By Nick Hetherington For many veterans, returning home from war can sometimes mean facing battles of the mind and of the heart. In Eric Henry Sanders not quite fully conceived ?Reservoir?, Private Frank Hasek has returned home after serving a 15 month tour from a place only ever referred to as ?In Country?, but his torments and suffering are as great a threat to his life and family as the enemy and IED?s he encountered everyday. The play begins with his Staff Sergeant, played by Brian D. Mills with well delivered tones of military detachment, reprimanding Private Hasek for an embarrassing moment on national television ? he ?adjusted his nuts?, while waiting for the Senator to speak. You wonder, is this a conscious disregard for pomp and circumstance? Or an innocent loss of attention, due to tiredness and stress? Or a sub-conscious desire to be discharged? As the play progresses, it becomes clear that his ?15 minute? free sessions with the veteran?s psychologist exhibit his intentions to never return on tour. The sessions are some of the play?s finest acted and written scenes, which does suffer at times from a lack of dimension and obviousness with too many other scenes that are film length but without well crafted subtext to make it work well. While the Private replays the nightmares in his mind, his relationship with his wife faces the ultimate test, betrayal, with the knife being unconscionably twisted by her and the Staff Sergeant with whom she fraternizes. You can?t fully blame the wife, she?s only 20 years old, has raised their child alone, and now must navigate this relationship with her husband, erratic, unromantic and day by day more unhinged. You want to care about these two young innocents, unfit and ill-equipped to work through their issues, but Eric Henry Sander?s writing is far too economical. Most scenes warm up and then the lights fade into the next without a deep penetration into who these characters are to each other. The story is decent enough to want to care and the climax is unsettling and visceral but what we are given is an appetizer into this world. This subject matter requires much more red meat. In the end, ?Reservoir? ventures to show that war doesn?t end on the battlefield, it follows many of the young men and women home. They may have survived ?in country?, but what awaits them will test their spirits and those who love them.
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