By Michael Mottern
Performed not too far outside of Buffalo, New York in the suburb of Williamsville,“Future Wars” is an anti-war two-acter presented by First Look Buffalo Theater Company, giving its first East Coast premiere right outside of the Queen City. It is a sci-fi drama, and the actors are all professional even though it is staged at a local high school theater. In Act I , called “Reset”, one of the main characters is a combination of Jean Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren from “Universal Soldier”, itself a science fiction drama about future warfare, and the play “Waiting for Godot,” primarily because there are only two main characters, both of them robotic soldiers about to die in what seems a makeshift desert.
“Reset” has a tremendous amount of foul language, with soldiers dropping the f-bombs every 2 minutes. But it’s a good drama indeed, with its robotic soldiers sporting wires coming out of their feet and arms, waiting to “reset” Actor Jacob Applegate hits a grand slam for being the most out-there robot in a universal soldier type of world, as he is haunted by the spirit of the child he killed in the Middle East, (played by Madeline Allard Dugan. Bob Rusch is a seasoned actor who co-stars, reading from his cell phone, informing his comrade (Applegate) that he must “reset” in order to keep from overheating.
Written by Samantha Macher, “Reset” is directed by Mike Doben, who does an excellent job at the dramatization of modern-day warfare “robotically” and is truly going to reset your mind. But it is “Overlay” which makes you rethink the inequities of US immigration policy. The same way we got to rethink “reality” in the science fashion movie “They Live” starring Rowdy Piper.
Ms Dugan also appears in Act II, “Overlay,” as Kayla in a weird spooky dark story about two British citizens and the policy of US immigration. Steven Maiseke is Mo, a defense worker temporarily working as a war technician. Haunted by the Cold War, this isn’t a drama you’re going to want to miss.
“Overlay” is directed by Drew McCabe and performed brilliantly by Madeline and Steven the two main characters desperately trying to get American citizenship to escape their war-torn countriesd before they realize the meaning of the word “home”. As Stacy in the play “Overlay”, Becky Globus does a fantastic job in playing the psychologist, in another way strange scenario of finding disembodies body parts like fingers and toes, to cope with the everyday stresses of war on a person’s mind. Also featured is actor Bruce Rusch from “Reset” as the disgruntled veteran Brock, who was told he and his fellow soldiers were killing stuffed animals (teddy bears), when they were really reaping havoc on people.
This brings to mind that for over 70 years “social democracy has kept us out of wars for the longest period of time pre-911, changing with the war in Afghanistan,” according to Sheri Berman, professor at Barnard college who explained it to our group (the SD), at our convention in 2014. War is not the answer!
Because of the amount of swearing and foul language I would recommend “Future Wars” for an audience of 16 years and up. This is a good Sci-Fi double feature you won’t want to miss!
Michael Mottern is the first vice chair of Social Democrats USA.