Thesis

Valor

The following thesis describes and delineates the creative process of taking an original source material, Valor, from inception, to written play, to produced play, to adapted screenplay, to finished film. Valor chronicles a moment in the life of Bill Cruz, a decorated Vietnam Veteran who has returned to the chaos and turmoil of the United States in 1969. His father, Raymond (Ray) Cruz, is the quintessential traveling salesman of the 1960s and has taken Bill on one of his sales trips. He’s also an alcoholic. On this particular night, Ray and Bill are staying in a hotel somewhere in the greater mid-west, where a sales conference has happened. As the piece progresses, we understand that Ray wants Bill to dawn his Army dress uniform and come down to meet all his salesman buddies—an attempt to show-off his “war hero” son. Bill feels out of place—not only his dress uniform, but in the country—and, at first, refuses his father’s request. Bill is looking for his dad’s understanding. He wants to to tell his father what the war was really about. He wants to tell his father that he doesn’t consider himself a hero. Most of all, though, Bill wants to tell his father that he loves him. Ray wants to show off his son. Eventually, Ray reveals that he would like Bill to back to Vietnam, for second tour of duty, in order to prevent his younger brother, Ray Jr, from being drafted. This is the journey of the piece: a kind of punch/counter punch between Bill and Ray over what it means to serve, what it means to love, and what it means to be a man.

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