A soldier and a shrink find common ground in Boogieban | Theater Review | Chicago Reader

A soldier and a shrink find common ground in Boogieban 

D.C. Fidler's drama about the lingering psychic wounds of war makes its local debut with Ohio-based None Too Fragile Theatre.

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click to enlarge Boogieban

Boogieban

Courtesy None Too Fragile Theatre

Two soldiers of different generations come together in D.C. Fidler's Boogieban, a contemporary exploration of the enduring trauma of war. Presented by None Too Fragile Theatre, an Ohio-based company, the story follows Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence Caplan (David Peacock), a Vietnam veteran and military psychologist who is assigned to treat Specialist Jason Wynsky (Travis Teffner), whose recurring nightmares have led to his release from his unit in Afghanistan. With each session, both men see themselves more clearly reflected in the other. As they connect, the depths of their pain become more profound and the consequences of their service feel more urgent.

Peacock and Teffner navigate their respective roles with the utmost empathy. Under director Sean Derry, they reveal the humanity in the characters and display their bond for each other with authenticity. This feels especially vital, as the script often moves too quickly through their sessions and the progression of their relationship. Peacock performs a number of monologues that address Caplan's relationship with his son, who was killed in Afghanistan. These moments are stunning, thanks to Peacock's ability to use silence and tempo to his advantage. In stark contrast, Teffner is tasked with performing the severe physical manifestations of PTSD from which Jason suffers. These moments could feel disingenuous in the wrong hands, but Teffner captures the stark reality of the situation. Watching the story unfold, it's powerful to imagine what it might mean for audience members who see themselves in it.  v

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