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On 04, Feb 2013 | In | By admin

Shock & Awe: A Play in Two Acts

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.