‘Basetrack Live’ focuses on U.S. Marine’s war experiences Oct. 29

October 07, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- En Garde Arts and the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State present “Basetrack Live” — a multimedia contemporary theater production inspired by words and images of the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines deployed in Afghanistan — at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, in University Park’s Eisenhower Auditorium.

“Basetrack Live,” created by Edward Bilous and featuring two actors and four musicians, is based on the life of a Marine in Afghanistan, his wife’s experiences at home and his challenges with returning from war. Live music, projected film and a cascade of images from embedded photojournalists and veteran filmmakers punctuate a performance drawn from text taken verbatim from social media exchanges and interviews.

“‘Basetrack Live’ allows its audience to be fully immersed in the action rather than spectate from their seats,” wrote a reviewer for The (Austin) Daily Texan after seeing the premiere performance at the University of Texas. “The multimedia style is truly the brilliance of ‘Basetrack Live.’ Gritty, emotional, engaging and most of all, hopeful.”

In anticipation of “Basetrack Live,” a variety of related free activities are scheduled. See below for a complete list with details.

Buy tickets online at or by phone at 814-863-0255. Outside the calling area, dial 800-ARTS-TIX. Tickets are also available at four State College locations: Eisenhower Auditorium (weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Penn State Downtown Theatre Center (weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), HUB-Robeson Center Information Desk (weekdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and Bryce Jordan Center (weekdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.). A grant from the University Park Allocation Committee makes Penn State student prices possible.

Each active and retired member of the military may obtain as many as two complimentary tickets to “Basetrack Live.” Tickets must be picked up in person at an Arts Ticket Center location and military identification is required. The complimentary ticket offer cannot be included as part of a discounted Choice series. The Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness supports, in part, the complimentary ticket program.

“Basetrack Live” is recommended for ages 14 and older due to the frequent use of profanity and occasional depictions of violence. Parental guidance is suggested.

Watch a “Basetrack Live" preview.

Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring a visiting artist, is offered in Eisenhower one hour before the performance and is free to ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints regularly fills to capacity, so seating is available on a first-arrival basis. In addition to Artistic Viewpoints, the performance includes a conversation among the performers and audience members after the show.

Audio description, which is especially helpful to patrons with sight loss, is available for this performance at no extra charge to ticket holders.

“Basetrack Live” is funded, in part, by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project, with lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Sandra Zaremba and Richard Brown sponsor the presentation. The Eisenhower Auditorium and William E. McTurk endowments provide support.

Forever Broadcasting stations 93.7 THE BUS, 1390 The Fanatic, BIG FROGGY 101, ESPN Radio 1450 AM, MAJIC 99 and WRSC FM 103 are the media sponsors.

Find the Center for the Performing Arts on Facebook, on Twitter and on Instagram.

Related free activities at University Park: 

-- Collection for Military Troops

Wednesday, Oct. 8, to Wednesday, Oct. 29

The Dear Hero Program, a Penn State undergraduate student organization, will have bins at Eisenhower to collect items to send to military personnel serving overseas. Drop off donations weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or on the nights of performances. Check out a list of suggested donation items.

-- ART-illery
Supported by Penn State’s Adult Learner Program Services

Uniforms and jeans — donated by military veterans and community members — are shredded, beaten, pressed into screens and embellished with pulp to become powerful works of art. The stories within the fibers create opportunities for community members to own their own collective experience with conflict and service.

-- ART-illery Artist Reception with Patrick Sargent

Monday, Oct. 13
4:30 to 6 p.m.
Eisenhower Conference Room

Meet U.S. Air Force veteran and artist Patrick Sargent, a master of fine arts candidate at George Mason University, and learn about his ART-illery papermaking workshop. Sargent regularly offers the workshop at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and at schools. He brings the workshop to the Penn State community Tuesday to Thursday, Oct. 14 to 16.

-- ART-illery Papermaking Workshop (three sessions)

Tuesday, Oct. 14
drop-in anytime between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
HUB-Robeson Center first-floor entrance (off Pollock Road)

Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 15 and 16
drop-in anytime between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wagner Building Drill Space

Participants should bring old uniforms or jeans. Clothing may also be dropped off in advance at the Eisenhower lobby weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or on the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 8, during the Cirque Alfonse performance at Eisenhower.

-- ART-illery Exhibitions

Friday, Oct. 17, to Thursday, Oct. 30
Pasquerilla Spiritual Center lobby
HUB-Robeson Center display case (adjacent to Heritage Hall)

See the Art-illery art created at Penn State.                         

-- The Veterans Book Project Intergenerational Discussions

Friday, Oct. 24
State College Area High School South Building

The public is welcome to participate in intergenerational discussions using the Veterans Book Project — digital download books created by vets, Iraqi civilians and refugees designed to be read quickly to start meaningful discussions about war. The discussions take place during five class periods. Each discussion is a collaboration among State College High School English students, the Penn State Intergenerational Program, the Penn State College of Health and Human Development’s Center for Healthy Aging, and the Center for the Performing Arts. Contact Medora Ebersole at 814-863-6752 by Monday, Oct. 20, to register for a class period, get parking instructions and receive discussion prompts.

Last Updated October 28, 2014