A new musical
Deployed follows young soldier and his unit’s deployment to Iraq, and their subsequent struggles reintegrating once they come home.
Eighteen-year old Private Dunalley enlists in the Army, excited for the good it will provide for himself, his wife Annabelle and their future child, only to be deployed to Iraq right after basic training. However when he eventually comes home to the daunting task of reassembling his life with a wife he can no longer relate to and a child he barely recognizes, he realizes he misses Iraq and can’t wait to be deployed again.
It is 2008, a year after the “The Surge,” when eighteen-year-old Michael DUNALLEY enlists in the U.S. Army, with the help of a Recruiter (“Step Right Up and Join the Army!”), in order to provide for himself and his girlfriend ANNABELLE after she accidentally becomes pregnant. However, his plans for “A Good Life” are upset when he gets orders for a year-long deployment in Iraq right away. Before he leaves, they quickly marry and vow to pick up right where they left off when he returns.
Once in Iraq (“The Green, Green Grass”), Dunalley immediately wonders what he’s missing back home (“Tell Me”) and has a hard time adjusting: the other infantry soldiers make fun of him for being “The F.N.G.”, his platoon SERGEANT – a hardened lifer – chews him out for being disorderly and his LIEUTENANT – on his last deployment before he returns to civlian life – reprimands Dunalley for making him look bad in front of his men. The only soldier who is kind to him is a SPECIALIST, and the two decide to be battle buddies. Dunalley also meets a female M.P. that the Specialist secretly admires.
Dunalley learns more about the cost of being a soldier as the deployment continues: during combat training, he sees the toll a life of combat has taken on the Sergeant (“If”); then during Christmas he realizes all he’s missing back home when hears he is having a boy (“Your Soldier Over Here”). To make matters worse, the Sergeant’s wife divorces him via letter, causing Dunalley to wonder about the stability of his own marriage. Meanwhile, the Annabelle discovers that being an Army wife isn’t as romantice as she thought it would be (“Existing”), and the Specialist and M.P. finally admit their feelings for each other while comparing “Battle Scars.”
Feeling powerless to control their lives back home (“Nothing You Can Do”), the soldiers are excited to go on their first important mission (“Could Be Worse”). But during the mision they are ambushed, and the Specialist is killed (“The Green, Green Grass Reprise,” “Battle Hymn”). Annabelle has the baby while they are gone. At the Specialist’s memorial, Dunalley is particularly disturbed.
When it is finally time to go home, the soldiers wonder if they will still be able to survive in the “real world.” The Sergeant worries about getting by without his wife, the Lieutenant about getting by without the Army, and Dunalley about whether or not his vow with Annabelle to pick up right where they left off is still possible (“This Time Next Year”).
A musical in two acts
Music, lyrics, and book by Natalie Rebecca Lovejoy
Home/Front is about an idealistic U.S. Army soldier whose principles are put to the test when his wife pushes him to leave the army, so she can follow her own dreams, amidst the Iraq war and an increasingly divided America.
[More info on production history]
"Captures the subtle and complex innuendos of the tragedy that is war in a unique way that resonates with you long after you leave the theater." - James A Moad II, Air Force pilot and playwright
“A phenomenal piece.” - Neath Williams, Iraq Veteran, Navy
If your theater company is interested in licensing Home/Front, please reach out through the CONTACT page.
Once back home, Dunalley and Annabelle reconnect, and it seems at first like nothing has changed (“Like I Never Left”). However, as the months go on this proves to not be the case: Dunalley is lethargic, avoids leaving the house, is prone to angry outbursts, and doesn’t have any interest in his infant son (“Reintegration”). Annabelle tries to get him to confide in her, but he pushes her away. He finds some comfort with his fellow veterans, and Annabelle feels betrayed (“Could Be Worse Reprise”).
Meanwhile, the other soldiers also struggle to reintegrate: the Lieutenant, now a civilian, can’t find work (“Thank You For Your Service”); the M.P. grieves for the Specialist (“We Pretend”); and the Sergeant finds himself having to chose between the Army and a personal life (“Requisition”).
A few months later, Dunalley unravels during a flashback and reveals what really happened to the Specialist (“Don’t Think”). Annabelle flees in panic after he unconciously assults her. Defeated, Dunalley turns to the M.P. who reminds him what he is supposed to represent as a U.S. soldier (“Daddy was a Soldier”). Determined to keep his family together, he forces himself to connect with his son and unexpectedly finds solace (“I Don’t Expect a Miracle”).
Another year has passed, and the soldiers prepare to leave on yet another deployment (“Finale”). Annabelle helps Dunalley pack, and he is eager to go. The Lieutenant has re-enlisted, and is also excited to deploy again (and to be employed at all). At the same time, the Sergeant has left the Army, has met someone, and is excited for his new civilian life. Meanwhile, the Recruiter enlists another eighteen-year-old who excitedly looks forward to the good life the Army will provide.
Complete List of Musical Numbers
1. “Step Right Up (And Join the Army!)” - The Recruiter and Company
2. “A Good Life” - Dunalley and Annabelle
3. “Countdown I” - Two Soldiers
6. “The F.N.G.” - The Company
7. "If" - The Sergeant
8. “Countdown II” - Two Soldiers
9. “Your Soldier Over Here” - Dunalley
12. "Countdown III" - Two Soldiers
13. “Nothing You Can Do" - The Company
15. “The Green, Green Grass (Reprise)” - The M.P.
16. "Battle Hymn" - The Company
17. "Countdown IV" - The Company
19. "Like I Never Left" - Dunalley, Annabelle, the Sergeant and the Lieutenant
21. “Reintegration” - Dunalley and the Company
22. “We Pretend" - Annabelle and the M.P.
23. "Could We Worse (Reprise)" - Infantry Soldiers
24. “Don’t Think” - Dunalley, the Sergeant and Annabelle
27. “Finale” - Company