“In Emily Ackerman and KJ Sanchez’s excellent documentary-theater work on Marines coming home from war, poor old 'imitation' gets a sharp kick in the nethers.”

                                           - Time Out Magazine 


An unflinching look at the lives of Marines getting ready for and returning from deployment, ReEntry is a docudrama exploration of the challenges faced when re-entering family, community and country. Honest, moving, and surprisingly funny, this play is based entirely on interviews with Marines and their families. 

Production History

▪       Commissioned/produced by Two River Theater Company, Red Bank, NJ Jan 24, 2009

▪       Urban Stages Jan 11-March 07 2010

▪       Baltimore’s CENTERSTAGE Nov 10-Dec19 2010

▪       Round House Theatre Company Bethesda, MD Oct 17-30 2011

▪       Actors Theatre of Louisville, KY Nov 15 2011-Dec 16 2012

▪       Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa, Ca January 18-20 2012

▪       Dartmouth College April 4 and 5, 2012

Military performances

▪       Navy/Marine Corps COSC Conference, San Diego, CA May 7 2010

▪       US Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA Nov 9 2010

▪       Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C. February 2-6 2011

▪       Armed Forces Public Health Conference March 2011

▪       National Naval Medical Center June 20, 2011

▪       Walter Reed Army Medical Center June 21 2011

▪       American Records has performed 12 staged readings for VA Hospitals in NY and NJ

▪       Department of Veterans Affairs National Caregivers Support Conference Aug 4 2011

▪       USMC Camp Lejeune Sept 13-15 2011

▪       USAREUR Germany and Italy September 18-29 2011 (11 US Army posts)

▪       USMC Camp Pendleton January 23-24 2012

▪       USMC 6thMTBN/Monmouth University, NJ MArch 3, 2012

Comments from audience members

  • Bridget Cantrell, Ph. D. Founder of Hearts Toward Home International and author of Down Range to Iraq and Back said“it was so real, so powerful and moving to the point of leaving me spellbound.  After seeing ReEntry I was literally overwhelmed with emotion.  Having heard thousands of combat experiences personally, I believe this play conveyed a strong depiction from a warrior’s perspective.  I can say that this was an incredibly powerful experience.”
  • USMC Colonel and author of the best-selling Thieves of Baghdad, Matthew Bogdanos said, “Based on hundreds of hours of interviews with returning combat veterans and refreshingly presented without agenda or sub-text, ReEntry is a tour-de-force of loneliness, fear, and anger overlaid with moments of warmth, growth, and inspiration.  In other words, ReEntry is like war itself: complex, layered, and visceral.  It will resonate as much with those who have lived through the horrors of war as it will with those who have only ever seen war through the often sanitizing distance of reportage that can never truly capture the sights, the sounds, and the smells that remain long after the gunfire has ended.”
  • "ReENTRY is an inspiring, funny, and authentic depiction of real people dealing with the emotional fallout of war. It pierces the veil of stoicism and reveals the humanity in Marines struggling to overcome bearing witness to human carnage. If you have military service, are a family member or friend of a troop, or simply want to better understand the "why" behind the actions, go see this show. You will be better for your time spent here."Lynne Van Trieste
Mother of a combat wounded Marine Recovery Care Coordinator Wounded Warrior Battalion - West  
Camp Pendleton
  •  "Absolutely the best show I've ever seen! Thank you for coming to Quantico to treat us ... I will be seeing this again in Baltimore before you leave town! Thank you for taking such incredibly touching material and making it available in such a non-partisan manner! EXCELLENT!" -- from an audience member st Quantico
  •  "Best theater production I have ever seen. As the mother of an almost 18-year-old son who is ready to sign his enlistment papers next month, this was an incredible experience for he & I to have together. As I struggle to understand my theater-loving son, so involved in his high school productions as an actor/director/lighting tech guy with one-time aspirations to attend NYU film school, who now states categorically that what he wants more than anything is to be Marine infantry, seeing this show was an overwhelming experience that I am recommending to all my friends/family who are similarly baffled by his choice. It has helped me to stop resisting his decision and start moving toward embracing my coming role as a military mother who will be nothing but supportive. I am still racked daily with unrelenting fear for his future, but my faith in theater as an important vehicle for chronicling history, remains."
  •  "I [saw ReENTRY on Friday and] stayed for the discussion afterward. There was a couple for whom it was their second time seeing the show — the first time, they had attended with their son, whose recent decision to enlist in the military was solidified after seeing the performance. His parents had returned to see the show again without him to better understand his decision as well as to ask the panel how they can best help their son transition into and eventually out of military life. I thought it was a powerful example of how the theater can serve as an essential resource for a community — really what theater should be about.”

Touring ReEntry is made possible by New England Foundation for the Arts' National Theater Pilot, with lead funding from the Andrew W.Mellon Foundation.

Links to video feedback from Quantico and CENTERSTAGE




“The bar is open in the cabaret-style Head Theater at Center Stage throughout the performance of “ReEntry,” but don’t expect it to be very busy. This interview-based play about the lives of Marine families – signing up, getting trained, dealing with battle, coping at home – keeps an iron grip on your attention for its 90 minutes, and during Wednesday’s opening, pretty much everyone stayed glued to their seats.

Rattling as it can be, “ReEntry” is its own refreshment. The piece has been put together by co-authors Emily Ackerman and KJ Sanchez, veterans of the interview-driven troupe The Civilians, so they know how to convert raw documentary speech into vivid theater. Powered by five appealing actors plus smart projections and a bit of live video, the show is a cool, savvy entertainment.

The actors are flat-out fabulous, never striking the false notes that could nudge things toward caricature.” - The Washington Post, Nov 21, 2010

“Suddenly, you’re face-to-face for 90 minutes with real servicemen and women, who give unvarnished answers to questions about what they’ve seen, what they’ve felt, how they’re adjusting. A dozen or so characters are portrayed by a cast of five. This production, revised since the 2009 premiere at the Two River Theater Company in New Jersey, employs a smoothly matched cast of actors who have been associated with “ReEntry” from the start. Some military units would envy the precision of these performers; some theatrical troupes would envy their naturalness.” - The Baltimore Sun Nov 20, 2010