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Prologue/All The Things That Make Us Strong

Encircled by an aural backdrop of  ghostly, bygone voices belonging to massacred prisoners of war, we meet Cherylynn (a lawyer for the US Department of Justice) and her beloved Grandfather. While Grandpa Will recalls the horrors of the Massacre at Malmedy, the greatest atrocity on the Western front of World War II, Cherylynn vows to seek justice for the patriarch and his fallen comrades.



Milbourn, Kentucky. 1930's.

Young Will appears as a teen, ravaged by polio. Ever unwilling to "say die," he straps himself to the plow and endeavors to regain his strength by putting in a hard day's work on his family farm. When his abusive, alcoholic father wreaks verbal and physical abuse on vulnerable Young Will, his devoted sister Mary and life-long best friend Victor (first generation Mexican American) attempt to reassure him of brighter days ahead.

In an additional narrative layer, Grandpa Will  looks back on this moment in his life with critical perspective.


Where Life Meets Dreams

The US Department of Justice: Special Investigations Unit. 2005.

Steadfast lawyer and dedicated granddaughter of Will Wilson, Cherylynn Stephens, fervently seeks justice for a Nazi war criminal who participated in a 1944 massacre involving her surviving Grandfather and his dear, deceased friend (Victor). Fierce, yet fragile, she contemplates her motivations for undertaking such a fraught and dangerous endeavor.


Little by Little

Straddling space and time, we simultaneously meet Edith Scott, a troubled teen in 2005, and Armand Lang, a young Nazi SS Officer and perpetrator of the brutal Massacre at Malmedy in 1944. In narrative harmony, we examine the merciless circumstances that lead each character to take justice into his/her/their own hands.


When You Can't Stand

Present amongst family and friends  at his sainted mother's funeral, Young Will struggles to overcome his delicate emotional state and the devastating effects of polio. Physically struggling to stand, with the assistance of Mary and Victor, he faces his fears and delivers a tearful eulogy for his late mother.


Will Wilson's War

Kentucky. 1943.

Now young adults, seventeen year olds Will and Victor celebrate their last night stateside at a local bar. Just before shipping off to war, they ponder their futures over popping bottles and dive bar jazz. On the surface, they celebrate their newfound freedom and the opportunity to become hometown heroes. Deep down, they ponder the real possibilities of dying in infamy, and returning home to greater opportunity.


Sing Me Your Secrets

Washington, DC. 2005.

Cassandra (Mother to Cherylynn) and Alaina (Mother to Edith) pour out their deepest hopes and fears as they ponder the ways in which their roles as mother's have affected the growth, development, and futures of their daughters.


I Wouldn't Have You

Washington, DC.  Christmas. 2005.

Long-time legal colleagues and romantic partners Cherylynn and Calvin take a break from their stressful caseload to reconnect. A sensual celebration of one another's strengths and flaws leads to an unexpected proposal and a sobering heart to heart.


When You Can't Stand (Reprise)

Massacre at Malmedy. 1944.

Ordered to execute over 80 American prisoners of war, Armand Lang makes a frantic attempt to justify what he must do. Meanwhile, moments before their deaths, wartime Will and Victor prayerfully prepare themselves to die on the battlefield. Captured in Southern Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge, they are well-aware that the the Nazi's final, desperate attempt to breakthrough Allied lines has led to disregard for the rules of engagement. They steady themselves by reflecting on shared, warm memories from home, each in their native languages (English and Spanish, respectively).


Argentine Montage

Buenos Aires, Argentina. 2006.

After piecing together a plethora of diminutive pieces of information, mined from declassified government records, lawyer trio Cherlynn, Cal, and Eric pursue the now-elderly, escaped war criminal (Armand Lang) to his suspected hideaway in Argentina. Seeking informants in the local landscape, the justice seekers discover that fear of former Nazis still looms large more than 60 years later.

* Performed in English & Spanish


The Art of Love and War

Washington, DC. 2005.

Cassandra (Mother to Cherylynn) and Alaina (Mother to Edith) pour out their deepest hopes and fears as they ponder the ways in which their roles as mother's have affected the growth, development, and futures of their daughters.


My Heart is Your Home

Kentucky. Late 1940's.

Post-wartime Will weds the love of his life and future mother of his children (Sally). Meanwhile, across time and space, Cherylynn, Eric, Calvin, and Victor wonder where they belong.


The Laws of Love

Buenos Aires, Argentina. 2006.

Cal grapples with his fateful, personally catastrophic decision to destroy key evidence of the location of the infamous Nazi war criminal that he and girlfriend Cherylynn have been staking their careers on apprehending. He clings to a shred of hope that, in so doing, he can preserve and protect his future with the woman he loves.



Kentucky. Early 1950's.

Young adult Will and Sally narrate the tragic loss of their first son, Bobby, to a rare childhood cancer.

From the year 2006 , Will and Sally's grown daughter Cassandra (in her 50's) reflects on the potentially imminent loss of her father.


When You Can't Stand/All the Things That Make Us Strong

Washington, DC. Military Court. 2006.

In the finale of the show, a variety of characters reflect on the  personal and public impacts of the long-awaited trial of now-apprehended, elderly war criminal Armand Lang.

Image by Sandra Dempsey
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