The Volunteer

In March 1981, Roger Fisher published an article detailing a new, more personal form of nuclear deterrence: The nuclear launch codes would be surgically placed behind a volunteer's beating heart, meaning a president would have to kill one person before killing millions. In this new, surprisingly timely play, Fisher's proposal becomes an alternate 1980s reality.
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The Volunteer

Recommended by

  • Tara Branham:
    13 Sep. 2018
    This play literally humanizes the decision to take millions of lives with the push of a button. It begs the questions “who are you willing to sacrifice?” and “who would you sacrifice everything for?”. This is an incredibly captivating and quirky political play with a very human heart.
  • Dana Lynn Formby:
    16 Jul. 2018
    This play surprises you all along the way. It is funny till it's not. It is absurd until reality hits. It is way out there until it's grounded. Do yourself a favor, sit down with this play and go on a unique ride of your life that theatricalizes a thought that one man had to prevent nuclear war into a bloody theatrical reality.
  • Joshua Fardon:
    29 May. 2018
    This play presents a real-life hypothetical solution to the apocalyptic cloud of impulsiveness which all of us live under today. Though The Volunteer is about the potentiality and inhumanity of nuclear war, it also manages to be funny, moving and theatrical while avoiding being cumbersome or necessarily costly, making it ideal for smaller venues who want to do new, innovative work. Propelling the surprising (and even sometimes gruesome) plot twists, choice roles for actors and clean, often funny dialogue is a guiding urgency which the audience will take home. It's important. Don't just read it. Produce it.

Character Information

  • Roger Fisher
    50s-60s,
    Any Race/Ethnicity
    ,
    he/him
    Negotiation expert who proposes a new form of nuclear deterrence.
  • The Volunteer
    20s-40s,
    Latina
    ,
    She/her
    A woman who's volunteered to have nuclear launch codes surgically placed behind her heart. Originally from Tularosa, NM
  • The President
    40s-60s,
    Probably White
    ,
    he/him
    President of the United States during the 1980. Ronald Reagan, except not.
  • The Pentagon
    30s-60s,
    Any Race/Ethnicity
    ,
    She/her
    In charge of the security of the United States
  • The Secret Service
    20s-30s,
    Any Race/Ethnicity
    ,
    he/him
    In charge of the security of the White House and President
  • The First Lady
    40s-60s,
    Probably White
    ,
    She/her
    Married to The President of the United States. Very fashionable
  • The Soviet
    40s-50s,
    Any Race/Ethnicity
    ,
    he/him
    The future leader of the USSR
  • The Sister
    20s-30s,
    Latina
    ,
    She/her
    The Volunteer's sister back in Tularosa, NM

Development History