GHOSTS OF WAR: THE TRUE STORY OF A 19-YEAR-OLD GI | Fri., Dec. 9 | Aronoff Center – Jarson-Kaplan Theater

caa_ghosts-of-war-logoCINCINNATI, OH  – The Cincinnati Arts Association (CAA) is pleased to present the Griffin Theatre Company’s production of Ghosts of War: The True Story of a 19-Year-Old GI by Ryan Smithson, adapted for the stage by William Massolia, on Friday, December 9, 2016 at 8:00 PM at the Aronoff Center’s intimate Jarson-Kaplan Theater.  The show is part of CAA’S 2016-17 Season.

Tickets are $30 and are on sale now at, (513) 621-ARTS [2787], and the Aronoff Center Ticket Office.  Group discount tickets for 10 or more are available by calling (513) 977-4157.

The Griffin Theatre Company returns to the Aronoff Center for a second year with a show about the impact of war. Ryan Smithson was a typical 16-year-old high-school student until 9/11. “I’d thought about joining the military the moment I saw the towers fall,” he relates in this profoundly moving theatrical production based on Smithson’s acclaimed memoir. Smithson enlisted in the Army Reserve the following year and, a year into the Iraq war, was deployed to an Army engineer unit as a heavy-equipment operator. His poignant, often harrowing account, especially vivid in sensory details, chronicles his experiences in basic training and his tour of duty in Iraq.

“Only after we have been completely destroyed can we begin to find ourselves,” Smithson says of his basic training, offering an unflinchingly honest portrait of the physical and psychological brutality of that experience. His account of his tour of duty in Iraq is no less compelling. He lucidly recounts the intensity of battle and the pain of losing comrades. For Smithson, the war is a source of personal enlightenment, and this one-man play is a remarkable, deeply penetrating exploration of duty, patriotism and sacrifice.

To enhance the theatrical experience, the performance is followed by a post-play discussion.   

Griffin Theatre Company
The mission of the Griffin Theatre Company is to create extraordinary and meaningful theatrical experiences for both children and adults by building bridges of understanding between generations that instill in its audience an appreciation of the performing arts. The Griffin achieves this mission and vision through artistic collaboration, produces literary adaptations, original work and classic plays that challenge and inspire, with wit, style and compassion for the audience. The company is supported by an ensemble of Artist in Residence with a range of disciplines include acting, designing, directing and production.

Over the last twenty-five years the Griffin has provided a wide range of work including world and mid-west premieres of acclaimed scripts, critically lauded productions of Shakespeare and original adaptations of novels. Many of the Griffin’s 100 plus productions have appeared on Chicago area critics “Best of the Year” lists. The Griffin is the recipient of 46 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations for theatre excellence in Chicago and numerous other awards and citations for its work. Last year the Griffin Theatre had the pleasure to perform its touring productions for over 100,000 young people and adults nationwide. 

For more information about the Griffin Theatre Company and Ghosts of War, visit 

Cincinnati Arts Association SPONSORS 

Season SponsorsAMERITAS (Founding Season Sponsor), FIFTH THIRD BANK (Lifetime Endowment Partner), FURNITURE FAIR, LOCAL12 WKRC, The P&G FUND of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation

SEASON PRESENTING SPONSORS:  21C Museum Hotel, Cincinnati Herald, CityBeat, Heidelberg Distributing, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, Hyatt Regency Cincinnati , Macy’s, Pepsi, Skyline Chili, TriHealth, Ultimate Air Shuttle, Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA

Founded in 1992, the Cincinnati Arts Association (CAA) is a not-for-profit organization that oversees the programming and management of the Tri-state’s finest performing arts venues – the Aronoff Center for the Arts and Music Hall – and is dedicated to supporting performing and visual arts. Each year, CAA presents a diverse schedule of events; serves upwards of 700,000 people in its venues; features the work of talented local, regional, and national artists in the Weston Art Gallery (located in the Aronoff Center); and supports the work of more than one dozen resident companies. Since the inception of its acclaimed arts education programs in 1995, CAA has reached more than 1.4 million students.

For more information, visit


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