The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE play focuses on Vietnam War, Texas youth

By Marley Malenfant/se news editor

SE Campus will debut the Larry Ketron play Asian Shade in the C.A. Roberson Theatre Oct. 6-9.

Asian Shade focuses on two 19-year-old men from a small town in East Texas who have completed their basic training and have two weeks before they go to war in Vietnam.

SE drama assistant professor John Dement said the play is about how the two men deal with life in their small town before they go to war.

“These two men have come home to spend some time with family,” he said. “There are people in the town who are trying to be helpful, but they’re in a place where they can’t really be helped. Where they’re going is inevitable. What’s going to happen is inevitable.”

Dement, who is directing and acting in the play, said Asian Shade isn’t about getting the audience to think about the Vietnam War but to instead have insight on the two men’s lives.

“I didn’t choose it because of our current military situation and because I’m pro-war or anti-war,” Dement said. “Most dramas put a character into something of an extreme situation so that you see their humanity. The play is not a statement on war. It’s just a nice exploration of human nature.”

SE student Kevin Boatang plays Ernie, one of the main characters in Asian Shade. Boatang said Ernie is somewhat of a nerd and that people take him for a joke.  

“Ernie is best friends with Tom who is the main character,” he said. “Ernie is kind of the funny guy. He’s the lame guy also. He doesn’t get chicks.”

Boatang said Ernie is frustrated that he didn’t get more time off from the military.

“He has to deal with the stress of going to war,” he said. “He was supposed to get 30 days leave, but they gave him and his best friend 14 days. He also deals with his so-called girlfriend getting with somebody else.”

SE student Brian Cunningham plays Tom.

Cunningham said Tom also has trouble with his girlfriend Casey Nichols.

“We both go through some of the same conflicts, but mine is mostly with Casey,” he said. “She basically throws me a curveball.”

SE student Saira Hernandez plays Nichols. Hernandez said her character tries to pursue Tom and another male character.

“She has known Tom since high school but have never really talked to each other,” she said. “And now that he’s about to leave for the war, she finally makes her feelings known. She also gets an offer for an engagement, so she needs to figure out within a week whether she wants to stay with Tom or the other guy.”

SE student Cassidy Rogers plays Ernie’s girlfriend Jean Whittaker. Rodgers said her character is heartless toward Ernie’s situation, which builds up to an altercation between them.

“Jean is really uncaring,” she said. “Her and Ernie are somewhat of an item. She’s very bored. She’s a small-town girl with big-city dreams. She doesn’t take Ernie seriously. And he kind of gets a little mad, and some serious stuff goes on.”

Performances are 8 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinees Friday and Saturday.

Tickets are $6 for general public, $3 for seniors and non-TCC students and free for TCC students, faculty and staff.

For reservations, call 817-515-3599.

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