“No war is worth it”: In Their Footsteps is an insight into the lives of American women in the Vietnam War

“No war is worth it”: In Their Footsteps is an insight into the lives of American women in the Vietnam War

Director Carly Fisher brings together a moving performance that makes you laugh and cry at the same time. (Image source: In Their Footsteps/Theatre Travels)

By Eva Blandis | @BlandisEva

Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild” begins as a woman makes her way from behind the audience to a beautifully minimalistic stage. Director Carly Fisher’s apt choice of a minimal set reiterates the power of the stories that are about to be told. In the first few minutes, four more women approach the stage: each armed with an important story.

Each cast member passionately and respectfully shares true accounts from American women in Vietnam during the war. From nurses to “donut dollies”, the audience is given a thorough education on women’s involvement in war.

The five stories told throughout the performance captivate and include the audience in a support group-esque environment. The decision to break the fourth wall and include the audience in the play feels like a metaphor for the active and passive involvement that the western world had in the Vietnam War. Fisher’s ability to create an emotionally heavy performance while still bringing a smile to the faces of all those watching is a true representation of her talent.

The stellar acting by all five women is complemented by the stunning use of lighting and sound: both acting as emotional triggers. The minimal set and props are moved by sleight of hand as the cast naturally deliver their lines. The women bounce off one another, creating a feeling of deep friendship and connection. A technical difficulty almost went unnoticed due to the cast’s ability to improvise and add to the beautifully articulated script.

The stories are shared with respect and honour to create an appreciation for the women who played their part in protecting American soldiers. In Their Footsteps educates and entertains the audience though the witty and thought-provoking script for the entire hour.

Playwright Ashley Adelman’s script encapsulates everyday life as a woman, specifically when that life is in an almost all-male environment. Adelman’s script and Fisher’s direction merge well, accentuating the cast’s ability to engage the audience.

The director, playwright, cast and crew work together to put on a memorable performance that leaves guests reflecting on the lack of recognition that women receive in history. Each element is needed to bring together an unforgettable and genuinely magnificent performance. The stories told are of utmost importance and should be shared with everyone.

Fisher pays a beautiful tribute to the women who sacrificed everything to go to Vietnam and serve their country.

In Their Footsteps is showing at Bakehouse Theatre as part of the 2022 Adelaide Fringe until Saturday, March 12.

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