The Letters Project

The Letters Project

ArtsUp LAReturning Soldiers Speak

ArtsUP! LA and Returning Soldiers Speak believe in the transformative power of story. Through dialogue, workshop, and performance, veterans, first responders, and their families gain new understanding about themselves and the world around them. Empowered, they seek integration back into the community and at the same time the community gains new perspective and understanding about what it means to serve.

Our intent is to give voice to veterans who have experienced war as well as to show how the different wars affected and continue to affect their relationship to the military. In addition, it is our hope that the audience will gain new understanding about our veterans and what it means to serve in uniform.

Casting Call for The Letters Project

April 11, 2024

ArtsUP! LA and Returning Soldiers Speak are holding auditions for their upcoming play, Across Time: Love and Humanity During War. This play is the creation of a Veterans Empowerment Theater production of The Letters Project.

Click here for more information about the casting call, rehearsal and performance schedule, compensation, and auditions

Veteran Playwrights for The Letters Project Announced

April 4, 2024

Returning Soldiers Speak and ArtsUP!LA proudly announce our Veteran Playwrights for The Letters Project!

Drawing from the rich and complicated tapestry of history, the correspondences between those deployed and those at home serve as the inspiration behind an original theatrical production, Across Time: Love and Humanity During War. These letters, spanning from past wars and conflicts such as the Civil War to Operation Freedom’s Sentinel (1 January 2015 to 30 August 2021), provide a poignant window into the hopes, fears, and observations of those who served.


Our veteran playwrights, each with their own experience in the United States Armed Forces, bring authenticity and depth to the stories of their fellow veterans through their visions and playwriting. Spanning across different conflicts and wars, our veterans infuse their personal experiences and insights into their respective narratives:

  • Civil War: Melvin Ismael Johnson (Marine Vietnam)
  • Philippine American War: Miguel Berlingeri (Marine Desert Storm)
  • World War I: Benjamin Fortier (Marine – Operation Iraqi Freedom)
  • World War II: Ralph S Carlson (Army – Vietnam) and Glenn Schiffman (CO Vietnam War)
  • Korean War: Lester Probst (Army Korean War)
  • Cold War–Vietnam: Kathleen Moorhead (Army)
  • Vietnam: Joe Luis Cebillo (Marine)
  • Operation Desert Sabre: Ken Klemm (Navy)
  • War on Terror: Gwyn LaRee (Marine)

Through this live performance, audiences will witness the myriad of humanity encapsulated in these historical letters, original plays, and monologues written by living veterans of the United States Armed Forces. This production offers a unique perspective complexity on the human aspect of war, spanning from the Civil War to the beginning of The War on Terror.

Join Us for Opening Night

Experience the compelling journey of Across Time: Love and Humanity During War on May 31, 2024, at The Blue Door Theater in Culver City, California. The production will run for two weekends, offering audiences an unforgettable exploration of history and human emotion.

Stay tuned for further updates on ticket availability and performance times. We eagerly anticipate sharing this powerful theatrical experience with you.

ArtsUP! LA & Returning Soldiers Speak are 501(c)(3) public charities registered in the State of California.