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If you were a soldier in the Iraq war, how would you spend your down time? The Eyes of Babylon is a monologue written and performed by Marine Lance Corporal, Jeff Key, based on the journal entries he wrote while stationed in Iraq.  Under the direction of, Yuval Hadadi, and the production of Jennilyn Merten (also know for her Oprah selected documentary, Sons of Perdition), Key divulges his personal experiences as a gay man serving under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Over the course of the play, we learn of his deepening disagreement with the Bush administration’s strategy, and his anger over the U.S.’s misuse of the military: “I choke on the reality forcing its way out of my throat. My heart is shaving it out sideways.  […]  Why can’t we leave this place?” With sentiments such as these it was easy for Hadadi to imagine Key presenting them in a theatrical setting, and to much acclaim he did.
Writing proved to be Key’s salvation in Iraq. It was his means for connecting with and entertaining his fellow soldiers, and the seeds of this compelling production, which celebrates the complexities of the human spirit and provides a hyperreal depiction of the human condition during wartime.  Despite the realities of poverty, death, and destruction Key manages to find, “the very seed of all that is beautiful,” and you will too.  (Kelly Robbins)
The Eyes of Babylon will run from June 14th through July 3rd at 59E59 Theaters.

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