A combat officer looks out for his bored troops who man a cargo ship supplying Pacific troops during World War II, even as he hopes to get permission from his tyrannical captain to transfer and see some action himself.
LTJG Douglas Roberts (late 20s-early 40s) First lieutenant of the U.S.S. Reluctant. A born leader, he is sensitive, perceptive, and idealistic. Desiring battle action, he has nevertheless heroically adjusted himself to the dull routine of a supply ship. He is worshiped by the crew, almost worshiped by his fellow officers, and hated by the captain, who fears him and yet refuses to transfer him to another ship.
CAPT Morton (40s-60s) Captain Morton, skipper of the Reluctant. He is officious, childish, and unreasonable, and he is thoroughly disliked or hated by his entire crew. His hatred of Mr. Roberts is closely related to his recognition and envy of Roberts’ superior ability. [Director’s Note: I don’t want to see a clone of James Cagney’s version. I want to see some originality with this role]
Doc (40s-50s) Doc, the ship’s doctor is a contradictory, charming, unpredictable man, sometimes highly regarded and sometimes despised by his patients. Dry sense of humor. Roberts’ best friend aboard ship.
Ensign Pulver (early-mid 20s) A young officer who not only hates Captain Morton but delights in plotting against him. He boasts of his sexual conquests, although Doc and Roberts do not believe him. After getting news of Mr. Roberts’ death, Pulver tosses all of Captain Morton’s beloved palm trees over the ship’s side.
LT Ann Girard (20s-30s) No-nonsense head nurse with an affinity for Scotch.
Chief Petty Officer Johnson (late 30s-50s) the ship’s leading chief petty officer. Tough as a boarding house steak. A breed apart from all other residents of Mother Earth. Takes eighteen year old boot Sailors and hammers them into seasoned sailors. Also does the same with boot Ensign’s…
Dowdy (30s-40s) Leading Petty Officer, salty, crusty, hard bitten, seasoned sailor. He has some authority over the men and hands out their tasks.
Dolan (Late teen-20s) A young, garrulous, brash yeoman, who enjoys the fact that he is responsible for typing Roberts’s letters requesting a transfer.
Insigna (20s-early 30s) – A junior sailor. Smart aleck and not, “the sharpest tool in the shed”. Always at odds with Mannion.
Mannion (20s-early 30s) – A junior sailor, always at odds with Insigna. Perhaps has a few screws loose “upstairs”.
Plus the following sailors (older teens thru 30s):
Lindstrom, Stefanowski, Wiley, Schlemmer, Reber, Payne, Gerhart, Shore Patrolman, Military Policeman, Shore Patrol Officer, off stage voices.
**Please note that just about every character in this show has moments of great dialogue. Also, some parts may be combined and played by one actor.