COURT-MARTIAL AT FORT DEVENS Comes to Steel River Playhouse

by Patricia Bradford

Steel River Playhouse, 245 E. High Street, Pottstown, celebrates African-American History Month with their production of Jeffrey Sweet’s award-winning drama COURT-MARTIAL AT FORT DEVENS from February 6th through February 15th. This true story asks us to consider whether we would be courageous enough to stand up for our rights when the results will be life-changing – no matter the outcome.

A group of young, black women join the Women’s Army Corps near the end of WWII and train as medical technicians. When a racist colonel restricts them to cleaning duty and refuses to listen to their grievances, they refuse to submit and accept the consequences of a court-martial where their story can be heard. There a courageous civilian defense lawyer assists their uphill fight to change the status quo. Based on a true story, this gripping and inspiring drama introduces us to a fascinating group of women whose capacity to judge the rightness of their position, weigh its importance for women who would follow and determine that pushing forward with an unorthodox approach to their protest –despite the punishment that surely awaited them– was better than maintaining silence.

According to The Chicago Tribune the play is “Shrewdly plotted and delivered, and makes for an involving, crystal-clear 90 minutes of theater.” Mr Sweet is an award-winning author who has been a fixture on the off-Broadway and Chicago theatre scenes for decades. His many collaborators include Melissa Manchester, Jack Klugman, Mike Nichols and a host of other celebrated artists. He has written the definitive history of both the country’s foremost producer of new plays –the Eugene O’Neill Center—and of the nation’s top improvisational comedy troupe, Second City (which yields virtually all of Saturday Night Live’s players). On February 13th he will join SRP audiences to conduct a post-show talkback about the play followed by a matinee performance of his one-man show “You Only Shoot the Ones You Love,” on Saturday the 14th.

FORT DEVENS is being directed by Polly Rose Edelstein and its cast includes Sara Osi Scott, Shamika Byrd, Sharon Eyster, Dan Hickey, Winona Wyatt, Tim Richards, Raven Dailey, Tim Golden, and Vince Raffaele. Tickets are $15 – $19 and are available online at, or by calling the Box Office at 610-970-1199. You can choose your seat when you book online, so buy your tickets early to get the best choice! This production will be held in the intimate Newberry Loft, where audiences will better experience the emotional intensity of this powerful, but little know episode in American history.

About Steel River Playhouse
Steel River Playhouse is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable education and performance facility that seeks to strengthen community, inspire creative exploration, educate, and entertain, through the presentation of quality performing arts events and education for diverse audiences. Designated as a “gateway” performing arts center, Steel River provides affordable, high quality performances, comprehensive educational offerings, and enriching volunteer opportunities in all aspects of theatre arts. The organization embraces emerging and established artists, and supports community by serving as a magnet destination for economic development and a platform for shared experiences by diverse audiences. Students and volunteers of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to explore and grow their skills by working side‐by‐side with professional instructors, performers, directors, and designers.

Theater/Organization Steel River Playhouse
Theater/Organization Website:

Theater/Organization Address: 245 E. High Street Pottstown, Pennsylvania 19464 (Map It)
Theater/Organization Phone: (610)970-1199

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