My father served in the US Army in the Vietnam War in 1969-1970. When my older sister was born that summer, my mother recorded the birth and sent it on a cassette tape to my father. He and his buddies would sit out on the bunker wall at night and listen to the sounds of my sister’s first cries of new life—while watching mortars explode in the distance.
OCCUPIED TERRITORIES is a play inspired by my father’s experiences in Vietnam and in the decades after his return home. It is also inspired by my father’s journey with PTSD and its impact on his life and on his family. At its heart, OCCUPIED TERRITORIES is a play about love and loss and opens a window on the intergenerational impacts of war.
It has been an incredible honor to work on the creation of this play. The openness and willingness of US combat veterans and their families, as well as of people whose lives are touched by addiction, to talk candidly with me about their experiences has been a gift beyond words. At every performance, whether in a theater or in an American Legion Hall, whether it's a fully staged production or an intimate reading, I witness the impact of this story and am awed by the vulnerability of people who open their hearts and their memories to us. It is through their bravery that this play soars with richness and honesty. In honor of those individuals, and of every soldier and his or her family, it is our hope to bring this story to communities across the country.
– MOLLYE MAXNER