2016 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Ready to Serve’

Ready to Serve is an engrossing monologue which captures its audience with the oft-neglected story of World War I army nurses.

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The show is the creation of Spoken Word Artist and veteran storyteller Ellouise Schoettler, who has told many stories of unknown women before and who has a reputation for her one-woman shows, especially during The Capital Fringe Festival.

Ready to Serve tells the story of 64 nurses from Maryland who volunteered to serve during the later years of WWI. Schoettler tells the story from the perspective of a nurse recounting her experience years later.

Ellouise Schoettler.
Ellouise Schoettler.

Much of the show’s appeal comes from the information it contains. Schoettler’s performance is similar to that of a museum’s docent and the show imparts the feeling of exclusive knowledge which comes from tracking down that one guide who knows everything about her topic. There is so much detail in the vivid description of the nurses’ lives, from specific patients’ tragic stories to the various ramifications of the biting cold of French winters, that it becomes hard to avoid painting a vivid picture in your mind.

Schoettler’s passionate delivery further enhances the intrigue of the facts. She communicates and shares her respect for these brave women and their stories with the audience. She also uses much of the language found in the letters upon which Ready to be Served is based, allowing the audience to get that much closer to the story and the nurses.

Ready to Serve gives you that rare opportunity to be entertained by an exceptional storyteller, whose passion for justice and sharing the contributions of the unsung heroes of WWI-the dedicated and caring Nurses who left their homes to care for the wounded during this horrific war. It is a story that is finally being told and it is long overdue.

Ready to Serve is a moving experience that should be on the top of your Capital Fringe ‘must see’ list.

Ready to Serve Banner

Ready to Serve is playing through July 23, 2016 at Caos on F – 923 F Street, NW, in Washington, DC. For tickets, call (866) 811-4111, or purchase them online.

Check other reviews and show previews on DCMetroTheaterArts’ 2016 Capital Fringe Page.

Read the preview of ‘Ready to Serve.’



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