By Ryan Wooley
The Ammerman Campus Theatre had the final production of PVT Wars on March 15th at 2:00 PM. A wide array of viewers attended the event. Student’s, relatives, and friends of all ages were in the audience. The house was packed. The show was based on the lives of three veterans of the Vietnam War. The time is 1977 and the place is a veteran’s home. Silvio, Natwick and Gately are residents in the veteran’s home.
The play opens a window into the minds of these three men and allows the audience to glimpse the emotional and physical impact of the war. Silvio, who had suffered serious physical injuries in the war and lost his genitals, is preoccupied with discussing sex and women – even going so far as to instruct his friends in the art of picking up girls. Silvio’s crude humor throughout makes him distinctly unique in the group. Natwick, the most well-spoken of the group, clearly has issues discussing his feelings about the war. He is depressed and suicidal. Gately spends his days repairing a radio which he intends to give to his friend who has been horribly injured in the war. The play focuses on the daily interactions between these three characters. Laughter permeated the entire performance as the three friends sarcastically abuse each other. The irony of a comedy about such a serious topic was not lost upon the audience. “The show had a uniqueness about it, when we think of post war victims we don’t think comedy and humor but PVT Wars managed to blend both and make it work, everyone who has seen the show has said they thought it was excellent”. The differences between the characters heightened the comedic elements. “It was really interesting to see how the characters were so different and disagreed and fought a lot amongst each other but you always had the sense that they cared about one another.” The contrast in the characters, sense of humor each one had, and the strong emotional messages they all display made the play come to fruition. “If you like suggestive humor and you appreciate the atmosphere of guys ragging on each other then you defiantly would enjoy this play” Said Robert Mescia.
Many positive comments were heard after this final showing of the PVT Wars. A standing ovation was given at the end of the production. Many of people who saw the production stayed afterwards to congratulate and told the performers what a wonderful job they had done. “The theater company invests a lot of time and is very dedicated about what they do. Every play is different than the last and they are not afraid to perform plays that have controversial topics.” The production is the result of a strong theatre program at SCCC. A wide variety of theatre classes are offered at SCCC. These classes appeal to both the amateur theatre goer and the more advanced thespian. Amateurs can learn the ins and outs of theatre and what goes into making a successful production.
“Even things as simple as the lighting effects in the stage crew are components of the performance that are of huge importance but go unnoticed by the average spectator”. More advanced classes are also available. These classes instruct the students on the more advanced elements of theatrical production. One audience member, KC Altenburg, who had been part of the SCCC theatre company had this to say: “The seriousness in which the theatre company treats its productions is at a high level which is a wonderful thing because in return the audience gets a high level production.”
Everything that everyone looks for in a production or play is to be entertained , that was being said as well as other components of the play such as how the characters had great chemistry with one another despite having glaring differences and how they were able to blend comedy with war veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress. Talking to those afterwards all said that they would certainly recommend it to a friend. There weren’t any negative comments about PVT Wars, The only thing a few people wanted was to know what happened to the 3 men in the story afterwards what was ultimately the fate of them but great productions tend to have the audience wanting more at the end. The SCCC Theatre Company’s final showing of PVT Wars brought a good energy and had a lot of people talking positively about the show up until the very end.