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“If All the Sky Were Paper” Playwright Visits Arts Center on Opening Weekend

The G.B. Community Theatre production of If All the Sky Were Paper opened last Friday, with playwright and historian Andrew Carroll in attendance. After the performance, Carroll held a talkback session with the audience, cast, and director Cathy Lawson. Carroll expressed great pleasure and enthusiasm for the performances and interpretation, telling the actors they’d been “Natural – in the very best sense of the word,” and singling out narrator Max Seymour, whose part is based on Carroll himself, for praise; Seymour’s role required him to learn a massive amount of material, and Carroll acknowledged his accomplishment, telling him “I know what you’ve done tonight.”

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Cathy Lawson (director) & Andy Carroll

During the talkback, Carroll answered questions and encouraged critiques and suggestions from the audience. One audience member, whose husband served in Korea, questioned why there weren’t more letters from that era included in the play. Carroll acknowledged the lack and stated that among the letters that have been submitted to him from the Korean conflict, there haven’t been many that fit the themes addressed in the show, and noted he’s eager to have more correspondence from that time sent in so that he can give it more representation in the play. Another attendee commented that he was pleased with how Carroll approached war as a topic, observing, “You don’t glorify it. There is nothing glorious about war. But you also don’t penalize those who have participated.” Still another attendee wondered how Carroll’s experiences collecting letters around the world has changed his perspective on war, and Carroll called out his realization of the sacrifices made by family members of those who have served.

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Andy Carroll joined the cast of “If All the Sky Were Paper” on stage following the opening night performance.

Carroll encouraged audience members who have war correspondence in their possession to consider donating to the Center for American War Letters, noting that for those who find their experiences difficult to discuss, “Giving the letters lets them have a voice without having to rehash it.” He also talked about the fact that while the hard drives and DVD archives of letters and e-mails will one day break down or become obsolete, the letters themselves are something enduring: “We have American Revolution letters that are still pristine.”

Executive Director Meeghan Humphrey, who portrays two of the letter writers in the show, commented on the audience feedback she received throughout opening weekend: “I’ve had multiple people stop me and say ‘everyone should see this show.’ The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.”

If All the Sky Were Paper runs two more weekends: Sept.30-Oct.2 & Oct. 7-9, Fri. & Sat. at 7:30 p.m., Sun. at 2 p.m. Advance sale tickets are Adult $15, Senior/Student/Military $13, & Child 12 & Under $11. For tickets at the door, add $2. Free tickets for veterans and active-duty military personnel are still available. Call (440) 964-3396 to order. This is a one-act play with no intermission.

If All the Sky Were Paper is sponsored by Huffman-Mayer Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors and by Ducro Funeral & Crematory Services.

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Ashtabula Arts Center