‘Occupied Territories’: New Play Set in the Vietnam War


A new theater piece called “Occupied Territories” recently had a limited run at the Anacostia Playhouse in Washington, D.C.  The play, written by Nancy Bannon and its director Mollye Maxner,  is set in Vietnam during the war with a surreal element dealing with life back sometime in the future.

Writing in The Washington Post   reviewer Celia Wren said the play was “a flawed but often arresting new theater piece” in which “suburban America drifts into the Vietnamese jungle. The camouflage-clad bodies of GIs are lying in a space we understand to be the site of a skirmish in the Vietnam War.” Then, “a woman we know to be living in the suburbs decades later (according to the play’s two-ply story line) steps out among the GIs. She looks at the troops, unnerved. For a moment, two eras — and two countries — overlap.”

“Occupied Territories, ” Wren said, “suffers from some narrative weakness: The suburban-U.S. story line is stunted and announces its meaning too baldly. But the Vietnam scenes are more plausible and moving, and the production adds emotional weight to the Asia-set story with bold, artful touches of movement, lighting and sound.”

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