Monday, Nov. 11 is Veteran’s Day. At Street Theatre Company (1933 Elm Hill Pk.) the occasion will be marked by a special 7 p.m. performance of the gripping Ponder Anew: A WWII Warrior’s Story. The readers-theater-with-music presentation was adapted from the memoir of Lt. Herschel D. Ponder and is performed by his daughter Carol Ponder and her husband Robert Kiefer.
The play is told in Lt. Ponder’s own words – droll, sincere, and sometimes cruelly straightforward. It’s about a boy who enlists in the Army Air Corp, leaving his beloved Appalachian Mountains. He becomes a “professional killing machine,” flying P-47 Thunderbolts. When he comes home again three years later, he must reintegrate into civilian life while struggling with the unseen wounds from his war service. Songs from the period and from the mountains weave a context for his narrative: the audience will hear old favorites like “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” and “I’ll Be Seeing You” as well as traditional songs including “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” “The Minstrel Boy,” and even “Goober Peas.”
Ponder Anew isn’t just about WWII: It’s about going to war and coming home again. People in all generations and from diverse backgrounds have engaged with the cinematic experience of this heart-felt two-person performance, to the beauty of the music, and the power of Lt. Ponder’s story.
Admission is free for veterans and those in active service (wear uniform or American Legion or VFW hat); for other adults except seniors the charge is $15 while tickets for seniors and children are $10 (this show is not recommended for children under 10 years of age).
For more information and reservations email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (615) 227-3876. And if you haven’t done so already check out the Facebook page and website devoted to this powerful and poignant work.
*Image of Carol Ponder and Robert Kiefer courtesy Kiefer Creative.