September 19, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

John DiFusco’s Award-Winning “Tracers” On Stage At United States Veterans’ Artists Alliance:

When John DiFusco returned from his tour of duty in Vietnam, the war may have eventually ended, but the psychological, nightmarish ramifications were cemented into his psyche, along with other veterans of this unpopular war.

Perhaps as a way to find some closure for himself and his fellow vets, many of whom were suffering from PTSD, DiFusco had this idea of developing a theatre piece and rounded up other vets who could share their experiences with each other through a series of psychodrama workshops.  

Under his guidance, each participant contributed his own personal horror story and what eventually emerged was the groundbreaking “Tracers,” which was honed into a riveting, heartbreaking journey into the taste and smell of war as seen through their young eyes.  Under DiFusco’s guidance, the play made its world premiere at the Odyssey Theatre in 1980 and eventually was listed as one of the Ten Best Plays of 1984/1985.  

This critic was there and experienced an incredibly moving, compelling, unforgettable theatrical experience.

Now, through a partnership between The Rogue Machine and the United States Veterans’ Artists Alliance, a revival of “Tracers” can be seen at the USAVAA Theater in Culver City and is as fresh and powerful as it was over 30 years ago, eliciting the same emotional response to the material.  

Under DiFusco’s sharp direction, an extraordinary ensemble of gifted vet/actors takes us through a series of scenes woven together through music, movement, and rituals, each depicting a unique story as told through each of the actors.

The “grunts” are to go through 18-weeks of basic training by Drill Sgt. Williams, played by Terrence W. Edwards, who puts them through a series of demanding and demeaning tasks.  

We burrow deep into the minds of each of the recruits who the Drill Sgt. refers to as maggots.  He does everything he can to prepare them for war by stripping them of their present code of conduct knowing full well that some of them will never return home.

With music of the era playing in the background, each of the scenes reveals another aspect of the war – deafening firefights during an ambush, killing for the first time, unlivable rat–infested bunkers, boredom overcome by smoking a joint or shooting up, juggling grenades for fun, dancing with each other to let off steam, and an abstract reenactment of putting invisible dead soldiers into body bags, illuminating the hardness that is slowly seeping in, making them more and more distant from the outside world.

There are a number of riveting monologues in which the actors break the fourth wall and talk directly to the audience about their hopes, fears, and observations.  

While all the monologues are outstanding, Sgt. Williams gives a particularly poignant one during which he softens his tone confessing that these young men are not being trained properly for combat and that only 20 percent are really warriors, while the other 80 percent are targets.  

Each and every member of this highly trained, extraordinary cast has created a living, breathing, totally unique, actualized character and following are the names of this talented ensemble:  James Bane (“Scooter” – eight years in the U.S. Marines, two tours in Iraq), Dan Bridges (“Baby San” – combat engineer, U.S. Army), Christopher De Vinny (“The Professor” – he likes to read Hermann Hesse and Pirandello, two years in Iraq), Jonathan “Doc” Farrow (“Little John” – two tours in Iraq), Juliez Frazier (“Habu” – 10 years U.S. Navy), Jaimyon Parker (“Doc” – U.S. Air Force), and Trevor Scott (“Dinky Dau”  – five years in U.S. Army – deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan).

John Densmore, John Perrin Flynn (Vet), and Keith Jeffreys (Vet) produced this outstanding current production, which is enhanced by Dan Weingarten’s Lighting Design, John DiFusco’s and Corwin Evans Sound Design, Janet Roston’s Choreography, and Corwin Evans Projection. All the elements blend together, creating an unforgettable evening of theatre.

*Tracers are bullets that have a bright glow illuminating bullets being fired and are usually loaded as every fifth round in machine gun belts.

USVAA Theatre AMVETS Post II Building

10858 Culver Blvd. Culver City, CA 90230

Run: 8 pm Fridays and Saturdays thru Nov. 9, 2013

6 pm Sundays, Oct. 27, and Nov. 3.

Reservations: 855.585.5185 or

www.roguemachinetheatre.com

Free parking on site

in News
Related Posts

Edify TV: Miramar Santa Monica Redevelopment

September 18, 2020

September 18, 2020

The Santa Monica skyline may look different in the future with a major redevelopment of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel &...

‘Fresh Prince Of Bel Air’ Mansion For Rent On AirBnb

September 18, 2020

September 18, 2020

Today on Westside Cribz, 30th anniversary of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” Airbnb is renting out the mansion for...

SMMUSD Kindergarten Enrollment Down 20% : Santa Monica Beat – September, 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * SMMUSD Kindergarten Enrollment Down 20% * As Covid-19 Cases Drop Will...

Edify TV: Sit-down Dining Safety?

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Despite a recent CDC report stating the risks of in-person dining, many Westside restaurant patrons feel the experience is safe....

Sur La Table Closing Santa Monica Location

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

1930s building listed for lease By Sam Catanzaro Sur La Table, the popular kitchenware retail chain, is closing its downtown...

Death by Suicide at Santa Monica Place

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

Man dies by suicide Wednesday morning By Sam Catanzaro A man died by suicide at Santa Monica Place mall Wednesday....

Santa Monica Partners With Local Elementary Schools to Provide More Outdoor Spaces

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

Playground Partnership agreement goes live By Toi Creel The City of Santa Monica and local schools are working together to...

Charges Filed Against Man for Sexually Assaulting Elderly Victims

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

Juan Victor Mendoza faces four felony charges Prosecutors have filed charges against a man for sexually assaulting elderly victims at...

COVID-19 Continues to Decrease in County but Air Quality Reducing Testing

September 15, 2020

September 15, 2020

Smoke advisory in effect through Wednesday By Sam Catanzaro While COVID-19 cases continue to decrease in Los Angeles County, health...

Edify TV: Westsiders Working out Amid Poor Air Quality

September 15, 2020

September 15, 2020

With poor air quality due to wildfire smoke, local health officials are urging the public to avoid outdoor activity but...

COVID-19 Could Have Been in Area as Early as Last December

September 15, 2020

September 15, 2020

UCLA study reports significant increase in coughs and acute respiratory failure prior to first official cases of COVID-19 By Sam...

Willy California Wants Men to Rethink Their Closet

September 15, 2020

September 15, 2020

Local clothing line reimagines athleisure By Toi Creel With ranges in styles for men’s clothing from suits and professional clothing...

Police Searching For Robbery Suspects: Santa Monica Beat – September, 14, 2020

September 14, 2020

September 14, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Police Searching For Robbery Suspects * Should School Board Representatives Have...

Santa Monica Police Consider Bringing Charges Against Local CEO Caught Beating Dog

September 14, 2020

September 14, 2020

Jeffrey Previte, CEO of EBI Consulting, seen in security footage beating dog By Timothy Michael and Sam Catanzaro Jeffrey Previte,...