Theatre highlights veterans’ reintegration

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Lakeland community members gather on FSC’s campus to see “Laundry & Bourbon” and “Lone Star” directed by James McLure.

Sophia Gonzalez

From Nov. 2 to Nov. 4, the Florida Southern College Department of Theater showcased two one-act plays: “Laundry & Bourbon” and “Lone Star,” by James McLure. 

The plays are set in Maynard, Texas in the the early 1970’s, and tackles issues such as whether people should be sent to the Vietnam war and the effects of the reintegration of veterans to society. 

 In “Laundry and & Bourbon,” the audience learns about Elizabeth as she interacts with her friend Hattie in her porch. Throughout the play, Elizabeth announces that she is expecting a child, but her husband, who has disappeared on his 1959 pink Thunderbird, is nowhere to be found. She tells Hattie about how he hasn’t been the same ever since he came back from Vietnam and how she doesn’t want to tame his free spirited personality, since that’s what she was attracted to in the first place. 

“Lone Star,” which was actually written 10 years before “Laundry & Bourbon” as a solo act, took place behind a bar, and Roy, Elizabeth’s husband, interacts with his brother Ray about what it feels to be back after the war. He talks about the town is different, despite the fact that Maynard is a town that, according to the supporting characters, never changes. 

“My character is an average guy, that’s what Ray is,” freshman Liam Fisher said. “He has a job, a family, and like everyone, he has a secret.”

Throughout the exchanges, Roy learns that his 1959 pink Thunderbird has been destroyed and that his wife cheated on him with his brother, but ultimately decides not to tell Elizabeth that he found out. 

Jim McClellan, the director of the play, said that the main purpose of the play might be lost to younger audiences since it deals with topics before their time. However, McClellan also said that young audiences can still enjoy it because it’s funny.

However, perhaps any audience can enjoy the play because of the qualities of the characters. 

These plays are two amongst many that FSC picks out so that the theater program can execute them in front of an audience. 

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