Adam Driver, the Marine infantry veteran who left the Corps and made a career as a television star on HBO’s Girls before landing the role of Kylo Ren in the Star Wars reboot, is launching a playwriting contest for current and former service members.
The contest will offer a $10,000 prize, called the Bridge Award, for the best full-length play written by an active duty service member or veteran. It’s being put on by Arts in the Armed Forces, a nonprofit Driver founded in 2008 to serve as a matchmaker between mil vets and influencers in the arts.
“There’s no reason to think that this community doesn’t have anything to say,” Driver, told The New York Times in November. “Maybe they don’t have access to another way of saying it.”
In addition to the 10-large, the winner will see their play performed by professional actors in New York or at their military base — if they’re still in uniform — and will be honored at an Arts in the Armed Forces show on Broadway in November 2018, according to Stars and Stripes. Submissions for the contest don’t need to have a military theme, but they’re due by March 1.
Driver joined the Marines shortly after 9/11 and served just under three years as a mortarman, before he was medically discharged following a mountain biking accident that broke his sternum. After wartime service was no longer an option for Driver, he went on to study drama at the Juilliard School in New York City.
“Suddenly I was exposed to playwrights and these characters and these plays. And for the first time, I became aware of the value of expressing yourself and putting language to feelings,” Driver told Task & Purpose in April 2016. “It felt like that was missing from my military experience.”
While the military has a reputation as a community of jocks rather than film and theater buffs, there’s a number of burgeoning writers and artists in uniform; some services, like the Marines — sometimes we write with Crayons instead of just eating them — have tapped into this nascent nerd community for ideas on what future wars might look like.
It's this cohort of creatives that Driver is keen to tap into — and provide an outlet for.
“The military has acronyms for acronyms that can explain everything,” Driver told the Times. “But when it comes to explaining an experience, a post-traumatic experience, there’s not a lot of opportunities.”
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Karl Munson pilots a 26-foot boat while Petty Officer 2nd Class Gabriel Diaz keeps an eye on a boarding team who is inspecting a 79-foot shrimp boat in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of New Orleans, La., on April 27, 2005
Radio transmissions to the U.S. Coast Guard are usually calls for help from boaters, but one captain got on the radio recently just to say thanks to the men and women who are currently working without pay.
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Saturday to receive the remains of four Americans killed in a suicide bombing in northern Syria.
Trump, locked in a battle with congressional Democrats that has led to a nearly month-long partial government shutdown, announced his trip via a pre-dawn tweet, saying he was going "to be with the families of 4 very special people who lost their lives in service to our Country!"
Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.
In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.