Playwright Captures Veteran’s Story In ‘Ugly Lies The Bone’

Kathleen Covington / Alliance Theatre


The New York Times calls playwright Lindsey Ferrentino “a writer of dauntless conviction.” Her show, “Ugly Lies the Bone,” first opened off-Broadway in 2015 and is currently onstage at the Alliance Theatre. She holds the distinction of being the first two-time finalist of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition and this year won the National Arts Club’s Kesselring Prize.

“Ugly Lies the Bone” is about a combat veteran, Jess, returning from her third tour in Afghanistan. She has been severely injured and has undergone several surgeries as well as ongoing physical therapy as she tries to re-enter her civilian life in Florida.

Ferrentino says she found inspiration for the story from her childhood best friend’s work as a Veterans Affairs psychologist, and interviewed veterans while researching for the play. She notes that part of her aim in writing the show was to push back against a gap of understanding between civilians and service men and women.

“To say that ‘I can’t imagine what you’ve gone through’ sort of cuts off your capacity for empathy,” Ferrentino said. “That is sort of our job as an audience of this play and as a culture to imagine what veterans have gone through if we’re going to ask them to go off and defend our country and fight our wars for us.”

“Ugly Lies the Bone” is onstage at the Alliance Theatre’s Hertz Stage through Oct. 9.