Small town America, 1974. Vietnam is the war everyone wants to forget. So where does that leave Roy Caulder, a veteran who's trying to rebuild his life in the place where he grew up?
His brother Ray isn't much help. Ray spends as much time bickering with Roy as he does helping him. But they maintain their ritual of visiting Angel's Bar, sipping Lone Star beer, and reminiscing about better times.
The short play has a simple setting — the back of a Texas honky-tonk — and only three characters: Roy, Ray, and their goofball friend Cletis. Roy is a former high school hotshot who had everything going for him before he left for war, including a beautiful wife named Elizabeth and a 1959 pink Thunderbird convertible. Now his friends have moved, his best friend's in jail, and the spark he used to have with Elizabeth has fizzled out. So he spends every night at the bar, repeating the same stories. He knows that eventually he'll have to move on and leave everything he loved behind.
"It sounds like a sad story," says director Sam McCalla, "but it's one of funniest plays I've ever seen. The characters are so outrageous but so real at the same time."
Lone Star relies heavily on James McClure's well-written dialogue. "Most of what we learn is through the conversation Roy's having with his brother," says CofC theater professor Todd McNerney. "That's how we find out who he is and how people in town see him."
The director has chosen to focus on Roy's sense of isolation instead of the Vietnam War. "Everybody has at one point felt alone. It's not a great feeling. It's one that people can sympathize with ... That's one reason why Lone Star is accessible to a lot of people."