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Press Release

Eric C. Sloss

For immediate release:
April 4, 2003

Carnegie Mellon Presents New Barclay Musical "One Red Flower: Letters from 'Nam"

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama will present "One Red Flower: Letters from 'Nam," a new musical composed by Paris Barclay, based on the book "Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam" by Bernard Edelman.

"One Red Flower: Letters from 'Nam" will run April 17-19, and April 22-26, Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., and Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m. in the Purnell Center for the Performing Arts on the Carnegie Mellon campus. The book and musical are based on a collection of actual letters written by soldiers while serving in the Vietnam War. The upcoming Carnegie Mellon School of Drama production will mark "One Red Flower's" first fully mounted theatrical production.

The piece was first professionally produced in 2001 at the North Shore Music Theatre in Massachusetts, following a high-profile workshop at the Kennedy Center. Strong reviews and immense audience response have heightened ongoing professional interest in the piece, most recently presented at the Village Theater in Seattle, Wash., as part of a continuing development process. Last year a cast of students in their junior year participated in a weeklong workshop as part of the School of Drama's ongoing partnership in musical development with the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, who will be performing the musical elements to the production.

"I am very much looking forward to returning to Carnegie Mellon and seeing their extremely talented students bring this piece to life," said composer Barclay, an Emmy Award-winning television director of prime time television shows including "The West Wing" and "Fastlane." "It is especially gratifying to see performers who are so close in age to the actual letter writers take on this work. Much of the subject matter is new to today's college students, but the voices of Vietnam need to be heard."

The subject matter is also on the minds of the students working on the production. With the current military actions against Iraq unfolding, everyone involved in the staging of "One Red Flower" is aware of the relevance of the world they portray on stage. The actors recently took part in military field exercises, training and discussions with military and medical advisors in order to portray more realistically the physical and emotional strains of warfare.

"One Red Flower: Letters from 'Nam" is directed by guest director, Ken Sawyer. A graduate of The Juilliard School and alumnus of John Houseman's "The Acting Company," Sawyer's Los Angeles production of "The Woman in Black" recently won four LA Drama Critics Circle Awards, including Best Director. "I have actually been following this project for about three years," said Sawyer. "Each person who has worked on it has played a part in and left a mark on the project's development. I am very excited to be a part of this next stage of growth."

For more information about "One Red Flower: Letters from 'Nam" contact Lindsey Krieg at 412-268-1574 or email To purchase tickets call the School of Drama box office at 412-268-2407. For more information about the history and development of "One Red Flower: Letters from 'Nam," visit

The School of Drama is one of five schools within Carnegie Mellon's College of Fine Arts. The College of Fine Arts is a community of nationally and internationally recognized artists and professionals organized into five schools, Architecture, Art, Design, Drama and Music, and their associated centers and programs. For more information on the School of Drama or the College of Fine Arts visit or contact Eric Sloss at 412-268-5765 or email


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