Chain of Command opens Thursday, Oct. 25 for two weekends

My friend Mike Ricci, director of the Hibbing Community College Theatre, is opening an original show this week. You should always come to Hibbing to see Mike’s shows, but this one especially. A Minneapolis playwright worked with Mike and his cast to write an original play speaking to the human element of the Iraq war. Though it includes both sides of the controversy, it focuses on human relationships at home, in combat and in Iraq and how the conflict impacts them. It should be excellent and it will be well worth your entertainment dollars.

‘Chain of Command’ set to open at HCC Theatre

HCC Theatre Director Mike Ricci has announced that tickets are now on sale for the world premiere production of ‘Chain of Command’ – an original script about the war in Iraq. This play was written by Minneapolis playwright Dominic Orlando, a core member of the prestigious Playwrights Center in Minneapolis. Orlando was commissioned by Mike Ricci to write this play specifically for HCC Theatre and his cast. The play deals with a variety of issues surrounding the war, and focuses on the theme of ‘who do you serve’. While the play strives to remain politically neutral, many of the events leading up to the war, and events more current, are dealt with in the play, as well as discussions about religion, family loyalties, the life of the soldiers, and the ‘fog of war’.

Ricci, who had decided to direct a play about the Iraq War for the new theatre season, read nearly two dozen plays over the summer. Unable to find one that he liked, he realized that it might be an exciting prospect, and more beneficial for the student cast, if a playwright was commissioned to write a play just for them. “The cast has had an enormous impact in the direction the script has taken’ said Ricci. “Not only were their ideas about the war taken into consideration, but they’ve had a hand in creating their characters, and some of the plot elements. Dominic has been wonderful to work with, and has been doing constant re-writes and editing nearly every other day, sharpening the focus, and taking our rehearsal notes into account”. Also involved in the creation of the script were several members of the US Armed Forces, including members of the Army National Guard, the Marines, and the Air Force, who acted as consultants and provided research and authenticity to the development of the script.

Playwright Dominic Orlando is originally from New York City, where he graduated from NYU with a degree in dramatic writing. After running his own theatre company for several years, he started writing plays, and soon won a Jerome Fellowship to the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis, where he relocated to several years ago. He has had several plays published, and his productions have played from San Francisco to New York, winning him enthusiastic reviews from audience and critics alike.

This production will be entered in the annual Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Hibbing Community College is one of just a handful of community colleges in Minnesota that are actively involved in the Festival, which celebrates excellence in college theatre across the country.

Performances for ‘Chain of Command’ are October 25 – November 4, Thursday, Friday and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, and Sundays at 2:30 pm. Tickets are available at the Howard Street Booksellers in downtown Hibbing, or by calling the HCC Theatre box office at 218/262-7377. Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, and $5 for HCC students. This production is rated PG-13, for some strong language.

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