New play showing in the LMC theater April 26

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the production

Nyla Rahimi, Staff Writer

Theater inspires us all every day, whether it be a tale of hardship or an uplifting and heartwarming story of family, we always leave these experiences with more than what we came with. In the Los Medanos College Theater, the audience will get both the hardship and the family in their new upcoming play. 

“Elliot: A Soldier’s Fugue” is a story spanning three different generations in one family. All those generations share one theme that ties them together: war. The play follows a family but centers its focus on the experiences of a son, father, and grandfather, their shared background fighting in war, and the effects their traumas have on themselves and their family. 

Elliot Ortez, the youngest of the three volunteered for the marines at 17 after 9/11 and is now 19 touring Iraq. This is paralleled with his father George, who is shown fighting in the Vietnam war when he was young, then his grandfather’s history with the Korean War. Throughout the course of the play, we explore the true reality of trauma and how that trauma lives in the family and passes down through generations. 

“It’s an incredible play about how love can help us heal from trauma,” said play co-director Nick Garcia, the chair of the theater department at LMC.

Coming out of his directorial debut from last fall’s play “Grace and Glorie,” co-director Clint Stides, agrees and added, “It’s something everyone can relate to.” 

Stides described the differences between these two shows, and how co-directing instead of being the sole director, has impacted him. 

“I really enjoy the support and knowledge that Nick has,” he said, adding that “It’s a whole different world.”

The story of Elliot and his family is a non-linear play spanning 70 to 80 minutes, he said, and it has a larger cast — seven actors instead of just two in last fall’s “Grace and Glorie.”

Of those seven cast members, Elliot is played by student Aqeel-Andreas Torres-Sabir. 

“It’s actually my first production,” he said, explaining how 9/11 and enlisting in the war is Elliot’s way of relating to his father — getting closer to his seemingly impenetrable outer shell, and how he channels his own experience with his own family to help him better understand and portray the family dynamics in the show. 

This isn’t the only cast member who is doing a production for the first time. Mark Bluford is making his debut as “Grandpop” in the show, and said he’s “learning a lot.”

The audience will see how the cycle of trauma starts from his character’s time serving in Korea, and how he manages to persevere and live the terrifying realities of war while making it out on the other side. Grandpop brings his flute with him and indulges in playing the works of Johann Bach — specifically his fugues for which the name of the play holds a dual meaning. 

A fugue, while also a musical composition, is also a state of being — typically for soldiers. A fugue state is a mental state typically experienced after living through high stress or traumatic events, in which you have temporary memory loss and can end up in unexpected places. 

The story isn’t solely about the soldiers, however. Another character who fills a more antagonistic role is portrayed by student Nat Fordyce, who plays a News producer — “Though I’d prefer to call it a media vulture,” they said.

Nat explains how their character asks invasive questions in an attempt to get a story out of Elliot — who is too young to understand the potentially callous nature that is the media world. 

Over the course of the play, there will be impactful highs and lows that you don’t want to miss. The show’s opening date is April 26 at 7 p.m., to learn more information on the show and where to buy tickets, go to