Remembering Hue

A Musical Play in Two Acts
with Music, Text and Lyrics

By Clyde Coreil

All rights reserved. No part of this play--text, music and/or lyrics--may be staged, performed, or copied by any means whatsoever without the written consent of the sole author and composer, Clyde Coreil.

Characters
Charlene Ayer........................... 26 years old, delicate, artistic, essentially lost at the beginning of the play, discovers herself in the Shangri-La city of Hue
Nguyen van Huong.................... 32 years old, strong-willed but retiring man who scorns the regimes of both Hanoi and Saigon
Hal Garren................................. 28 years old, a slightly aging Golden Boy who thrives on action and confrontation
Ben Hoggins............................... 25 years old, an irony-loving ne'er-do-well who has shuffled sideways in life and wound up as a volunteer teacher of English

Renee Dupuis.............................

27 years old, scarred by romance but who functions well as a more-or-less decisive leader
Balford "Baly" Deville................ 21 years old, sincere black university student majoring in music composition
Barbara Fields............................ 22 years old, no-nonsense black university student, friend of Baly's
Stuart.........................................
29 years old, Charlene's very balanced, very decent ex-companion
Joe "Dummy" Skins.................... 55 years old, a volunteer interested mainly in finding a way back to a lady in Dalat, Vietnam
Major Dai.................................. 40 years old, a suave man from Hanoi whose personality is half-French, half-Vietnamese
Steve Benoit............................... 27 years old, university teacher, skydiving friend of Hal's
Vicki Alvarez............................. 25 years old, companion of Steve's
Vui............................................. 23 years old, a Buddhist monk who is more inclined to eat than meditate
Phuoc........................................ 24 years old, a university student in Vietnam
Jeanette, Aldus, Tom.................. Barbara's students, can be from 5-9 years old
Ian Helson, David Schornhurst.... Reporters on the BBC Radio

Jeanne........................................

Dummy's Vietnamese lady in Dalat

 

Prologue of Remembering Hue

     Darkened stage. An Apartment in Baton Rouge. Hal is holding a book. As he begins to sing without accompaniment the first words of "Remembering," a pool of cool light comes up gradually. Understated musical accompaniment joins him.
     Hal is dressed in a quality collegiate sports jacket, colored shirt and necktie. He will serve as the best man at Baly's wedding. His hair is graying a little around the ears, and there is something of deep distraction about the man--a premature aging. The year is 1978, 10 years after the action of the play. In an epilogue, Hal will again sing "Remembering". His dress and demeanor will be the same as in the prologue.

 

Action of Remembering Hue

     The action takes place in 1967 and in 1968 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; in an aging resort hotel in West Virginia; and in and near the Citadel, an enormous fortress located in Hue, Vietnam. Charlene is a broken hearted artist of 26 who went to Vietnam as a volunteer teacher during the war because she wanted to find herself. She becomes intoxicated by Hue, which for her is Shangri La--the ancient city and the blossoming and deep love she now shares with Huong. She contributes her graphic talent which is sorely needed for his scholarly work on the Citadel and its place in the minds of all Vietnamese. In the desparate early hours of the Tet Offensive of 1968, Huong appears in the full parade dress of a North Vietnamese Army officer. Charlene is stunned. He pleads with her to accept and use the letter of safe-passage to Hanoi he worked so hard to get. Her signed illustrations are seized and will be used for military purposes. The world she had discovered and built is torn apart. Charlene breaks. As a result, she And Huong are shot and killed.

 

Conflict of Remembering Hue

     The tension derives from the inner conflicts of Charlene and Huong and from their romance. Early in the play, Charlene commits herself to finding meaning, although that entails a painful parting from Hal. Huong, a scholar dedicated to the high goals of an ancient Vietnamese nationalism, falls hopelessly in love with Charlene when she goes to his country to teach schoolchildren. The star-crossed lovers are destined for destruction.

 

©Clyde Coreil, 1998

 

 

2004-2011, Clyde Coreil. All rights reserved.
No part of the writings or plays on this site (text, music and/or lyrics) may be staged,
performed, or copied by any means whatsoever without the written consent of the sole author and composer, Clyde Coreil.