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Michigan Tech Theatre produces “Purple Hearts”

Michigan Tech Theatre will be performing “Purple Hearts,” written by C.S. Wallace, from Apr. 10 to Apr. 13. Set in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor, “Purple Hearts” tells the story of three navy soldiers who are trapped aboard the sunken USS West Virginia, and the loved ones who await them back home. In this intimate story, we explore these men’s relationships and character as they fight for the lives they hope to live, and wrestle with the lives they’ve lived thus far.

This play displays how hope is sometimes the only thing you have that keeps you going. “Purple Hearts” is directed by Nich Radcliffe, who says that, “At the end of the day, ‘Purple Hearts’ is a drama with jokes about hope. Though not necessarily in the way we might most immediately think of hope.”

One of the biggest questions “Purple Hearts” will raise for audience members is when, if ever, war is necessary. When does the cost of war outweigh the cost of everything lost– life, love, promises? Radcliffe says, “If we don’t remember the past, if we don’t study the past, we are doomed to repeat the past. Mostly, war is avoidable and unnecessary. And I think this play gives us an opportunity to examine that question, around ‘What is a just war? What is a valid reason to go to war?’ And the play also provokes us to consider the cost of war, the cost of violence. Just or unjust, warranted or unwarranted, those costs are still there.”

Audience members should be aware that “Purple Hearts” includes topics of war, perilous situations, suicide, death, and the presence of graphic language, cigarette smoking, tight quarters, and other mature topics. Radcliffe says, “It is a tough play. A powerful play. An important play. It’s also a surprisingly funny play.”

“Purple Hearts” opens Wednesday, Apr. 10, and runs through Saturday, Apr. 13 in the McArdle Theatre. Tickets are $15, but are free for Michigan Tech students. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., and doors open at 7 p.m. and the show runs approximately 100 minutes with no intermission.

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