Home Front a winner, cast deliver’s in Fields’ final play

Tears fell in the Black Box Theatre Tuesday night, during an argument between two characters in the play Home Front. The argument was one of many bursts of anger in a small Texas family’s struggle to accept its son’s depression from the Vietnam War.

Home front, by James Duff, is a play about a young man, Jeremy, and his family’s struggle to accept his changes post-combat.

Jeremy, played by sophomore theatre major Kyle Maloney, has just returned from Vietnam, and is dealing with emotional and psychological damage from his experience on the front lines.

Jeremy’s father, Bob, played by senior theatre education major Bobby Stackhouse; mother, Maurine, played by senior theatre education major Sarah Ann Jones; and sister, Karen, played by sophomore theatre major Chelsea Prettyman, each have their own way of dealing with the person that has returned to their home.

He is not the Jeremy they remember, and his family struggles to accept that he never will be again.

Though the actors gave an excellent overall performance, one moment in particular stuck out as a technical error called for quick thinking on the part of Maloney and Stackhouse. The chair Stackhouse is supposed to be sitting in, broke mid-scene.

Director Jay Fields, department head and professor of theatre, added pre and post-show performances that drew parallels between the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, though it is reiterated numerous times that this play is about Vietnam and not the current war.

Three people read letters to the audience that soldiers in Iraq wrote to their families. It may have been a controversial move, but it is something that makes one think.

Home Front is Fields’ last theatre production at Missouri Southern. Maloney only had one word to describe his involvement in Fields’ last production.

“Honored,” he said.

Members of the cast remembered rehearsals as being “grueling.” The actors truly had to become a family, and had to function well in those rehearsals to be able to portray the emotions they express on stage.

“It’s not easy, but it’s not supposed to be,” Jones said. “You have to work hard to do something well.”

The play will be showing in the Black Box Theatre at 7:30p.m. tonight and tomorrow. For tickets persons may call the box office at 417-625-3190 or reserve tickets in person at Taylor Auditorium.