Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Dramatic adaptation of A Son at the Front

From Broadway World

A Son at the Front, an original play by Allen Frantzen, will have its world premiere performances June 5, 6, and 7 at the Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago. Based on Edith Wharton's poignant novel about World War I, A Son at the Front explores the effects of war on the family and friends of a young man who is eager to do his duty. Frantzen has enlarged on Wharton's themes, crafting a story of an American home front torn by divisions over the nation's role in the raging European conflict, and a family torn by disagreement about a son's destiny.

Set in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, in 1916 and 1917, the action plays out against the many strains that roiled public life: conflicts between rich and poor, capitalists and socialists, war resisters and a growing tide of anti-German feeling, Native Americans and neighbors with roots in Europe. A Son at the Front tells of the fate of a young man who signs up to be an ambulance driver in France even before America's formal entry into the war, and who subsequently enters the fighting. Meanwhile, his family and friends struggle to piece together their partial and differing understandings of his actions, his whereabouts, and his motivations, viewing events through conflicting perceptions of the young man himself and their own aspirations for him.
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