New Theatre UCF show celebrates children of military families

‘Home of the Brave’ runs from Feb. 24-26

ORLANDO, Fla. – Theatre students at the University of Central Florida are looking to shine a spotlight on a group of people whose story doesn’t get told very often.

Rehearsals, set and costume design are underway for Theatre UCF’s performance of “Home of the Brave.”

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“Home of the Brave” highlights the real experiences of children whose parents serve in a different branch of the military.

“It comes from a Hawaiian native playwright,” said Julia Listengarten, Theatre UCF artistic director and professor. “The process of developing this play is somewhat unique. She interviewed the children and their families and that was part of the development process.”

UCF graduate student and “Home of the Brave” tour manager Bethany Post said as the child of an Air Force service member, this project is personal for her. Post said being a part of the production has been a reflection of her own childhood.

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“It’s interesting being an adult and meeting other adults who were kids of military families who moved around a lot,” Post said. “It’s like when you meet them there’s this connection (of), ‘Oh, you get it.’ If you get it, then you get it. But this production is actually putting into words what it is and is just kind of giving a sneak peek into that lifestyle.”

Students were able to pick which play they wanted to produce this semester. The play’s director, Christian Anderson, said while he was selfishly happy his first choice was selected, he is excited to tell the stories of these military families.

“All of our main characters are 11, 12, 13, 14 years old,” Anderson said. “I think it talks about some really intense themes but through the lenses of a 12-, 13-, 14-year-old, which I feel like is a really interesting way to talk about change, to talk about the unknown, to talk about family, all these things that people really think of as adult themes but kids have their own opinions and their own perspectives on what those are too.”

Students and staff said they’re excited to share all of the emotions and experiences that come with being the child of a military family.

“It’s a blend of various emotions and various feelings but in the end, I believe that it’s a play that has a very, very, positive message,” Listengarten said.

“Home of the Brave” will open on Feb. 24 at UCF’s Black Box Theatre and will run through Feb. 26. To purchase tickets, click here.

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Emily joined WKMG-TV in November 2022.