TCG Books: “Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue”

TCG Books, New York, 2012

Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue
Quiara Alegria Hudes
New York

1 of 3 plays by Hudes, others include:
Water by the Spoonful
The Happiest Song Plays Last (forthcoming)

Hudes’ work Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue spans 3 generations of military men. Hudes weaves the experiences of her uncle and her cousin, Elliot, into the narrative of Grandpop, Pop, the hero, Elliot, and Ginny, Elliot’s mother. All four attempt to balance their civilian lives while remaining devoted to their blood and service families.

The stage is divided in half. There is a verdant garden, where the characters reflect upon their internal and external lives outside the armed forces. The other half is a barren cell, a representation of the stripped lives they are meant to lead while on duty. These disparate environments are a metaphor for the vastly different people they are expected to be.

Except for the lengthy monologues, the players share lines even in scenes pertaining only to a chosen character. The similarities between the men are stronger than their differences. They take turns playing the protagonist, the supporting characters and the narrator. In this way, although the exact events of their lives differ, the 3 generations are able to share the same story. They are unique while remaining the same.

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