EchoTheaterSuitcase (ETS) is a contemporary performance and training model bringing together military veterans and non-veteran civilian artists in mixed ensembles to co-create original performance work.
Conceived and directed by Krista DeNio, ETS brings people together to exchange stories of military and civilian life. Through a process of trust-building, skill sharing and theater making, ensembles of veterans and non-veterans [professional performers and non-professionals] create interactive performances and host accompanying educational and advocacy events. Through the vital and vibrant tradition of theater, we invite performers and audience members to engage collectively with narratives of personal and family lineage, intergenerational trauma, and the return home.
The ETS project model is founded on respect for all viewpoints and experiences in the room. From here we create powerful, honest and inclusive theater exchanges. Our work process is based on values that we find in common between veterans and theater-makers, including: rigorous physical work, honesty, bravery and a commitment to the success of the whole company | team | ensemble. Through story sharing and relationship building we work toward healing and transformation through better civilian allies, a more inclusive society, and a more nuanced dialogue about contemporary U.S. conflicts and our involvement abroad and at home.