Soldier's Heart

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Before heading off to war in Iraq Marine Sergeant Casey Johnson neatly organizes her life into a box of lists, envelopes and registration forms for her son's activities. Months later, she returns to Southwestern Pennsylvania forever changed, with deep psychological scars that no amount of arranging seems to be able to fix. When she refuses to see her young son, her mother and her ex husband are forced to confront along with Casey what exactly happened to her while she was in Iraq. Revealing that she was sexually assaulted by her commanding officer, Casey wrestles with a deeper hidden truth that keeps from her reclaiming the mother she was. Moving back and forth between Pennsylvania and Iraq, Soldier’s Heart shines a light on the struggles facing women warriors returning home.

Michael Colby Jones as Baines and Mairin Lee as Casey in Premiere Stages production
Landon G. Woodson as Williams; Michael Colby Jones as Baines, Mairin Lee as Casey and Erica Camarano as Hernandez
Mairin Lee as Casey and Landon G. Woodson as Staff Sgt Thomas Williams
Mairin Lee as Casey and Zane King Beers as Saheed
Cast Requirements

3 women, 3 men, 1-2 boys (can double)

Set Description

The action takes place in southwestern Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. And in Iraq beginning in September 2006 and ending in June 2007. After Fallujah, before the Surge.


Broadway Play Publishing, Inc.


"Portrayls of soldiers wrecked by war date to the ancient Greeks (see Aeschylus), but Ms. Ryan adeptly reworks the time-tested recipe from a woman's perspective to make it seem fresh again...Briskly written in brief scenes that easily flash back and forth..the subject of sexual assault in the military gives the play weight and merit. Ms. Ryan deftly layers critical incidents that culminate in a forceful climax...Frank, colloquial language delivers a strong sense of spontaneity."
- New York Times

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"Tammy Ryan's poignant SOLDIER'S HEART shines a light on the struggles facing women warriors...a tense, raw, troubling and no-nonsense examination of what happens to soldiers, particularly female soldiers, serving in the military...This is not an easy play to watch. Nor is it meant to be."
- Pittsburgh Tribune Review

"Ryan brings a searing story to life about the high cost of war...Ryan's play could border on political [but} it's all about relationships: what you give up in ties of war and how families are destroyed in the process...a disturbing, topical production, building on the terror and sacrifices that never-ending wars entail."
- The Alternative Press

"Tammy Ryan has written an intense drama that grabs you from the first scene and doesn't let go until the lights go down two hours later...a story with a strong dramatic arc...on an important subject with which we must deal decisively, now."
- NJ Arts Maven

"...richly nuanced, three-dimensional characters and a neatly constructed, riveting story. Ryan has done her homework."
- Talkin' Broadway