American veteran brings war play to Vietnamese stage

An American veteran has brought his play about obsessions of the American war in Vietnam to a Hanoi stage on his return to the country after 40 years.

Written, directed and starring by Brian Delate – a draftee infantry sergeant during the American War in Vietnam-the play centres on a veteran who has to deal with post traumatic stress disorder who is on the verge of suicide during a Memorial Day celebration.

The work is based on his experience when joining the American war in Vietnam at battle fields in the central province of Quang Ngai between 1967 and 1970.

“Coming back from the war, I and many comrades have suffered from mental disorder and even depression as result of post-traumatic stress disorder. Up to 58,000 American soldiers died in Vietnam during the war. After the war, many American veterans committed suicide due to the disorder. I have lived the feeling alone for many years,” Brian Delate said.

He also added that after seeing the second airplane crashing into the Twin Towers in the US in 2001, he faced frequent bad nightmares, particularly he dreamt of the Vietnamese war and the torture he went through.

Brian Delate

Brian Delate

Returning from the war in Vietnam, he managed to become an actor, playwright and director. His most popular work has been “Memorial Day”. He said he did not think that the play could be shown in Vietnam and he was very happy for the performance.

Within the framework to boost Vietnamese and American culture exchange, the Vietnam-USA Society and the US’s SHI Organisation joined hands with Youth Theatre for the performance in order to raise fund for Vietnamese AO/dioxin victims.

Vietnamese People’s Artist Le Khanh said that she extremely felt moved by Brian’s realistic performance.

“When I saw him practice the performance, I burst into tears due to his strong emotions. He held his head quite long. This is the first time I have ever performed with a person with as much realistic experience like Brian,” Khanh said.