War Affects Us All...
This is Our Story.
The war in Iraq is about to begin, President Bush is moving swiftly into regions of the Middle East, seemingly taking charge of the battle with Saddam Hussein and the growing suspicion that he is hiding weapons of mass destruction. Accordingly, our families are sent over to become heroes that will save Iraq from a nasty tyrant and bring them back into this world as a “real” nation...a democracy...like us.
Our story follows the paths of one platoon, and more specifically, one small group of friends, that by the end, will rely on each other to make it through to the finish.
As the story begins, the entire company comes to the stage dressed in black. They tell the audience what is about to happen, and foreshadow the exact events of what the story is about to portray, and what every war always has in common (Prologue). As the company clears the stage, Natalie, a young girl of no more than twelve years of age and carrying a teddy bear, comes to center stage. She possesses a mind without a filter as most children do, and sings about how she doesn’t understand why people always have to fight and how she does not want to say goodbye to her brother who is about to leave for Iraq (Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?).
The soldiers and their families convene at the airport as they say goodbye before the men leave for Iraq (Goodbye). Emotions are obviously high, but the men are still excited to be going to war and likely to “get some.” The action freezes onstage as the story flashes back to the day before, where we meet Lisa, a young Filipino girl, and her fiancé and sixth generation soldier, Kevin. They lay together on the living room couch watching television. Suddenly, Kevin decides he wants to get married that night. Due to the fact that it’s too late to have a real ceremony, the two have an impromptu declaration of “promises” to one another (The Wedding-My World, My Everything). Amidst their vows, Lisa reveals to Kevin that she is pregnant. Kevin, with this new-found knowledge, embraces Lisa, and the two share small tokens to keep each other close; to Kevin, a serpent good luck charm, and to Lisa, a small strand of string on her finger, tying Lisa and Kevin together. The action returns to present day as Kevin and Lisa join the families at the airport (Goodbye Reprise #1). The action once again freezes, as the story again flashes back to the day before, where we meet Noah, a young male who does not really bear the resemblance of a typical soldier, Sandra, his mother, Natalie, his younger sister, and Harold, his father. Noah is adopted. He is leaving for the airport to join his fellow comrades. When he attempts to say his few parting words to his father, who has never accepted him as his son, Harold remains cold and unresponsive to what Noah says (Noah Says Goodbye). Noah, Sandra, and Natalie all leave for the airport, leaving Harold alone with the television and his bottle of whiskey. The action once again returns to present day, bringing all the characters together (Goodbye Reprise #2). Zack, the platoon commander, calls the men to attention as they board the plane.
3 MONTHS PASS
Lights come up on the home of Jennifer, Zack’s wife and best friend to Lisa, where we find her along with Lisa and Sandra, baking cookies to send over to the men. Lisa is now visibly pregnant, and is inhaling the cookies as they come out of the oven, leaving the others laughing as they wonder where all the cookies are going. Suddenly, Lisa breaks down as she is reminded Kevin won’t be home when the baby is born. Jennifer then reminisces about her memories with Zack, trying to show and help Lisa on how to get through the days and how to handle those rough feelings (My Baby).
The story then finds the soldiers after their first real combat experience (This Was Real). Spirits are high with excitement, but one soldier speaks the truth about how they all could have died and probably should be dead. Most of the men simply brush this off.
5 MONTHS LATER
Back home, Jennifer has led Lisa to a surprise baby shower. Overcome with emotion, Lisa tries to leave as everything is getting far too real. Jennifer stops her best friend and reminds her that no matter what, she will always be there for her (Friends).
Over the course of the next month, we encounter the men being men, as Zack gets his package from home, which not only contains the usual sweets, but a few provocative pictures of his wife. This sparks all the men to begin reminiscing about those “sweet” times with their special lady (Touch Of A Woman). It is also here where Noah earns his nickname of “Playboy.” Lisa, at last, gives birth to a baby boy, whom her and Kevin name Jeffrey, after Kevin’s father. Kevin’s father died overseas while at war (Jeffrey Is Born).
Tensions and emotions begin to rise as stories of the soldiers past come out. It is also brought to attention that Noah does not seem the same as he once was. When asked about his father, Noah becomes vulnerable to the feelings he has locked away for so long (For My Father). Noah then finds himself in a whirlwind of thoughts, leading him to a flashback to the day he came home from basic training, where his father verbally and physically abuses him, pushing Noah to fight back. It is from this point on that Noah is noticeably a changed person to everyone, including his best friend, Kevin.
Back home, Noah’s mother, Sandra, finds herself in thought once again about Noah, as she looks through old photo albums. Natalie comes to look as well, and begins to ask questions about Noah and Harold. Pushing her emotions, Sandra sends Natalie inside as Sandra reflects to herself about the battles she is fighting both at home with Harold and overseas with Noah, whom she feels is slipping away (My Son).
Act one comes to a climactic finish with a three-part finale. Emotions within all of the characters reach their pinnacle as the woman wonder when the men will finally come home and the men continue to live day by day (A Hope Must Remain). Noah and his mother share a heated phone conversation leaving Sandra in tears and wonder of what has happened to her son. Noah continues to fall away from his comrades as he tells Kevin that he never wants to go home and that Kevin understands nothing of what is going on. The story finds intermission as the company is left hanging with wonder as to what tomorrow will bring (Waiting For Tomorrow).
As the second act opens, a mirage of war images fills the stage. Images include everything from bombings and deaths, to peace rallies and protests. The action then resumes as a protest begins to form outside the Washington Monument in Washington D.C.. The leader demands the president to bring home the troops, saying that this country has seen enough blood (The Rally). The protest then transitions into a television program, where it finds Harold at home watching. Emotions are obviously high as it becomes evident that Harold has begun to second guess the way he has treated his adopted son, Noah, as he breaks down in front of his adopted son, Noah, as he breaks down in front of his wife, and exits in tears (Harold & Sandra).
The men are home on leave, but seemingly for what seems like nothing at all. As Natalie sings about people changing and time never seeming long enough, Kevin comes home to see Jeffrey for the first time. When the men return home, tensions continue to rise between Kevin and Noah, making once best friends distant comrades (Time).
The story begins to mount as it becomes obvious that the men are ill-equipped and too small in numbers as Zack pleads with the higher command to send more troops (Zack Pleads). Finally, with some down time, the soldiers share in what starts as just a light-hearted game of “Call of Duty.” The game turns sour as the men’s characters are killed, making Noah fly off the handle. Kevin, trying to calm Noah down, actually gets put down, leading Zack to tell Noah to get some air (Video Games).
Kevin, already fighting a battle with Noah, is on his weekly phone conversation with Lisa. Lisa is beginning to crack as the distance and separation is really beginning to wear. Kevin tries to be the strong one and talks her to a more positive demeanour, telling her ‘everything will be fine’ (The Phone Call-It Will All Be Fine). Evidence that numbers are continuing to fall, the soldiers find themselves in another hotbed, as militants attack the soldiers while on a routine walk-through of the neighborhood (First Skirmish). Through the fighting, Noah finds himself holding a dead comrade. With this fueling his anger, Noah breaks cover and goes after the militants with a vengeful rage, committing to hand-to-hand combat with one of the last standing militants. Zack and Kevin pry him away, as Zack reminds Noah of his place, sending him back to the truck. The men are in shock as to what they have just witnessed.
Back at home, Harold finds himself staring back in the mirror. He questions himself as to what he has done, and as he gathers the courage to finally talk to Noah, he collapses to the floor of the bathroom with a heart attack (Harold’s Soliloquy). The company comes together on both fronts, singing about where they home tomorrow takes them, and the men get their ever-anticipated mail from home. Some share great news, as others are confronted with unwanted problems (Letters From Home). Evening sets in Iraq and Kevin is left alone outside the barracks. With his guitar, Kevin sings the title song of the show, leaving nothing to question...war will always have consequences, many which are never understood (This Is Home).
In the hospital, Sandra is bedside of Harold who has been diagnosed as terminally ill with cancer. It is unclear how much longer he has before he passes away. Sandra once again finds herself at odds with emotions, not really knowing what to do (I Don’t Know). Noah confronts a militant being held as a prisoner of war, and maliciously beats him. Kevin, hearing the commotion, enters the cell and pulls Noah off the militant. Noah then punches Kevin to the ground, refusing to listen. Trying to swing again, Kevin defends himself knocking Noah to the ground. Still claiming that he is not wrong, Noah attempts to go after the militant again. Finding himself with really no other choice, Kevin holds Noah at gunpoint, telling him to leave. Noah, still aggressive, leaves, passing Zack on the way out. Kevin, after asked what was going on, covers for Noah, trying to keep him from further punishment (Tensions Rise).
Continuing to yearn at home, Lisa finds herself filled with built up emotion longing for Kevin in ways she has not had in a very long time. Dressed for bed, Lisa dreams of Kevin holding and caressing her. At the end, she finds herself, once again, all alone (In The Arms of His Father).
It is seven days before the men are coming home. The men and women share their excitement on both fronts (Leave It All Behind). Zack once again finds himself on the phone with his commanding officer begging for more support. When he is refused once again, Kevin comes to try and console. Zack then portrays to Kevin his true feelings about the war and how he too longs to be home with his wife and child (I Want To Go Home). Lisa and Kevin share a moment together on opposite sides of the world as Lisa is out playing with Jeffrey at a park and Kevin is looking at a picture of his wife and son before he grabs his gear to go out on patrol (My World, My Everything Reprise).
As the men are out on what seems a routine patrol, they are ambushed under heavy gunfire (Surprise Attack). The men all take cover where they can as the action suddenly moves into slow motion, bringing Natalie into the middle of combat as she sings about men never talking things through (I Don’t Understand). Through all of the chaos, Noah and Kevin get stranded together as Kevin becomes badly injured. The two are then taken hostage and dragged away. When the fighting calms, the men discover that two men are missing. The mission then turns to search and rescue for Kevin and Noah (They’re Gone).
Together but alone in a dingy, abandonded room, Kevin and Noah come face to face with the enemy (Facing the Enemy). Noah pleads for their lives but the militant tells them they are going to be sold back to their government. As the militant attempts to leave, Kevin jumps up with one last effort and kills the militant, then collapsing to the floor. Noah, seeing his best friend dying, tells him he is going to find help, and leaves the room. Now completely alone, Kevin awakes not knowing where he is and asking for Lisa. Realizing he is not going to make it home, Kevin sings to Lisa, hoping she hears and knows that he will always be with her and that he is keeping his promise of coming home (I’m Coming Home). In his final moments, Kevin once again collapses. He then rises, seeing himself on the floor. He is guided away by a group of angels.
Zack, Noah, and the soldiers finally find Kevin, but it is too late. Noah is torn away from Kevin as he is carried out of the room. During this moment, Kevin’s ghost reappears to watch his fellow comrades. Kevin sings to his comrades and family along with the Angels that helped his soul move on (Our Heroes-Part One). As the show comes to a close, the men and women find themselves at Kevin’s funeral. Kevin’s ghost is present. As everyone pays their respects, Lisa is left alone with Kevin’s casket. In this moment, she says her final words to her lover, and that even though he is gone, she will never say goodbye (I’m Not Saying Goodbye).
End of Show.