TEN YEARS LATER
by Edward Clinton
3 m – 2 f int. multi media
Takes place in a veterans hospital ten years after the end of the Vietnam war. A soldier is told there will be a special
program on television that evening commemorating the service of the Veterans during the Vietnam war. That night is nightmarish
detail, whole sections of the man's life and service in the war come floating back to haunt him in dreams and flashbacks with
vivid details. He finds out the following day that very few people even watched the television special because “it's too painful,”
and something that “needs to be forgotten.” It's quite clear from his dreams that this is not an option for him.
This play can be performed alone as a one act, or along with TWENTY YEARS LATER and THIRTY YEARS LATER collectively called REMEMBER ME.
Reviews - Ten Years Later
“Early Times is another interesting chapter in Actors Theatre of Louisville’s
continuing epidemic of new plays. Some of them strutted tentatively in the beginning,
but as the evening moved on, everyone warmed to their tasks. Several displayed enough talent
and stage savvy to indicate they’ll soon graduate from the apprentice ranks….”
“…Edward Clinton’s “Ten Years Later” is the most complex and demanding, capsulizing in 12 to 15
minutes what most playwrights would do in two hours. A decade after the war, an emotionally shattered
Vietnam-vet relives not only Vietnam, but the major events in his life both before and after the war.
It is a poignant reminder of the neglect and even the abuse many veterans faced when they came home.”
– The Louisville Times
‘Early Times’ opens at Actors Theatre of Louisville
Although consisting of 10 one-act plays, “Early Times,” is united by the reoccurring theme of life in the late 60’s and 70’s.
Concern with Vietnam, Nixon’s resignation, interpersonal communication, and self-discovery dominate the evening.
Some of the one-acts are mediocre and some are small masterpieces…
“…Ten Years Later,” by Edward Clinton, is one of the outstanding pieces.
It deals with a Vietnam veteran who, years after his experience overseas,
still is traumatically disturbed by his memories. The direction by Larry Deckel
and the performance by George Kimmel, together produce a powerful drama.
– Scripps-Howard Press
“Ten Years Later,” by Edward Clinton was voted best of the festival by audience members.
EXCERPT from Ten Years Later by Edward Clinton
NURSE: I’m gonna buzz home and watch you on the tube. Nite-night.
WIN: A special, huh? On us guys.
NURSE: Yes, a special. You are Very special. All you guys. Sweet dreams, hopefully.
SHE is gone. He reaches for a cigarette but he hears some jungle noises.
WIN: (Falling Asleep) I just want to get it out of me. It hurts like a glass splinter in your eye. I wanna…That was the thing. Nobody welcomed us bbbback.
The lights have faded during this speech to total darkness. Jungle noises come up to a very low level and then abruptly go
to background noise when the NARRATOR speaks. We never see the NARRATOR. HIS voice should be very intimate, deep and comforting.
HE should sound like just what he is, someone talking into a microphone. HE should have a southern accent. Before the NARRATOR
speaks a “Mr. Bosco” lamp lights up. It is a child’s night light with a happy smiling face on it.
NARRATOR: I comfort you. I understand you. Listen to me, boy. We’ll talk…about going back home…people had yards,
two story houses with real aluminum siding…friends…friends were crucial as morning coffee, as the news, as a car, as a high school
diploma…but they disappear, friends. Hell this whole damn planet could disappear, but friends, they disappear easy as ice in July or
a boy in Viet Nam.