Richard Fouts - Author of "The Birthday Lottery"
On December 1, 1969, five fraternity brothers gather together to listen to the U.S. Army's draft lottery, which uses birth dates to determine the order in which they will be called to serve in Vietnam. Broadcast on national television and radio, the brothers anxiously listen as dates are drawn, one-by-one, over an excruciating 90-minute period. When the last date is drawn, the brothers react to the realization that their lives have been changed forever. They also begin to turn on each other.
Today's teenage boys worry about a lot of things, but being drafted to serve in a foreign war isn't one of them. At least, not yet. The Birthday Lottery, Richard Fouts' new play about the Vietnam draft, opens on March 29, 2018, directed by Suze Allen. It runs for four performances only, March 29-April 1 at Z Space, 450 Florida Street in San Francisco.
"This play highlights, in real time, what young men felt as they listened for their birth date to be announced over radio and television on the night of December lst, 1969" said playwright Fouts in a recent interview. "The order your
birthday was drawn became your draft number. A young Roger Mudd was the only broadcast journalist who covered the event, who calmly told America's young men that if they had been born on September 14th, they'd be the first to go."
Actor Nick Coleus, who plays David, commented in the play's background video, "You can feel the tension of what it must have been like to live through that excruciating night. Though it occurred 50 years ago, it feels relevant for today's young men, especially since there appears to be no end in sight around Iraq and Afghanistan. And now North Korea is in the news every day."
Playwright Richard Fouts recalls the moment when he decided to write the play. "With the 50th anniversary of the draft approaching, I've been listening to Vietnam vets tell their stories of how their lives were abruptly interrupted with the Army's sudden draft. Many of them were just 19 years old at the time. Hearing their vivid memories of that night convinced me that their stories belonged on the stage, in an intimate setting that only live theater can deliver."
Place: Z Space Main Stage, 450 Florida Street, San Francisco 94110
Opens: Thursday, March 29, 8:00 pm.
Runs: March 29, 30, 31, at 8:00 pm, Sunday, April 1 at 2:00 pm.
Tickets: $25 general admission, $15 seniors and students, $10 veterans (of any war, not just Vietnam)
All shows at Z Space are ADA accessible
For details, go to http://www.zspace.org/birthdaylottery
It is Free