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We Bombed in New Haven

We Bombed in New Haven
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Author: Joseph Heller
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 95
Pub. Date: 1973
ISBN-10: 057361766X
ISBN-13: 9780573617669

About the Play:

We Bombed in New Haven is a full-length play by Joseph Heller, which was based on the Vietnam War. Actors rehearse a play about an Air Force bombing squadron sent to ridiculous targets in Joseph Heller's satirical first play. The actor playing the squadron commander frequently steps out of character to reassure the audience that they are only watching a play.

We Bombed In New Haven only sounds like a play about flunking out of Yale. In fact it picks up where Joseph Heller's Catch-22 left off, huddling in the trenches of an absurd war. Oscillating between reality and unreality, this play introduces a code bound captain who assembles his flyers to bomb Constantinople (as their orders persist in calling Istanbul). Why? Because his orders say to. One aviator is killed on the raid and the sergeant, realizing that he is next to die, skips over the hill. The captain pacifies the others by bringing out the toy chests and leading them along the regressive route from football to blocks to baby rattles. The replacement for the dead aviator is 15 years old. When the sergeant is discovered in the captain's home, the captain promises to help him but the military shoots him straight away. Now comes the captain's turn to pass on 300 new recruits all bearing his son's name.

We Bombed in New Haven was first produced in 1967 at Yale Repertory Theatre, the internationally celebrated professional theater in residence at Yale School of Drama in New Haven, Connecticut and ran on Broadway in 1968 at the Ambassador Theatre in New York City.

Cast: 1 woman, 16 men.

What people say:

"An exceptional quality of imagination that is at once comic, bitter and moving, and it is immensely effective in dramatic terms." — New York Post

"Mr. Heller is a writer to the tip of his keyboard. His dialogue flows out, natural, real, amusing, absorbing. Here is the writer of Catch-22 flying high, high on words of his first theatrical flight... Any way you look at it, this is a pretty remarkable theatrical debut for Mr. Heller. I hope he stays around our theater for a long, long time." — The New York Times

"Most writers of anti-war plays and films are satisfied with simply showing what happens during war. Rarely do they delve into the military mind at work, its idiocy and the illogical beliefs that lead it to think it's doing something worthwhile. But Joseph Heller does in his We Bombed in New Haven. This neat, fun-filled [play] underlines Heller's quirky humor and the dead seriousness of his intent." — Los Angeles Times

"Joseph Heller's first play, We Bombed in New Haven, from 1967 in response to the Vietnam war, has endured over the decades as a highly durable anti-war piece, acerbically funny and full of agitprop trappings that still pack a punch." — The Oregonian (Portland)

About the Playwright:

Joseph Heller (1923 – 1999) was an American satirical novelist, short story writer, and playwright. He is best known for his novel Catch-22, which became a bestseller and, in 1970, a film. He went on to write four other novels and the play We Bombed in New Haven. He also wrote scripts for television series and worked on film screenplays.

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