Author’s note: For those who are unfamiliar with play lingo, beat refers to a pause in the dialogue and con’t is short for continued.
Cast of Characters:
Forrest Erickson……………………… 18 year old Plebe. (Freshman) at West Point. Evan’s roommate.
Evan Razinski………………………… 18 year old Plebe. Forrest’s roommate
Tara Stimola…………………………… 18 year old Plebe.
Kaden Carpenter………………………. 19 year old sophomore, exchange student from the Naval Academy.
Daniel Torrez…………………………. 21 year old Plebe, formerly enlisted in the army and spent a year at the West Point Prep school.
Sergeant Koffman……………………… Non-commissioned officer in charge on inspecting Plebe dorms.
Setting: Various locations around West Point, the United states Military Academy.
Time: Modern day
Scene 1: In a small space on the stage are two beds, desks, and dressers. A dorm room for two people. It’s early in the morning, just before 5:30, on the first day of classes. On stage are Razinski and Erickson. Erickson is still in bed, but Razinski has just finished getting into his uniform.
Razinski: Erickson, Erickson come on. Wake up. You’re going to be late to formation.
Razinski: Come on. It’s 5:23
Erickson: What time is it?
Erickson: (A beat). 0523.
Erickson: The time. It’s 0523 hours. In military ti—
Razinski: Oh yeah, yeah right. Formation’s at… 0530, so let’s go.
Razinski: Come on, Plebe, time’s a wasting.
Erickson: Formation is at 0650 hours. Not 0530.
Razinski: No. Reveille is always at 0530.
Erickson: We don’t have Reveille today.
Razinski: No. The Drill Sergeant said—
Erickson: First Captain.
Erickson: He’s our First Captain, not our Drill Sargent.
Razinski: Fine. Whatever, he said we have formation today.
Erickson: Breakfast formation, not Reveille. Which is at 0650.
Razinski: No. He said—
Erickson: Reveille was part of basic training, and basic training is over. Now we have breakfast formation, which is at—
Razinski: 0650. Are you sure? Because if you’re wrong and we miss Reveille—
Erickson: There is no more Reveille. (A beat). If you don’t believe me check your packet.
Razinski: (He grabs his packet and begins to read it) I did. It didn’t say anything about... (He stops, finding the schedule). Are you sure about this? Because the first sergeant, captain whatever didn’t say anything about it being at a different time…
Erickson: But he did say read the packet. And the information was in the packet.
Razinski: That’s just bad leadership. IA good leader makes sure every member of his team knows exactly what’s happening. What if we were in the field, huh? A mistake like this could have gotten me killed. Unbelievable. No wonder those recruits were so desperate to get people to come here. They’ve got idiots running the show, am I right?
Erickson: Just shut up.
Razinski: Easy man. See? This is why the Army needs to get its act together. You don’t do well when you’re sleep deprived.
(Erickson gives up sleeping and gets out of bed. Razinski puts away his clothes)
Erickson: They don’t go like that.
Erickson: Your clothes. You can’t fold them like that. Also they need to be one shelf up.
Razinski: You sure?
Erickson: It’s regulations.
Razinski: How do you know this?
Erickson: It’s in the packet.
Razinski: You read that thing? Where did you find the time? (Erickson Shrugs) Does it say what happens in the packet if I don’t do it right?
Erickson: Just trust me. You want to follow them.
Razinski: Ridiculous. (A beat) Well come on. It’s not like our company is going to get overrun by the enemy of the safety of the American population going to be threatened if my shirt’s not folded properly. That’s insane.
Erickson: That’s army. (A beat) Your hats are in the wrong order.
Razinski: Oh yeah? And what order are they supposed to be in?
Erickson: From left to right, grey, white, and standard.
Razinski: Okay seriously, how do you know all this?
Erickson: I told you. I read the packet.
Razinski: And memorized it?
Erickson: (A beat) My dad went here. And my grandpa. They told me stuff.
Razinski: Wow. So you’re a third generation West Point-er
Erickson: Seventh. I’m a seventh generation.
Razinski: What, are you serious? So you’re great, great something grandfather way back when—
Erickson: The Civil War.
Razinski: Yeah, yeah, the Civil War. So you’re like, a veteran or something.
Erickson: No, I’m not.
Razinski: Lucky I got you as my roommate, isn’t it? (Erickson starts to exit) Where are you going?
Razinski: Wait. What classes do you have today? Here, look at my schedule, tell me if we have anything together. ( He hands his schedule to Erickson). You know those placement tests they make us take? I got placed in the highest class in each category. I checked. So, do we have anything together?
Erickson: History. (He hands it back.) See you at formation.
Razinski: Yeah, yeah sure. And thanks for saving me this morning. I know the first Sergeant would’ve come down on me even if it was his fault.
Scene 2: Barack’s (dorm) lounge room, filled with a few tables and couches. They are few people reading or talking. It’s evening time. Erickson is sitting by himself at a table when Stimola enters. She crosses over to him)
Stimola: (Taking a seat) Are you studying?
Erickson: Uhh… yeah, why?
Stimola: It’s just, they have rooms for that. You know, study rooms. That are quiet.
Erickson: I don’t mind the noise.
Stimola: Yeah-huh. Hey Carpenter! (She waves to Kaden Carpenter, who has just entered. He joins them at their table.) I’m Stimola, by the way. You were next to me in formation.
Erickson: Right. I remember.
Stimola: No you don’t. But it’s okay. You got time to get it down. This is Carpenter, by the way.
Erickson: Good day, Sir.
Carpenter: Just call me Carpenter.
Erickson: You look like a middie, Sir.
Carpenter: Probably because I am one. I’m a Naval Academy exchange student.
Erickson: How you get stuck with that?
Carpenter: You really think it’s that bad here? Sure it’s not as good as the Naval Academy, but it’s all right. And the food’s better.
Stimola: First day wasn’t so bad. Only 115 more to go.
Erickson: Until the semester’s over?
Stimola: Until the Army-Navy game.
Erickson: Isn’t it a little soon to be thinking about that?
Stimola: It’s never too soon. Why do think I’m hanging out with him? It’s not because I like him, I just need him to like me so he’ll let me borrow his uniform for my spirit video.
Carpenter: That’s basically all she’s talked about since we met.
Erickson: Aren’t you worried fraternizing that much with the enemy could be problematic?
Stimola: No. I’m hard-core. Plus I’m used to it. I come from a split-family.
Erickson: A what?
Stimola: A split- family. My brother’s at the Naval Academy, and my mom graduated from there.
Carpenter: What about your dad? Who does he support?
Stimola: He’s Active Duty. Infantry. He already got his Platoon in Afghanistan to send me a “Go Army, Beat Navy” video.
Carpenter: And what about you, Erickson, is it? You come from a military family?
Erickson: (Nodding). I’m guessing you don’t?
Carpenter: Nope. I came straight from being a civ to an officer overnight. Didn’t really feel real for a few weeks though. Kind of makes me hate you guys.
Stimola: It doesn’t make a difference. Everyone’s a civvy first, and then were all just Plebes. Even the priors can’t say they’re much different.
Erickson: I guess. Some of these Plebes though. You just know they’re not going to shake the civilian. I bet my roommate doesn’t last a semester.
Stimola: Who’s your roommate?
Stimola: Shut up. Razinski’s your roommate? He’s in my psychology class. Guy’s a genius. He kind of seems like a suck-up, with the way Professor Lenz was lapping up everything he said. Still, he’s nice enough. I think I remember him from Beast too. He did the most push-ups out of anyone in our company. Had the highest accuracy in the shooting range too.
Carpenter: Back up. What’s beast?
Stimola: Summer training for new cadets. Oh that’s right. Naval Academy doesn’t have on. Because they aren’t Army strong.
Carpenter: Which is why we always beat you at football.
Stimola: Not this year. This year’s our year. I can feel it. (A beat) You done your Plebe duties yet?
Erickson: I’m about too. What you got?
Stimola: Mail Delivery. You?
Erickson: Laundry delivery.
Stimola: Theoretically, no one’s getting mail or their laundry done on the first day.
Erickson: But you know the upperclassmen are going to pestering us all night anyway.
Stimola: At least you’ll have Razinski to keep you company.
Stimola: Razinski has laundry duty with you, didn’t he tell you?
Erickson: How do you know this?
Stimola: I pay attention. And he told me. Seemed really excited about it.
Erickson: (Gathering up his stuff and muttering) Great.
Stimola: Tell him hi for me.