Cover photo by Megan Terry

Viet Rock

Megan Terry

This play is included in the collection:

Licensing Note

BPPI does not handle performance rights for this play. For performance rights, contact Samuel French, Inc.


Through the use of dialogue, music, chant, dance, pantomime, and image, the play satirizes attitudes toward the Vietnam war. It attempts to present the very complicated, tragic, and helplessly divided atmosphere that prevailed in America, and to look at hapless emotions in a hopelessly complex mythology of war. With the technique of “transformations” the play unfolds. People change from flowers to individuals to machines, from one character to another, from character into actor into bystander and back to character or abstract image or comment; women change to men and back to women again. Americans change into Vietnamese into Viet Cong and back to American soldiers. The line of the play follows several soldiers from birth, to induction, to indoctrination, to overseas, to battle, to fraternization, and to death. Along the way we meet their mothers, their instructors, their superiors, their elected officials, their friends and their enemies, their tormentors and finally their ghosts. A strong ensemble spirit emerges via the actors' technique and interaction with one another and with the audience. The form of the play is constructed so as to manifest the reality of theatre — not as a replica of or comment upon life but as a part of life — and thus restore its urgency and relevance.

Production Info

Cast: 13 total (6 female, 7 male)
Full Length Drama (about 120 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Contemporary Costumes

Press Quotes

“The work of no other contemporary American playwright can boast the extraordinary scope of that of Megan Terry. In the course of over thirty years her collected plays have become a virtual compendium of the styles of modern drama, ranging from collaborative ensemble work to performance art to naturalism … Beginning with her earliest work, she has devised a politically and socially activist theater, using a diversity of nonrealistic forms to challenge a culture which has systematically disparaged nonlinear drama. Megan Terry remains a key figure in the development of the American alternative theater.” —David Savran, In Their Own Words: Contemporary American Playwrights

“… the best new play since THE BRIG and THE CONNECTION … the theme and scope the variety and density of VIET ROCK would have excited Brecht.” —Richard Schechner, T D R

“VIET ROCK vividly expressed is a breakthrough … extraordinary on at least two counts. It is the first realized theatrical statement about the Vietnam war … and a rare instance of theater confronting issues broader than individual psychology … I would like to assert my admiration.” —Michael Smith, Village Voice

“Wild … an acid indictment … ensemble acting effects that have to be seen to be believed … VIET ROCK has been brilliantly staged, these Open Theater types are contributing something new to the concept and technique of stagecraft.” —Tomo., Variety

“VIET ROCK is more important than what it means … it is an original and gutsy bit of theatre. It is a theatrical demonstration that … ambushes an audience with an extraordinary evening of theater and … it wins as an emotional gut shot at the tragedy of the times.” —Al McConagha, Minneapolis Tribune

About the Author


  • Megan Terry

    Megan Terry's plays include BREAKFAST SERIAL, CALM DOWN MOTHER, KEEP TIGHTLY CLOSED IN A COOL DRY PLACE, HOTHOUSE, EX-MISS COPPER QUEEN ON A SET OF PILLS, THE PEOPLE VS RANCHMAN, GOONA GOONA, MOLLIE BAILEY'S TRAVELING FAMILY CIRCUS: FEATURING SCENES FROM THE LIFE OF MOTHER JONES, PRO GAME, BODY LEAKS, SOUND FIELDS, and OBJECTIVE LOVE. She published over forty-five plays. Most have been translated and produced worldwide. She won a number of major writing awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Obie Award for APPROACHING SIMONE. She was elected to lifetime membership by the College of Fellows of the American Theatre, installation at the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC, in recognition of: "Distinguished service to the profession by an individual of acknowledged national stature." In 1992 she was named Nebraska Artist of the Year. Ms Terry was a photographer and co-editor of Right Brain Vacation Photos, New Plays and Production Photographs 1972 – 1992. Ms Terry had a degree from the University of Washington, certificates in acting, directing, and design from the Banff School of Fine Arts, Banff, Alberta, Canada, and was awarded the Yale-ABC Fellowship: Writing for the Camera at Yale University. She had a long association with the Omaha Magic Theatre, in Omaha, Nebraska, as playwright in residence, photographer, performer, and musician. She died on April 12, 2023 in Omaha. She was 90.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 12/1/2000
Pages 180
ISBN 9780881451856