THE STORY: Shaped by the author from conversations with the people whose experience she sets forth, the play explores the way that Vietnam has affected three lives: a Marine veteran, his estranged wife and his mistress. Seated at a table, with slides used occasionally to amplify and illustrate their comments, the three tell their various stories. The man confesses that he killed a Vietnamese family in cold blood and, carrying the seeds of violence with him, returned home to brutalize his pregnant wife. The wife, disillusioned and unhappy, wants to ignore the terrors that haunt her husband, believing that in time the awful memories will fade, while the mistress, an angry feminist, blames the man’s destructiveness on the forces that conditioned him before he went to Vietnam. In the end, these three become a metaphor for the nation as a whole—still trying to understand, and overcome, the lingering trauma that is the bitter legacy of the Vietnam experience.
Winner of the Obie Award. A compelling, harrowing, and ultimately moving documentary drama, “created from the words of real persons,” which explores and illuminates the nightmare of Vietnam and its cruel aftermath. “…a theatrical experience that is often shattering.” —The Hollywood Reporter. “…a gripping drama, strikingly and effectively staged, compelling and moving.” —Chicago Sun-Times. “…a searing account of the lingering aftermath of the Vietnam War.” —NY Times.