See it if You are open to a powerful "In the trenches" war experience and a better understanding of how the Vietnam war impacted American families
Don't see it if You are squeamish and unduly affected by occasional loud noise and strobe lights..and action within inches of the audience. Read more
See it if You want to see a captivating play that is both well directed and beautifully acted.
Don't see it if You want a show that doesn't have a couple of confusing (albeit stunning) movement sections.
See it if you are comfortable with difficult scenes involving combat in Vietnam; you like to be very close to the action; you like flashbacks
Don't see it if you would be disturbed by realistic enactments of wartime fighting; you don't want to be close to the actors
See it if you are interested in expert story telling of a popular subject matter to dramatize: The Vietnam War.
Don't see it if you do not want to see a sometimes predictable & sometimes cliche plot line, despite expert story telling and some memorable performances.
See it if you can endure another play about the backlash of the Viet Nam war. Unusual flashbacks and choreographed battle scenes leave you breathless
Don't see it if you just don't want any more Viet Nam war plays, no matter how unusual or visually impressive. Read more
See it if You enjoy great theater and dance
Don't see it if You have ptsd
“The show features inventive staging, riveting dialogue, and an outstanding cast...It is timely and important...The actors master their individual roles and provide an intimate view of the anguish, terror, and bravery that exists in war...A production that deserves all the praise we can give it...It not only is an insightful view of the ravages of war and the difficulties that veterans and their families can encounter, but it is an extraordinary production...It is a show that will go far.”
"A heart-stopping production…Be warned: It is harrowing...The most compelling and revealing moments are those where panic and rage and cruelty grab hold of the men, when they are at their most vulnerable...Kudos must extend to all involved in this remarkable play...A revelatory work, both in its conception and in its delivery. Seeing it in the intimate setting...is a blistering theatrical experience, one that will be hard to shake off for a very long time.”
“While ‘Occupied Territories’ is engrossing mostly for its staging which brings the action almost into the audience's laps, it becomes predictable once each event or topic is raised. The use of a family beset by drug addiction and distant parents is overly tired without offering a new slant on these familiar topics. The Vietnam scenes while not so prevalent on our stages have certainly become a cliché of action movies. ‘Occupied Territories’ is an ambitious but unsatisfying drama.”
“A memory play strung together with grit and realism...Maxner achieves a difficult task and makes each location distinct...Bannon and Maxner have provided a very clear canvas to fill. And the actors live in their allotted worlds with great emotional reality and passion...The entire cast works together as a beautiful ensemble. This play ends in a circle that includes the audience because we were invited in from the beginning—we just didn’t know it until the end. Bravo.”
"The secret of this play's success is less in the book than the staging...The play's direction by co-writer Mollye Maxner is sharp and sensitive, and co-writer Banner's portrayal of the irresponsible Jude is unforgiving and compelling. If the start of the play is sketchy it puts across a point with clarity and force...The impact of the horrors of war is visceral in this small theater."
"Under Mollye Maxner’s thoughtful direction, the flashback scenes generated by memory and the basement’s detritus are both realistic and chilling...The actors portray their characters with a depth of sensitivity and metacognition...One might wish the two worlds of basement and jungle – separated by time and space – were more directly connected; however, these at best are parallel worlds...The overall effect, though challenging, is satisfactory."
“Sincere and heartfelt as 'Occupied Territories' is in its attempt to convey the legacy of war, whose effects live on in its participants and their progeny, neither its domestic nor wartime scenes are particularly original or believable on a more than soap opera level…The soldiers are stereotypes, their dialogue is hackneyed…The play's resolution, comforting as it may be, feels more forced than organic. All the performances are professionally smooth.”
“'Occupied Territories' attempts to deal with some of the issues unleashed by the war...The genius of the play lies in the staging...While the blending of loudly presented military action and what is going on in the household all these years later is very clever, it also becomes awkward at times...The authors have taken up the challenge of writing a meaningful play, and if the interaction doesn’t always work as smoothly as it should, the overall impact is dynamically and creatively there.”