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Art2Action partners with The Carpetbag Theatre on Creative Arts Reintegration in Tampa, FL

Updated: Mar 19, 2020

In October 2013, Art2Action partnered with The Carpetbag Theatre to co-present Linda Parris-Bailey’s newest play, Speed Killed My Cousin,in a week-long residency, in collaboration with the University of South Florida Department of Theatre (Faculty sponsor: Fanni Green) in Tampa.  “SPEED” is the story of an African American woman soldier who returns from Iraq with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),  and battles the impulse to commit suicide as she wrestles with Moral Injury.  The residency included Story Circles and Digital Storytelling workshops with Veterans, USF class visits, community Open Mics, and an Open Rehearsal of the play.  Supported by the Alternate ROOTS Community/Artists Partnership Program (CAPP), partners included the Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center (PRRC) of the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital, Sacred Grounds Coffee House, and Mason/Rhynes Productions. 

Here is a list of ARTICLES about The Carpetbag Theatre and our on-going, collaborative work in Tampa, with military veterans and CBT’s developing model of “Creative Arts Reintegration”:

Speed the CAR: Creative Arts Reintegration by Andrea Assaf & Linda Parris-Bailey

Moral Injury Killed My Cousin by VA Suicide Prevention Team Leader, Lynne Santiago

Opening New Doors: Reflections on Art & Recovery by Veteran Peer Leader, Cheldyn Donovan

Spotlighting VETS in Tampa with Andrea Assaf on Wise Woman Media (August 16, 2013).  Interview begins at 10:18.

National Video Conference on Arts & Health in the Military, hosted by Americans for the Arts, featuring Art2Action community partner, Rachel Brink, Chief of the VA-PRRC in Tampa. This is an excellent 1-hour discussion of the role of the arts in recovery and reintegration. To hear Rachel speak about our partnerships (Art2Action, The Carpetbag Theatre, USF and the VA-PRRC), check out 21-27:00, and 50:16-52:08 @


A Carpetbag Theatre Inc. production

By Linda Parris-Bailey

Directed by Andrea Assaf

Media Design by Melody Reeves

Original Music by Kelle Jolly, John Puckett, and Bert Tanner

Performed by the Carpetbag Theatre ensemble, featuring:  Ashley Wilkerson, Bert Tanner, Linda Parris-Bailey, Carlton “Starr” Releford & Will Dorsey

Speed Killed My Cousin is a timely, moving new play about an African American woman soldier who returns from Iraq with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and is haunted by Moral Injury.  The story unfolds as Debra, the main character, drives down the Long Island Expressway (L.I.E.) in New York.  As she struggles with flashbacks and memories, she tries to talk with her father about his experiences in the Vietnam war, and is visited by his cousin — a Vietnam veteran who died mysteriously in a car crash shortly after his return. She also remembers her mother, and the women she left behind in Iraq, some of whom did not survive. Memories and flashbacks unfold before her, and in her rear-view mirror, as she drives. Ultimately she must decide whether to let go of the wheel, or to choose life.

Speed Killed My Cousin is a Carpetbag Theatre production, supported in part by the NPN Creation Fund, co-commissioned by the National Performance Network, Carpetbag Theatre, Junebug Productions, and Mason-Rhynes Productions; and the Alternate ROOTS Community/Artist Partnership Program.

The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. (CBT), founded in 1969 and chartered in 1970, is a professional, multigenerational ensemble company dedicated to the production of new works. Their mission is to give artistic voice to the issues and dreams of people who have been silenced by racism, classism, sexism, ageism, homophobia and other forms of oppression. CBT serves communities by returning their stories to them with honesty, dignity, and concern for the aesthetic of that particular community, helping culturally specific communities to re-define how they organize.  The company works in partnership with other community artists, activists, cultural workers, storytellers, leaders and people who are simply concerned, creating original works through collaboration in a style based in storytelling and song.

SEE “Speed Killed My Cousin” in New Orleans, presented by Junebug Productions, at the Ashe Cultural Center, Nov 21-24, 2013.

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