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On Base, but at War: the Huntington’s Streamers

Vietnam-inspired play runs through December 9

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Playwright David Rabe — now the Tony Award–winning author of In the Boom Boom Room and Hurlyburly— was in the middle of his graduate work in theater at VillanovaUniversity in 1965, when he was drafted into the Army, in the middle ofthe Vietnam War. When he returned, disturbed by what he believed to bethe unnecessary sacrifice of young Americans in a pointless war, hebegan writing about his experience — an exercise that became thegenesis of the play Streamers, currently being staged by BU’s Huntington Theatre Company.

Streamersis the story of four young soldiers stationed at Fort Lee, Va., waitingto be sent to Vietnam. According to director Scott Ellis, the show is“really not as much about war as it is about race and sexuality, andthese people who are put into this situation which they normallywouldn’t be put in.” While awaiting deployment, the characters struggleto understand their place in the conflict. Their feelings of anger,alienation, and fear are realized in the play’s climax.

Streamers runsthrough December 9 at the Boston University Theatre, 264 HuntingtonAve., Boston. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 8p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.Additional matinee performances may be scheduled. Tickets are $15 to$70 and are available here. For more information visit the Huntington Theatre Company Web site.

Robin Berghaus can be reached at berghaus@bu.edu.

 

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