Shakespeare acting program helps veterans deal with emotions - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Shakespeare acting program helps veterans deal with emotions

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MILWAUKEE (AP) - William Shakespeare's words from more than 400 years ago are proving to be healing for modern-day veterans.

A group of Milwaukee actors started the workshops, which feature Shakespeare's plays to help veterans deal with post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction and reintegration issues and mental health problems.

Organizers feed lines to the vets during conflict-heavy scenes so they can concentrate on the emotions.

Army veteran Carissa DiPietro calls it "life-changing" and says she feels safe showing feelings, because it's the character and not really her.

Actress and project director Nancy Smith-Watson says 300 veterans have participated since the workshops began in 2013. The effort is called "Feast of Crispian," a nod to the speech by Henry V in the play named for him that he delivers before a battle to boost morale.

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