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Archive

2015: A Year in Review

American History Theater

American History Theater now has its' first fall season on the books! This rapidly growing and trending 501(c)(3) non-profit organization had an especially successful season with great feedback from the community and a renewed drive to plunge headfirst into 2016. AHT looks to raise awareness around any and all veterans’ issues with a specific focus on female veterans, but in truth, they have a two-fold mission that allows them many avenues of advocacy and attention. Not only does AHT seek to raise awareness around female veterans’ issues through educational workshops, conferences and special events, but they are also adamant about celebrating the role of American women in the military through these types of events, but more specifically through theater production. AHT’s unique approach to community give-back and outreach sets them apart from the crowd and has gained them a name in San Diego in just a short period of time.

“We know we have something special,” said Amber Robinson, AHT Vice President and Communications Director. “The way we combine educational group events with theater gives us so many different ways to hail our American military women and educate the community.”

Robinson is especially excited about the upcoming year, when AHT will collaborate with local San Diego attorney, Nicole Heffel, and begin to put together short theater productions which will illustrate and spotlight female veteran incarceration. Heffel, founder of the “She’s Worth It” program, advocates for her girls by making sure they are given Veterans Assistance support, psychological support and professional readiness support.

“We choose to think of their time while behind bars as a time to reset their lives and prepare them for a new start when they get out,” said Heffel.

AHT’s military-affiliated events propelled the organization into the community limelight. Aside from their first major theatrical production, entitled “Waiting for McArthur”, AHT hosted two major military and veteran-affiliated events.

AHT’s season kicked off with their Woman’s Wounded Warrior Weekend, which went from Sept. 25th-27th.  Organization Chairperson, Meaghan Cox, was instrumental in making this possible, working with the Balboa Wounded Warrior Battalion to find the perfect recipient for a weekend of recognition, relaxation and fun. AHT was honored to welcome wounded warrior Marine Lance Corporal Hannah Souder into the AHT family. Souder was wounded while on duty serving overseas in Japan.  Souder was accompanied by her husband, Marine veteran Ryan Souder. AHT’s female wounded warrior was treated to a sunset cruise across the San Diego harbor, a special-tailored spa day, a show at the Old Globe and lastly, on Sunday, Sept. 27th, Souder and the organization were recognized during the Padres home game at Petco Park, where she was also given the distinct honor of kicking off the game by ringing the Padres mission bell. AHT was especially honored to work with the Padres, and hopes to work with them again in the coming year.

In conjunction with the organization’s theatrical production of “Waiting for McArthur”, AHT hosted its first educational and interactive women’s conference at California State University San Marcos on Oct. 31st , entitled “Women’s Advocacy: Understanding the Scars of Military Sexual Trauma”. According to the most recent Pentagon report, in 2014 alone, there were 5,061 reports of sexual assault in the military. Out of those reports, only 484 were pushed to trial and only 376 of those trials led to convictions. Many feel that so few cases move to trial due to the fact that military commands are in control of handling the reports, instead of them being handled immediately by JAG. These facts along with many others are what make MST such an important, urgent and controversial subject.

The desired goal of the conference was to provide a forum for MST victims, advocates, veterans and community members to learn more about MST and to provide a talk space for conference attendees to speak their mind, ask questions and network. AHT was proud to host three phenomenal speakers, Sarah L. Blum, decorated Vietnam veteran and author of the book “Women Under Fire: Abuse in the Military”, Dr. Carol Patterson, who has worked with MST victims for over 10 years and started the MST program on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and Nicole Heffel, local attorney, veteran rights and MST advocate and MST victim.

Each presentation was loaded with information, insight and sometimes, emotion. MST is a difficult subject to broach in any forum, given its controversial and sometimes graphic nature. Blum, a practicing nurse psychotherapist with over 28 years of experience working with PTSD and trauma resolution, provided therapy services for the duration of the conference for audience members who were emotionally triggered by the material being presented. Attendees were encouraged to ask questions after each speaker, although not much encouragement was necessary as women veterans, local advocates and MST victims rose to not only ask questions, but share their insights, share their information and most importantly, share their stories.

The reviews from those who attended were glowing, with attendees traveling even as far as Utah to be a part of the event. American History Theater will continue to create talk spaces for serious issues like MST in the future, with a continued dedication to San Diego’s veteran community. 

AHT Executive Committee Grows

American History Theater

Fulfilling the mission set forth during its first year of operation, the American History Theater added two new members to the existing executive committee. “In order for us to grow, we have to maximize the organizational structure in order to fulfill our mission of bringing historical theater to the San Diego military and civilian community and to address the issues women face in the military and the larger society,” AHT president Hal Berry said.

Incorporated in the state of California, August 12, 2014, and recipient of its non-profit tax exempt 501(c)(3) status on April 15, 2015, the original executive committee consisted of Hal Berry, President, Amber Robinson, Vice President and Director of Communications and Megan Miller, the Chief Financial Officer. With the success of the first year, the growth of the Board of Directors, it was time to add key administrative positions.

Appointed Vice President of Operations, Taberah Holloway, an attorney, actress and playwright, will have full authority over the day-to-day operations of the company working through the office of the president. Ms. Holloway, a new arrival to the San Diego area, recently received rave reviews for her starring role in AHT’s first historical play, “Waiting for MacArthur.” The play centered on the career of a World War II Army nurse and the tragedy of Japanese aggression in the Philippine Islands.

Once a theatrical project is proposed, budgeted and set to be produced, it is critical to have oversight of the entire production. Melissa Malloy, a graduate of the University of Colorado Theater Department, an experienced actress and with years of organizational expertise has become the Production Manager for the organization. She will have authority over all of the theatrical productions and the staff and crews. Ms. Malloy appeared in “Waiting for MacArthur” and will be one of the leads in the 2016 AHT non-historical production of the female version of “The Odd Couple.”

Musical Entertainment for San Diego Wine and Music October 10, 2015

American History Theater

GICKEY & THE MONSTERS WILL PERFORM AT AMERICAN HISTORY THEATER'S SAN DIEGO WINE AND MUSIC EVENT ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2015.

"A FUN STYLIZED, JAZZ FUSION, MULTI-LAYERED HORN BAND PLAYS A VARIETY OF MUSIC FROM ALL ERAS FOR LISTENING AND DANCING."

Made up of music teachers and professional performers, the "MONSTERS" play all styles. Their classic repertoire moves from the 1920's through the 40's Big Band era on into the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's continuing to present day hits. Along with hits from Michael Buble, Louis Prima, Harry Connick Jr. and Chicago (Transit Authority).

Gickey (Rick Evans) leads the band through his years of experience working in Las Vegas, on the roads across American and aboard cruise ships.

Rick and his brother Tom spent ten years on cruise ships and entertainers and cruise directors. Side by side, Tom and Rick were also the featured act with the Mitzi Gaynor Road Show. Like the Osmond Brothers, Tom and Rick have the kind of vocal blend that only families can have.

All of the "MONSTERS" bring exceptional talent and years of experience playing with many different musical organizations. Each MONSTER is a soloist in his own right. The "MONSTERS" can play it all!

For more information visit their website Gickey & the MONSTERS or contact Rick Evans directly by calling (760) 519-3697 or emailing trptguyplus@yahoo.com.

"Waiting for MacArthur" Cast is Announced!

American History Theater

We are pleased to announce the cast of "Waiting for MacArthur!"

Taberah Holloway, will play the lead role of Annie Lou Holsom.

Taberah Joy is a playwright, performer, and theater lover. She admires and respects people and works that make her laugh and cry in a ten-minute period. Currently, she lives and works as a writer and teacher in San Diego, California, where tragicomedy abounds. 


Gabriela Nelson, will play Annie Lou's former high school teacher, Margaret Greer.

Mrs. Nelson is married to an active duty Naval Officer and has been involved in professional theater for years. Once touring Vietnam for the USO with the legendary Bob Hope, Mrs. Nelson has diversified her theater interests to include costuming, makeup and hair design in addition to acting. She is the costumer for "Waiting for MacArthur".


Missy Malloy will play the Annie Lou's mother, Emma.

Ms. Malloy has recently arrived in San Diego. She grew up in San Antonia and began acting in middle school. She continued acting through high school and moved on to local community theater companies. Missy graduated with her B.F.A. in Theater from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Her acting credits include many productions in Seattle and San Antonia. Her favorite productions include "Trojan Women", "The Vagina Monologues" and "Dancing at Lughnasa." "Waiting for MacArthur" is Ms. Malloy's San Diego debut.


Kathryn Schellinger will play the role of Annie Lou's high school friend, Rosalie.

Ms. Schellinger is a graduate of the Finest City Improvisation Program. She was one of the cast members at American History Theater's benefit "United We Stand: Call to Victory," a production recreating the radio shows of WWII. Growing up in Phoenix, Arizona, Kathryn delighted her family and friends with her imaginary comedic characters. When told she should try performing, she moved to San Diego and joined an improvisation company.

Director's Notes: "Waiting for MacArthur"

American History Theater

The seventieth anniversary of the ending of the World War II is honored with The American History Theater’s play, “Waiting for MacArthur.” The story tells the courageous journey of a twenty-two year old Midwestern women faced with the horrors of war and the eminent possibility of death at the hands of the Japanese Army in 1942.

The American History Theater will have three special ceremonies during the run of the play: Women in the Military: Past and present; World War II Veterans, and POW’s and MIA’s from all wars. A special guest speaker for the POW/MIA ceremony will Ms. Linda Todd Gepte, who was, as a child, captured and interned in the Japanese prison camp at Santo Tomas.

Four women make up the cast with the story set in the months before the attack on Pearl Harbor through the end of the war and the early years of post-war recovery.  Annie Lou Holsom, the Wisconsin nurse that joined the Army and is stationed in the Philippines Islands right after the declaration of war in 1941.  Margaret Greer,Annie Lou’s former high school English teacher.  Annie Lou’s mother, Emma and Annie Lou’s high school friend, Rosalie.