The Vietnam Plays: The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel and Sticks and Bones

The Vietnam Plays: The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel and Sticks and Bones

The Vietnam Plays: The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel and Sticks and Bones

David Rabe

“The only Vietnam plays to appear on Broadway while the war was raging” from the Tony Award–winning playwright of Hurlyburly (Observer).

David Rabe has been a major voice and crucial force in American drama since 1971 when, in the midst of the Vietnam War, he startled the nation with The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel. The story of a native recruit’s initiation into war, it is by turns brutal and hilarious. It won the young playwright an Obie and was hailed by The New York Times as “rich humour, irony, and insight. ” More than four decades later, Rabe continues to be one of our most compelling dramatists.

In this, the first of two volumes of The Vietnam Plays, Pavlo Hummel is paired with the equally intense Sticks and Bones, in which a blinded Vietnam veteran returns home numbed by the war and is astonished by his family’s inability to comprehend their country’s politics and his rage. “Pavlo won Al Pacino a Tony, and Sticks and Bones won one for its Harriet, Elizabeth Wilson—plus a nomination for its Oz, Tom Aldredge. It also won the Best Play Tony” (Observer).

“Defies a million slogans to become a contemporary masterpiece. ” —The Harvard Crimson on The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel

“Sticks and Bones is still a searing critique of America’s wilful ignorance in the face of an ultra-violent international war machine operating in our name. ” —TheaterMania

“This scalding work scores direct hits on the stubborn obliviousness of the folks back home to the realities of that dirtiest of 20th century wars. ” —The Hollywood Reporter on Sticks and Bones


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