Hero Worship

Joe Calarco

Full Length Play, Drama  /  4f, 11m

From the collection Signature in Schools Vol. II. Signature in the Schools uses theater to open the minds and broaden the viewpoints of local teens while engaging them in a positive creative experience.

Hero Worship

by  Joe Calarco

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  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    4f, 11m
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    • Appropriate for all audiences
    • Adult
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

It’s 2013. The U.S. Government is shutdown. High School student Samantha Barnes sneaks onto the Washington Mall to build a monument to her father who committed suicide after fighting in Afghanistan. Her presence on the deserted mall calls up the spirits of soldiers from other American wars. As her fantastical night progresses she also gets a visit from another trespasser on the Mall—Judith who has jumped the barricades of the WWII memorial to honor her father who fought at D-Day. The two women help each other make peace with their fathers. 

Hero Worship was commissioned and produced in 2014 by Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia under the direction of David Zobell.


Performing Groups
  • High School/Secondary

Licence details

  • Minimum Fee: £30 per performance plus VAT when applicable.



  • Time Period: New Millennium/21st Century, 1940s / WWII
  • Setting: The National Mall in Washington, DC.
  • Additional Features: No intermission


4f, 11m
Cast Attributes
  • Role(s) for Black Actor(s)
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Roles for Teens
WWII SOLDIER 1 - 18yo. Army.
WWII SOLDIER 2 - 18yo  Paratrooper. 
WWII SOLDIER 3 - 19yo.  Army medic. African American. 
WWII SOLDIER 4 / RAYMOND - 18yo. Army. Judith's Father.
WWII SOLDIER 5 - 18yo. Air force.
WWII SOLDIER 6 - 17yo. Army. 
SAMANTHA - 16yo. Smart. Passionate. Determined. 
AMANDA - 17yo. Samantha’s best friend.
EDWARD - 18yo. Korean War soldier. 
BEAN - 19yo. Vietnam War soldier. African American.
JACOB - 16yo. Civil War Soldier. 
“ALBERT” - 20yo. A woman posing as a man in the Civil War. 
DOMINIC - 19yo. Samantha’s brother.
RYAN - 18yo. Dominic’s roommate.  
JUDITH - 70yo. Daughter of a WWII Vet.
Casting Notes

If doubling is done the characters are paired: 

Soldier 1/Dominic
Soldier 2/Edward
Soldier 3/Bean
Soldier 5/Jacob
Soldier 6/Ryan




  • Hero Worship Trailer

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Joe Calarco

Joe Calarco's published work includes in the absence of spring (inaugural production of Second Stage’s New Plays Uptown series, included in The Best Stage Scenes of 2004), Shakespeare’s R&J (Lucille Lortel Award), Walter Cronkite is Dead, and his short plays, Just A Little Sniffle and Parting Gifts. Other adaptations i ...

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