"Tunnel Rat" (Genesis Theatrical Productions): War Flashbacks Need to Go Deeper!

(From left) Stefanie Johnsen, Mark J. Shallow and Joyce Hshieh in Genesis Theatrical Productions' "Tunnel Rat" by Neil Cole. (photo credit: Allison Tenn)

#71.  ‘I’m going to Disney World’ is such a happy statement.  ‘I’m going to Vietnam’ is just the opposite for me.  Thirty plus years after the war ended, I still associate Vietnam with negativity.  I have friends who have vacationed there and describe its beauty.  Maybe it’s because my dad served in Vietnam or the multiple unfavorable film depictions but, I

(From left) Mark J. Shallow and Joyce Hshieh in Genesis Theatrical Productions' "Tunnel Rat" by Neil Cole. (photo credit: Allison Tenn)just continue to associate the country with war.

Genesis Theatrical Productions presents the American premiere of Tunnel Rat.  Ronnie Giles is a Vietnam vet.  At age 17, he was given the choice of serving time in prison or in the army.  He chose war.  Now, as a sixty year old man, Ronnie is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  He has reoccurring flashbacks.  As a soldier, his assignments sent him underground.  The Viet Cong guerrillas utilized an elaborate tunnel system for transporting supplies and organizing surprise attacks.  Ronnie’s job was to enter the tunnel system to gather intelligence.  During one of his missions, he killed a woman.  She continues to haunt him as he relives his past over and over again.  Tunnel Rat gnaws at the living casualties of war.

Read the rest of my review at Chicago Theater Beat.

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