Why Do You Stand There In The Rain?
by Peter Arnott
You are all heroes now, but some day they’ll treat you like dogs.
Pepperdine University returned to Scotland with this award winning production by Peter
Arnott. Originally commissioned for the 2012 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the play opened to
critical acclaim and appeared on a number of awards shortlists, winning a Scotsman Fringe
First. An expanded version including two songs new to the Fringe production returned to
tour the Central Belt and the Highlands from 31 May to 14 June 2013.
Based on the Bonus Army March of 1932 on Washington DC, Arnott’s play tells the story of
what may have been the first Occupy Protest and march on the nation’s capital. 20,000
ragged and desperate First World War veterans and their families from all over the U.S. set
up ‘Hoovervilles’ around the nation’s capital, to lobby Congress for the early release of a
promised compensation package for services in the First World War. Congress voted no and
Hoover called upon MacArthur and Patton to drive the veterans out of the capital. Armed
with bullets and tear gas, 1,000 infantry and cavalrymen pushed the veterans out of
Washington DC burning everything they owned.
Directed by Cathy Thomas-Grant with musical direction by composer and actor John
Kielty, this documentary-style play with music builds on the Scottish Political Theatre legacy
of live music performed by a talented ensemble. From the iconic anthem Over There to the
songs of Woody Guthrie, Bessie Smith, Leadbelly and other contemporaries, this rich
tapestry of tunes underscores the story of the veterans whose march on Washington D.C.
led to the formation of the GI Bill. A stylistic tribute to the Scottish Political Theatre tradition,
this true story for here and now is told in the words and songs of those who were there.
Read the Press Release for more information