For many readers of Arthur Miller, "Incident at Vichy" may seem like a departure from his typical fare. Set in France during 1942, this one act play takes place in a detention room as nine men question their fate. These men and one fourteen-year-old boy were randomly pulled off the street; initially they believe that it is an identity check, to make sure there isn't anyone with false papers, but as they are assembled together, they soon realize there is something more sinister behind their detainment.
This one act play was written in 1964, over 20 years after the events that it portrays. The scene is a detention center in Vichy, France where several people have been selected for inspection of their papersobviously to determine if they are Jews. Why these players banter about the reason for their detention (considering where they are), the political situation, and later concoct a plan of escape (?) is beyond the scope of belief. Any authority overhearing their prate would immediately denounce them, guilty or not. Why he wrote it may be obvious; why so long after the fact is not. What occurred in 1964 that necessitated this reawakening?