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 drama gives life to unheard Vietnam stories

The+cast+of+A+Piece+of+My+Heart+rehearses+for+the+upcoming+SE+play.+The+production+centers+around+women+in+Vietnam.%0A+Photo+by%3A+Caitlin+Herron%2FThe+Collegian
The cast of A Piece of My Heart rehearses for the upcoming SE play. The production centers around women in Vietnam. Photo by: Caitlin Herron/The Collegian

By Linah Mohammad/se news editor

In recognition of the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, Theatre Southeast is producing A Piece of My Heart.

The cast of A Piece of My Heart rehearses for the upcoming SE play. The production centers around women in Vietnam.  Photo by: Caitlin Herron/The Collegian
The cast of A Piece of My Heart rehearses for the upcoming SE play. The production centers around women in Vietnam.
Photo by: Caitlin Herron/The Collegian

The production will run March 3-7 in the Blackbox Theatre (ESEE 1316).

This play tells the story of six American women who went to Vietnam. It features their lives before, during and after the war.

“This play is Vietnam from the women’s point of view,” said Angela Inman, the director of the play. “Oftentimes, we read in our history books what the men did in Vietnam. The women are the forgotten element of that war.”

Inman said women played a very important part. They were killed, and they suffered injuries. Some were prisoners of war, and they suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder just like the men did. At the time, however, the women were kind of dismissed.

“In fact,” Inman explained, “the military never kept any accurate record of how many women were even there.”

The women were the nurses, and they filled in a lot of the gaps that enabled the men to be out on the field.

Brenna Booker, who plays the role of Martha, said it is hard to get in the mindset of a woman in the ’60s who goes off to Vietnam.

“The mindset of being excited to go to Vietnam and wanting to serve and then getting over there and realizing how horrible it actually is,” she said. “It’s nothing like you would expect.”

Felicia Ajibike, another cast member who plays Steele, said the play is emotionally draining and truly heart-breaking.

“When I first started researching this play,” she said. “I was sitting in the library for about three hours, just crying.”

Kaitlin McGehee, who plays Sissy, said her character is especially sensitive. She can relate to her in that sense.

“Nothing in this play is sugar-coated or made sweeter at all,” she said. “It is very interesting that we can help exemplify some of the true dehumanization of the war.”

The performance is going to be very intimate, Inman said. The audience will be sitting very close to the actors. And the actors are going to talk directly to the audience.

The cast members are excited about the style of the play.

“I love to break that fourth wall,” Ajibike said.

Inman said this play is more about storytelling.

“It’s not about flashy special effects and stuff like that,” she said. “These women are telling their story.”

The cast includes only two males who play every man the six women encounter. Each male actor will have about 13 roles.

Braden Zeissig, one of the male actors, said learning many roles is not that difficult.

“Having to switch from one character to the other,” he added, “making them deep enough with such little to go off of and make it believable, that’s difficult.”

Inman, who is also the designer of the play, decided to go with simple nontraditional scenery.

“I have chosen to have a projection screen as the backdrop,” she said. “The background is actually going to be videos and slides that are going to be projected onto the screen.”

This play is not recommended for children because strong language and graphic situations are described.

“Because the play has a unique perspective,” Inman said, “even people who are familiar with the war are going to see it in a new light.”

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian