Speed Killed My Cousin – The Carpetbag Theatre


By Linda Parris-Bailey

Directed by Andrea Assaf

Media Design by Melody Reeves

Original Music by Kelle Jolly, John Puckett, and Bert Tanner

Performed by the Carpetbag Theatre ensemble, featuring:  Linda Parris-Bailey, Andresia “Real” Moseley, Bert Tanner & Carlton “Starr” Releford

Speed Killed My Cousin is a timely, moving new play about an African American woman soldier who returns from Iraq with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and is haunted by Moral Injury.  The story unfolds as Debra, the main character, drives down the Long Island Expressway (L.I.E.) in New York.  As she struggles with flashbacks and memories, she tries to talk with her father about his experiences in the Vietnam war, and is visited by his cousin — a Vietnam veteran who died mysteriously in a car crash shortly after his return. She also remembers her mother, and the women she left behind in Iraq, some of whom did not survive. Memories and flashbacks unfold before her, and in her rear-view mirror, as she drives. Ultimately she must decide whether to let go of the wheel, or to choose life.

Presented in conjunction with the 4th National Summit on Arts & Health in the Military, co-organized by Americans for the Arts.



Speed Killed My Cousin – The Carpetbag Theatre (Photo by Kacey Anisa)


Want more? …

Download the Creative Arts Reintegration (CAR) Brochure

Visit Art2Action’s Veterans in Tampa page, for lots more resources!

Read this fantastic REVIEW! “Driving Sideways”: At the South Dallas Cultural Center, the Carpetbag Theatre’s powerful Speed Killed My Cousin explores PTSD and the effects of war,” by Mark Lowery (TheaterJones, Friday, October 31, 2014).

“LIKE” Speed Killed My Cousin – A Play by the Carpetbag Theatre on Facebook for touring updates!

Check out The Carpetbag Theatre’s live music set on The Blue Plate Special in Knoxville, TN! 


With The Carpetbag Theatre, U.S. military veteran Yvette Sojourner created the following Digital Story about her experience with MST and PTSD:  “TOSKA” by Yvette Sojourner

She writes, “This is a glimpse of my life. This story, my story, is one of struggle, heartache and pain but it is also one of perseverance, survival and strength.”  Over a year after creating the Digital Story with CBT, Sojourner shared this testimony of how the process helped her:  “I didn’t realize until my VA counselor pointed it out.  CHANGE began for me the day I was introduced to you all in class and entered that Story Circle!  Everything has changed.  I’m working on my dissertation, traveling, my look has changed, I’m out and socializing.  You all changed my life!!!  Before I thought I could do it.  Now I KNOW I can.”

Check out Yvette Sojourner’s newest Digital Story:  “FELON”


The R&R Festival: From Recovery to Regeneration is made possible by the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation 2016 Fund for National Projects.