The play, only Nelson's second, is "about war and its consequences, for both victors and victims—exploring the narrow distance between the two. It is set in the midst of the Philippine-American Conflict in 1902, a war that was a defining moment for the Philippines but has been almost forgotten in the United States. The play explores the situation through the eyes of four characters: the general currying favor with Washington; the Marine major on trial for war crimes; the green young recruit; and the Filipina who is their most human contact to an alien environment." Anne Nelson won the Livingston Award for international reporting on the Philippines in 1989. "I had delved into Filipino history when I was working in Manila in the late 1980s," the author said in a prepared statement, "and in recent years I've been haunted by the way the American military experience there was a foreshadowing of things to come."
The Guys went on to be revived many times by The Flea, with actors such as Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Swoosie Kurtz, Helen Hunt, Dan Lauria, and Bill Irwin. It was also produced nationwide, and made into a film starring Sigourney Weaver and Anthony LaPaglia.
Chris Jorie will direct. No casting has been announced. Back House Productions will present the work.