Common, 'American Sniper' screenwriter join war-letters play reading

War letters play reading at Kirk Douglas Theatre to include @AmericanSniper screenwriter and rapper @Common

Oscar-winning rapper Common and Jason Hall, the screenwriter of "American Sniper," are to join the Los Angeles reading of "If All the Sky Were Paper" set for this weekend at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.

The stage play, which dramatizes correspondences by military personnel and their loved ones back home, is also to feature actress Laura Dern.

"Sky," written by Andrew Carroll, is scheduled to be performed twice at the Douglas -- on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

Hall was nominated this year for an Academy Award for writing the screenplay of "American Sniper," based on the memoirs of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. 

Common won an Oscar this year in the category of original song, for the movie "Selma." The rapper shared the award with John Legend for the song "Glory."

As previously announced, Annette Bening is scheduled to appear in the Sunday reading, and "Veep" actor Gary Cole is slated for both performances. The cast is also to include Michael Conner Humphreys, the actor who played the young Forrest Gump in the popular 1994 movie and who is a military veteran.

"Sky" has been performed extensively throughout the country and is based on Carroll's books "War Letters" and "Behind the Lines."

Over the years, Carroll has amassed a sizable archive of war correspondence that is now housed at Chapman University in the Center for American War Letters.

The collection spans American history, from the Revolutionary War to the war in Afghanistan, and includes letters and emails from members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT   

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