‘Embedded’ by Tim Robbins Opens

By: E&P Staff

Tim Robbins’ new play Embedded, centering on U.S. soldiers and reporters in Iraq — has opened in Hollywood and runs through Dec. 21 at the Actor’s Gang Theater.

Robbins interviewed embedded journalist Evan Wright of Rolling Stone as part of his research, along with Anthony Swofford, the Gulf War I veteran who wrote the popular book Jarhead.

Cofounder of the Actors Gang in 1981, Robbins is both writer and director of “Embedded,” which depicts soldiers getting ready to leave for war in an oil-rich land called “Gomorrah” to fight against the “butcher of Babylon.”

Also featured are masked characters in the government’s “Office of Special Plans” with names like Rum-Rum, Pearly White, and Woof.

Reporters are pictured caving in to military authority, personified by their “minder,” a Colonel Hardchannel, who refers to them as “maggot journalists.”

Robbins told the Los Angeles Times‘ Richard Stayton last week that vicious attacks on him and his family (especially his 13-year-old son) after he and Susan Sarandon came out against the war in the spring motivated him to write the play, which “came really fast.” Among other things, Robbins was accused of being a traitor and his appearance at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown to honor Bull Durham was cancelled.

Slayton called Embedded “a surprisingly touching and balanced play.”

Asked what he hoped to accomplish with Embedded, Robbins told the Times, “Maybe — those of us who are against the war — can find some solace in that other people might have the same questions.” He added that he couldn’t understand that if conservatives now “have all that power, and if they got it legitimately, then why be so concerned by what a couple of actors say?”

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