The Political Rally (Stage Play)

the-political-rally copy

a participatory stage play



Act One

Smiling CLOWNS are ushers. Happy mimes escort you in toward your seats. Balloons and banter. Intro MUSIC can’t decide if it’s a Kremlin military march or a circus pipe organ.

THE CLOWN occupies the center aisle. He is large and mic’d. He entertains and welcomes the audience into the performance.

THE CLOWN

Oh, yes! Please! Sit! Enjoy yourselves! Everyone, we’re going to have a fun time. (sings) A fun time for everyone, everyone, sing, sing, sing with me. Fun time for everyone! Sing! You’re not singing. A fun time for everyone, ha-ha-ha-ha.

The Clown performs standard clown tricks, draws the crowd in, and jokes with the patrons that pass by him.

On the stage, a lovely ARYAN BLONDE sits off to the side. REPORTERS from the 30’s crowd the front and periodically snap flash pictures of her, between silent interviews.

Above the auditorium are gigantic banners where clowns and balloons strike classic poses.

THE CLOWN

The wonderful circus that is modern politics! (with cowboy hat) It’s subliminiminble, sometimes! Why some of you would even vote for a clown! Hahahah! You would. Admit it. Admit it!

He squeaks a horn.

THE CLOWN

Of course you would. (sings) Funny is a clown. Yes. Funny is a clown. Who steps on your face and knocks you to the ground. Oh, I slay myself.

The Clown descends the aisle. He pulls off his nose and tosses it at the crowd.

THE CLOWN

Trust me, trust me! We’re going to make you all wealthy. Everyone here wants to be rich no?

A DUMPTRUCK backs up from stage left and dumps a huge pile of glittering jewelry onto the stage. Gold trinkets pour out and come to rest.

THE CLOWN

You all want some? (responds to audience) Then you shall have it! Be patient.

Thunderous DOORS clank shut. DOGS bark, and fascistic GUARDS patrol the aisles with sub-machine guns. Spotlights search the crowd.

THE CLOWN

Sit down! All of you! Sit on your asses, right now. Hahahahah.

He gaily dances down the aisle, singing.

THE CLOWN

Funny is a clown. Whenever one’s around, you will find me smiling.

Echoes of GERMAN shouts in the far distance. Air raid SIRENS are low and far away.

The large banners that show clowns and balloons cover over with crimson “S” banners. The “S” is made of lightning bolts, like half of a swastika.

The Reporters hand the Aryan Blonde a small “S” flag. She licks the flag, as they snap lots of flashes. The Clown laughs and points to the scene. The Blonde shows her brassiere, and the “S” printed on it.

The Clown takes a microphone, like Phil Donahue, and descends the aisle to single out audience members. He points up to the symbol on the banner.

THE CLOWN

YOU! (audience member) Hail to the Supreme. …Are you mentally incapacitated or something?

The audience member repeats the salutation into mic. The Clown is very disappointed.

THE CLOWN

(disgusted) God! Ugggh. Oh my. What was that?

The audience member repeats the salutation. The Clown calls over the fascist Guards with the Dogs.

THE CLOWN

I’m not sure I heard you. Please repeat what I just told you, to my friends.

The Guards play with their weapons, as the audience member tries again.

THE CLOWN

Fuck this. (snaps fingers) Take her away. Hahahahah. (sings) The clowns will rule the world, over all the boys and girls, and make them haaaa-pyyyyyy. See? The disagreeable can simply disappear.

They escort the audience member out a side door. GUNSHOTS are head from the hallway. A THUD.

THE CLOWN

(sings) Clowns, and clowns and clowns! You! (new victim) Up on your feet! Thank you, thank you. You do want to hail The Supreme? Don’t you? Well, go right ahead.

New Victim is obliged to “Hail to the Supreme.”

THE CLOWN

Mmmmmmm. Aaaah. I didn’t want to be sick tonight. This isn’t going well at all, is it? No, no, no, no no! No! Sit down!

Removing clown makeup slowly, loses jacket. Underneath is a General’s uniform, with medals and symbols of The Supreme. His funky wig remains.

THE CLOWN

Intermission already! So be it. Stay at your positions.

The Clown waves in the fascist Guards (with concession trays) toward the audience. He retreats backstage.

Curtain down.

As the Guards, in half clown attire, sell drinks, peanuts and pretzels, they speak in detail about poisons.

GUARD(S)

Cyanide has too violent of a reaction, horrific spasms can break the spine … the coral sea snake’s venom has the fastest action, instant death … arsenic is a good standby if you have trouble locating strychnine. Now strychnine is a highly potent poison…

The Clown pops out the curtain with a cowboy hat on.

THE CLOWN

Yes I know, I know. It’s getting harder to put food on your family.

ACT 2

Curtain up. The podium at center stage has a computer screen on top, and a keyboard. The Clown types and searches data.

THE CLOWN

Yes, yes.

Spotlights single people out, as he types.

THE CLOWN

(to various audience members) Oh, no no! Oh my, oh my! (sings) Tracking the whereabouts of you clowns and your anti-Supreme thoughts and predispositions….

He singles out a man.

THE CLOWN

That is disgusting! Shame! Shame. Ohhh. Is there no shame left in the world?

He singles out a sexy woman.

THE CLOWN

OHHHH! Ahah. Hm. Yes. Hi. Ah yes. I’ll get back to you.

He singles out another audience member, and he descends the stage to interview her/him with a microphone.

THE CLOWN

How do you explain yourself? It boggles the mind on how you could be so flagrantly disloyal to The Supreme. Audience? Anyone? Please, tell us all about your loyalty. Tell us. Do you think of The Supreme in your nightly prayers, before you lay your head to sleep, perhaps for the very last time? Do, do do explain to these good people the nature and the roots of your selfish disrespect for The Supreme.

He finally lets the victim speak, only to interrupt immediately.

THE CLOWN

BLAH BLAH BLAH! What can you do? What can you do? CONFESS. Please confess. We know you’ve been disloyal. We know your thoughts are impure. We know that you are WEAK. But possibly not beyond salvation, redemption. Confess. Confess! Confess to him. Confess to The Supreme.

Lights down, except for the stage. The spotlight singles out a working class man with a hat. The OPPOSITION LEADER rises to address The Clown. The Clown assumes to his place at the podium.

THE CLOWN

Yeah, yeah, what’s your story?

OPPOSITION LEADER

Some of my men were shot on the picket lines, when they went on strike. Many people have disappeared.

THE CLOWN

People come and people go.

OPPOSITION LEADER

I would ask The Supreme to look into the corruption in the regime, and in the police authorities.

THE CLOWN

Oh, ha-ha-ha, oh the corruption. Yes, the corruption. Cest la vie, cest la vie. We live, we learn. Mmmm yes. The corruption.

OPPOSITION LEADER

I really must insist that my message be heard.

THE CLOWN

And what have you done for your country? For The Supreme? What have you done on behalf of The Supreme, to insure our place at the helm of the Great Society? What have you done! What have you done! Tell me, tell everyone. Tell us all.

OPPOSITION LEADER

I work at my job at the factory. I manufacture communications equipment that’s used to monitor the people’s communications.

THE CLOWN

Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. A noble endeavor. What do you want? What is it you want from me. What can The Supreme do for you?

The Clown flippantly sends The Guards to remove the Opposition Leader.

At center stage, the Clown removes the rest of his makeup and tosses it to the side. The banner unfurls with a picture of The Supreme; he is The Clown.

THE CLOWN / THE SUPREME

Yes. It is I. My loyal, my ever so loyal brothers and sisters.

The Aryan Blonde rises from her seat and takes a spot at his side. Photographers flash pictures of the two of them, before the big banner.

The photo session is interrupted by a spotlight that singles out a random AUDIENCE MEMBER. All eyes turn on the Member.

THE SUPREME

YOU! What did you say? What did you say?

The Guards and Dogs run over to the Member.

GUARD

Repeat what you said!

DOGS BARK on the sound system.

THE SUPREME

Take him away.

The Guards escort the Member out of the side door (the disappeared will be let back in at the rear of the auditorium).

Things calm. The Clown and the Blonde remain at center stage.

BLONDE

Ahhhg. I hate these. They’re so boring!

THE SUPREME

Yes, I know my love, but we do it for the greater good. Yes.

BLONDE

All these rallies. Traveling around the country, …ahhhh. Terrorizing the people, blah blah blah blah blah.

THE SUPREME

But it’s fun. Would you deny me my fun, mama?

BLONDE

Oh no. Execute a few dissidents. Knock yourself out.

THE SUPREME

What do you want, baby?

BLONDE

I want a baby.

THE SUPREME

I can’t be faulted for not trying.

BLONDE

Yes, I know. I know. One of us may not be, …fertile.

THE SUPREME

What does your doctor say?

BLONDE

He says it’s, ah, YOU.

THE SUPREME

What!

BLONDE

He says you have a low sperm count.

THE SUPREME

I AM THE SUPREME, HAHAHA…

BLONDE

I know, darling. I’m just telling you what the doctor told me.

THE SUPREME

Go play with your friends, treasure. I’m in the middle of an important societal function. So… Fuck off!

She leaves, stage right. A large matte screen lights up at the rear of the stage. Behind it, silhouettes show Guards hanging people. They hang the Opposition Leader; his signature hat reveals him.

THE SUPREME

Women! Could you all give me a few minutes? I don’t want to impose on your generosity. Please. I’ll be right back.

He takes off stage left. The play is left dangling.

A SABOTEUR in a long black leather coat rises from his seat at the front. He carries a duffel bag up to stage right and sneaks behind the matte screen.

The Saboteur starts a ticking countdown. A red timer is projected onto the matte screen from the darkness at backstage right. The numbers “60” downward are in funky fonts, from a slide projector.

The Supreme walks behind the matte screen from the left. He swigs a beer. The countdown continues. The Saboteur runs, full speed up the center aisle, and he escapes the room. A CAR peals away outside.

THE SUPREME

Darling. If the sperm count is low, then I’ll need to shoot a lot more often, no?

BLONDE

Perhaps.

THE SUPREME

Then that is what we shall do.

BLONDE

We could give it a try.

THE SUPREME

I need heirs my love. Prepare the love chamber for his eminence. I need a drink.

BLONDE

Oh Milo, please.

He swigs his beer on his way to stage right. An EXPLOSION blasts the right side of the stage. Everything shakes.

A figure crawls across the matte screen and appears at stage left. The Supreme is tattered but alive. He rises, lit from below, projecting a huge shadow onto the white screen above the stage.

THE SUPREME

I do what I do for you. For you, and you, and you because you want me to. How could it be otherwise? I would not be your leader if you didn’t want me to lead you. You need me. You love me. You want me. I am an extension of you. I am what you desire to be. I am every one of you.

GUARDS

Two, three, fire!

FIRING SQUADS execute dissidents behind the matte.

THE SUPREME

(holds lock of braided blonde hair) She’s dead. (sniffles) The Supreme Hootchie has passed on. (strokes the hair). I’m going to need a replacement, right away.

He descends the stage and spotlights search for a viable candidate.

THE SUPREME

Who wants to be the new Supreme Hootchie? Who? You? I should run a pageant. Ladies. Front and center please.

He stops before the audience’s most beautiful women, and he requests their presence at his side. One girl takes his hand and they march to the stage accompanied by royal music. Photographers flash pictures of the new couple.

THE SUPREME

My darling. You shall sit here.

The new Supreme Hootchie sits in the chair once occupied by the previous. The Supreme addresses his flock.

THE SUPREME

All right. One, two, three!

No one responds correctly. He is enraged.

THE SUPREME

What is this!? The Supreme is very disappointed to say the least.

He SNAPS his fingers. Guards push out a giant 50 caliber machine gun station from stage left. Other Guards bring out a video camera on a dolly from stage right. They aim directly at the audience.

The video camera and spotlight single out audience members and display their image on a giant screen above the stage. Colors flash oddly and an applause meter tracks across the bottom of the image.

THE SUPREME

(quietly) Hail The Supreme.

The audience responds.

THE SUPREME

One, two three!

AUDIENCE

Hail The Supreme.

THE SUPREME

(disgustsed) No, no no no! God!

H signals to the machine gunners. The machine gun Guards get ready to feed bullets into the weapon.

THE SUPREME

You!

AUDIENCE MEMBER

Hail to the Supreme!

THE SUPREME

Pathetic.

The video cameras continue singling out AUDIENCE MEMBERS for the big screen.

THE SUPREME

(points) You! Just you! Big one this time! Big one this time! You want to see your families again?

The audience HAILS THE SUPREME, repeatedly, egged on by The Supreme. They yell and shout until the shouting wears them out. Then they may go.

THE SUPREME

Go out and multiply. My people. Hail The Supreme!

UNCLANKING doors release the captives. Happy young clowns hand out balloons to everyone as they exit the performance. The disappeared are united with their groups.

END.

 

Copyright 2008, Joe Giambrone
http://www.joegiambrone.us

 


 

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