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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE play reveals hidden story of Vietnam War

NE+students+and+cast+members+Kate+Shugart+and+Lily+Clouse+hand+off+a+prop+IV+bag+while+they+practice+the+scene+surrounded+by+their+castmates.+Alex+Hoben%2FThe+Collegian
NE students and cast members Kate Shugart and Lily Clouse hand off a prop IV bag while they practice the scene surrounded by their castmates. Alex Hoben/The Collegian
NE students and cast members Kate Shugart and Lily Clouse hand off a prop IV bag while they practice the scene surrounded by their castmates. Alex Hoben/The Collegian
NE students and cast members Kate Shugart and Lily Clouse hand off a prop IV bag while they practice the scene surrounded by their castmates.
Alex Hoben/The Collegian

HOPE SMITH
campus editor
hope.smith393@my.tccd.edu

SE Campus drama will be producing a hidden story of Vietnam, “A Piece of My Heart.”

Set to begin the first fall production on Oct. 4, the cast and crew have been working thoroughly to bring to life the story of six women who served in the Vietnam War. 

The cast, made of eight actors, represents characters based on real-life people following them before, during and after their experiences serving in the war.

 “I’m excited to tell a story that needs to be heard,” said SE student Liyah Vialdores, who plays Steele.

“They really were the forgotten heroes of this war,” associate professor of drama and director Angela Inman said. ”Because even to this day, we don’t know how many women were there. The Army never bothered to count the number of women. They were just kind of an expendable resource.” 

This reasoned that the women, involved as they were, were simply forgotten, but the play has helped to educate.

 “It has a lot of heroic moments that where the female is the hero, and I love that,” Vialdores said. “It gave a different perspective on the war that I had no idea about before this play.” 

Ash Swan, who plays Martha, wanted to show the audience the real experiences of the women and the trauma they endured.

“I am excited to really show everyone how hard we all worked for this and this story that really is a hidden aspect of the Vietnam War that not a lot of people get to see, and that is a really important aspect,” she said. 

Lily Clouse, who plays LeeAnn, made the point that it was difficult for the cast to portray the experiences throughout the story.

“I think so far this has been one of my favorite shows that I’ve done, solely because it kind of shows a side to the Vietnam War that nobody talks about and the kinds of struggles and prejudice and trauma that women face,” Clouse said.

Characterizing the people in the play proved to be a challenge emotionally, as Clouse explained, because the range of emotion was something personal to each woman in the story.

 “There’s so many different ways to portray pain, and there’s so many different ways to express pain because all six of us women throughout the show, we start a certain way and the war changes us,” she said.

 The cast had a big focus on doing the characters of the production justice, placing a heavy emphasis on correctly expressing the emotions of the characters through the performance.

 “There’s a lot of different perspectives and that each character has their own story, but in some way, it’s intertwined,” said SE student Toni Colbert, who plays Sissy.

Mikayla Everheart, who plays Maryjo, said the play actually has a special connection to her family.

“Us being able to portray what they have gone through is something I am very proud of myself. My grandfather was in Vietnam, him and my great uncle,” Everheart said. “I want to give them so much justice for this.”

Other cast members agreed, like DaShaun Ellis, who said he acknowledged the process the cast went through to become the characters.

 “One thing that I noticed, especially in the beginning when we started off, that a lot of people had to really go outside of themselves for the role,” he said. “The multiple characters that we’re all going to be playing, the cast has done a very good job differentiating them, especially my boy here, Marc.” 

Student and cast member Marc Aldridge, along with Ellis, will split and act as 16 characters. Along with this, Alridge explained that some of the costumes the cast will be using were from the Vietnam War.  

“One thing that I definitely do love about this play is the fact that you get to see the heroic side from the women in Vietnam,” Valedores said. “Even though it does have its heartbreaking moments, it has a lot of heroic moments where the female is the hero, and I love that. It gave a different perspective on the war that I had no idea about before this play.” 

Cast members gave tips on how to appreciate the production.

“Be prepared, it’s very intense in some spots,” Everhart said. 

“Bring tissues,” Clouse added. 

“Come watch it!” Cast members agreed.

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