Play in Two Acts.
My Mariners: a Full-Length Play with Music, with Jeffrey Harper
Commissioned by the Sundog Theatre of Staten Island
A disgraced captain, a tyrannical Governor, mutinous sailors, the sounds of 19th-Century sea chanteys, and a gruesome murder all come together in MY MARINERS, a play with traditional American music by oral historian and prize-winning authors Damon DiMarco and Jeffrey Harper.
MY MARINERS, inspired by real places and events, is set in 1883 at Sailors Snug Harbor, Staten Island. The play tells the story of Captain Charles Reinbeck, a disgraced sea captain, who comes from Manhattan to the Sailors Snug Harbor in response to a mysterious and ominous letter. When he arrives, he learns of a sailor’s brutal, vicious murder “gutted like a fish” on the grounds of Snug Harbor.
Captain Reinbeck enters a maze of mystery and contradictory tales from the Harbor’s authoritarian Governor Thomas Brack and his assistant Enoch Fancher to a group of angry disgruntled sailors, led by seaman Will Garland. Each step of Reinbeck’s investigation leads him deeper into Sailors Snug Harbor’s cruel secrets and hidden brutality, with more confounding discoveries, until Reinbeck, confronted with his own shameful past, must choose between the safety of resignation and the danger of redemption.
MY MARINERS weaves live singing of public domain, traditional American sea chanteys throughout the play, as well as musical performance before opening curtain and during intermission. A compelling murder mystery narrative in a historically rich world of American traditional song, MY MARINERS provides a total theater experience for family audiences. Recommended for ages 12 and up.
Pictures from the Sundog Theatre Premiere: