LONG BEACH -- The unique stories of South Mississippi veterans will be shared with live audiences next week as part of a traveling production called The Telling Project.
The national, nonprofit performing arts group will be bringing its production to USM's Gulf Park campus in Long Beach for two performances at the FEC Auditorium.
The first performance will be at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13 and the second will be at noon Nov. 14. Both shows are free to the public.
Started in 2008, The Telling Project has interviewed hundreds of veterans and their family members and recorded their experiences. Veterans then share their experiences in front of
live audiences across the country.
The Long Beach performances, which are part of the "Telling: South Mississippi" series, will feature some Gulf Coast veterans.
Lina Penney of Gulfport, a Navy veteran and president of the Student Veterans of America Chapter at Gulf Park, said she is glad the performances are coming to the Coast.
"The project has been going on at the Hattiesburg campus, " she said. "This is the first time it's being performed in Long Beach and that's awesome."
She also said she is looking forward to participating in the local performances.
"It's about the stories of veterans and what they go through -- everyone has a story. We have so many veterans and active members here on the Coast. We're really glad to help the project in South Mississippi."
Penney, who is in the inactive reserves, was deployed twice to Afghanistan as a Seabee. She was also deployed to the Pacific region, which included stops in Okinawa, Thailand and Malaysia.
She said she hopes the performances reach both veterans and civilians.
"Everybody knows somebody that is in the military," Penney said. "We have so many branches of the military in the U.S. I think that everyone that participates in the project as well the audience will be affected by it."
The Telling Project is based in Austin, Texas.
Other performances in the "Telling: South Mississippi" series include three shows in Hattiesburg and one in Poplarville.
The performances are sponsored by USM, Pearl River Community College and the Mississippi Humanities Council.