SHADES

How do the emotional and political baggage of “good” and “bad” wars (World War II and Vietnam) affect Jerry and his adult daughter and son, Val and Don? How does Don’s war-caused terminal illness provoke long-buried family clashes born of the family members’ personalities and politics? How do war’s enduring consequences and individuals’ needs and principles shape the developing friendship between Val and June,...
How do the emotional and political baggage of “good” and “bad” wars (World War II and Vietnam) affect Jerry and his adult daughter and son, Val and Don? How does Don’s war-caused terminal illness provoke long-buried family clashes born of the family members’ personalities and politics? How do war’s enduring consequences and individuals’ needs and principles shape the developing friendship between Val and June, a Black woman paralyzed by an exploding grenade near Saigon?

Two crises — Don’s imminent death and a crisis of creativity for June, a former poet (Don’s crisis frightening, June’s potentially sublime) ¬— galvanize confrontations about connection and distance among the family members and between Val and June. The play also explores what it means to be American; whether one can be a patriotic American if one does not agree with what one's country is doing; and whether profound differences in deeply-felt political views inevitably tear families and friends apart.
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SHADES

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Please see bio for awards and history
    ,
    2015