Euripides in N-Town

A Greek Travesty

by Bill Bly

(The set looks vaguely like some Design Student's artsy version of the skene façade for a Greek Tragedy. UPSTAGE CENTER is a platform, at the back of which is a beat-up flat representing a palace with double doors. At the front of the platform are three or four steps leading DOWNSTAGE to floor level. There is no other scenery.

(A moment passes, while this slightly depressing sight works its æsthetic wonders on the audience, then a commotion begins behind the double doors. One door rattles beneath a couple of hefty blows, then shudders open, pops a hinge, and falls at an angle across the opening.

(RIP makes his entrance by climbing over the door. He is dressed exactly like the STAGE MANAGER from Our Town: the hat, the suspenders, the compassionate but ironic smile [pipe optional]. He makes his way down the steps to the stage floor gingerly, for the steps rack fearfully beneath his weight. Then he shuffles down to the forestage, checking for actor-traps along the way.)

RIP: (To the audience.) My name is Euripides the Elder,
Son of Mnesarchides the Wrestler.
My mother was a vegetable seller,
Xanthippiippe by name.
My son Euripides the Younger
Is known chiefly as the producer
Of my last set of plays
Which he brought from my place of voluntary exile
At the court of King Archelaus in Macedon.
One of those plays you know, I'm sure,
It was called The Bakkhai.
That was the year of my death, 406 B.C.

(He drops the declamatory style.) Have patience, folks,
This is the prologos.
I've made it as short as I could,
Considering the conventions I have to work with.
I could have brought on two servants
Who cleverly reveal all the main characters' problems,
À la Ibsen, say, or Shaw,
But everybody knows exposition's a drag,
So let's just get it over with, I say.
Where was I?

RIP: (Orates again.) . . . the year of my death, 406 B.C.
Except it was not I who died
Upon the Poet's bed in the palace of the King,
For Dionysos, Mad Bakkhos,
God of drunks and lunatics,
Had seen my play about him,
And taking some offense,
In revenge deceived their eyes
With a goat to die for me
And stole me through the azure sky
Put me through the time/space continuum distorter
And set me down in this century of savage men
Ruled by uncouth kings
Or whatever they call the bosses these days.

(Drops declamatory style.) Confidentially, I like it
better here and now
Than Fifth Century Macedonia--
Talk about your rednecks!
But Athens, O Athenai,
You'd have to go a long ways
To find a pesthole more cultured and corrupt
What a place to write plays about!


RIP: Whuh?

(ATHENE appears above the palace in epi-
phany, helmet, shield and all.)

ATHENE: A page and a half will suffice for the prologue.

RIP: Wait a minute--

ATHENE: Go cue Dion. He's on in ten lines.

RIP: But--

ATHENE: Ey. Who's the god around here?

RIP: Oh gods, how terribly I pity you
And then myself--

ATHENE: (Yelling OFFSTAGE.) Dionysos! Two minutes, please!


ATHENE: (Yelling OFF in the opposite direction.) Security!

(CHORUS BOYS, tricked out for the
Trojan War, goosestep in from the

CHORUS: (Lisping mightily.) Yeth, Mith Tina?

ATHENE: Stick this old coot in the ekkyklema
Until he cools off.

CHORUS: Yeth, Mith Tina.

(They stalk RIP.)

ATHENE: Where's the fuckin' ASM?

up from a seat in the audience, runs on
to the stage. S/He's pissed.)

A.S.M: God dammit! Just once I'd like to be able to sit
through this piece of shit from beginning to end so
I can see what it's supposed to look like!

RIP: (Has ASM by the lapels.) This is what it's supposed
to look like!

(CHORUS BOYS grab RIP, and pirouette
him off the stage, dragging the ASM

RIP: (As he disappears.) Dionysos! Places, please!


(Yelling and a crash OFFSTAGE. Then
silence. ATHENE turns to the audience.)

ATHENE: The gods do many things beyond the wisdom of
mere mortals.
What was looked for has not happened.
What was thought not
The gods have contrived to bring to pass.
So it happens in this play.

(DIONYSOS appears beside her, dis-

DIONYSOS: Not only are those the closing lines of the play,
They're not even your lines.
The Chorus says those lines.
At the end of the play.

ATHENE: You're thinking of Medea. I'm not in Medea.
None of us gods is in Medea, just the dragons.

DIONYSOS: Not Medea--

ATHENE: Or The Trojan Women, I always
Get 'em mixed up. All those women
Moaning and groaning--

DIONYSOS: Didn't you read the scenario for this play?

ATHENE: (Winks at the audience, she could even chew gum.) What play?

DIONYSOS: (Realizes he's being joshed.) OK, OK--

ATHENE: (To audience.) He thinks I'm kidding.
(To DIONYSOS, serious.) What play?

DIONYSOS: (Losing patience.) Oh, come on--

ATHENE: (Shoving him.) You come on! What play?

(A huge man in a box seat leaps up.
He is the CHOREGOS, the producer of
this play.)

CHOREGOS: (Roaring.) ENOUGH!!!

(ATHENE and DIONYSOS flinch and look
in his direction, blinking in the light
like surprised cats.)

CHOREGOS: Who's responsible for this gallimaufry!!?

ATHENE: Who's that? A critic?

CHOREGOS: (Leaning over the railing, menacing.) I am the
The producer. I sign your checks, turkey.

DIONYSOS: (Giggling.) Oops.

CHOREGOS: Now bring me the jerk that wrote this mess!

(ATHENE whistles between her fingers.
DIONYSOS cringes, holding his ears.)



(CHORUS BOYS wheel on the ekkyklema
with RIP imprisoned inside it. They
bring it DOWN CENTER and fall into
Chorus formation behind it.)

RIP: What are you doing? I don't come on again
Till the messenger scene.

(CHORYPHAIOS, the Chorus Leader, lets
him out.)

CHORYPHAIOS: The Both wanth a few wordth with you
Mithter Playwright.

RIP: The Both?


RIP: (Shading his eyes.) Oh, hi, Yer Honor.

CHOREGOS: What the hell are you up to?

RIP: (To ATHENE and DIONYSOS.) How far'd you get?

ATHENE: I shoved him and said, "You come on. What play?"

DIONYSOS: Yeah, and I almost fell off--

RIP: OK, OK. (To CHOREGOS.) They're about
Halfway through the false prologos--

CHOREGOS: The what?

RIP: False prologos. Prologue within the prologue,
If you like. See, I thought--

CHOREGOS: That wasn't in the scenario you showed me.

RIP: Well, it's a little technical innovation
I came up with at the tech rehearsal
Night before last.
See it was late and we were all
Kinda punchy--

CHOREGOS: Well, I hate it. Get it out of there.

RIP: But it adds a whole new dimension
To the concept--

CHOREGOS: I hate it! Get it out of there!

RIP: (Throwing up his hands.) OK, kids.
Cut to the entrance dance of the Chorus.
Places please for the parodos!

ASM: (Over the P.A. system.) Places for the parodos,

OMNES: (Simultaneous.) Thank you!

RIP: (To ATHENE and DIONYSOS.) Sorry, guys,
Maybe in my next play.

(RIP heads for the wings, muttering.)

RIP: (Plenty loud enough.) Fucking Philistine.

CHOREGOS: (Who has just resumed his seat, leaps up.) I
Heard that!

(But RIP is gone. Meanwhile, the
CHORUS BOYS have gone off to one side,
preparing their entrance formation.
ATHENE and DIONYSOS saunter off to-

ATHENE: Next play? That's a laugh.

DIONYSOS: (Whining.) Every time you have to push me
A little harder, whistle a little louder,
You know my ears are sensitive--

ATHENE: You fancy boys give me a pain.



(They're off. A moment's pause, the
CHOREGOS sits down again. RIP re-
enters, hat now in hand.)

RIP: The point is, Your Honor,
This is the story of my life.
The god brought me here to accomplish
Some feat, or to suffer
Some punishment of his clever
And cruel devising.

CHOREGOS: Is this more prologue?

RIP: Sort of. You'll note the elevated
Style in which I speak.

CHOREGOS: Quit being a smartass
And get on with the play.

RIP: I'm not being a smartass, Your Honor,
This is how I write.
My tragic thinking is reflected
In the dislocated structure of my plays.
Life doesn't work any better
Than my plays do.

CRITIC: (Stands from his aisle seat, taking notes.) Could you repeat
I want to put it in my review.

RIP: See me after. I'll give you the script.

CRITIC: Fabulous. (Sits.)

CHOREGOS: (Shaking his head.) I don't believe this.

RIP: That's OK. (Towards wings.) Cue the Chorus.

ASM: (Over P.A.) I already did.

RIP: Well, cue the music then!

ASM: (Over P.A.) Music, please!

MUSIC: (OFFSTAGE, or in the pit.) Thank you!

(MUSIC. Entrance dance of the Chorus.)

CHORUS: Why must this persistent fear
Beat its wings so ceaselessly
And so close about my mantic heart?
Why this strain unwanted, unrepaid, thus prophetic?
Dionysos, god of drunks and lunatics
Must be near.
Still by God's grace there surges within me
Singing magic
To chant the glorious and shameful deeds
Of Bromios, Evios, Bakkhos, Dionysos,
If I may call him thus
His names as many and as long
As the locks of curls he tosses in the dance
Pounding his thyrsos on the ground
Ripping heifers to pieces
Driving women insane.

This is our song, our ecstacy
The ecstacy of obedience
Of obedience to the call
The call of the god
Our god, mad Dionysos
The lord of the dance.

(They get excited.)

Here come Bakkhos
His lips is cool
Here come Bakkhos
Eyes afire
Ripping off the edges
Drawing eras to a close
Letting everybody in on secrets
Lining all the people up in rows.

(They get low down.)

CHORYPHAIOS: (Using his thyrsos as a microphone.) Everybody listen

CHORUS: Everybody listen

CHORYPHAIOS: Everybody learn

CHORUS: Everybody learn

CHORYPHAIOS: Heaven never came so close before

CHORUS: Heaven never came so close before

CHORYPHAIOS: Everybody wake up

CHORUS: Everybody wake up

CHORYPHAIOS: Everybody look

CHORUS: Everybody look

CHORYPHAIOS & CHORUS: This is the last page of the book --
Everybody listen!

(Enter DIONYSOS. He has a wig of long
blond curls and wears a smiling mask.
His movements are feline, almost ef-
feminate. CHORUS goes out of its

DIONYSOS: Hi, kids! How's my boys?

CHORUS: Oh, Dion, we're so glad to see ya!

DIONYSOS: (Sees door hanging crooked.) But what's this?!
My temple is falling in ruins!
What happened?

CHORUS: Don't look at us.
That's not our union.

DIONYSOS: But where's
The caretaker I procured at such expense?
Why was he not here to greet me?

CHORUS: We saw him as we came in
Fiddling with his ekkyklema.
Shall we call him for you?

DIONYSOS: You shall.

CHORUS: Yoo hoo! Stage Manager!

RIP: (OFFSTAGE, exasperated.) What!?

CHORUS: The god wants to see you.

RIP: (Enters, wiping his hands on a rag.) The who?

CHORUS: He who is twined around pillars.

(RIP makes a face of total uncompre-

CHORUS: He who shakes his locks in the dance.

(RIP's mystification deepens.)


(He raises his thyrsos. Immediately
the light changes to real spooky.
CHORUS puts on grotesque masks and
starts stalking RIP. They surround him and
rip him to pieces.)

CHORUS: Sparagmos! (They hold the pieces aloft.)
Omophagia! (They jam the pieces into their mouths.)

(DIONYSOS lowers his thyrsos. Light
changes back. CHORUS' masks disap-
pear, they return to formation, reveal-
ing RIP standing in their midst, not
torn to pieces and cannibalized after

RIP: (Sudden recognition [anagnorisis ]) Ohhh!

DIONYSOS: I am the god who does not mess around.
Why is my temple falling in ruins?
I went to a lot of trouble to save your
Miserable life--

RIP: Saving your reverence,
Who asked you to do that?
I was making a graceful and dignified exit
From this sickening farce you gods
Wrote for us--

DIONYSOS: (Mocking.) Surrounded by friends
And admirers--

RIP: Yes! I was finally getting
The recognition I deserved--

DIONYSOS: From a bunch of rubes and yokels--

RIP: Quality is recognized
Wherever it goes--

DIONYSOS: Only without honor
In your own country, eh?

RIP: It's easy for you to mock.
You're a god. I'm but your puppet.

DIONYSOS: You're getting uppity, puppet.

RIP: (Groans.) Puhlease! Spare me your
Pathetic attempts at humor.

CHORUS: Beware! Our god has sensitive feelings!

RIP: (Looks at them.) Hey! Aren't you supposed to be

CHORUS: (Deadpan.) We are women.

RIP: (Deadpan.) Oh.

DIONYSOS: (Jumping up and down.) Why is my temple
Falling in ruins?!!!

RIP: Because nobody gives a shit
About you anymore.

(The god staggers back. Lightning and
thunder. The CHORUS cringes in fear.)

RIP: (Consoling.) Look. Whatever little differences
We've had in the past,
They've always been matters of policy
Not principle.
You brought me here to tend your shrine
And I've done my best lo these many years.
I'm still your devotee
But the people who come here
Aren't interested in having their lives made more
By catastrophe and suffering
They want lives they can hold on to
Not Life that holds them in its hand.
The world is going out to lunch
And so they're shedding load
All the way down the line
Making life less so it's easier to control.
I can't blame them, only pity them.

But I've had to make a choice.
I give them what they want,
They keep the place open.
I give them the real thing,
They stay away in droves.

DIONYSOS: Nice speech. Neat little dilemma.
And what a delivery!
The Lament of the Passionate Aesthetician!
Listen, my fine-feelinged fop,
You artiste, you parasite upon the Body Politic,
Any child that's spilled its soup
Can tell you life's a bitch.
Don't give me that long-faced lecture
On the exaltation of tragedy--
Bore me to death!
And there's nothing in your contract
About you giving these people anything
But clean seats to park their butts in
And a set that won't fall on their heads.
You're the janitor, get it?
Now go fix that door
And keep your pretentions to yourself!

CHORUS: Well has might Bromios spoken
Cleaving the tongue of impious argument
With the axe of his wit.

DIONYSOS: (Petulant.) Oh, shut up!

RIP: (Smirking.) They can't, Your Lordship.
They're commenting on the action
As per their contract.

(He heads for the door to the palace.)

DIONYSOS: Trying to sucker me into
One of your technical innovations,
Like getting rid of the Chorus?
Forget it. Get to work.
Fix that door and brace those steps
Before I kill myself on them.

RIP: You can't do that, you're a god.

(He starts to work on the door with a


(He stomps out.)

CHORUS: Stranger, we know not who your are,
But you're playing a dangerous game
Sassing the god like that.
That's called hubris, tragic flaw,
O'erweening pride or arrogance,
Which, in a basically good man,
Nevertheless brings about
His utter downfall and ruination
Around about the fifth act.

(RIP has the door back on its hinge,
and is now testing its play.)

RIP: (Coming carefully down the steps.) Listen,
If the god comes back while I'm out,
Tell him I'm getting a batten
To triangulate these steps.

(He exits.)

CHORUS: O great rising and falling action
O mighty ravelling and unravelling
What have you in store for us
After we complete this pointless
But beautifully turned out choral ode?

(They get excited.)

There's a trembling in the tower
There's a shaking in the sky
In the ocean's brewing danger
And the river's running dry!

(They get low down, as before.)

CHORYPHAIOS: Everybody listen

CHORUS: Everybody listen

CHORYPHAIOS: Everybody learn

CHORUS: Everybody learn

CHORYPHAIOS: Bakkhos come to watch you burn

CHORYPHAIOS & CHORUS: Everybody listen!

(Enter TEIRESIAS, dragged onstage by
at least six yapping little dogs on
leashes. He is gigantic, his impossible
height tottering on 4-inch platform
heels [cothurnai ]. He is bald and bearded,
wears false breasts and a bustle under his
tunic [or whatever those one-strap gowns are
called {CHITON, idiot! It's in the damn dictionary!
-- Ed.}], and a large plumed hat, which looks
like a pheasant hatching an egg.)

CHORUS: Ahoy there Teiresias, seer of the Last Days
Wise man from the wings
Heal our confusion with your straight talk
Swathed in riddles and innuendoes
Truth scantily clad in the low-cut gown
Of fancy phrases!
What dire doom do you come to pronounce
Upon this house, what catastrophe foretell,
Of which we poor just-folks dithering here
Know nothing at all, let alone suspect?

TEIRESIAS: (His voice quivering with prophetic
[or at any rate operatic] authority.) O my children,
Know that I am Teiresias.

CHORUS: We know that.

TEIRESIAS: Beware the jaws that bite
The claws that catch!

CHORUS: From my youth have I kept this wisdom
Interred within the catacombs of my heart.

TEIRESIAS: Prepare ye the way of the lord
Make his paths straight!
Let not the door leap its hinges
And keep the temple steps well triangulated!

CHORUS: Our janitor is working on it.

TEIRESIAS: Long have I watched over this house
With my inward sight
Often in disaster have I turned up
Like a bad penny, just in time
To tell you it's too late!
But never have you heeded me
Never have you thanked me
But beaten me about the head and shoulders
Trod my prophecies in the mire
Given me the finger as you kicked me down
The stairs!

CHORUS: (Hanging its head.) Alas, alas, too true
Has flown the shaft of your barbed complaint
Puncturing the pig bladder of my tears
And making me blubber for shame.

(CHORUS weeps bitterly.)

TEIRESIAS: (His voice rising impressively.) Make not
A hogwallow of the orchestra!

(The CHORUS dries its eyes, sniffling
a little.)

TEIRESIAS: And take away these stupid dogs!!

(The ASM runs on, takes the dogs, drags
them OFF.)

TEIRESIAS: Now I can prophesy in peace.
O you poor babies, you little know
The Calamity which broods upon the godwalk--

(He points to the theologeion on the
roof of the palace.)

Gathering all small plagues and perversions
Under its great wings!
Feeding them upon the Teats [pronounced "teets"] of Terror
Bloating them upon the Black Blood of Oblivion!

CHORUS: (In an ecstacy, severally.) What poesy!
What alliteration!
What parallel construction!
(In chorus.) What effective use of imagery!

TEIRESIAS: (Unheeding.) They are napping now
But they dream dream dreams
Of Giant Desolation!

CHORUS: (Chewing its nails.) You're scaring the shit
Out of me!

TEIRESIAS: (Waxing eloquent.) Soon they will rise
From the foul nest of their enhatchment
And, blackening the sky above us
With their terrible bodies
Fangs dripping death,
They will fall like acid rain
Upon the just and the unjust
And settle our hash for good!

(DIONYSOS appears above the palace in

DIONYSOS: What the hell is he squealing about?

TEIRESIAS: (Wheeling.) There it is!
I warned you. But would you listen!?

DIONYSOS: What's this old queen trying to put over on you?

TEIRESIAS: You could have welcomed me into your cities
You could have clothed me and fed me
Put me up in a nice hotel
Got me a spot on a talk show
And then none of this would have happened.
But noooooo.

DIONYSOS: Aren't things bad enough around here
Without we get this wacko
And his stand-up doom and gloom routine?
Next thing you know he'll trot on a messenger
With bad news.
(He rages at TEIRESIAS.) Isn't there one
Greek myth you aren't sticking your big nose into?
I can't stand it!
Get him outa here!

(He jumps up and down. RIP appears
from the other side of the stage,
carrying a batten.)

RIP: I wouldn't get too frisky up there
If I were you.

DIONYSOS: (Starts.) What!?

(There is a splintering of wood, and
DIONYSOS suddenly drops out of sight.
A crash UPSTAGE, behind the palace.
The door pops its hinge, falls awry

RIP: The godwalk's under construction.

TEIRESIAS: Thus shall the heedless
Confound themself.

RIP: Yeah, well you better not be here
When he comes to.

CHORUS: One does not need inward sight
To see that.

TEIRESIAS: I fear no man, stranger.

CHORUS: He is no man you do not fear.

TEIRESIAS: (Tries to untangle the syntax.)

RIP: (Helpfully.) That's Dionysos,
The god of this play.

TEIRESIAS: Oh. In that case--(He hustles toward the exit.)
Remember my words, O my children--

(DIONYSOS roars behind the scenery.
TEIRESIAS scurries out.)

CHORUS: Beware the wrath of the god
For there is no hedge upon his power
He cannot be killed, for he cannot die
He cannot really be hurt for the same reason
He can only be double-crossed
And then -- you betta watch out!

(RIP meanwhile has disengaged the step
unit from the platform and started to
brace the back. Commotion behind the
palace flat. DIONYSOS' head appears
in the door opening, his wig and mask
askew. He staggers against the door,
causing it to pop its remaining hinge
and they both fall flat. RIP works on.
The CHORUS is gripped with terror as
it watches DIONYSOS get up and start
for where the steps should be.)

RIP: (Not looking.) Watch out for that first step--

(DIONYSOS goes over the edge, bellyflops on
the stage floor.)

RIP: --it's a lulu.

CHORUS: Mourn for our fallen god
For he has fallen real bad.

(The CHORUS falls silent. RIP works on.
DIONYSOS maneuvers himself into a sitting
position. He disengages himself with
difficulty from his mask and wig.)

RIP: I want to thank you
For completely trashing my set.
The godwalk should've come down
A long time ago.
But now I'll have to replace
The whole damned thing.

(He hammers in a nail, flips the steps

RIP: Now if you'll excuse me, this step unit goes right
Where you're sitting.

(DIONYSOS does not move.)

RIP: If you want,
I'll build you right into the set.

DIONYSOS: (Drops character.) What are you doing?

RIP: Repairing the ruins
Your temple has fallen into.

DIONYSOS: This wasn't in the scenario.

RIP: Many are the forms of what is unknown.


(The CHORUS gradually joins RIP in
his next few speeches, almost as if
against its will.)

RIP & CHORUS: Much that the gods achieve is surprise

DIONYSOS: I mean, doing an improv is one thing--

RIP & CHORUS: What we look for does not come to pass

DIONYSOS: --and you kept changing things right up to the last

RIP & CHORUS: God arranges what none could dream.

DIONYSOS: --but I really could have been hurt.

RIP & CHORUS: So it happens in this story.

DIONYSOS: I mean, was that really necessary?

RIP & CHORUS: File to the tents, file to the harbor
There we embark on life as slaves.

DIONYSOS: (Getting spooked.) What are you doing?

RIP & CHORUS: Necessity is harsh
Fate has no reprieve.

(MUSIC. CHORUS goes into its lowdown
Bakkhos refrain, very quiet at first,
but building with each repetition.)

CHORUS: Everybody listen
Everybody learn
Bakkhos come
To watch you burn. (Repeat as necessary.)

(They close in on DIONYSOS, circling
him. He backs against the platform.
They are becoming possessed.

(RIP suddenly appears above the palace,
wearing DIONYSOS' ivy wreath on his
head, holding the thyrsos in his hand.
By now the CHORUS is completely in-
sane. RIP raises the thyrsos. Light
change, thunder and lightning. The
CHORUS rips DIONYSOS to pieces, yell-
"Sparagmos!" and "Omophagia!" as they
jam pieces of the god into their mouths.
The music flies apart into cacophany.

(Huge explosion, blackout.)

ASM: (Over the P.A., after a suitable pause.)
Places please for the Deus ex machina!
["deeyoose ex matcheena"]

OMNES: (OFFSTAGE.) Thank you!

(Gray light steals over the empty stage.
The air is full of dust and smoke.
Shreds of DIONYSOS' costume are seen
scattered about the rubble.

(The façade of the palace has fallen flat
on its face, stage braces sticking up
like the legs of a dead insect. Behind
we see what's left of the godwalk: the
platform itself has come loose at one
end, and hangs aslant, the steps leading
up to empty space. Mooring lines still
swing from the flies, having snapped
when the façade fell. Oddly, one door
still stands in its frame, firmly

(Suddenly this door is wrenched open
and a 300-pound MESSENGER rushes
into the orchestra.)

MESSENGER: (In a real thick Midwest accent.) Byaaad news!
Byaaad news!
An ox stands huge upon my tongue!
O tototoi totoi
O shame upon the earth!
Apollo! Apollo!
Lord of the ways, my ruin!
O popopoi popoi
Eagles devour my liver
Weasles rip my flesh
O tototoi Oboy!

(He rushes around frantically and exits.

(ATHENE appears on the steps to the

ATHENE: I can't stand it.

(She descends to the orchestra, picking
her way carefully over the debris. She
addresses the audience.)

ATHENE: Look, I know it's not my place
To ask questions
I'm just the Third Actor
I do all the bit parts
And steal what scenes I can.
Now I'm supposed to deliver the Epilogue
Though to tell you the truth
The symbolism escapes me.
I just want you to know
I'm only following orders
So don't hold it against me
At my next audition.

(She takes out a scroll, reads from it.)
"Past our telling the ways of heaven--"
I said all this before--
"The gods accomplish the unforeseen--"
Do I really have to do this?

ASM: (Over the P.A.) Pick it up Athene!
We have to strike tonight!

(The MESSENGER rushes back on.)

MESSENGER: O raise the triple cry of sorrow
Upon sorrow upon sorrow
O tototoi to--

(ATHENE leaps on him as he passes. She
jams her helmet on his head, thrusts
the scroll into his hand.)

ATHENE: Here Slim, you read this.
I've had it.
This fiasco's going to screw up
My whold résumé.

(She stalks OFF.

(The MESSENGER looks at the scroll,
looks at the audience.)

MESSENGER: (Cocks his head, says crazily:) Byaaad news!
Byaaad news!

(The doorframe falls over. The MESSEN-
GER turns to it, turns back to the aud-
ience, eats the scroll.)

RIP: (OFFSTAGE.) Cue blackout.

ASM: (Over the P.A.) Blackout, please!

LIGHTS: (From the booth.) Thank you!



Back to Writing

Go back Home