The Son, The Son, and The Son: Scene 3 (Part 1)

Scene 1 here! Scene 2 here!

SCENE 3

 

“Why Am I The One,” by Fun, plays. Apartment Lights up. CONWAY reads a book and PEARL meditates. ORSON pushes the door open and enters, wearing a jacket bulging with cigarette packs. He sits down and begins emptying out the jacket. PEARL approaches him and mimes a polite request for a cigarette. ORSON glares at him. CONWAY approaches ORSON, but backs down from the glare as well. ORSON takes all of the cigarettes out of a package, pulls out a lighter, and lights all of them together. He inhales all of them at once. Music ends when ORSON begins a loud, extended coughing fit. Once he’s finished, ORSON then inhales again. The smoke detector goes off. ORSON runs to under the detector and smacks it repeatedly with his cigarette hand, shouting incoherently as he goes. SABINA runs out of the bathroom, her make-up only half-applied, to turn off the fire alarm. She snatches the cigarettes from ORSON and throws them in the toilet within the bathroom.

SABINA

Who gave you money for cigarettes?

ORSON

I made those cigarettes! And I made the 24-7 store too! Don’t tell me what to do!

SABINA

I just find them an immoral practice. It’s poison-

ORSON

Oh shut up! You know who decides what’s moral and what’s not?

CONWAY, ORSON, PEARL

Me!

CONWAY

Well, I enjoy smoking as much as anybody. Smokers can do what they want.

PEARL

Indeed. I appreciate cigarettes not because of nicotine or other chemicals, but because they allow throat transference to the cosmic stream, they represent civilizations and its price wherewithal, and because they resonate and remain relevant in those symbolisms explained.

SABINA

So. How does one decide what’s moral or what’s not?

Orson. I would like to talk with you.

PEARL

Do not listen to this lying woman, friend. She insists on antagonizing us to flatten our rise into knowledge. This dreadful week reveals her impatience.

CONWAY

She just wants to help you.

ORSON

Well I don’t need it!

SABINA

How am I lying to you?

PEARL

I know everything. I am a doctor. You want to see our beings deflated so you-

CONWAY

So, Mr. Pearl. Which Spanish author invented the picaresque novel?

PEARL

I recently conversed that subject with some friends today. I hope she… no. You killed him.

SABINA

I beg your pardon?

PEARL

He was the most brilliant being in a millennia, and you emptied out his insides!

SABINA

Who?

PEARL

The vacuum cleaner!

SABINA

You dug through my vacuum cleaner? I mean, I apologize.

PEARL

Oh, we conversed so this week! He expelled knowledge when I shook it. They rightfully worshipped my divinity as their originator, the image they are formed in! He stimulated my intellect! He stimulated me!

SABINA

I didn’t know you were a vacuum cleaner.

PEARL

I told you. I’m a doctor, not a vacuum cleaner.

SABINA

Conway, what do you think about the voice from Pearl’s friend?

CONWAY

Pearl, the vacuum cleaner couldn’t have been a stimulating conversationalist. If he originated from you, what could he say that you don’t know?

PEARL

When as deep in the cosmic stream as his mind was, he knew everything about me, including what he knew I knew in a previous future. You know the price of sin. Soon, an earthquake shall swallow you up, and you shall be turned into a midget.

SABINA

I think Orson would like you to stop disturbing him.

PEARL

You called my friend a ‘voice’ to Conway. You will not melt Orson’s mind.

ORSON

I don’t need help melting my mind!

CONWAY

What could you even do? I’ve never seen any of your miracles. How do I know-

PEARL

I am too humble to interject myself in such phantasmagoric demonstrations of power.

But if you desire a representation of my massive, towering omniscience, I shall lift that bed!

PEARL squats and concentrates on the bed.

CONWAY

I don’t see-

PEARL

It is moving in the cosmic stream.

 

SABINA

Conway, I would appreciate it if you watched for a bit. (To ORSON) May we talk?

ORSON

Fine. I give up.

SABINA

I’m sorry their shouting upset you.

ORSON

I forgive you. I didn’t want them to talk about how earthquakes work. I already know how.

SABINA

Could you explain it to me?

ORSON

I made them.

SABINA

So you know how they work.

ORSON

Kind of. I didn’t remember what I was doing, most of the time, when I made Earth. It was boring.

SABINA

Is it like-

ORSON

Would you quit bugging me about my past? It’s all week like this. I don’t need to explain myself.

SABINA

We don’t have to talk about you. Should we talk more about your parents? What were they like?

ORSON

I wrote a story about them. Would you like to hear it?

SABINA

I would love to.

ORSON steps in front of the closing curtains. He picks up a storybook.

ORSON

I wrote a story about my mother Mary and my father Frank. That’s right, a story. You kids don’t know what stories are these days. I didn’t return to earth after my resurrection to see my name in a hashtag. How do you even get on the Internet Explorer? Who’s Alt? Why do I need to control him? Does ‘delete’ mean you deleted the ‘W’ from Walt? I’m your Lord and Savior, and even I don’t get it. The Indian on the phone was very rude to me about computers. I cursed him to a thousand years of eternal torment in a history class. That’ll teach him! No one beats Custer and gets away with it! Where was I? That’s right, my story.

FRANKLIN enters with book and lamp.

ORSON

“Once upon a time, there was a good man named Franklin Argall. Franklin lived a big life. He fought in the Great War. He played jazz in Harlem. He joined the Communist Party so he could steal all their food at the annual picnic. Yes, it seemed that Franklin did everything a man could do.

“Even though Franklin was a great man, nobody seemed to like him. They called him ‘rambling’ and ‘crazy’ and ‘schizophrenic.’ Franklin was sad. He wanted to be everything he could be. He could travel anywhere in the world without moving his feet. He could feel fireworks in his eyes when no one else could. But it seemed he couldn’t be liked.

“His only friend was the radio, who told him about the world and would answer any question he asked. But the radio wasn’t the only person to talk to him. One night, another voice chimed in.”

LAMP

Franklin Argall.

FRANKLIN

Who said that? Radio? Are we under attack?

LAMP

This is the lightbulb, Franklin. You are fraternizing with the enemy.

FRANKLIN

How could that be? I’m just reading this wonderful new book called “Mary Poppins.”

LAMP

That is the enemy. Listen close. People love Mary Poppins instead of you. There is only one solution. You must kill Mary Poppins.

FRANKLIN

Why?

LAMP

What?

FRANKLIN

We just met. Just because you’re a voice, that doesn’t mean you’re credible. No offense.

LAMP

You talk to a radio!

FRANKLIN

And we have a blast! You know me, I’m a sucker for learning about new places.

LAMP

You have hurt my feelings, Franklin. Do you understand why you must follow everything I say?

FRANKLIN

I do not, sorry.

LAMP

(annoying screech)

FRANKLIN

Please stop! That is quite annoying!

LAMP

That is what you will hear for ever and ever if you do not obey my commands!

FRANKLIN

Ok! I’ll kill Mary Poppins! How do I do it?

LAMP

I don’t know!

FRANKLIN

You don’t know?

LAMP

I am a lightbulb!

FRANKLIN

Should I travel to London again? Wait for the East Wind? What?

LAMP

(annoying screech)

FRANKLIN

Ok, ok! You’re quite convincing, as lightbulbs go.

ORSON

“Frank began by asking around the soup kitchens he ate each meal in. One of the volunteers mentioned a beggar lady on 7th Avenue that called herself Mary Poppins. Franklin Franked- Thanklin fanked- thanks Franklin- Franklin gave his thanks to the volunteer, and set off to assassinate the world’s greatest nanny.”

MARY POPPINS enters.

ORSON

“Franklin found Mary Poppins on 7th Avenue. She was jumping up and down on a chalk drawing. She was the most beautiful woman Franklin had ever seen. He was so awestruck by her feathered hat and perfume smell that he forgot his mission. Instead, he declared, ‘You are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen! Will you marry me?’ Mary Poppins said, ‘Of course!’”

FRANKLIN

You are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen! Will you marry me!

MARY POPPINS

Go fuck a horse!

Continued in Scene 3 Part 2.

The Son, The Son, and The Son: Scene 2

Scene 1 can be found here.

SCENE 2

Street Lights down, Apartment Lights up. “Don’t You Know Who I Think I Am,” by Fall Out Boy, plays. PEARL sleeps, ORSON mindlessly toys with a Chinese finger trap. CONWAY bursts out of the bathroom door, wielding a spray bottle and a book. He weaves through the furniture in the room, checking behind each corner like a spy. When he arrives at the window, CONWAY mutters some Spanish prayers under his breath as he sprays the inside of the book. He wipes it with his beard. Then he throws it out the window. Seconds later, everyone hears honking horns and a car crash from outside. The music stops right before the noises. ORSON and PEARL awake.

ORSON

Pipe it down!

CONWAY

I did it! I’ve saved Spain!

PEARL

Explain yourself.

CONWAY

I just saved the world! Everybody wanted me to. Praise me! I’m Jesus, and I’ve saved Spain!

VOICE FROM OUTSIDE

I CAN’T FEEL MY LEGS! AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!

 

ORSON

I liked you better as a suck-up. And stop calling yourself Jesus!

PEARL

These ‘world-saving quests’ of yours are indubitably a psychological attempt to gain favor beyond the cosmic stream.

CONWAY

I’m sorry you think that. But all of this takes very hard work. Miracles need practice.

PEARL

Yesterday, you claimed that the theft of your omnipowerful abilities prevented you from performing miracles, such as your return to Spain. Do not assume your charade as a false human will save you. I’m watching you. You will not outlast me.

CONWAY

But I saved the world. Aren’t you happy?

SABINA enters with a bag of fast food.

ORSON

Conway did it!

SABINA

Did what?

CONWAY

Now wait, is it ok if I explain myself first? I don’t want to be misrepresented.

SABINA

Of course.

CONWAY steps in front of the closing curtains.

CONWAY

An agent of God has responsibilities. I must act for a greater glory, doing things nobody else would do for Queen and Country.

“James Bond Theme” starts playing.

CONWAY

My name is Conway, but you can call me Bond… Jesus Bond.

JULIE BAIT enters, held up by HENCHMAN.

HENCHMAN

All right, Miss Julie Bait… hand over that top-secret book you stole! The one with all the secrets about Spain!

JULIE BAIT

Oh no! Won’t someone come save me!

CONWAY

I’d do as the lady says.

HENCHMAN

Jesus Bond? But we’re on an island. How did you get here, walking?

CONWAY

I guess it’s not always sink or swim.

CONWAY knocks out henchman.

JULIE BAIT

My hero! But you must stop rogue agent Judas. If he gets his hands on the book, all is lost!

CONWAY crosses the stage. JUDAS meets him there.

JUDAS

A pleasure, Mr. Bond. I miss our suppers together, we had such fun at the last one.

CONWAY

I’m shook up about it, but not stirred.

JUDAS

Now!

HENCHMAN grabs CONWAY. JUDAS brings in a cross, begins nailing CONWAY to it.

JUDAS

Do you like my elaborate death trap? You’ll be powerless from stopping me now. Once I claim the book, I will rule the world under your stolen power!

CONWAY

Crucifixion? This never happened to the other fellow!

JUDAS

You know, I’ve been meaning to ask, why does your face change every time we meet? Is it different actors or something?

CONWAY

Different Jesuses. You’ve met Orthodox and Protestant Jesus. I’m the Catholic one. But why are we chitchatting? Do you expect me to talk?

JUDAS

No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!

CONWAY

Judas, you know not what you do!

CONWAY dies. JUDAS laughs.

JUDAS

Come, my henchman. We have a white cat to stroke.

HENCHMAN lays down CONWAY, exits with JUDAS. After they leave, CONWAY stands up.

CONWAY

They never expect a resurrection device disguised as a shoe. Thanks, Q.

JULIE BAIT enters with book.

JULIE BAIT

Bond! Bond, I love you! But Judas attached a bomb to this book! If it blows, then so does Spain!

CONWAY

Time to go out with a bang, then!

The curtains pull back. CONWAY runs to the window.

PEARL

Not again!

CONWAY throws the book out the window. “James Bond Theme” stops playing. After a silence, sound of crashing cars, yelling, an ambulance, and a fire.

SABINA

If anyone asks, it wasn’t us. Let’s calm down and have lunch. Chicken nuggets for Orson, those fruit bar things for Pearl… Conway, they didn’t have broccoli, I’m sorry.

CONWAY

I will eat what you want me to eat, madam.

SABINA

I suppose you can share my fries. May we eat them together?

CONWAY

I prefer to eat alone. We prefer to.

SABINA

May-

CONWAY

I’m sorry, that’s sinful of me. Of course I’ll join you. And thank you again for this roof over our head and for the daily bread. I can’t thank you enough.

SABINA

So I’ve seen. I enjoyed our conversation last night. Did you?

CONWAY

Not particularly, no. Pearl doesn’t know nearly enough about Spain as he thinks. And Orson has terrible manners.

Both of them notice PEARL, who’s watching both of them while eating.

PEARL

She will render us limp with her lies and negative energies. But God will see this, and he will throw down his lightning through the cosmic stream and turn you into a midget.

CONWAY

Can you please make him leave?

SABINA

Pearl, I would like to talk with Conway alone. Perhaps Orson would like the company.

ORSON

Go piss out your cosmic stream!

CONWAY

I’m sorry about that.

SABINA

You don’t have to-

CONWAY

Don’t worry. I’m going to help you out. Pearl and Orson think the false Jesuses are machines or midgets or something, but we know the truth. The truth is that they’re mental patients.

SABINA

That’s quite observant of you.

CONWAY

Thank you. So I’m on your side.

SABINA

I actually wanted to talk about mental hospitals, Conway. Or maybe not, if you don’t want. You love Spain. Why is that?

CONWAY

Where to start! Her wavy hillsides, her lined churches, the tapas, literature, history…

SABINA

Could you tell me about the history?

CONWAY

Are you sure? People think I talk too much about it.

SABINA

I wouldn’t object to an abridged version.

CONWAY

I’ll try. You see, after the fall of Rome, many invaders came to Spain. These include the Moors and Visigoths, whose cultures formed the basis of Spanish culture today. But it wasn’t complete until the land’s former Catholic monarchs retook the land. That led to The Golden Age! So many books are written about that. But the Spaniards got too greedy for colonies, and invested too much power in lands they couldn’t control. Franco’s fascist reign brought in Spain’s Darkest Hour in the thirties and forties. But we reformed into a democratic parliamentary constitutional monarchy once I kicked Franco out.

SABINA

You deposed Franco?

CONWAY

Oh yes. He was not a nice man. I sent Franco to the devil, restored the regions of Spain to glory, and worked as Chief Producer of Great Literature.

SABINA

You are Jesus and a government employee?

CONWAY

I’ve got to earn a living too, you know.

SABINA

Well, I see things differently. I heard that Franco died in bed.

CONWAY

If you say so. Say, did you know that Lazarillo de Tormes invented the picaresque novel? It often involves a rascally character exposing various injustices as he explores a-

SABINA

Someone told me something depressing a few days ago. Could you help me understand it?

CONWAY

Anything.

SABINA

Someone told me Rokeach State Hospital knew you. I wanted to learn more.

CONWAY

You didn’t talk to them! You wouldn’t!

SABINA

I wanted to see what I could learn.

CONWAY

But they’re bullies! Germs! They never let you leave, it’s always back to the beginning with them! Back to your sins! They can’t accept me!

SABINA

They said you’re from Missouri?

CONWAY

It’s not true, doggonit! Not anymore. Oh, I can’t stand it.

SABINA

It’s ok. No one here will force you to do anything. I’d like to talk about this- their lie, if that’s ok.

CONWAY

Could I leave when I need to?

SABINA

Of course. Now let’s assume- assume- that these men and women are right, that you cannot represent Spain. Why is this so important to you?

CONWAY

Because Missouri doesn’t fit me. A worse person, someone who repeats the evils of his father, now he might be born in the backwater. But not the Second Coming.

SABINA

Jesus was born in-

CONWAY

But that’s not fair, is it? No one chooses their parents, or their calling. And if you’re born on the wrong ground, people will put your nose in it.

SABINA

Did you feel unappreciated in your early life?

CONWAY

Maybe. I used to think that it was my pride that made me hit someone close to me. But then, days later, when I was on the run, I felt a searing. Like a branding of my cells. It’s still happening. I though I was real sick back then. But no, sickness is much older than I’ll ever be. I’m not the sickness. I know it. This branding was too relevant to be sickness. It was purification. As they struggled over me in the emergency room, arguing about where it all went wrong, I listened to this searing feeling. And I made my first choice in this world. The only choice anyone has.

SABINA

You chose to be Jesus.

CONWAY

And you chose to be Sabina.

SABINA

Not really.

CONWAY

What does that mean?

SABINA

I mean- never mind. You know, I almost find it impossible to believe myself, but there are some people out there who hate Jesus. How would you talk to a Satanist at a nice dinner party? There are negative consequences to whichever persona you choose to be. If I wanted to be loved, I couldn’t just be Sabina. I’d have to play different people.

CONWAY

Maybe it’s the Jesus-haters that took my powers. People really wouldn’t like me?

SABINA

You made your choice, I guess.

CONWAY

I need to go now.

SABINA

Did I upset you?

CONWAY

No, just reminded me. God has responsibilities. And I have people to save. Spain shall rise again!

CONWAY runs out, singing the American National Anthem, replacing key words with ‘Spain.’

SABINA

Yep, definitely from Missouri.

Apartment Lights down. Street Lights up. Sabina arrives on the scene taking notes.

SABINA

This really was an exhilarating day. Each of the Jesuses spy on each other now, hoping that one of them will mess up and reveal his mortality. And Conway presents such a fascinating look into mentally challenged minds. In a sense, he’s just another schizophrenic creating beliefs without social support, due to trauma in this case. But he frames it in the lens of choice while his illness condemns him to one identity for life. And how much is choice worth when you can’t choose when to change it?

I may have to dive deeper into research when exploring Orson. Unlike with Conway, it’s doubtful that Rokeach Hospital will confirm an abusive past or an incarceration. Even alongside men with isolationist tendencies, Orson is incredibly reserved. His interactions at dinner consist of him shouting “I’m Jesus!” or “More cheeseburgers!” Again, zoning out for hours is common among schizophrenics, but Orson does almost nothing else.

KIM enters.

KIM

So what did we learn today?

SABINA

Kim? Kim, oh my god, didn’t you forget the Jesuses?

KIM

What?

SABINA

The Jesuses! Kim, they can’t be alone! Remember yesterday when Pearl kept claiming that the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene were the same woman? And when Orson claimed he’d still hit that? We can’t let this escalate too far!

KIM

They wouldn’t have if you didn’t keep them on topic. Also, you asked me to come here.

SABINA

I did?

KIM

We had a dinner reservation.

SABINA

I didn’t come to dinner because, because I discovered something.

KIM

Really?

SABINA

I was here at the town square before dinner. I was writing about the Jesuses when something happened.

KIM

You’re lying. You’re just trying to cover yourself with a “social experiment.”

SABINA

I’m going to be direct because I love you.

KIM

And now you’re mocking me.

SABINA

That fountain over there plugged up and there was this phlegm-like sound inside it. And I reached into it, over there…

KIM

And then I’ll reach into it, and you’ll splash me.

SABINA

It was a Chinese finger trap! Here! It looks just like Orson’s! It’s a miracle!

KIM

It’s not working.

SABINA

Kim, one of those Jesuses may be the real one! We need to find Him before-

KIM

There was no date!

 

Or maybe there was. It’s hard not knowing, isn’t it?

SABINA

I would never do that. I can make this up to you.

KIM

What don’t you make up?

SABINA

You’re right. I shouldn’t have to keep proving myself.

KIM

Unless it’s to three psychopaths.

SABINA

Ok, you know as well as I do that they’re paranoid schizophrenics. But this is just what we do. We want to be good people. I happen to learn through imitating the bad ones.

KIM

Just like you imitated me?

SABINA

You-

KIM

I don’t know, just- the best thing for me is to crash at a friend’s right now. You don’t live in a vacuum, Sabina. I’m sorry.

KIM exits.

SABINA

Fine. I have work to do.

“I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You,” by The Ramones, plays. Street Lights down, Apartment Lights up. ORSON zones out, PEARL and CONWAY converse. They seem to slowly be opening up to each other. SABINA enters and begins chatting with and taking notes on CONWAY. PEARL and ORSON attempt to sneak out. Before they leave, SABINA pulls aside ORSON and drags him into the conversation. PEARL waits, then tries to sneak out. He’s caught by SABINA and made to join the conversation. All three Jesuses are bored. KIM enters and begins to place various accessories in her suitcase. SABINA tries to talk with her. ORSON, once the coast is clear, exits. PEARL exits. CONWAY sits there until ORSON returns and drags him offstage. KIM exits. SABINA notices that everyone has left her apartment. Apartment Lights Down.

Continued in Scene 3.

William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back

The Wampa talks.

The WAMPA. TALKS.

EVERYBODY talks in this book. The AT-ATs talk. The Exogorth (betcha don’t even know what that is, do ya?) talks. The Ugnaughts? They SING. I’m actually ok with the singing part: Shakespeare featured plenty of breaks for songs, and music is an essential part of any culture, real or fictional. No, it’s a LATER singing part that’ll cause me to cringe like a crumpled-up bag of chips when I describe it to you. And everybody knows how much Shakespeare like to humanize his villains (even the ones who aren’t apparent villains, cough Romeo cough). But ysalamiri on a cracker, do we really need the Wampa to ask the audience to pity his base desire for food? “Hath not a Wampa eyes? If you cut off our arm, will we not disappear from the story entirely?”

Ok, the tauntaun doesn't talk. I think it's because she's shy.
Ok, the tauntaun doesn’t talk. I think it’s because she’s shy.

Anyways, this is part 2 in what I guess is a miniseries of mine where I explore Ian Doescher’s printing of a production of Star Wars in the Globe Theater. Or is this William Shakespeare in the 1970s, writing this screenplay in his usual style? I don’t know. The presence of a chorus in Verily, A New Hope hints that this is taking place on stage, but how do you stage Yoda moving the X-Wing, or really any scene involving several locations at once? You really would need a globe to fit all of this in! Ha, ha, Shakespeare humor. Although this does give me hope that somewhere in the Star Wars Universe, there’s a Globe Theater in the sense of an entire planet that you can watch stage the most epic and long-reaching of dramas, or even comedies. Folks would pay tickets to see a story that spans the scope of a biosphere from their spaceship’s video feed. If your play called for a massive forest fire, your audience can watch half the planet burn from space, then not watch as you bioengineer the replacement forest for next week’s show. Talk about all the world’s a stage. Ok, I’ll stop with the puns. Really.

Where was I? I could check the last paragraph, but screw it, let’s just keep moving. Last time, I asked whether this work is more Shakespeare than Star Wars. I’d argue this book is Bard to a fault. Knowing about the plot of one of Shakespeare’s plays doesn’t hinder your enjoyment of it (unless you’re already committed to hate him because he’s, like, SO boring), meaning that that aspect of his art is barely talked about. This book, too, considers plot a waxing of an already perfectly functional car. Everybody talks, and everyone foreshadows. Even if you were stuck in carbon freezing for the past 50 years and didn’t know the big twist, it’s foreshadowed in the same way a murderer pointing a knife at you foreshadows a murderer stabbing you with said knife. And yes, Shakespeare often ended scenes with couplets. But I’ve never seen a work of his that ended every single scene with couplets, or had lovers talk in sonnets every other scene while Romeo and Juliet only had the one. (Side note: He messed it up! Sonnet rhyme scheme goes ABABCDCDEFEFGG, yet the big scene with Han and Leia’s first kiss reads ABABCDCDEFEFGHGH. This guy studied more Shakespeare than I and writes sonnets at the back of each book to advertise his website HOW DID HE SCREW THIS I’m ok now).

Yes, I know, comedy and exaggeration are two fun things paired like a good night on the town and vehicular homicide. But sometimes exaggeration risks separating yourself from the thing you’re making fun of, like what happened with Dana Carvey’s impersonation of George Bush the Elder after a while. And exaggeration of form isn’t the main thing I want to see when I see a Shakespeare parody: I want to see epic monologues pondering life and brilliant descriptions of beautiful things and for everyone to die. You’ll get those first two aspects from this book, but they’re delivered rather straight as a whole. And yet, despite my continued apprehension over how the final product is presented, I’d say this is my favorite book of an entirely fun series. The text delivers the tension from the original story, the characters remain interesting and flawed, and the way Doescher writes Yoda-speak in a world where everyone talks like Yoda already is diamond-encrusted excellence, especially if you know what influenced Lucas’ writings. If I forgot to recommend this box set in the last review, consider this your chance to snatch a copy from the nerdiest youngster you can find. There are even some ways this adaptation improves on the original trilogy, which we’ll discuss when The Jedi Doth Return…

But before we go, I promised you the most cringe-worthy part of this story. Han is frozen, the Empire controls Cloud City, and Chewbacca… Chewbacca sings. I think Doescher took influence for this scene from the classic Star Wars Holiday Special.

Why not sing along? Don't answer that.
Why not sing along? Don’t answer that.

CHEWBAC.: [sings]Auugh, egh, auugh, auugh egh. Auugh, muh muh,

Egh, egh, auugh, egh, egh, muh, muh.

Auugh, auugh, egh, auugh, muh, egh, muh, muh,

Muh, wroshyr, wroshyr, wroshyr.

Enjoy getting that mental scarring out of your ear, friend!

The Son, The Son, and The Son: Scene 1

SCENE 1

 

AT RISE: “Who Are You,” by The Who, begins playing. All action on stage is silent.

Street Lights up. CONWAY holds a cardboard sign bearing “I am the Second Coming” and an arrow pointing to himself. He talks to TOURISTS 1 & 2.

SABINA exits from the College of Psychology building. She sits on the bench opposite of CONWAY. Neither notices the other. After opening her suitcase, SABINA brandishes a pen and attempts her homework. However, the preacher interests her more and more.

CONWAY pulls out a bottle of wine and steals a water bottle from TOURIST 1. CONWAY silently communicates his intention to turn the water into wine. Before CONWAY can finish his spell-casting, PEARL enters. He wields a sign that reads, “I am Lord of Lords.” PEARL and CONWAY argue with gestures.

SABINA has long abandoned her homework, and now stands up to watch the argument. On her way to join the TOURISTS, she stumbles into ORSON, who’s sleeping on a square of cardboard. SABINA mimes a quick apology before joining the amused onlookers. ORSON dusts off hamburger wrappers from his body, picks up his square of cardboard, and walks over to PEARL and CONWAY. He taps them on the shoulder, asks them what’s going on without sound. The two homeless men begin talking to him, each stepping in front of the other’s way to prove his dramatic point. As they pantomime their arguments, the cardboard square in ORSON’s hand twists around to reveal the words “I am Jesus” on the side. ORSON snatches the wine bottle out of CONWAY’S hand and smacks him in the face with it. PEARL and ORSON begin trading blows. CONWAY just lies on the ground.

While this occurs, SABINA looks up to the “Department of Psychology” sign, and then looks back to the three Jesuses. She rubs her hands together and give the audience a wide, mischievous grin. She walks in between the two fighting men to stop them, and begins talking to them. PEARL and ORSON calm down. They start nodding alongside SABINA’S gestures. The psychology student then grabs CONWAY drags him over to Stage Left, where the two Jesuses follow. Street Lights down, Apartment Lights up.

SABINA invites and leads the Jesuses into her apartment. After they all enter the apartment, CONWAY is able to stand on his own. Music fades.

CONWAY

They’ve changed the water since last time, I reckon.

ORSON

They changed nothing. You’re just mortal.

PEARL

Only I have the strength to pierce the cosmic reality.

CONWAY

I’m supposed to do that! I need it to save the world from the plague of the gays!

PEARL

That’s my mission, sir. The gays and lesbians of the world will tremble before my might. I’m not here to harm anyone. That’s my father’s department, the thrust of our God’s Work.

ORSON

Afraid of me, machine of Satan?

PEARL

Must we antagonize each other? Are we not children of God? Well, some of us here are more so, of course.

ORSON

Don’t you tell me what to do! I can be as gentle as the morning dew on my own!

CONWAY motions to the part of his face ORSON hit him on.

ORSON

Yes, even to a swine such as you. But I harbored no affection for that demon I tried to cast out. Perhaps he needs a stronger rattling.

PEARL

I reckon you would not speak such lies without all that boxed wine loosening you.

CONWAY

How dare you profane my Father’s sacraments!

ORSON

Your father was a greasy whore!

The three Jesuses begin another fight. SABINA watches, takes notes, then clears her throat. The three Jesuses stop mid-fight.

PEARL

We forgot our host. She was kind enough to sheath us from the streets.

CONWAY

She’s our host? Good lady, we thank you for your hospitality, and apologize for our sins.

SABINA

I don’t mind it.

CONWAY

Can you forgive us?

SABINA

I was just worried about damaging the apartment. It’s not my place to stop you.

ORSON

Oddly smart for a modern woman.

SABINA

I wanted to ask: Did any of you know that there were two other… men with similar mindsets living not just in the same city, but in the same district?

CONWAY

The Lord does not answer to statistics.

PEARL

You speak of a grim pit engulfing our solid city. Hospitals consider treating the mentally ill for too long too costly. Many distressed minds have nowhere to sleep.

ORSON

I met a man yesterday that claimed to be the reincarnation of Napoleon.

CONWAY

And I’ve met two.

PEARL

It’s a shame, all those delusional people out there.

CONWAY

Quite.

PEARL

(To SABINA)

You quoted Scripture well when you invited us in from the heat.

KIM enters.

SABINA

I would like to speak to my friend. Please don’t fight.

KIM

I got your text. What the hell did you mean by “Second Coming Triple Play?”

SABINA

I think your God’s looking out for us. Three paranoid schizophrenics, each with the same identity delusion!

KIM

Really! Wow, you must be in heaven right now. That’s awesome.

SABINA

Thanks. That means a lot coming from you. And I’m happy as long as you’re happy.

KIM

So is our date still on, or-

SABINA

Keep it down. Sorry, love, I know you really wanted to see that play tonight.

KIM

You did too. You cleared out some paper for notes and everything.

SABINA

How did you know?

KIM

You really think I don’t know you by now?

SABINA

Maybe I won’t take notes, just to surprise you.

KIM

The harder you try to, the less you do. What’s the plan with these three?

SABINA

They’ll stay here. Indefinitely.

KIM

But it’s our apartment!

SABINA

I know, you just cleaned it. I’ll clean up after them. I’m serious this time. Look, these three wouldn’t stick together long if I didn’t do something right away. They’re tired, homeless, need a smile-

KIM

You don’t have to manipulate me. This isn’t about their well-being. This is about you and some snap social experiment.

SABINA

I’m sorry.

KIM

What they need is a hospital. You can’t lock them up yourself.

SABINA

They will go, I promise.

KIM

Really?

SABINA

When have I let you down? Don’t answer that.

KIM

You know what, just tell me what you want out of this.

SABINA

Where to start? I mean, I’ll let you compare these Jesuses to the big one. Even if they just thought they were the same Joe Normal, there’s so much to learn about the structure of belief systems, especially under immense resistance. They gave up reality to be someone they’re not even good at being. Their interactions are a goldmine of science. Remember when we snuck into that CEO dinner as environmentalists and pitched Swift’s “Modest Proposal” as a solution to poverty and hunger?

KIM

We got to keep the donations.

SABINA

Right, right! This is just another fun time, like that one.

KIM

You said they’re from the street?

SABINA

Unless we help. If we spend our evenings watching them, we’ll save theater money.

KIM

I know this is important to you. But if they put you in danger- or you put them in danger- I’m calling the cops. These kinds of people are not well. They’re probably not in the mood for pranks.

SABINA

You can trust me.

KIM

Ok. If that’s who you want to be.

KIM moves closer to kiss SABINA, but SABINA stops her.

SABINA

They only trust me when I’m look like a good Christian girl.

KIM

Like you need another excuse.

During the conversation, the three Jesuses explore the prank items on the bed. The snake-in-the-can prank spooks PEARL.

ORSON

A hundred dollars! It’s mine now!

SABINA

It’s a fake bill, I’m afraid.

CONWAY

I hope we don’t impose ourselves for too long.

SABINA

You can stay if you can sleep on a wood floor. There’s just one rule. Every evening, we’ll share dinner and talk amongst ourselves. Get to know each other. Do you consent to this?

CONWAY

We get to eat here too!?

SABINA

Why wouldn’t you?

ORSON

Thanks be to your generosity!

CONWAY

Truly you are blessed among women!

PEARL

I’ll stay too. But why-

SABINA

One more thing. I can’t have you here without learning your names. Tell everyone here who you are.

 

Also, this is my good friend Kim.

KIM

Hey.

ORSON

We already did introductions.

SABINA

And you were so eager about it too!

PEARL

We had to. But we established all we meant to.

KIM

That’s a good question, friend. Why bother them?

SABINA

I would like to know your names. If you have multiple names, I’d love for you to discuss it with all of us. I can wait. If my generosity goes unrewarded, then, well, greater is my treasure ‘up there,’ then.

CONWAY

Hello. My name is Conway. I am also Jesus. I hope we can all get along together.

ORSON

My name is Orson, and I made Jesus. Let’s leave it at that.

PEARL

My birth certificate says-

CONWAY

Bullshit!

ORSON

Wash your mouth out!

CONWAY

I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to. But really, this guy doesn’t have ‘God’ written on his birth certificate, he can’t!

PEARL

It wouldn’t matter. My habeas corpus speaks for itself.

ORSON

What?

CONWAY

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m not upset about you, and I just don’t belong here. I should be in Spain right now.

SABINA

It’s ok.

PEARL

As I was saying. If anyone here plunged into the office complex of the Archangel George, one would see my birth certificate hanging on the wall. It reads “Dr. Domino Dominorum et Rex Rexarum Simplis Christianus Peuris Mentalis Doktor.”

SABINA

Lord of Lords, and King of Kings, Simple Christian… Christian…

PEARL

Simple Christian Boy Psychiatrist. Your translation was otherwise accurate.

CONWAY

But I’m Jesus, and I’m not a doctor!

ORSON

I am!

CONWAY

Why are you on the street then?

ORSON

Why are you?

PEARL

(To SABINA)

I do not wish to continue this discussion.

ORSON

You’re machines! All of you, machines! Machines! From Google!

CONWAY

It’s not my fault I’m here! I’m going to get my power back soon! Then I’ll be back in Spain!

SABINA

Maybe we should-

CONWAY

And you’ll always be stuck here, forever a sinner!

ORSON

I’m not allowed to break my own rules, goddammit!

PEARL

I want to stop this.

ORSON

It’s not my fault you’re so stupid!

CONWAY

Stop being negative! I command you to relax!

PEARL

Enough!

SABINA

Perhaps we should set some ground rules. All your wishes are to be respected. Dr. Domino Dominorum-

PEARL

I am also known as Pearl.

SABINA

Pearl wants us to stop, so we will stop. How about you each find a place to sleep.

Each of the three Jesuses begins scouting for a piece of floor to claim. Once Pearl finishes, he approaches SABINA and snatches the legal pad from her, scanning over it.

PEARL

Of course you didn’t stop them. Why are you forcing our safe bodies to clash? And who are you to impose your negative energies on us?

SABINA

I’m going to mass in half an hour. Should I bring a coat? Looks like heavy rain tonight. It’s nice to have a roof over my head. Don’t want to lose it.

Apartment Lights down, Street Lights up. SABINA arrives and sits on a bench, taking notes. A COP walks around, examining.

SABINA

Day 1. The three Jesuses responded well to a meek and generous identity. This venture reminds me of when I played various identities for the Bystander experiment. The people on the street didn’t want to help a fallen bike gang member or a fallen drug addict, but they jumped to help me when I dressed like an old lady. Anyways, Kim expressed concern about our safety, but we should be fine. If my diagnosis of schizophrenic is correct, then these men will likely harm themselves before anybody else. Hopefully, I can use this data to jump-start my master thesis.

Unlike most of my social experiments, I can’t act like an imitation of my participants. Rather, by acting as someone they want to see me as, they’ll learn something about their own beliefs, just as I’ll learn from them.

COP

Hey. Do you visit here often?

SABINA

Yes?

COP

Have you seen one Conway de Plaskett in the neighborhood? Caucasian male, average height, fake glasses. He thinks he’s not himself. Don’t interact with him, if you can. Rokeach State Hospital wants him.

SABINA

He’s at my house. Does that count?

COP

I’m afraid so. I need-

SABINA

Officer, I’m scared to go back. His delusions didn’t like me much. He’s not well.

COP

Don’t worry.

SABINA

And he said he just wanted to use a computer, so I let him in and promised to keep an eye on him. That’s when the personalities began. He has a Twitter for each one. First he had this gravel voice, and then a woman’s, then a bear’s, like this.

SABINA imitates bear mannerisms and noises.

SABINA

I’m so scared.

COP

Was one of those personalities Jesus?

SABINA

Yes! He had a Mexican accent for that one!

COP

Ok, mam, we need you to stay right here while we take care of this. Where’s your-

SABINA

(laughs)

I couldn’t help it. A little social experiment. You walked down here practically welded to your uniform. I’m Sabina, I study psychology at the college here.

COP

Sabina, yes, very funny. I’m going to keep searching.

SABINA

So if I do see him, whom do I call?

COP

Ask for Milton.

SABINA

Ok. Hey- from what you said, Conway may have schizophrenia. That’s not multiple personality disorder. Also, you may want to make some more Mexican friends.

COP

What did I say?

SABINA

You assumed you knew me. And now you know a little more about yourself. Just helping out.

COP

And what a pal you are.

NEXT TIME ON ‘THE SON, THE SON, AND THE SON’: 

More friction between Kim and Sabina!

We learn the truth behind one of the Jesuses!

Conway gets crucified and saves Spain!

I like where this work is, but it can always use improvement! Comment away!

Continued in Scene 2.

The Son, The Son, and The Son: Basic Information

What happens when three people who think they’re Jesus live in the same apartment? A while back, I wrote a play about that! Though I like where it is now, it can always be improved. Here’s some technical information for the curious. But if this is boring and you want to see the fireworks, start here!

THE SON, THE SON, AND THE SON

By Nick Edinger

Inspired by “The Three Christs of Ypsilanti,” by Milton Rokeach

CAST OF CHARACTERS

SABINA CAPELLO

A psychology student. She carries with her a backpack overflowing with papers. Her makeup is spotty. She wears prop reading glasses. An expert at imitations, she carries out several ‘social experiments’ to learn more about other people, and about who she doesn’t want to look like. Can’t keep a personal bubble when talking with someone.

CONWAY DE PLASKETT

A 65-year-old, homeless, paranoid schizophrenic. Believes he’s Jesus. He wears many layers of clothing, and glasses that hurt his eyes when he uses them. His unwashed beard covers his portly chest. When not studying Spain, he spends his time on ‘quests’ to save Spain. Was born in Missouri.

PEARL (ADONIJAH) BURAKGAZI

A 49-year-old, homeless, paranoid schizophrenic. Believes he’s Jesus. He wears a pinstripe suit, sleeps standing up. His face is blank until he’s furious. Pearl talks circles around anyone who will listen, especially regarding symbolism. He’s skin and bone, but would rather that we not ground ourselves on the maliciously brain-scouring materialism of the now.

ORSON ARGALL

A 77-year-old, homeless, paranoid schizophrenic. Believes he’s Jesus. Orson doesn’t talk much, but does mutter rambles under his breath when no one’s listening. Nearly toothless, his skin is soft and smooth underneath his mammoth beard. Would stop complaining if you gave him a good comic book, or some chicks.

KIM LEANNAN

Idealistic, if caustic, on-and-off-again girlfriend of Sabina. Her personal hygiene’s a mess. When not serving as a waitress or going to a play with her lover, she can be found working with a charity service that singles out drug addicts to support. To her, she’s the only one cleaning up the apartment and being honest.

TOURISTS 1 & 2

They’re watching the crazy man who thinks he’s Jesus in the first scene.

COP

Naïve and formal. Other than that, just a cop. Best played by Tourist 1

VOICE FROM OUTSIDE/ ANNOUNCER

He can’t feel his legs. Best played by Tourist 2

HENCHMAN

Up to no good. Best if played by Tourist 2

JULIE BAIT

James-Bond-style femme fatale. Best if played by Tourist 1

JUDAS

James Bond villain. Best if played by Orson Argall

FRANKLIN ARGALL

Orson’s father. Dashing, but still crazy. Best if played by Tourist 2

LAMP

A talking Lamp. Best if played by Pearl.

MARY POPPINS

Crazy beggar lady. Best if played by Tourist 1

REPORTERS 1 & 2

Reporting and taking pictures of the Academy Awards. Best if played by Tourists 1 and 2.

OLD WOMAN

Mother of Adonijah (Pearl) Burakgazi. Obsessively religious, not particularly good at English. In tears over her runaway son. Best if played by Tourist 1.

SETTING

The stage is divided into two segments. Stage Right is a cramped, dirty city. The center building has only one door and a sign above it that reads “College of Psychology”. Two benches occupy the city square. On the very outskirts of Stage Right sits a podium. Stage Left represents an apartment with a desk, two chairs, a dresser, a vacuum cleaner, and a bed. The bed is littered with various novelty prank items: a Chinese finger trap, a can with a spring-up worm, a fishing rod with a fake $100 bill attached to it, and so on. Books are scattered on the floor. The top of the desk is crammed with papers. There’s a window above the bed. A bathroom door stands on one end of the room, an entrance door on the other.

PROPS – Chinese finger trap – Can with spring-up worm – Fishing rod with fake $100 bill – Sign: “I am the Second Coming” – Sign: “I am Lord of Lords” – Sign: “I am Jesus” – Backpack – Pen, Homework – Bottle of Wine – Water Bottle – Legal Pad – Spray Bottle – Three Books – Fast Food Bag, Chicken Nuggets, Fruit Bar, Fries – Jacket – 30 cigarette packs – Vacuum Cleaner – Storybook – Lamp – Umbrella – Oscar Statuette – Cameras – Phone

MUSIC – “Who Are You,” by The Who https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5kmCgVhADY – “Don’t You Know Who I Think I Am” by Fall Out Boy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99As-bdjKFM – James Bond Theme https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ii1tc493bZM – “I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You,” by the Ramones https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MG1QMoZdj8 – “Why Am I The One,” by Fun. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_lhJ3I2JbY – “Rondeau from Suite of Symphonies,” by Mouret https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hovXaCKcNs8 – “Three Pretenders,” by Kanas https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMaEAyNev8Q – “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles),” by the Proclaimers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2T0P6F-wk4

Public Relatin’ Ain’t Easy!

I got fired from my internship as a public relations representative about a week ago. It’s a epic and pathetic tale, covering one of the most important aspects of a writer’s life: mistakes. Let me untangle it for you.
My old teen theater group, which I helped revitalize at one point, is the company in question. My theater director (who will most definelty read this, in which case, hello! Good luck with Little Women!) offered me the job when I asked how I could help out the group while out-of-town. She gave me a long talk about how I was supposed to act and what duties I carried. The first duty involved sending out emails to various schools, churches, and newspapers, asking them to spread the word and the posters. I did well, mostly because I was given a very strict format to follow and just had to fill in names and show details like Mad Libs: Sensible Edition. Managing the facebook page? That duty is where things got messy.
My mission each week consisted of updating the page three times, once with a poster, once for Throwback Thursday, and once for a random actor’s bio. Like with the emails, the actor’s bio consisted of just copy and pasting from another source, in this case the main website. Here are some examples of what I did on the other dates.Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 7.41.48 PM
Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 9.38.43 PM
Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 9.37.59 PMScreen Shot 2015-01-21 at 9.38.28 PM
Things go more or less ok (I missed a couple updates, but didn’t receive many complaints about them) until December. One of the photos I tossed up for Throwback Thursday was this.
Villain12-150x150
My caption was “On this week’s Throwback Thursday, get a load of that outfit!” For context, my friend was wearing a costume and this was a scene in the play in which he played an exaggurated character. It’s not like he wore that normally or that I made fun of the actor instead of the role. Regardless, this post was soon deleted after I put it up, just like a couple others that were also, as described by my theater director, too playful and casual in tone for the group. I was supposed to be professional in this.
So then I started thinking. And for future employers who might read this, watch out for when I start thinking. I asked myself, how can I be professional while still remaining interesting and creative? The solution appeared in a grainy wave of thought: be as boring and nondescript as possible. Not just mere uninteresting, but so dull and mind-numbing that people start to question who’s that behind the facebook wall and what frontal lobotomy did he receive. Looking back, I was probably influenced by the likes of Jaden Smith, and I will bet money that he wouldn’t have so large of a twitter following if he wasn’t so goddamn weird. I’d be lying if I didn’t say this idea wasn’t a little influenced by my confusion about what I was doing wrong and the potential to mock the dry people behind a lot of corporate Facebook pages. But I still maintain that there was no malice or attempt to destory the group’s reputation with this. My creative spark was not to shout “Rebel, rebel!” but to ask, “Bueller? Bueller?”
My first attempted at this involved a Throwback Thursday. I posted this picture and wrote, “On this week’s Throwback Thursday, there are four people sitting in a car.”
514-150x150
And then things turned disasterous. Remember that poster I showed you for Almost Maine and the heart-shaped northern lights? I reposted that and added, “A group of people stand under an inaccurate description of the northern lights.” The wave of pre-prepared posts I created for the last month had ended, so I came up with this one on the fly and left to go see Selma. When I came back from the show, people were pissed. My theater director told me that one woman called up and said the post made the troupe look incompetant and that it disgraced us all. And according to the director, 13 people unliked us, out of about 150 followers. She’s never lied to me, and I still have trouble believing that saying the northern lights aren’t heart-shaped would cause such a heated response. She revoked my administrator and email privileges (it didn’t help that I accidently looked up some youtube videos while logged into the email account and she spent two hours wondering who hacked her email to watch Ultimate Dog Tease), and now any facebook posts would have to go through her first.
My stint as the world’s most interesting boring man lasted less than a week. And that’s my first lesson to you youngin’s, or oldin’s, or middle-agein’s: you can only subvert the system when you’re dealing with idiots. My director is no idiot, and though I never thought she was one, my actions didn’t show it. Most people are smart enough to know where the boundaries are and when you’re rubbing vaseline on them. If you want to know if you’re dealing with people who can’t outthink you, ask them if they think vaccines cause autism or something. If you walk in thinking you’re the smartest and most creative in the room, there’s a good chance you’re the dumbest and most likely to get schooled in the room.
I didn’t realize this right away, so my first batch of posts sent for approval still stunk of boredom. She read them and sent feedback along the lines of “we are not a preschool” (since I labeled a picture with a bike in the email “a bike”). She gave suggestions for revision. At this point, I wised up and followed her suggestions to the letter, and she said my revisions showed impovement and a good step forward.
At this point, I didn’t know what changed in her opinion regarding my posts, so I looked back through the Facebook wall and revisited my work. I told her about some of the now-questionable posts I made, including the Giver one, and she mentioned that she hadn’t been monitoring me beforehand. In short, she trusted my judgement and I didn’t deliver. With this new understanding, I expected to move forward and commit to running the Facebook page the right way.
To understand what happened next, I’ll have to lead you to a slight pit stop. The last LATTE play I was in was also it’s first full length play, Leaving Iowa. I played the main character, Don, who spends the story looking for the right place on the road to place his father’s ashes. At one point in the journey, he despairs making it anywhere significant to his father and considers just leaving his dead dad’s remains in a grocery store, to “place in Aisle 7 next to the kitty litter.” It’s a fun line, and nearly everyone I talk to who has seen the play remembers laughing at it. So now you know what I’m refering to when I’m talking about my September post “On this week’s Throwback Thursday, find us in aisle 2 next to the kitty litter!” (Ok, I forgot the exact number, but I remembered the line).
Well, this was one of the posts my mentor found that was “innappropriate,” and she told me so in an email. And one of the tips she gave me for future posts was to use the writer’s own words to describe the play I’m referring to. I sent back a response:Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 8.36.17 PM
She replied “A frame of reference,” then elaborated in a separate email:Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 8.37.12 PM
I returned:Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 8.38.25 PM
And then she called and left a message that said in more-or-less words that I was fired. At least my public relations career died with me doing what I love: debating english.
Writing this, I’ve gained more sympathy for the position my theater director’s in. She doesn’t really control her audience. If I wanted to gain, say, a following from the MRA, I’d just have to post something like “Women only complain about rape when the rapist is ugly” and watch the inevitable and inevitablely stupid avalance of nasty nogoodniks bang their keyboards in support like headbutting walruses. Point is, I can control who my audience is by what I say. My theater director? Her audience is the parents who send their kids to the group and the senior citizens that live in the place her troupe performs. She’s stuck entertaining a specific group, and I don’t see how she can get out of it.
A couple of years ago, long after I left the troupe, this theater ensamble produced The Giver, a great story that’s still relevant. I can’t say it was their best play, but it certainly was one of their most emotionally powerful ones. Someone called my director “evil” for putting it on. Now, personally, I would love for someone to call me evil. For one, I’m usually too polite and mild-mannered to be called that, so it’d be a first. Secondly, not only would I know I produced a strong emotional reaction, I would know I produced a strong emotional reaction in an absolute git that is exactly the type of person that The Giver is condemning. But you shouldn’t take my word on these kind of things, because I am a weirdo. Being called “evil” usually hurts, and it certainly hurt my theater director, who has strayed away from controversal plays and has produced lighter faire ever since. That insulter, deplorable and dumb as he or she may have been, also represents a lost supporter who will never again donate his or her time, money, or kid to what is admittedly a small and fragile theater group. My director’s livelihood is based on people exactly like that. My risks managing the theater page seemed to be only of the creative variety, but those “small” risks finanically and socially hurt a group I love and a mentor I love. Just writing that truth makes my gut churn and my arm reach for the ice cream.
I’m not sure if I’ll ever go into public relations as a career. But I did take some valuable writing lessons from the experience, if not in the way I hoped. My theater director and I are still looking to produce a play of mine in the near future. I hope this hasn’t damaged that, because those are works where my creativity is a boon instead of a hindrance. But let’s not kid ourselves. If I make myself feel better at night by telling myself I was too creative for the job, it’s a statement on par with saying that my blanket will protect me from the monsters. There’s a time for creativity, and all of us need to figure that out.