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Angels in America: Act Zero  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Thu Dec 16th, 2010 10:36 pm
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darkeithlofton
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Introduction


This short one-act play was originally written as a final project for a Fall 2010 Literature course at Parkland College. I was required to write a two person dialogue based on one of the many plays/films we had watched and discussed in class. The plays/films were:

• Doubt by John Patrick Stanley
• Eve’s Bayou (film) by Kassi Lemmons
• Angels in America (film version) by Tony Kushner
• Bash: Latter-day plays by Neil Labute
• House of Yes by Wendy MacLeod
• Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler
• WTC View by Brian Sloan

Roy Cohn’s word-play monologue near the end of the play is an inside joke written for the instructor. You will also notice that this play technically has three characters, though I cheated a little by having the Angel appear only as a voice. If this was to be staged, there is nothing that says the Angel can’t appear physically. If you’ve never read the script or watched the film, you will definitely be confused. I suppose I can give you a brief summary of the piece, but fuck that, go watch it yourself!
Why did I choose Angels in America?
While discussing our reactions to the play, one of the students expressed her distress about one of the final scenes. This was the scene where Prior Walter (played by Justin Kirk) enters Heaven and speaks with the angels about God abandoning them. “If he did come back,” Prior told the Angel (played by Emma Thompson), “you should sue the bastard. That's my contribution to all this Theology. Sue the bastard for walking out. How dare he.” The student was clearly upset by Prior's statement. “What was that about?” she asked. “I mean, he's God.” I suspect that her discomfort might have been due to religious reasons, but as an Atheist, such statements don't bother me. But what if God did come back? What if he encountered some very pissed-off angels and they followed Prior's advice and took him to court? And who would be ballsy enough to prosecute him? None other than Roy Cohn himself!

Angels in America: Act Zero

by Dar'Keith Lofton

Copyright 2010

facebook.com/darkeithlofton

Cast

God, male, late 30's or older
Roy Cohn, dead lawyer, early 50's to early 60's
Angel Voice- female





Part 3: Sue the bastard

Scene 1

While the house is open the song "Are you real?" by Kutless featuring KJ-52 is playing. Blackout. The music fades out. The lights come up to reveal a courtroom. Located CS is a large elaborate throne. To the right of the throne is a witness stand. At SR is a chair and table for the defendant. At SL is a chair and table for the prosecution. GOD is seated in the defendant's chair. He is wearing a golden leash made of thorns around his neck.

ANGEL VOICE

I, I, I, call this court martial to order. The Angels of Heaven and the People of Earth versus God the Creator. The defendant is being charged with Desertion. For the prosecution?

ROY COHN enters.

ROY COHN

Roy Cohn, former New York City attorney and Commie hunter turned Heavenly homo prosecutor.

ANGEL VOICE

And for the defense?

GOD

I wish to represent myself.

ANGEL VOICE

Noted. And does the defense wish to enter a plea?

GOD

Not guilty.

ANGEL VOICE

A plea of Not Guilty has been entered. The Prosecution may begin.

ROY COHN

Thank you, your honor. The prosecution calls none other to the stand than G-O-Deezy!

GOD stands

ANGEL VOICE

Roy, please remain professional.

ROY COHN

Oh, come on!

ANGEL VOICE

The prosecution will refer to the defendant as "God", is that clear?

ROY COHN

Crystal. God, please raise your right hand. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help yourself?

GOD

I do.

ROY COHN

God, you may be seated.

GOD

Thank you. Do I really have to be shackled?

ROY COHN

You like it? It's a golden leash of thorns that's been threaded together with the tears, despair, and loneliness of your people.

GOD

It's heavy.

ROY COHN

Of course it is. The weight from the guilt is so much that its bearer can't escape. Consider it a gift.

GOD

I see.

ROY COHN

Merry Christmas. No pun intended.

GOD

(To ANGEL VOICE)

Move to strike!

ANGEL VOICE

The jury will disregard the Christmas comment and the prosecution will control himself.

ROY COHN

I'm sorry, your honor. That was just the Jew in me.

ANGEL VOICE

Roy!

ROY COHN

Fine! Fine! Geeze, they don't let you have any fun up here. According to sacred scripture, you created the Heavens and the Earth, am I correct?

GOD

You are correct.

ROY COHN

And at seeing all that had been done, you looked upon your creation that said that "all was good", is that also correct.

GOD

Yes, but---

ROY COHN

Then why'd you take off? If everything was good, the plants, the animals, the insects, the humans... if everything was "good" as you said, why did you leave?

GOD

Well, I... you see, I (sighs). Okay, long before the beginning of what you call "time" I created Heaven and the angels. And for the first trillion millenia everything was fine. But then the angels, with their multiple sex organs just kept fornicating. And since they're hermaphrodites they didn't always participate in activities that were... heterosexual. The male-looking angels would sometimes fornicate with other male-looking angels and the female looking-angels would sometimes fornicate with other female-looking ones. And since they all have both sex organs, it just got weird.

ROY COHN

You mean the uh, male-looking angels were---

GOD

Intercoursing with each others' vaginas, yeah.

ROY COHN

So anyway...

GOD

So anyway, I decided to split the world into two. Heaven and Earth, one universe divided into two planes of existence. When I created humankind, I decided I wasn't going to make the same mistake again, so I specifically made you either male or female.

ROY COHN

I see. And as her honor told Prior Walter during that angel-human firecrotchety sexfest--

ANGEL VOICE

(Annoyed)

Roy.

ROY COHN

(Ignoring her)

-- that by creating us humans, you, and I'm quoting her here, "unleashed sleeping creation's potential for change". Is that right?

GOD

I suppose. The angels began calling it "The Virus of Time". Whenever great progress is made on Earth, the Heavens rattle and quake.

Suddenly, there is a rumbling noise. ROY COHN begins to stumble around and falls. The rumbling stops. ROY COHN stands.

ROY COHN

What the fuck was that?!

GOD

That my son, was Facebook.

ROY COHN

In a nutshell, you were bored in Heaven and disgusted with Earth.

GOD

Yes.

ROY COHN

And so you went on these voyages.

GOD

I wanted to spend some time alone. I couldn't have any privacy in Heaven and the constant change and progress on Earth was never going to stop, not even after the countless wars and diseases. I tried several times to slow you down with the scriptures and the prophets but you just wouldn't stop. All the greed, all the fornication--

ROY COHN

All the homosexuality.

GOD

Yes, that too. Anyway, I wanted to be by myself for a while. I would usually leave for only a few days.

ROY COHN

However, in 1906 on April the 18th, you took a long voyage. A one-way trip, wouldn't you say?

GOD

Well, I... yes.

ROY COHN

And you fixed it so that the angels couldn't even detect your presence. A "Holy Stealth", if you will.

GOD

I never intended to come back and I didn't want to be bothered.

ROY COHN

Then tell your good ol' Roy-boy why you did return.

GOD

Because even in the far reaches of the universe I could see it. The Ladder of Heaven, burning so bright and hot that I could feel its heat upon my face. The ladder could only mean one thing.

ROY COHN

That a living human had been invited upstairs.

GOD

Right. The angels never communicate with mankind without my orders, so of course I got curious. Once I realized that the Bird of America had tapped a sodomite to be a prophet I became angry and decided to come back.

ROY COHN

And when you returned, you were taken into custody, that leash placed around your neck.

GOD

They were waiting for me.

ROY COHN

Surely you could have refused or escaped or turned your arresting angels into mush or made it so that everyone forgot?

GOD

Not even I can refuse the will of a prophet.

ROY COHN

Ah yes, I believe Prior's exact words were "Sue the bastard" and her honor responded with "Thus spake the prophet".

GOD

"Thus spake the prophet." Those four words made it law.

ROY COHN

Yes, we sodomites can be mighty fuckin' vicious, just ask Ethel Rosenberg. God, this is the part where we make our final statements. You may go first.

GOD

(Clears throat)

To begin, who do you think you are? I am the one who created everything and everyone. Plants, fish, animals, insects, humans, the very air you breathe! Any choice I make should never be questioned because I have my reasons. I'm done.

ROY COHN

That's it?!

ANGEL VOICE

The prosecution may make its final statement.

ROY COHN

Thank you, your honor. Taking on the role as an overseer is never fuckin' easy. It doesn't matter whether you're a supervisor directing employees, an officer guiding soldiers , a cop protecting citizens, an instructor educating students, or a parent struggling to direct, protect, guide, and educate his or her children. Yes, being in charge is fuckin' tough. No one, however, becomes an overseer by accident. A supervisor, for example, applies for the job and is aware that he may not be leadership material. An officer, with all her military training, knows that when she tells her soldiers to charge a hill that the enemy might be waiting to ambush them. Police officers know they be can killed in the line of duty and teachers know that despite all the knowledge they bestow that their students might grow-up to become a bunch of ignorant,lazy, waste-of-space fuck-tards anyway. And many of those people serving in those respective professions are also parents, whether they got married and planned it or didn't use condoms but took on the responsibility. A person might be able to leave a profession, but a parent can never abandon their children. Because it is through the parents that children first learn to trust others, gain confidence, and love properly. You've been gone for a little over a century and during this entire time your children above have lost their trust in you and your children below have been confidently praying to an absent God, providing you with undeserved love. You deserted us,asshole, you committed a crime. And I don't know how it works in Heaven, but on Earth everyone answers for their transgressions, even gods. How dare ye! And now I'm fuckin' done!

ANGEL VOICE

The jury has reached a verdict. On the charge of desertion, the defendant, God the Creator has been found guilty. It is therefore by the will of Heaven and Earth that he is hereby sentenced to banishment and relief of duty. Please remove the leash, the burden is no longer his to bear.

GOD

Banishment and relief of duty? What does that mean?

ROY COHN

(While removing the leash)

It means that you have been stripped of your home and your throne. You're still the Creator, but you're no longer the ruler.

GOD

You can't!

ROY COHN

The prophet said to take you to court and we did that.

GOD

Then who will rule in my place?

ROY COHN

No one. Now that we've put an end to this "House of Yes" the "Angels in America" will "Sweeney" their "Todd's", "Bash" through that "WTC View" and dream of "Latter-days", no "Doubt" about it. (Pause) "Eve's Bayou".

GOD

(Confused)

Was I supposed to understand all that?!

ROY COHN

Heaven and Earth will work together to make this world better. But without doctrine, without hypocrisy, and without abandonment. Who knows, maybe we'll find a cure for this cance--, for this disease. No more secret deaths.

GOD

But what will I do? Where will I go? What will be my purpose for existing?

ROY COHN

(While exiting)

And now you know how we feel.

Blackout. Music fades in.

End of Act Zero

Last edited on Fri Dec 17th, 2010 02:14 am by darkeithlofton

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 Posted: Wed Feb 23rd, 2011 03:34 pm
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Darkja
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Joined: Fri Jan 29th, 2010
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I have to question copyright issues but that aside here are my thoughts. I felt like at times the dialgoue felt like it was trying to hard for a joke. I also think that comedy at the exspense of making fun of others beliefs is becoming a bit played out. It tends to take away importance from the lesson the author is trying to teach. Now that I have made the comments that will get me flamed out of the way. I find the concept of a trial against God interesting. I think if done correctly it could be an entertaining and thought provoking piece (I think it occassionally was here). I actually think framing it to a pre-existing play made it more difficult (I know it was an assignment which caused this hinderence) but you still had some good moments especially when not stressing on that context.

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 Posted: Thu Feb 24th, 2011 05:06 am
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darkeithlofton
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Mana: 
Thank you for responding. My intent with this piece was never to make fun of another person's beliefs. I simply meant that as an Atheist I had no problem with the idea of bringing God to trial. I do agree that the humor is overboard, I could have gone with less.

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 Posted: Thu Feb 24th, 2011 11:01 am
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Darkja
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Mana: 
I find the concept interesting. My point was simply this sometimes the subtle gets a message across quicker.

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