Story of local NAVY Seal to benefit Red Hook VFW
Growing up, Tom Rancich was a local swimming star who spent his youth at the Red Hook Rec Pool. He went on to lead a distinguished military career, serving as the head of naval forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor for his service as a NAVY Seal.
But like many in the military, the Rancich family had their share of hurdles, both when Tom was on a tour of duty and when he returned home.
This Veterans’ Day weekend, many of the issues our veterans face will be tapped into during a special performance based on recorded conversations with the Rancich family that have been transformed into a multi-media performance by Storyhorse Documentary Theater, led by writer Jeremy Davidson and director Mary Stuart Masterson. In addition to hearing the account of this distinguished veteran and his family through seasoned actors, every performance of “Rancich” will benefit the Red Hook VFW 7765.
“The Rancich family story is one that is very useful to share,” said Davidson during a recent interview. “It’s greater window into the conversation about these issues.”
Davidson first met Tom Rancich after an introduction from Red Hook VFW Commander Brian Williams at a Memorial Day ceremony in 2018. When they met, Davidson said he talked to Tom and his sister Sandy for over five hours.
“When we listen to our neighbors we don’t need to solve everything for each other, that’s hard,” Davidson said about their conversation. “Just listen in a respectful way; it creates a bridge between us and a commonality that helps us move forward.”
Two-time Tony Award winner Norbert Leo Butz (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) will take the lead as Tom Rancich during this weekend’s performances. The cast also includes Sean Cullen, Emily Donahoe, Tim Guinee, all local to the Hudson Valley, telling the Rancich family story through dialogue, visual projections and sound design.
Previous productions from the Hudson Valley-based Storyhorse Documentary Theater include “the little things” (Bardavon, 2015) based on the Elone family’s battle with Lyme Disease; the farm play “Good Dirt” (Brooklyn Academy of Music, Fisher Center, 2016), “The Kept Private” (Brook No Evil Farm, 2016) based on Professor Brian McAdoo’s Earth Science survey of the African American burial grounds in Rhinebeck; “The Quiet Execution of Frank L. Teal” (Murray’s Sanctuary, 2018) based on the investigation into the unsolved murder of Red Hook’s surveyor; and “The Face of It” (Hudson Hall, 2018), three one-acts about identity.
“Everything is at our fingertips but it leads us to being distanced from our neighbor’s stories,” Davidson added. “We live in an amazing place with very diverse people, and it’s impossible not recognize how much we rely on each other who may be different than us.”
Performances of “Rancich” take place Friday, November 8, 2019 at 8pm, Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 5pm and 8pm, and Sunday, November 10, 2019 at 5pm. Run time is one hour. Admission is $35-$75, Sunday’s show is a Pay-What-You-Wish admission fee.
Tickets are available online at https://storyhorsetheater.org and at the door depending on availability.
If cannot attend, but you wish to donate to the VFW, visit: https://www.vfw7765.org/events
Performance by Storyhorse Documentary Theater
Friday, November 8, 2019 at 8pm
Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 5pm and 8pm,
Sunday, November 10, 2019 at 5pm.
Murray’s Sanctuary, 73 Broadway, Tivoli
Run time is one hour.
Admission is $35-$75, Sunday’s show is a Pay-What-You-Wish admission fee.
If cannot attend, but you wish to donate to the VFW, visit: LINK