Veterans Theater’s Play about Labels

We walk on stage wearing our LABELS!




Chaplain Lawrence ORVIS will lead prayer and pledge of Allegiance
Message from Senator Udall’s Office read by Melanie Goodman, and is the Mayor here, & City Council members?

Introduce full cast of Characters: CAST walks on stage with a label!
Ernest Ramey, PRESIDENT Veterans Theater, Army veteran ‘HOMELESS LABEL’
David M. Boje, STORYTELLING RESEARCHER Veterans Theater, Ph.D., Vietnam Army veteran, Member American Legion Post 10, Vietnam Veterans American Chapter 431, Legion Riders Post 10 ‘PTSD LABEL’
James Sassak, Veterans Theater, co­founder Camp Hope, New Mexico ‘GYPSY LABEL’
GR Holton, Army MP veteran and novelist
Stanley Smith, community member, was in cast of play ‘Early Christmas’ ‘CANNOT READ LABEL’

Veterans and Theater does education and outreach by the veterans and/or homeless. Veterans Theater is part of a 501 (c) 3 non­profit corporation whose mission is, ‘Making Space for Veterans Stories’. We are using theater skits to showcase the 'Living Stories' of veterans and/or homeless own lived experience here and now of oppression in sub-minimum wage economies, in LABELSà stereotypes by dominant culture. Veterans Theater includes our writing of books (e.g. Veterans Theater for Social Change), helping other veterans and homeless to write books focused on restorying their experiences.  It includes going to work creating VETERANS ECOLOGICAL VILLAGE of TINY HOMES. More information on VETERANS THEATER and what you can do

Thank you to all our wonderful sponsors, listed at the end of the program.

Donations to VETERANS THEATER are welcome and greatly appreciated: We need another $750.00 to cover final costs. Please make checks payable to ‘Veterans Theater’, or put money in donation bucket.

LABELS: Labels are a kind of bullying, a way to demean other people.  The rich use the label ‘homeless’ to hate the poor.  The homeless use labels on each other. In school bullies use labels.

Act I: Spice Head Falls Out – Directed by James Sassak
This act centers on Synthetic marijuana and it’s side effects. The recipe keeps changing, becoming deadly, and people are dying from it. Even kids in middle school now sell and use Spice. Spice is cheaper than actual marijuana, more accessible. Names of ingredients on the package are changed to ones not listed in the law. The sachet packet makes about 8 joints. Spice is advertised, “NOT INTENDED FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION, to bypass all FDA regulation.  Spice is used to get around the THC drug test.

Actors in Act I:
Professor John Huffman (Creator of Spice): Dr. David Boje
Paramedics: ????
Police Officer: Ernest Ramey
Spice pushers: Stanley Smith and James Sassak
Spice smoker: ????
Wife of spice smoker: ????

Scene opens with theme song: Cocaine
Spice pushers are picking up Red, Orange, and Green Spice mixes from the Producer, and headed for the Smoke Shack deliveries in Las Cruces
Spice smoker and wife, on bench waiting for bus.
Spice pusher offers a Spice joint
Spice head lights up and Falls Out: (Nausea and vomiting, Shortness of breath or depressed breathing, High blood pressure, Chest pain; Depressed breathing) keels over onto ground.

Wife calls 911
Police arrives, and says ‘leave him, no hope for this one.’
Paramedics arrive and give CPR and use defibrillator. He’s a goner
Wife and Paramedics, shout: Who makes this shit?
John Huffman (creator of Spice) appears on stage.


Act II: 999 (this act idea is credited to Richard Quinn)

Assistant Manager
District Boss
Job Applicant

Scene opens with Homeless man seeking work, and Assistant Manager taking his application.  The Job Applicant has been three hears homeless. A lot of rich and middle class folk hat the poor. In this scene the Manager realizes this is a ‘999’ applicant, which means they are homeless.

Assistant Manager: ‘I see here you are top sales person in the company, before that you worked as a financial investigator, and you have a college degree in marketing, with a minor in theatre
Job Applicant: Theater is good training for sales. You have to know how to be in character to sell anything.
Applicant ushered to waiting area, and Assistant Manager heads to Manager’s office
Assistant Manager: I think you’re going to want to interview this applicant. Has sales experience, college degree.
Manager: Show him in
Enter Job Applicant:
Manager: (Asks applicant to take a seat, begins reviewing resume) ‘Hey, says here ‘999.’ I have to take a call, can you wait outside
Manager to Assistant Manager: Say didn’t you check the resume. It says ‘999.’  That means he’s homeless. We don’t hire homeless characters. They are unreliable. Don’t show up or show up drunk or high.
Assistant Manager. I don’t know what you mean ‘999’
Manager: (punch line) à 999 - is the address the homeless in Las Cruces use for their mail drop. 999 HOMELESS LANE.
District Boss is talking to Manager: Did you see the weekly competition figures for our competitor. Their profit is up 20%, and Sales up by 30%. Our sales are down 20% and sales are down lowest they’ve been all year.
Manager: Yeah, I got the report. I decided to recruit new sales people.
District Boss: Do you know why our competitor’s profit is up?
Manager: No
District Boss: It’s due to one salesman they hired. Guess what? He applied here three months ago, and you sent him packing.
Manager: He was a ‘999’. We don’t hire that sort.
District Boss: How about I make you a 999? You can find out what its like to be homeless!

Act III: The ‘Don’t do a Sophia’ Label (The idea for this act is credited to Sophia).

Purpose: The homeless use labels with each other.  Bullying does not just happen once. Labeling happens over and over, again and again.


Scene: The scene opens with a homeless lady pushing her belonging in a baby stroller, past the line of folks waiting to get into the Soup Kitchen.
1st Man in line: Hey Sophia, what’s that fancy cart you pushing?
Sophia: (shrugs her shoulders, and looks down)
2nd Man in line: Hey Sophia, the wheel is about to fall off
1st Man in Line: Whatever (to the 2nd man in line): I am not going to do a Sophia. I’m getting one of those ‘Cadillac Chrome’ carts,.
Sophia: You don’t have any more money than me. You don’t live in Beverly Hills. We are all in the same boat.

ACT IV: An Act performed by Alma d’Arte players


Takes the performers into an open discussion of visions for the future of homeless veterans and the homeless of Las Cruces. We are moving away from the model of dependence, to a model of independence. Encourages real stories to be shared.
Close with Final Song playing, bows to the audience.
We will be passing the Hat.


VETERANS THEATER presents 5 Homelessness Facts


1. Fact: 3.5 Million Homeless in. Fact: over 45% of homeless have a job(s) while homeless. Often the homeless jobs pay less than living wage.

2. Fact: Most Americans are one to two missed paychecks away from homelessness

3. Fact: 35% are families with children, 20-35% are single adults, & 25% are homeless children under age 18

4. Homeless people are not all alcoholics (drug addicts). Fact: about 35-45% of people who are homeless do have a substance abuse problem; … many homeless individuals use substances in order to self-medicate, exposing fundamental problem in our nation’s lack of healthcare provision for the poor and homeless (

5. Homeless people are not all crazy. Fact: 20-25% of the single adult homeless population suffers from some form of severe and persistent mental illness, the most common of which is depression (



John William Huffman, professor of organic chemistry (emeritus) Clemson University. Huffman developed the cannabinoid compounds, such as JWH-018 for scientific research. JWH-018 is now banned by the controlled substances act.  Huffman believes the JWH compounds he invented (including JWH-018_ are potentially dangerous. “It doesn’t hit the brain in the same way as marijuana, and that’s why it’s dangerous.”  To get around IRB that would not let him test mice with marjuana, he focused on a drug to target endocannabinoid receptors, to help with HIV/AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis.  In 1990s he got a grant from National Institute for Drug Abuse, and his team, in 20 years, developed 450 synthetic cannabinoid compounds to test effect of cannabinoid receptors in the brain.  JWH stands fro John William Huffman.  He published lots of journal articles containing the recipes. Huffman claims any halfway decent undergrad chemistry major can make the JWH compounds, in three easy steps from commercially available materials.  John Huffman admitted that his chemical creations were “never meant for human consumption” and  “have profound psychological effects.” John W. Huffman, JWH, says marijuana should be made legal, because it’s a lot less dangerous than Spice.




Result” the pain relief sought could not be separated from the unwanted psychoactive effects of Spice. By 2000, cannabinoid compounds began selling in Germany, as K2 and Spice.  Then it spread.
Boje : Incense (leaves, flowers, veggie matter) is sprayed with one or more chemicals:
JWH-015, -018, -019, -073, -081, -122, -200, - 203, -250, -398 (these are banned by federal law)
HU-210, -211
CP 47, 497, c8 and oleamide
Some of these as of March 2011 are scheduled as Class I with penalties same as marijuana possession. But as one ingredient becomes illegal in New Mexico, sellers import a different chemical. 150 cannabimimetics are known (synthetic cannabinoid)