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Date Posted: Wed, November 16 2011, 8:23:49
Author: Carl A. Rossi (Respectful)
Author Host/IP: NoHost / 12.237.69.18
Subject: Vietnam research for a theatre-script

I am a playwright currently doing research for an original theatre-script set in Vietnam c. 1969-70; I am writing to ask, what would be the smallest group of fighting men that I could put onstage (12 actors or less) and still be believable (actors, not characters, for the actors could play numerous roles)? Would it be a recon force or snipers or a troop stationed atop a hill? Could you give me a break-down of who would be who and what would be each man’s responsibilities? I would be focusing on the interactions among the American men, themselves, rather than on battle sequences.

Would it also be believable to write a script without including any Vietnamese characters? I ask this because said characters would mean casting Asian actors, which would increase the cast size, and many theatres, nowadays, want to keep the body count down.

Unlike a film-script which can have numerous actors, constant shifts of locations and special effects, a theatre-script is like playing in a box – you put your characters in the box and then must find believable ways of taking them out, again, so I am looking for situations that can take place in one, maybe two, locations at most (i.e. a bunker, or a barracks, or an REMF office, etc.).

I would welcome correspondence from veterans who would like to share his/their experiences and also be a sounding board to my planned script (as you may gather, I never served – I was two years shy of Vietnam – but I've read over 3 dozen books on the war, so far ... each one, with a different point of view).

I thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide, and I salute all of you.

Carl A. Rossi
playwright

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