The U.S. military is nothing if not innovative when it comes to waging war. Its Human Terrain System is a program that embeds social scientists with combat units in order to help the unit better understand the local population's cultural and social systems. Mabry Hoffman is a member of an HTS unit, and she's doing her job when she befriends an Iraqi in the middle of a war zone. But when her friend needs Mabry's help, it thrusts the civilian-soldier into an ethical quandary: If she helps the friend, is she betraying the unit? And worse, even if Mabry believes she's doing the right thing, does the U.S. Army -- which coined the phrase "collateral damage" in reference to civilian casualties -- see the situation the same way? Mustard Seed Theatre opens its new season with Jennifer Blackmer's drama The Human Terrain
, which explores human relations under immense pressures. Performances take place at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (August 29 through September 14) at the Fontbonne University Fine Arts Theatre (6800 Wydown Boulevard; 314-719-8060 or www.mustardseedtheatre.com
). Tickets are $25 to $30.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Aug. 29. Continues through Sept. 14, 2014