Back to News

Planting an oar

Initiative invites you

The Telling Project uses testimonial theater to bring together veterans with civilians. Photo credit: Dragons Eye

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is looking for individuals to plant an oar.

An initiative enabled by a generous grant from the NEH, PLANTING THE OAR is designed to continue conversations initiated by The Telling Project, a national nonprofit that facilitates discussions between veterans and civilians through innovative stage productions.

Since 2008, The Telling Project has used testimonial theater to bring together veterans and their families with their civilian communities where they live.

The project has produced more than 50 productions across the nation, put over 180 veterans and family members on stage and performed in 16 states.

PBS, the Associated Press, the New York Times, NPR and other major news outlets have praised the project.

In furthering this avenue of conversation between veterans and civilians, The Planting Project initiated PLANTING THE OAR.

It takes its name from Odysseus' final gesture in Homer's epic tale, The Odyssey, when he plants his oar in the soil of a land where "people ... know nothing of the sea."

This act found in classical Greek literature spans 2,500 years and resonates with veterans transitioning from military service to civilian life.

As such, PLANTING THE OAR brings veterans and civilians together to discuss questions like "What does it mean to be a ‘veteran,' and how are they understood in a civilian world?"

The program has been successfully piloted in Houston, Texas, and Kansas City, Missouri.

Now The Telling Project wants to bring PLANTING THE OAR to the Pacific Northwest, and as such, is looking for individuals who would like to become discussion group leaders.

Bear in mind this is not easy work; those interested should have "a passion for literature, a heart for military veterans, and a willingness to facilitate complex conversations about difficult subject matter," wrote Max Rayneard, producer for The Telling Project, in a news release.

Those who have an interest in literature and in facilitating the discussion of transition between veterans and civilians are encouraged to take a look at the website and consider applying.

Time is of the essence -- applications are due no later than Oct. 9.

For more information and the application, visit

Read next close


Bridge builder

comments powered by Disqus