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Vietnam War. Tracers, by 7 veterans. Vietnam Conflict/War. 1959-1975 (dates of American involvement) Vietnam’s history of resisting colonizers: China, France, Japan.

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Vietnam War

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vietnam war

Vietnam War

Tracers, by 7 veterans

vietnam conflict war
Vietnam Conflict/War
  • 1959-1975 (dates of American involvement)
  • Vietnam’s history of resisting colonizers: China, France, Japan.
  • Cold war conflict: 1954 temporary partition pending elections; North was socialist, South a republic. Human rights abuses both sides.
  • US perceived communist threat everywhere post WWII.
  • 1964: Gulf of Tonkin. Attacks on US recognizance ships leads to resolution allowing US military action, not called “war.”
war continued
War continued
  • 1964-68 War escalates under LBJ
    • Minimal info policy to press; gov’t loses credibility
    • Brutality of conflict, guerilla warfare, new chemical weapons (Napalm)
  • 1969-73 Slow pull out; Nixon’s “peace with honor”
    • Pullout of troops, but failed to supply money and other needed aid, as agreed in Paris Peace Accord
  • April 1975: N overruns S Vietnam
  • Casualties: US 57.5K; S Vietnam: 240K; N Vietnam: over 250 K
  • 1968, USA
  • Pacifist, anarchist, and counterculture; depicts youth protesting the war … among other things
  • Vietnam as a waste of human life, on both sides
  • Improvisation in performance
  • Loose structure as concert, with story elements of love affairs, drug use, paternity, draft dodging and war protest.
  • Rock and roll -- first musical to use it. Hits: Age of Aquarius, Let the Sunshine In
  • Concept musical -- based not on plot but concept of hippie tribe taking over theatre
miss saigon
Miss Saigon
  • US’s final departure of military in 1975, with flashbacks to earlier times
  • US military and Vietnamese civilian love affair.
  • Prostitution of women for US military; hope of love (Kim and Chris) safety (Gigi, Kim)
  • Amerasian children have no life there (Bui Doi)
  • Based on Puccini’s Mme Butterfly; Frenchmen Schonberg and Boublil wrote in 1989; Richard Maltby: English lyrics
  • Video “The Heat is On” documented audition thru opening night
tracers 1983 conceived john difusco
Tracers, 1983, conceived John DiFusco
  • Slips in time, but 3 basic ones:
    • 1960’s basic training
      • Williams is harsh to help them survive: 18 weeks vs. 18 months (USSR. p. 23)
    • Vietnam - the life of the average, teenage soldier
      • Patrols,drugs, rats and rabies,prostitutes, killing, blanket patrol
    • 1980’s veterans discuss ongoing problems
      • PTSD, war wounds, birth defects in children, cancer, children left behind, ingratitude of nation
evolution of tracers
Evolution of Tracers
  • Workshoped by actors who are also veterans, with a writer to help shape text
  • Director, lead writer, actor DiFusco
  • Workshop performance to complete writing
  • All scenes based on real events
  • Characters are composite of experiences
  • Veterans of today, looking back, is the frame of the play
tracers quotes
“Eighty percent are targets; we have no time to train them to be more. Ten percent are fighter. One in a hundred may become a warrior.” Williams, p. 23

“The unwilling, led by the uneducated, to do the impossible for the ungrateful” Habu, p. 61

Tracers Quotes