The time is "the second year of the war that is to begin tomorrow night," and a military burial detail goes about its sad duties. The chaplains arrive to say prayers for the dead—but then a groan is heard from the newly dug graves, and then another. Slowly the dead soldiers rise up, pleading not to be buried, asking to be allowed to rejoin the living. Word of their insurrection spreads rapidly—to the soldiers in the field, the generals, the news media, with alarming effect. In a series of touching scenes the dead men talk with their loved ones of the days of living, now lost forever. But must the dead yield so easily? As the play ends, the corpses rise and move away, while a shaken general stands by helpless to stop them.
A modern classic, this stirring and eloquent anti-war play employs brilliantly, imaginative theatricality to convey its timeless message.