Plumfield, Iraq

By Barbara Lebow

This powerful memory drama follows two Plumfield High School seniors who join the Army and are deployed to Iraq. The effects of war, on them and their families at home, are poignantly examined, as one friend struggles with returning to a normal life while suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The audience is pulled into these young soldiers’ emotional experiences on and off the battlefield, poetically moving between past and present, fantasy and reality.


2011 Performance Dates

Nov. 4, 5, 10* & 12 at 8 p.m.
Nov. 6* (ASL interpreted) & 13 at 2:30 p.m.

*Nov. 6 & 10: Post-show talkbacks with the playwright, Barbara Lebow.

"Meet the Playwright" Reception
Nov. 7 at 3:30 p.m.
Library Second Floor
Stop by and meet the playwright, Barbara Lebow.

Ticket Information

Adults - $10
Seniors (55 and over) - $7
Non-KSU Students (17 and under) - $7
KSU Students - Free with current ID

  • Tickets go on sale Oct. 24.
  • Purchase tickets online, by phone or in person at the Box Office.
  • Visa, MasterCard and Discover accepted. Checks and cash accepted in person at the Box Office.
  • Tickets purchased online or by phone will be available at Will Call.
  • Will Call opens one hour prior to curtain time and closes when the performance begins.
  • Kent State Students: Free admission with current Kent State ID. Seats must be reserved in person at the Box Office.
  • No refunds for purchased tickets. Exchanges for the same production can be made by contacting the Box Office prior to the reserved performance date.
  • Tickets held at Will Call will be forfeited if not picked up by curtain time.

Playwright Barbara Lebow

Barbara LebowBarbara Lebow, a Santa Barbara resident, grew up in New York, moved to Atlanta in the 1960s, and joined Academy Theatre's developmental workshop, eventually becoming playwright in residence. Among her plays with first productions there are A Shayna Maidel, The Left Hand Singing, Cyparis, The Keepers, Trains,The Adventures of Homer McGundy Revised, Little Joe Monaghan, Tiny Tim is Dead, and several plays for young audiences. Theaters producing her work include Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Hartford Stage Company, Jean Cocteau Repertory Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, the Berkshire Theatre Festival, and Ensemble Theatre of Santa Barbara. A Shayna Maidel (Off-Broadway 1987-'89), continues receiving regional and international productions. Its adaptation received a Best Picture "Emmy" in 1992. In addition to her own writing, Barbara facilitates play creation with disenfranchised segments of the population including homeless and addicted individuals, youth at risk, developmentally and physically disabled persons, and women in prison. Most recently, she worked with residents of Los Prietos Boys Camp, supported by a grant from the Fund for Santa Barbara. She taught a play-development class addressing this process at the University of California Santa Barbara, winter quarter, '09. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Playwriting, a TCG/Pew Theatre Artists Residency, an NEA/TCG Residency, an Atlanta Mayor's Fellowship in the Arts, a Georgia Governor's Award in the Arts, and a Distinguished Service Award from the Santa Barbara County Probation Department. Her recent plays, The Phenom and Plumfield, Iraq, both were developed with assistance from The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, receiving workshops there. Plumfield, Iraq was developed in part at UCSB with a PWC New Plays on Campus grant and premiered at UCSB in May, ‘08, directed by Risa Brainin. At that time, Barbara was a Michael Douglas Distinguished Visiting Artist. Her latest play, La Niñera: The Nursemaid, premiered at UCSB in May, '09. Currently in process; Killing Spiders.


Devonn Patterson: Beth
Devonn graduated from Hoban High School and has appeared in various productions since 4th grade. Her first lead role was in a production of Stage Door. The last shows she appeared in were Hoban's productions of The Nerd and Almost, Maine.

Matt KingMatt King: Cam
Matt is a Stark State graduate and works in the Vendor Management Department for a national Mortgage Field Services Company in Canal Fulton. He graduated from Northwest High School in 2005, where his love for the theatre was born. His stage debut was in Fiddler on the Roof; later he appeared in A Midsummer Nights Dream at Kent State Stark. Since then he’s been seen around the area in numerous productions, and his favorite roles to date have been in Caught in the Net and The Lion in Winter. He believes that if one is willing to work hard, to be open, to be sincere, and have no fear, anything is possible on stage. He is very excited to be back at Kent State Stark, and to be a part of this cutting edge theatre experience, conquering its challenges, making new friends, and moving the audiences! 

Joshua BrownJoshua Brown: Dennis
Joshua has performed in many plays throughout his high school career (including roles in Once and Future King and Oklahoma) and is excited about taking his first steps into Kent State's Theatre Program. His performance is in honor of his mother.

John WalkerJohn Walker: Gus
John is a sophomore at Kent State Stark, and has appeared here in Dating is Tough to do…And Funny, Too! and Songs for a New World. He also was assistant stage manager for The Glass Menagerie. John has performed elsewhere in Les Miserables, Oliver Twist, South Pacific, Man of La Mancha, Fiddler on the Roof, Annie and many more. John is a theatre major and his goals are to work on television and movies as an actor after graduation.

EErin Stewartrin Stewart: Lorraine
Erin is thrilled to be included in such a poignant and important play. Previous performances include Secret life of Girls, Lil' Abner, Fiddler on the Roof and Bridge to Terabithia. This is her first production with the Kent State Stark team, and this promises to be an enriching experience for the cast and audience alike.

Jill DaileyJillian Dailey: Marianne
Jillian began her theatrical training at Lake Center Christian High School where she was involved in all the musicals and plays during her four years there. This included leading roles in Seussical and Little Women. She is a freshman at Kent State Stark.

Anthony AntoniadesAnthony Antoniades: Mike
Anthony appeared in Huck Finn’s Story and Dating Is Tough To Do...And Funny, Too! at Kent State Stark, where he also stage managed Songs for a New World. He is a theatre major at Kent State.

Jonathan NeumannJonathan Neumann: Pete
Jonathan has performed in the Canal Fulton community theatre in The Sound of Music, Grease, Once Upon a Mattress, You Can't Take It With You, Moon over Buffalo, Caught in the Net, Run for your Wife and many more. Jonathan has come to Kent State Stark with a desire to expand his repertoire of plays. 

Production Team

Brian NewbergBrian Newberg: Director
Brian Newberg is an Assistant Professor of Theatre and Theatre Director at Kent State University at Stark. Brian’s directing experience (over eighty production credits) includes Broadway, Regional, Equity Waiver, industry showcases, new work development, and many college productions. He has extensive experience as an actor (over seventy production credits) in the New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Oregon areas. He has also served as an Associate Artistic Director for a regional theatre company, run his own private acting studios, and taught at a number of colleges on the west coast before coming to Kent State. Brian is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) and received his M.F.A. in Directing from the University of California, Irvine.

Louis WilliamsLouis Williams: Scenic & Lighting Designer
Louis Williams is the resident technical director, and scenic and lighting designer, at Kent State Stark and has designed over 200 productions in 30 years in theatre, opera, ballet and rock-n-roll. This includes work with such theatre companies as: The American Ballet Theatre II, The Joffrey Ballet II, The Arizona Theatre Company, The Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, The Kenley Players, The Ohio Light Opera, The Cleveland Opera, The Cinncinnati Opera, Southern Arizona Light Opera Company, Carousel Dinner Theatre, The Agora, Cleveland Ohio, The Temple Of Music And Art, Tucson, Arizona, ChildsPlay Inc, of Phoenix, Arizona, and The Scottsdale Civic Center, Scottsdale, Arizona. Read more about Louis Williams.

Susan BlurtonSusan Blurton: Costume Designer
Susan Blurton has designed costumes for various productions over the past 16 years including the Canton Palace Theater, Canton Civic Center, Players Guild, Porthouse Theatre, John F. Knight Center, Akron Civic Theater and The Christmas Spectacular, which was recorded and aired on PBS. She began her venture into theatre while living in New York and freelancing for Off-Broadway shows, mainly as a stitcher and pattern maker. She designed sportswear for the 7th Ave. design house Ellen Tracy/Liz Claiborne. Her duties included designs for sportswear and the dress division, purchases of all fabric and trims, and dressing models at runway shows and photo shoots. While living in L.A., she served as a dresser to Franki Valli, The Pointer Sisters, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and she was a personal shopper for Aaron Spelling. Along with designing costumes, she is an active artist and art teacher. She received her B.S. in Fashion Design from the University of Cincinnati, Teaching Certification from Mount Union University and M.A. from Marygrove College.

Ron JarvisRon Jarvis: Sound Designer
You might recognize Ron Jarvis as a performer, producer, music director, and/or composer for such stalwart North East Ohio acts as The Buckeye Biscuit Band, Ital, First Light, Alex Bevan, Pat Dailey and, most recently, Macaw; the American Worldbeat Band.  He is also an adjunct faculty member at Kent State where he has taught Art of the Theatre and Theatre Criticism classes as well as the three part series of Sound Design and Technology classes for the Entertainment Arts and Technologies certificates program. Ron has worked with world renowned directors Vincent Dowling (composition for The Winter’s Tale at Kent State) as well as Ping Chong (Blindness: The Irresistible Light Of Encounter at La Mama Theatre in NYC) and has served as a live mix consultant at Geauga Lake and Cedar Point Amusement Parks. Although his first sound design for Kent State Stark was for the 2002 production of Dancing at Lughnasa, since 2007 he has designed many of the Kent State Stark theatrical productions including Oklahoma!, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Into the Woods, The Revenger’s Tragedy, The Mikado, Crazy for YouDating is Tough to Do...and Funny, Too!, Songs for a New World, Plumfield, Iraq, Evil Dead: The Musical and Anton in Show Business.

Olivia Durell: Stage Manager
Olivia appeared on the stage as Laurie in Oklahoma, Grace in Annie and Melody in Dating Is Tough To Do...And Funny, Too! She stage managed Songs for a New World and is in her second year at Kent State Stark studying theatre.

Magan McLaughlinMagan McLaughlin: Assistant Stage Manager
Magan is currently a sophomore at Kent State University. She has served as costume design assistant and also worked as stage crew in various shows. Plumfield, Iraq is her fourth production on the Kent State Stark stage. She is honored to be working with peers and professionals alike on such a moving and vigorous story.

Caitlin RobertsCaitlin Roberts: Assistant Stage Manager
Caitlin is a freshman at Kent State Stark and a music education major, with a concentration on choral studies. Previous theatre experience includes acting in Lil Abner, Anything Goes and Oklahoma. Cait is a graduate of Northwest High School, and is involved in worship at her church and working on youth drama there. This is her first play at Kent State Stark, and she is excited to learn and feels blessed to be able to start out with such a great ensemble.

Kerry McCarthy: Sound Design Assistant
Kerry is currently a junior majoring in Theatre Studies at Kent State University. She assisted costume crew in Huck Finn's Story, was costume design assistant for Songs for a New World, stage managed Dating is Tough to Do...And Funny,Too! and The Glass Menagerie.

John Logozzo: Lighting Design Assistant
John was smitten again by the theatre bug while working in the scene shop and ushering last season at Kent State Stark. He performed in Hello Dolly and Anything Goes in high school, and has studied acting and stagecraft at the Players Guild in Canton where he also acted in Sleeping Beauty - A Westerner’s Tale, at Garden Grove Community Theatre and the Orange County Performing Arts Center in California.

Megan Lombardi: Costume Design Assistant
Megan graduated from Louisville High School where she was in the high school concert choir and a majorette in the band. She also acted in elementary school. This is her first theatre production at Kent State Stark where she is studying theatre and psychology.

Mike McDonaldMichael McDonald: Multimedia Design Assistant
Michael grew up in Canton and graduated from Perry High School. He is currently enrolled at Stark State College where he studies Digital Video and Media Technology. He has been shooting and editing videos since he was about 14 years old.