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Roanoke College September Lineup Features Art, Shakespeare, Navy SEAL’s Story and More

Marcus Luttrell while on a mission in Afghanistan.
Marcus Luttrell while on a mission in Afghanistan.

The year was 2005. It was mid-summer, and Operation Redwing was in full effect for the U.S. Navy SEALs in Afghanistan. The goal: Stop the Anti-Coalition Militia to stabilize efforts towards the September 2005 Afghan National Parliamentary Elections. Four SEALs were sent on this mission, but only one survived.

Marcus Luttrell, retired SEAL and author of the book “The Lone Survivor,” was the only SEAL who escaped the ambush of a Taliban alliance, Ahmad Shah, and his men. Luttrell was later rescued by U.S. troops.

On Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m., Luttrell will appear at the Jefferson Center’s Fitzpatrick Hall in Roanoke to tell the story of his life changing experience and to remember those involved in the operation who did not survive.

His appearance is part of the Roanoke Regional Forum’s fall lineup. Come and hear Luttrell’s incredible story. For information and tickets, visit or call (540)983-0700.

Check out other Roanoke College-sponsored events in September.

Working Together to Build Homes, Communities and Hope

Tuesday, Sept. 3, 7:30 p.m., Bast Gym

Free tickets are required. They are available online beginning Aug. 15 at or at the Colket Center’s Information Desk at (540)378-5125.

Habitat for Humanity has brought together communities to build more than 600,000 homes in 100 countries. That includes R-House, a home built on campus by first-year students at Roanoke College. Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, will speak about the history of this global movement and the difference that it is making in people’s lives. 

A major portion of the one-hour session will be devoted to questions and answers. Reckford’s appearance is sponsored by the Robert D. Benne Center for Religion and Society.

Roanoke College Coffee Shop Talks: The Right to Privacy

Thursday, Sept. 5, 8 p.m., Mill Mountain Coffee & Tea, Main Street, Salem

Morgan Scott, a teaching associate in Roanoke College’s public affairs department, will speak about “The Right to Privacy.”

Roanoke College Coffee Shop Talks are held the first Thursday of each month. These talks provide a relaxed forum for discussion and inquiry on a wide range of topics. Each one-hour talk includes a short presentation, followed by questions and discussion. Talks are free and open to the public.

Art Exhibitions:

Friday, Sept. 6 – Sunday, Oct. 6

Olin Gallery: Christine Heller “Line/Body/Action/Time”

Smoyer Gallery: Jessica Wohl “Dark Inside”

Artist Lecture: Christine Heller: Friday, Sept. 6, 5:30 p.m. Olin Recital Hall

Opening Reception: Friday, Sept. 6, 6 -8 p.m., Smoyer Gallery

Christine Heller, an artist-in-residence, will create a site specific wall mural that corresponds to her painting series “Lives of Children” and “In Our Name: Iraqi Children in War.” 

In this series of paintings, Heller portrays the specifics of war that have given way to the conflicts and struggles of childhood. The mural installation encompasses Heller’s interest in dance that has led to a focus on the figure and the figure as an alter ego. The wall drawings are created by the artist’s use of dance and movement within the space to create spontaneous and immediate marks.

Heller received her MFA from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, and she has taught classes at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Hartwick College, the Vermont College of Fine Arts and others. Visit for more information.

Jessica Wohl uses different drawing elements, such as ink, graphite and embroidery thread, on found portraits and advertisements to exploit the uncanny while subverting domestic representations of perfection and happiness. “Dark Inside” will highlight three different series of Wohl’s work that explore obsession, uncanny and gothic overtones to convey the idea that looks can be deceiving.

Wohl received her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from the University of Georgia. Her studio practice includes drawing, painting, collage, installation and performance. Visit for more information.

Performing Arts Series: “Othello,” American Shakespeare Center on Tour

Friday, Sept. 13, 7:30 p.m., Olin Theater, $12/$8

Tickets available at or by calling (540)375-2333.

In this magnificently complex study of extremes, William Shakespeare pairs his most loving and trusting leading man with his most conniving and ruthless villain in a dangerous dance of deceit and revenge. The radiant language of love transforms into delirious ravings as his characters descend into jealousy, fear and rage. “Othello” is Shakespeare at the height of his creative power.

The Black-Jew Dialogues – Changing minds, one laugh at a time

Monday, Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m., Antrim Chapel

This hilarious and award-winning two-man social justice comedy has performed coast to coast. Through laughter and discussion, the performance helps audiences understand what we all have in common.

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