There are the bones here of a perfectly respectable play about rape and what comes after in the U.S. military and veterans’ system. The play does a fine job of showing how command will undercharge the perpetrators and penalize victims; how urgent requests for veterans’ benefits will become lost in the system; and how the supposed advocates for the victims will be deadened by the way the system has made them ineffective. Perhaps more originally, there is a real exploration of the dynamics of military rape itself, of the question why rape is so prevalent in that environment. Frankly, I did not understand why playwright Fuller felt the need to revert to the revelation-of-dark-secrets template at all. A straightforward telling of the tale would have sufficed nicely.
Posts Tagged ‘PTSD’
Is the ingenuity of our judges and lawyers so trifling we cannot establish that linkage without revealing things that are truly secret? (Establish waterboarding, for instance, without going into what questions the torturers were asking? Or conduct certain proceedings in camera?) Is it beyond all possibility to chart a judicial path to consequences for the people who did these things?
Things that help in the strange ecology of the contemporary serious drama: rolling premieres, black box theaters, foundations, and residuals. But in consequence the reviewer may have to go guerilla. As seen with Detroit, The Train Driver, and Bullet for Adolf.
To the audiences thronging recent New York productions of The Common Pursuit and Clybourne Park, any effort by the playwrights to make a “just distribution of good and evil” would surely have seemed both unpalatable and dishonest. And the revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man [sic] shows the dangers of labeling choices and characters too confidently.