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a presentation of Sandglass Theater and Next Stage Arts Project

Carpetbag Creative Arts Reintegration ~ Digital storytelling with Linda Parris-Bailey


In conjunction with the presentation of Carpetbag Theatre’s newest play, Speed Killed My Cousin — about an African American woman soldier who returns from Iraq and struggles with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Moral Injury– we work with community partners to offer theater workshops, story circles, digital storytelling training, and performance-based community dialogues, through our CAR (Creative Arts Reintegration) Program. In particular, we create opportunities for women veterans, veterans in PRRC programs and veterans of color and their families to share their stories, and experience the healing power of creative expression.

CAR is an innovative theater arts program, designed and implemented in collaboration with the Tampa VA Psychosocial Rehabilitation & Recovery Center (PRRC), VA clinicians, the University of South Florida (USF), and several arts organization partners. The project is designed to reach out to veterans and their families, who have been impacted by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and/or Military Sexual Trauma

This unique collaboration between arts organizations, the VA and other service providers directly enhances the mental health of wounded service members and helps to foster healthy readjustment to civilian life. Theater workshops also include movement and voice exercises that improve fitness and wellness activities for warriors and their families. Leadership naturally emerges from these exchanges as people take charge of their own process and story. The role of the visiting artists and workshop leaders is to transfer skills that will strengthen existing peer mentorship programs, such as the Tampa PRRC “Voices of Recovery” group, and develop new leadership where arts-based programs do not currently exist. In addition, public performances and dialogues raise awareness about veteran’s issues, educate the public, connect veterans to the larger community, and build bridges of understanding.

To facilitate the exchange of ideas, training and services between local veterans service providers, artists and institutions that result in improved support for veterans and those who work with them


  • Public Performance
  • Post Performance Dialogues
  • Theater Workshops
  • Story Circles
  • Digital Storytelling Workshops

Intent (ensemble and community goals)

  • To increase our understanding of trauma and its impact on our communities by looking closely at the traumas of war
  • To support the emotional/psychological healing of veterans and their families through a creative arts program
  • To increase public understanding through performances and dialogue
  • To develop a model in Tampa that can be replicated in cities and rural areas where the play tours
  • To build national partnerships with veteran’s service providers, educational institutions, and presenting venues to cross pollinate services and develop new tools for the field
  • To create opportunities, specifically for women veterans of Color and their families to share their stories and experience the healing power of creative expression
  • To reach out to Peace Activist Networks that have expressed interest and Muslim and Arab communities who have expressed interest in cross cultural dialogue, community education and relationship building.


  • To contribute to the psychosocial rehabilitation and reintegration of veterans, and increase skills in artistic expression, public speaking and leadership, by providing on-going creative workshops as a model program.
  • To conduct Digital Storytelling trainings, collecting and maintaining an archive of stories of survival and healing.
  • To conduct Speed Killed My Cousin ensemble residencies in cities where there is a significant veteran population and direct service partner.
  • To facilitate the exchange of ideas, training and services between local veterans service providers, artists and Institutions that result in improved support for veterans and those who work with them
  • To create a replicable model of this work that will result in regional and national impact

Wednesday Nov 16
Public Workshop
4­:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Next Stage
sliding scale $10 plus materials where needed

Voices of Community

Sandglass Theater

(802) 387-4051

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