Tag Archives: Veterans


23 Apr

One of our “Telling: Austin” cast members, Steve Metze, is a very talented filmmaker. In 2007, Steve filmed a documentary of his experience in Iraq when he was deployed with Operation Iraqi Freedom. The independent film was an Official Selection of the 2007 Austin Film Festival and the 2008 GI Film Festival. It also won the Grand Jury Award at the 2008 DeadCENTER Film Festival.

Steve is ready to release this amazing documentary to the public, but unfortunately does not have the funds to cover the music rights for public distribution. Please help bring Year at Danger to the masses. Click here to learn more about donating to Year at Danger‘s Kickstarter page. You can also check out the official webpage for Year at Danger here.



22 Apr

First of all, can you believe there are only three days left until opening night? I know I can’t. This has been such an incredible journey, and I am so excited to see it come to fruition. We have made so many friends and learned so much together. Now that you’ve met the cast, let me introduce you to the rest of the crew!

jonathanJonathan Wei
[Writer & Founder]

is a writer, playwright, filmmaker and producer, and is founder and director of The Telling Project.  His work has been staged and screened at Coolidge Auditorium in the Library of Congress, the Maryland Center for the Performing Arts, Lisner Auditorium in Washington, DC and Portland Center Stage in Portland, OR among others, appeared in the Village Voice, Iowa Review, and the North American Review, and he has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Smithsonian Institute, the Library of Congress, Metabolic Studios and others.  Jonathan lives with his family in Austin, TX.

staceyStacey Shade-Ware

is a proud US Air Force spouse and recently PCS-ed (moved) from Maryland. She is honored that “Telling: Austin” is her Texas directorial debut. She volunteers with several military groups including: Air Force Key Spouses, Veteran Artist Program, USO, Operation Welcome Home, and Hearts Apart – a deployment support group. Previous directing credits include: Telling: Washington, DC (Assistant Director); Laurel Mill Playhouse – The American Way (AD). She is also a professional stage manager and a member of Actor’s Equity Association. Partial stage management credits include: Rep Stage – Mrs. Farnsworth, Two By Pinter; Baltimore Shakespeare Festival – All’s Well That Ends Well, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead; Company 13 – The Eight: Reindeer Monologues, Jeffrey; Maryland Opera Studio – Poppea, Le Nozze di Figaro, L’Elixir D’Amore (ASM). Stacey holds a BA in theatre from the University of Maryland, College Park.


Charlotte Gullick

is a novelist, poet, essayist, educator, editor, and public speaker.   Her awards include a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship for Fiction, a Santa Fe Writer’s Project Grand Prize, a Colorado Council on the Arts Fellowship for Poetry, and a MacDowell Colony Residency.  She is currently Department Chair of Creative Writing at Austin Community College in Austin, Texas.




Christine Dumaine Leche

is editor/author of Outside the Wire: American Soldiers’ Voices from Afghanistan (University of Virginia Press, 2013). As an instructor for University of Maryland University College—Europe, she taught college courses to active duty soldiers stationed on military bases in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Honduras, and throughout Europe. She also served as academic director for English, Communications, and Foreign Languages for University of Maryland—Europe in Heidelberg, Germany. She holds a PhD in American literature and creative writing from University of Louisiana. Recent poems have appeared in The Massachusetts Review, Nimrod International Journal, and Louisiana Literature.

schandra2Schandra Abigail Madha
[Production Assistant & Blogger]

is an undergraduate Humanities student at the University of Texas studying Creative Writing, Philosophy, Comparative Literature, and Russian Language. Schandra hopes to someday become a professor and a successful multi-genre writer. She would also like to devote her life to developing non-profit creative writing programs, much like the Telling Project, for education, outreach, and therapy. She currently lives in Austin with her partner and two dogs.

Special Credit Producers:
Eliza Platts-Mills
Aubrey Wilkerson
Timothy Wei
Caroline Morris
Austin Writing Coach
Dominican Jo
Tito’s Vodka
Laughing Goat Photography
Sentelli’s Bakery
Snap Kitchen
Thundercloud Subs
Wounded Warrior Project
VSA Texas
Special Thanks:
Dreux Carpenter
Karen Clifton
Linda Crockett
Sara Harless
Elyse Fenton
Lyman Grant
Jacques Leche
Alan Martell
Travis McDonald
Michael Maddox
Bernardino Miranda
Houston Putney
Mary Rincon
Brian Turner
Russ Ware
Herlinda Zamora

Remember to help us out by spreading the word, donating to the Telling Project, and of course coming to show! All six performances will be free, so come early to snag your seats.


21 Apr

Hello Readers!

With only four days left until opening night, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to your marvelous “Telling: Austin” cast. They are truly an inspiring group with incredible stories to tell.

reginaRegina Lee Nelson

was born in 1978 on a Marine Corps Base and joined the Corps at the age of 19. She is a brave survivor of Military Sexual Trauma, and developed Fatigues Clothesline to reach out to other victims of MST. The Clothesline has been on display at the National Veteran’s Art Museum since 2011 in the exhibits “Radical Vulnerability” and “Overlooked/Looked Over.” Regina has been interviewed by Italian Vanity Fair and Rolling Stones Magazine for her profound work. She was also interviewed for the Documentary The Invisible War, which won the Audience Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Oscar this year. Regina also helped write the Stop Act, bill HR3435. She is currently working towards a degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology at Texas State University.

Leila Levinson

is a teacher, writer, speaker, and advocate for veterans and their families. She is the author of Gated Grief: The Daughter of a Nazi Concentration Camp Liberator Discovers a Legacy of Trauma, which won the 2011 May Sarton Memoir Award from the Story Circle Network and the 2011 President’s Award from the Military Writers Society. The founder of veteranschildren.com— a site that creates a bridge of stories between veterans and their children– Levinson leads a writing workshop for veterans and family members at the Austin VA, the result of two years of advocating that the local VA make art programs available. She is a member of AVFAC, the consumer council for the Austin VA.


Steven E. Metze

graduated from West Point and continues to serve in the Texas Army National Guard with almost 24 years of military service, including deployments in Desert Shield/Storm, Bosnia, and Iraq. He has an MFA in Film and Video production, and has directed the documentaries Über Goober, a Film about Gamers, and Year At Danger chronicling his deployment to Iraq. He is also the author of The Zombie Monologues, as well as numerous role-playing-games and miniatures war game rulebooks and sourcebooks he writes for his small gaming company, Über Goober Games.



Malachi Muncy

holds a BA in journalism from the Texas State University and is currently pursuing a BA in English. Malachi is the manager at Under the Hood Cafe, a GI Outreach Center in Killeen. Malachi’s poetry and prose have appeared in the Warrior Writers anthologies. Malachi’s print and papermaking art work has appeared at The National Veterans Art Museum, Chicago. He holds paper making workshops at Under the Hood, Texas State University and other locations in Central Texas and the Texas Hill Country.


Laura Muncy

is sometimes an artist, occasionally human, wife, mother, and lover of useless facts that cram easily into the sulci. She currently studies and works at Texas State University and everyday finds herself inspired by the horizon. She is the daughter of two Army helicopter mechanics and wife to Malachi Muncy, who served in the Army National Guard.


Anisa Moyo

is currently a student at ACC. She is a former combat medic in the U.S. Army and deployed to Iraq in 2006-2007. Anisa is a member of the Veterans Writing Project (mentored by John Morthland and Alice Shukalo) and is affiliated with Ballet Afrique, a dance company and academy dedicated to making the arts accessible to young people and the community.





Jenn Hassin

one of six children, joined the United States Air Force in 2005 to bring structure to her life. She served as a Dental Technician at RAF Lakenheath, near Cambridge, England. During this time,she traveled across Europe and submerged herself in the culture. One month after exiting military service in 2009, she became a mother to her only son, Jackson. In 2012, she graduated from Saint Edward’s University in Austin, Texas with a B.A. in Studio Art. Through her passion for art, Jenn continues to serve after the military by raising awareness about social issues and using statistics to fuel her art. She is currently starting a Non Profit Organization called Wings of Courage, which will be a fundraising hub for Sexual Abuse Victim Services. She hopes to tell her story of being sexually abused, as a child and an adult, to the world to help prevent sexual abuse and raise awareness.


Laura Hammons

mother of two, lives in Austin and runs in many activist circles. She proudly participates in Occupy movements and performs guerrilla street theater. In 2006, she started Daughters of Vietnam Veterans after a visit to Camp Casey, a protest at the George Bush Ranch. Laura’s father is a Vietnam Veteran. She became politically active after several attempts to find and get help for her homeless and disabled father. Her hope is that one day, military families will march on Washington and women will lead a revolution. In her words, she likes to dream.


17 Apr

Hello Readers! I am pleased to announce that we now have official “Telling: Austin” flyers! Please print them out, hand them out, share them online, pin them around town or on your bedroom wall. They’re a great way to get the word out, and, as you can see, they look pretty cool too. We also have an official press release. Leave a comment if you would like to receive a copy of it for your local newspaper, radio station, etc.

Also, today our own cast member Leila Levinson published an article about “Telling: Austin” on the Huffington Post blog. It is so fabulous to have a cast member who is an online contributor to such a great newspaper and an incredible honor to be a part of this story. In Leila’s article, “Time to Listen to Veterans Tell Their Truths,” she offers a first-hand depiction the Telling process and its impact on herself, her fellow cast, and the Austin community. You can enjoy her post here.

And remember, there’s only eight days left until opening night. While the cast and crew are busy with rehearsals, you can do your part too by RSVPing to the show, sharing this blog with your friends, and donating to the Telling Project.

Thanks for reading!


1 Apr

Hello readers!

With opening night only 24 days away, we have made an event page on Facebook with all the performance details, including showtimes and dates, maps to the locations, and much more. Admission will be free, but the experience will be priceless. And I promise that’s no April Fool’s joke. So, I expect all of Central Texas to be lined up for seats when the doors open!

Click on the picture below to access the Facebook event page. Please RSVP to the event and share it with your friends!


26 Mar


rehearsal1Yesterday, the “Telling: Austin” cast and crew met for a very exciting rehearsal. This was our first rehearsal with the newly revised script, including edits made by the cast members themselves. This was also our first day of individual monologue work, in which we met one-on-one with cast members to help them find the emotional center of their stories and deliver them in such a way that is most honest to themselves. Most impressively, the gang managed to nail almost all the blocking for the first act! Personally, I’m amazed at how much fun we managed to have during such a productive afternoon. This is one hilarious, and talented, bunch.



“A riveting collection of thirty-eight narratives by American soldiers serving in Afghanistan, Outside the Wire offers a powerful evocation of everyday life in a war zone.”

In other news, we are happy to announce the recent publication of Outside the Wire by one of our own writers, Chris Leche. This collection also features a foreword by poet Brian Turner.

“Outside The Wire gives voice to soldiers who so often go mute and who so often retreat into isolation and despair, unable or unwilling to attach language to personal experience. The narratives and anecdotes collected in this wonderful volume are as varied and as unpredictable and as idiosyncratic as humanity itself. In this collection, the reader will encounter anger, grief, laughter, loneliness, joy, terror, bitterness, redemption, hope, and cynicism. I was spellbound.”–Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried


Chris, along with one of the soldiers featured in this collection, will be interviewed this week on NPR Weekend edition (broadcast date TBA).

BookPeople of Austin, Texas will also be hosting a free reading and book signing event for Outside the Wire on April 3, 2013 at 7pm. Please come out, get your copy signed, and meet the author! Trust me, she’s really great. For more information on the event and where to purchase your own copy of Outside the Wire, please visit BookPeople.com.


And remember, we’re only a month away from opening night. Please help us get the word out! Don’t forget to follow the blog and share this page with your friends.

Thanks for reading!


13 Mar
TP_castandcrew2Cast & Crew, left to right: Stacey Shade-Ware (Director), Jennifer Hassin (Cast), Steve Metze (Cast), Laura Muncy (Cast), Leila Levinson (Cast), Regina Vasquez (Cast), Laura Hammons (Cast), Schandra Madha (Production Assistance and Blogger), Charlotte Gullick (Writer), and Jonathan Wei (Writer and Creator of the Telling Project). Not shown, but there in spirt: Chris Leche (Writer), Malachi Muncy (Cast), and Anisa Moyo (Cast)

Last Thursday, March the Seventh, Telling: Austin hosted a cocktail party to raise funds and community awareness for the upcoming performances in April and May. I am pleased to announce that the event was a huge success! Many, many thanks to all those who attended or made a donation. Due to your generous support, we were able to raise nearly $2,500 to put towards production costs.

Thursday night’s highlights included, but were not limited to:

  • A full house with a great atmosphere.


  • Delectable food, an open bar, and plenty of great conversation.
    A big thank you to Tito’s  for donating two handles of vodka, which our bartender used to make some delicious Dark & Stormies and Cosmopolitans, yum!


  • A ton of great silent auction and raffle prizes.
    Special thanks to our own Jennifer Hassin for donating her beautiful guitar sculpture “Music Around the World” for Thursday’s silent auction, and to Leila Levinson for donating two signed copies of her book Gated Grief. Elyse Fenton generously donated a signed copy of her poetry collection Clamor for our raffle, as well. Many thanks to Snap Kitchen, Dominican Joe Coffee Shop, and Laughing Goat Studio for their gift card donations. And a big thank you to Melinda Rothouse for her writing workshop donation. We also raffled a lovely wine basket put together by our gracious hosts, Jonathan Wei and Caroline Morris.


  • A photo reel of the cast’s service and family pictures.


  • And, of course, lots of laughs.


If you missed out on the festivities, don’t fret! We are still raising funds to make sure that we are able to offer “Telling: Austin, TX” free of charge, and we can’t do that without your support. You can donate to the Telling Project here. You can also help us by getting the word out: share this post on Facebook, follow the blog, Tweet about it, email your friends about the project, or just tell the guy sitting next to you on the bus.  The more the better!

And, of course, mark your calendars with all six performance dates: April 25-27, May 2-4. The cast did their first read-through of the script today, and I can tell you, this is going to be a performance you won’t want to miss. Stay tuned for more updates!


Many Thanks for Your

Generous Support


Have a Lovely Spring