The Cities | Navy Week In The Q.C. & Playcrafters Barn Theatre | WQPT

Uploaded by WQPTPBS on 27.06.2011

production funding for the cities is provided by a grant from the doris and
victor day foundation
maybe navy week comes to end hafter it took to the ai and a week after it took to the
a lesson about dying on a stage in the barn theater
when you think
u_s_ navy you might think of huge aircraft carriers or cruisers that are
far out to sea
but for the past week the u_s_ navy has been stationed in the heart of the
midwest it's called quad cities navy week it's an outreach program aimed at
letting us know more about the navy
and the navy learning a little bit more about the cities so what has been
let's find out there in the admiral tillman paynes commander of the
midwest region of the US navy thanks for joining us
this has been quite a week for you so far i mean you've got a taste of virtually every
aspect of the quad cities tell me what you have learn so far
by uh... my first visit to the quad cities and it's really been a great experience
i've found that the people here are very friendly
very supportive of the military
it's all you don't know the midwest very well i know that your station the
pentagon before about the last year he said you've been a great lakes and so
north in chicago in evanston area um... didn't midwestern our midwestern for a
little bit different breed
i assume
the uh... destroys about the hospitality in the warm and the
friendliness on finding to be very true let's talk about navy week this is not a
program that the u_s_ navy has had for for quite awhile where did that spring from
in one of the navy find is important
well we the navy is sort of america's awaiting team
were we don't do a lot of stuff especially here in the midwest we don't
visiability going up and down the mississippi
you know we have young men and women today in the navy that are
all around the globe to interested thanks things like
combat operations at afghanistan
if from that uh... drug interdiction ops in the caribbean
to humanitarian assistance
uh... operations elsewhere and we've got some great innovative energy initiatives
going on and
and that uh...
getting that story out and and showing why that's important to the people of
the midwest
uh... is why we do in the navy week here in the quad cities is that one of those things that
in a way
if for any military man
and the different branches of the military with the uh... pentagon
are misunderstood i mean it's almost a blurring of the line we saw the blue
angels where you would think that would be an air force proven and union you
look at what the navy is gone as far as the steals our concern i mean the the
the branches of the military seem to be able to mess
almost weave together in someways
and that's a great point and i think it's one of the things that make us the
world's greatest military
we each have separate capabilities uh... and things that we can do
and that we bring to the battle over to the other operations that we uh...
we executed
you know it's the seals working with the army rangers and
uh... therefore special forces all of us working together all the
services work together to do it
the blue angels represent a great
uh... part of the uh...
naval air force
but the thunderbirds do that i mean that
thunderbirds do that for that
the air force very well done very very well done dimension
but let's talk about uh... the uh... quad city air show
when navy week comes to an area.. arrives at a certain area cut pinpoint one
program and build off that it was the quad city airshow and and you said
were actually able to be at the air show for this pretty good program but you've seen
the blue angels lots of times and people are wild to by them in for good reason
their they're very impressive show it as one of those the display that
aquake to the grand canyon it doesn't matter how many times i watched the blue
angels but always come away just awe-struck
with how incredible their talents are anil precise their abilities are a fine
one what is nice is that in the quad cities in the quad city air show
it actually was almost
a new version of of the blue angels but they have above the old version of the
new version because you had changes in the leadership at the top of his
even when there's a change
in the leadership of the top the blue angels i
that just amazes the training the the camaraderie in that the ability to have
the teamwork that amazes
and i think that
that is that training and its that perception and it's the professionalism
of those pilots
that enable that kind of a change to be made pretty seamlessly
to the operation of the organization
you had mentioned uh... afghanistan and we have talked about uh...
a lot of activities have been going on in iraq and afghanistan and in some
ways access for i want to touch on next there had a certain amount of
pride when it came down to the discovery osama bin laden uh...
that was apparently close to flawless
well certainly there wasn't that something that we've been working
towards for ten years
you know but
but again i i would tell you that that was a compilation of of a lot of
terrific individuals and organizations working very hard that was not just the
navy seals
but it was the army rangers it was air force special forces it was our
intelligence agencies it was uh... an entire government effort that led to the
intel through the intelligence in the information that
was provided for us to be able to execute that mission but in some ways
it's kind of interesting it's almost like bookends in some ways because when
you think of uh... was shortly after nine eleven it was these small
of of soldiers military people that were on
on fourteen in c_i_a_ operatives that that almost
pave the way for what came next and then you look that some ten years
later and it's the same course small group that was able to are ge osama bin liden
is that something that we're seeing more with the military is
you you can go with the heavy
force but you've also got these very specialized forces as well
well i think that's one of the things the nature of uh...
the game over in afghanistan has taught us is that
you know it's a counter insurgency operations of their and so that's
different than the cold war that we have trained for for a number of years it was
just sort of a new battlefield for us and let's be honest i mean it really is
that way everyone
wars tought as something and what we're learning now seemingly is there's not
state vs state
groups that don't have any allegiance to any particular
well non-state actors are a large part of the threat that we view and more
things that we need to be able to deal with in the future
let's talk about the navy week once again coming here and if the quad cities is kinda of a
smaller area are usually you your positioning in in much larger
we are but do you know it's important again to get the word out here to the
midwest we don't have the visibility you know ships on the mississippi river we
don't really come into play to those shifts get out into the gulf of mexico
where they go to start uh...
uh... plying their trade in the commerce it goes over the unit ninety percent of
our commerce goes over that seventy percent of the world that is ocean
and so to get that word out than and tell the people of the quad cities what
their tax dollars are buying the tremendous capabilities and that
and the tremendous work that uh... that young men and women from some from the
quad cities serving in the u_s_ navy are doing over seas
are really is a two-prong thing is that not only are you showing the taxpayer
where their money is spent
and where the pride is n is also a great recruitment opportunity in every
way shape and form will well it is but
you know the navy matters the even to the people in the in the midwest even if
we don't have that much of a presence here we have uh... small presence but
you know what we're doing overseas again
in protecting commerce protecting trade
um... um... global stability operation for humanitarian assistance we do has a
direct impact on the people here in the quad cities and
when we were saying that uh... are you are teaching us about the navy in some
ways we're teaching you about the quad cities while you were able to visit
sivis illinois yeah you add up breakfast with the hispanic quad
chamber of commerce and also got to see something that's very
it fills a lot of people in the quad cities with pride you were able to see hero
street monument what do you take away from events like that
smaller communities such as the quad cities i'd get uh... tremendous
value it just interacting with the community and
and getting the idea into getting some of the questions finding out
the level of knowledge that people have about what they navy is doing
and then
for that replaying that we did this morning at uh... hero in st
uh... whatever impressive monument and a great tribute to veterans who have
served and falling
in the service of the country
and the other thing that that you know is that it really is
uh... the military's a reflection of society in so many different ways that
and tell me a little bit about actually look at he-ro street for you
hispanics from from world war two who made a major contribution that all lived
in one neighborhood it just kind of paint america's story
it really does
you know america is a melting pot in the u_s_ military is a reflection of that
and we have tremendous diversity and we have always value that in
and we embrace the fact that
you know you take a bunch of different cultures and backgrounds in
male and female does it matter its performance in the military can
you do your job how well do you do your job
and we really look beyond those other barriers the other
unit um... diversity you know what is uh... color orange for gender barriers
revises it can really find out
you know and promote the people that do the best work and one years i have to go
into is not only the skin color or or re
legion but also sexual preference and has been a great deal of talk about the
don't ask don't tell policy and the changes are going on in the military
have we got to this point now since what uh... ten fifteen years since don't ask
don't tell first was that initiated
are we seeing the military as well as the civilian population really changing
attitudes here
well i i think there uh... there's more of a groundswell in the political arena
you know for us we are getting ready to repeal once the
uh... secretary at the cno for us in the navy and and the secretary defence
the president i think we'll move forward with the repeal of the
don't ask don't tell
that and i think that the there will have no impact on readiness and
u_s_ navy is going to be ready to do their job
uh... right after that uh... the same way we did it just before that
what's always interesting is that uh... part of the decision making as far as
repealing don't ask don't tell had to do with actually a survey of the military
men and women
sounded like they were almost overwhelmingly for
or the repeal let me talk a lot of real change a societal change over the last
generation or more
well you know that culture that we expels the values that we have
which is you know does does the individual performed to do his job
everybody has a contribution to make
we value the performance we value the individual uh... regardless of his
background his cultures color the color of their skin
culture that we've been in our sailors
is counter to that excluding someone for their sexual preference
and so it's really in keeping
with our cultural core values
it's kind of interesting perhaps the big societal issue
in this particular war you go back to the gulf war in the nineties and it had
to do with women serving in the front line
now you're kinda looking at the role of women going what were we thinking all
along i mean you have to be incredibly
of of the
old the sacrifices that the military women have they have provided in this
particular uh... action in both afghanistan in iraq and worldwide
war zones that aren't there yet
you know before we were we uh... allowed women into combat in and they go
everywhere now except for our special forces in the navy were
first women in submarines which had previously just because i have
an ability we have been able to do that
so women can serve in the full array uh... the full
range of skills within the u_s_ navy uh... then is that something that is
also when we're talking about recruitment or you know i think the guy
going in there is headed shave okay your gonna become uh...
sailor now
while you're looking at uh... at women in recruiting them as well i'm assuming
you're doing it in a different way
well uh... a little bit different but
you know what what uh... what i think transcends gender
uh... in our recruits is uh... especially in today's generation what
i've found especially being up there boot camp
located with boot camp and seeing those young sailors
uh... male or female it doesn't matter they are all just as dedicated and
patriotic and altruistic
as any generation we've ever brought into the service and once again as you
said were reflecting society the american society overseas
is the way almost should be that uh... i believe it should
i would be remiss if i didn't go into that last area that has to do with the
serving the veterans as well as the disabled veterans we've got thousands of
men and women who have been injured in the line of service
you must a
have great pride for them but i was in the military wants to make sure that
they are not forgotten after they come back from a war zone
what absolutely and that is it critical area that we need to keep that this is
and focus on
throughout the next dozen or more years you are returning veterans are wounded
warriors that have come back
um... we need to embrace them
the d_o_d_ at the department of defence in the veterans affairs have tremendous
medical programs
you know to help heal
these veterans have come back with post-traumatic stress disorder or
missing limbs the rehabilitation of that
but it's really a holistic thing our entire nation has to embrace those
service members who've returned home those veterans and make sure that
when they come home there's a place for them to work
that they're embraced by the community there's a place for them to live it's
holistically it has to be our entire society that embraces those
wounded warriors and veterans because they're returning from a combat zone
with the same dreams and hopes and aspirations as as any other of us and
how often do they say i would like to go right back almost
always talking about not only physical injuries but it is
that the mental cruelty
war plays on a person which is once again something that we've learned
because of the veitnam an actual because of world war two and korea there's so
much that we've learned from past conflicts building that we've learned is
on the other side and that's the patriotism and and perhaps your against the
war but you're not against them
warrior you must have noticed that is a sea change over the last generation as
but i i think you know the polls people before the war people be against the war
but though the support of the troops has never wavered i think
you know the patriotism in america runs pretty strong ee support for
soldiers sailors airmen some airmen marines is is also very strong and all
we have just a few moments left i've i thank you for being here i i i
what what are you gonna take away from being in the quad city area and what do
you hope to leave behind when you had backed an evanston
but not i'm going to take away a tremendous experience engagement with the
community and uh...
putting another list on my cities of i've gotta get back to
um... and the things i hope that we've left behind is an appreciation
to the people of the quad cities
for the the work that the u_s_ navy is doing for their young sons and daughters
are overseas
uh... and all the the span of operations that we uh...
that we practice you tasted some of the local food
perhaps will ship some with you as well bring a little back next time you visit
you make sure you get some of these restaurants as well that's a little bit
adminal thank you so much for joining us again thanks for being a part of our
navy week i mean what i like i said we have learned a lot but it's good that
were able to give you a little bit taste of what the quad cities is like
thanks for joining us
that each week we also highlights musical groups with a connection to the
cities decka holms
is an acoustic pop singer and songwriter was toward nationally we
wanna feature video called locked me out tonight used anika homes
that is danika holmes she's terrific she's at the wide river winery in
clinton on sunday there are also a lot of other events going on as we marked
the first weekend of the summer in the citie is lora
adams has always she is out and about i'm lora adams and this is out and
about for june twenty third thru twenty nine coming up on wqpt american
experience presents stonewall uprising
the program tackles the nineteen sixty nine protests in new york as the gay
rights movement begins and thomas camma attorney humorous and wonderful animated
film that follows along the comma looking for the right sentence bishop hill
celebrates their midsummer music fest with great music workshops and
old-fashioned barn dance and you'll find outstanding food live entertainment
and arts bizarre family activities and cultural explorations at the tri city
jewish center the mississippi valley blues festival celebrating twenty six
years presents the performers representing a variety of blues styles over three-day
festival and take a step back in time at blossoms at butterworth featuring vintage
delights and children's activities for information on these and other friends
log on to wqpt dot org
as always thank so much lora it is a powerful play that centers on the death
row inmate and the life he changes is called a lesson before dying moline's
play crafters theater is taking on this story next month as it's first show
all of the summer season joining me now is the director of the place shelly
more guys shelly is also the poet laureate for the quad cities
that i always say that the light was referring rose petals at your feet or
something you can either ask that seems fair and so we're talking about lesson
before dying what made you pick
this is a heavy heavy story
yes it is with the story worth telling us it is this it is on the story uh...
is set in
nineteen forty eight louisiana
uh... fictional town
backwoods town
bayonne louisiana it's
a play written by romulus lenny
um... and based on the novel written by ernest gaines
i thought was also a movie uh... several years ago so i was very very familiar
with the story of written i've read the book
years ago
t was first published
and um...
you know i i'm was for me with the story
the uh...what drew me to the play i just thought it was a great opportunity to challenge myself
uh... too
who uh... direct on that stage i had the opportunity to
actually be a part of a production
uh... two years ago i'm played uh...
the about lena younger in the production of a raisin' in the sun
uh... which was part of the first year
of three years as part of play crafters barn theaters in diversity initiative
and there
uh... desire to get more diverse stories told and
to get more diverse actors on the stage and this is part of that
as divided as the reason i thought was that she has the story is we're talking
about a very young man yes
falsly acussed and and when i say he's changing a life a lot of people i think a week
changes his own like that again
that's how it happened yes
you know i'm it's very very interesting
and they all know a louisiana nineteen forty eight we're talking about
uh... i'm not very long time and when you think of time uh... after i'm
slavery i were talking about jim row very very uh...
very segregate out
uh... racism you you name it so fresh and and and and so
their arm as as as was the case and in the south
um... people lived on some of the plantations that they've they worked and
generations of of a family stayed on the plantations and worked and lived
there's a plantation school here in this novel in case and and a
lot of other places
um... jefferson is the is the young boy you're speaking of
he how was accused of murder
murdering a white man although there were two black men who died as well
that we're talking about louisiana nineteen forty eight
by during the trial nothing was mentioned about the that the two black
men who were killed and jefferson happened to be there
uh... and uh... you know he looks like he may have
uh... been involved in in the actual murder of this white man
uh... but he really wasn't in it and it was clear during the trial now in the
play where
we're not going to be exposed to the play court proceeding
uh... proceedings per se
uh... but you know it is always reference to it so he sentenced to die
uh... by electric chair
and um... in the during the trial his defense attorney
in his uh... quest to keep him out of the electric chair
uh... refers to him as an animal something like uh... we should not be
uh... you know how can we put this person death
he can really he's no more than an animal is is ignorance as an animal
would be like
uh... electric a hog
well he still found guilty of course but jefferson in his despair in fear and
all of that
comes to think of himself as less than a person as as a hog as it were
and his godmother who raised him
has resigned herself to the fact that yes he will die
uh... the last thing that she is ever going to do for him is to help him die
with dignity and that's what so key to the play and the novel
wants is a silver lining for there's a lesson to be learning on their moral to be told
and a hero to cheerish
you know wet you know as as i i i read the book of course i was very much
impressed with a very affected by it
saw the movie several years ago l played the um...
the uh... main role in that he played the teacher
and that you know when you when you're directing a play is so close to the
story daily
uh... you see so many things in this in in this story and he wants it once is
and other lessons there's a that
you know as it's being
uh... publicized and and and uh... promoted it says that jefferson
is not the only person who runs a lesson before dying and and so we were referring
to the teacher
uh... grant wiggins
uses the teacher that his godmother enlist to help
help jefferson walk to the chair and not be dragged jefferson not only affects
grant wiggins very very closely
but very profoundly
but he also affects you can you see that from the dialogue in the story in the
play effects a lot of other people as well because the ideas referred to as a
as a hero and he wants to know who you know who I'm i
to be a hero but
you know he does well chair but it's the ensuing situations and how we
all get their you know we all get there there's a journey that we are get to
and and uh... jefferson is the as the catalyst for the change
thank you so much joining this is a great for story lesson before dying
is coming up next month at play crafters theater also next month as a john
deere classic
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