“They were going to look at war, the red animal – war, the blood-swollen god.” – Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage
The Red Animal Project is a new blog and a new play, The Red Animal, by Melissa Cooper.
The U. S. has been at war for almost a decade. Two million Americans have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, some of them many times. Yet the war and the people who fight it remain largely invisible to many Americans. By exploring the experiences of combat soldiers at war and at home, The Red Animal (both play and blog) aims to spark questions, combat stereotypes, promote understanding of soldiers as individuals, and contribute to a national discussion about war and warriors that is way overdue.
The play, The Red Animal (inspired by Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage), tracks five young American soldiers through a year’s deployment in a remote part of Afghanistan. Writing the play led to a year of wide-ranging research, following the philosophy:
Cast a wide net and see what you catch.
The Red Animal blog is a place to share what I’ve learned from news reports, novels, memoirs, blogs, plays, poetry by soldiers, films, documentaries, art work, videos by soldiers, private discussions and public events. I’ll post links to stories that may include such wide-ranging topics as how Stephen Crane’s love of sports impacted his war writing, the latest research on traumatic brain injuries and writings by soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. I’ll also write about the process of developing a new play, as The Red Animal moves toward its first productions (check Calendar for upcoming events and News for updates).
I’ll post a couple of times a week, so check back or subscribe by email (bottom right of the blog) to be notified of new posts.
Thank you for visiting The Red Animal Project!