Remembering those lost: One act looks through the eyes of a Vietnam War soldier

Published 6:51 am Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Southland High School is looking to honor the soldiers who never returned from the Vietnam War through the production of this year’s One act play, “Booby Trap.”

An American soldier sits trapped in a combat zone during the early Vietnam War, and while waiting to find out what will happen to him, his past, present and future unfold around him.

A public performance is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24, at Southland High School, which will include a presentation focused on the conflict as well as a free-will donation for the local Beyond The Yellow Ribbon organization. Beyond The Yellow Ribbon provides support services for active military service members and their families.

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“We always try to find a one act and look for something with meaning,” said Director Madlain Vander. “The students and I learned so much … that’s the biggest thing. I learned something from the veterans and learned a lot as a director.

“It’s a labor of love, and a lot more people were involved in this than myself. We want to do it right for them.”

Southland will be presenting its One act play “Booby Trap” on Thursday, Jan. 24, at Southland High School. Photo provided

Much of the Southland School District community participated or contributed in some way to make the production as authentic and accurate as possible. Vander said students worked closely with two local Vietnam veterans.

Wayne Robertson served from 1967 to 1969, and Tom Flaherty served during the 1970s until the end of the war. Also participating was active Marine Nathaniel Carlin, who took time to teach students how to hold weapons correctly, and also making sure the sounds of the “hueys,” or military helicopters, were also true to its model.

“It’s part of why I love Southland,” Vander said. “A lot of people care and want to see this be a good portrayal and experience. When we found this play, hopefully we can do this right for them, and for Vietnam veterans, it was really important to them.”

“BOOBY TRAP”                             

  • When:  Thursday, Jan. 24, at 6:30 p.m.
  • Where:  Southland High School

STUDENT CREW                             

  • Stage Light Operators – Isaac Himebaugh & Isaac Halverson
  • Sound Operator – Laura Farrell
  • Poster Design & Images – Susan Okima Vickmark-Torkelson


  • Sgt. Galen/Soldier – Wyatt Pedersen
  • Lieutenant – Matthew Mueller
  • Caitlyn/Sister Anne – Hallie Bergene
  • Major Harris – Jordan Oxley
  • Captain Gruss/D.I. – Aleighcia Peterson
  • Corporal  – Jack Mullenbach
  • Tommie/Mom – Alexis Smith
  • Molly – Katie Popenhagen
  • Mark – Hogan Bergene
  • Stephanie – Lynsey Wilson
  • Passenger – Pelin Kelleci