home FIREFALL: (PHASE 1 + PHASE 2)

PHASE ONE:THE NEW SCHOOL,2006

 

PHASE TWO: DANCE THEATER WORKSHOP 2009

John Jesurun
FIREFALL

Written and Directed by John Jesurun
Performed by:
Alex Anfanger: Iscariot
Rachael Bell: R
Claire Buckingham: F
Ben Forster: Jesus
Kyle Griffiths: K
Austin Green: Mary
Ray Roy: Peewee
Chris Wendelken: Noseworthy

Lighting Design by Jeff Nash
Set Design by John Jesurun
Assistant Director Jennifer Ortega
Video Design by John Jesurun and Ray Roy
Technical Direction/Website Management: Ray Roy

TEXT EXCERPT

MARY: There aren't  twelve.
F: There are twelve.
NOSEWORTHY: Could you delete him, please?
(PEEWEE HITS A KEY ON HIS COMPUTER AND JESUS'S FACE DISAPPEARS FROM SCREEN)
MARY
(ON CENTER SCREEN)
I was looking at them with innocent eyes. The innocent eye is essentially the pinhole through which one perceives. What the eye focuses on has as much to do with physical as well as mental processes occurring on both sides of it. I thought it was as simple as that.  I thought I could change them because my belief was so strong. But you can never change a donkey into  a monkey without bloodying the waters. I was willing to do that but now I have been worn down by my own  constant toleration of their uncertainty. I was willing to kill them to change them. To rip out their innocent eyes. To make them give up the funk. But it would have been like killing innocent animals. I have been worn down my constant uncertainty of their toleration of me. It's stronger than my belief in my own ideals. My work was all about hope and joy and positive things and how everything was going to be alright and then they all went on to become donkeys. And me, a donkey killer. I am nothing but cold hard cash and nothing can make me warm again.


F
(ON CENTER SCREEN)
Mary? I hadn’t seen her in years but I noticed she had a hard cold look in her eyes.  Her powder blue, blue eyes had turned to steel and they cut right through me. Sharply. I realized that she had finally given up her friendly tone. She was always so friendly but it had turned harsh and suspicious.  After what we did to her son I don’t blame her.
MARY: (ONSTAGE) I had so wanted to be a character.
K:  But you are, Mary.
MARY:  Am  I  Mary?
K: You were the only one that believed in anything.
PEEWEE: Your affair with Iscariot was an unfortunate backstage indiscretion  for which  your son god never forgave you. And so he  left you in the mortal world with the rest of us traitors.
(MARY SLAPS PEEWEE. PEEWEE AND ISCARIOT SING)
"Oh, its such a perfect day, I'm glad I spent it with you. Oh,  such a perfect day you just keep me hangin' on. You just keep me hangin' on."
MARY: So I am a character after all. How satisfying to have been someone
K:  It's better than what we have to endure- being mouthpieces for the doubts of the Nazarene.
MARY: At least you get to sing.
K: The only one who got to sing was Iscariot who sang to his mafia friends!
MARY: Now my poor son is…
NOSEWORTHY: Living in Switzerland, we know it.
F: Ok fine, they didn't  kill him, but almost!
MARY: How would you like to be put to death by your own believers?
PEEWEE: They would be the most efficient.
R:  What we are after is not death but efficiency.
F:  Efficiency is pure beauty.
MARY: Ungodliness.
PEEWEE: Don't talk to me about god and your failed attempt to be its mother.
F: True it did fail but it was a good try.
MARY: I've been left with a wooden legacy, a half myth, a Mexican hat dance.
NOSEWORTHY:  And you guys did not do your job!
MARY: You canned out and the thing we worked so hard for  fell apart.  You lost the rapture.
K: We were weak as donkeys.
MARY: (YANKS PEEWEE BY THE COLLAR) I had the other five donkeys killed, vengeance was mine. I  let the rest of you live out your stupid donkey  lives. (RELEASES PEEWEE WITH A VIOLENT SHOVE) Twelve minus five is…..
K:  Seven. But Jesus, is  his  soul really free ?
MARY: Mine is not. It still belongs to him.
R:  You saw what he turned into at the first taste of fear and failure.
ISCARIOT:  He was weak! We did all the work for him and when it came his turn he let us down!
PEEWEE:  And you  lost the passion I never had.
K: All his search for beauty has left him. He has been institutionalized.
PEEWEE: Who was in that casket  at his burial?
K:  His autographed copy of the teachings of  the Buddha.
PEEWEE: And your dog.
K: (JUMPS UP,SOBBING) When they rolled away the stone they was gone of course! (SITS DOWN DROPPING HIS FACE INTO HIS HANDS)
MARY: I cannot contemplate the dementiated state of his Swiss-charred mind. I can't be taken in by the belief -give my mind up to the belief. I hate that feeling.
ISCARIOT: (RISING) I love it!
MARY:  (RISING) Mr. Iscariot, you have been  concealing something. I sensed a weakness in the room but I had no idea it was you. Fifty years ago I lovingly put my baby into a cradle and you have crushed it.
ISCARIOT: If you don’t love me I will die like a donkey on a train track!
MARY: Karenina?
ISCARIOT: Yes.
MARY : (TURNING HER BACK TO ISCARIOT)  Go for it.
(PEEWEE AND ISCARIOT SING)
"Oh, its such a perfect day, I'm glad I spent it with you. Oh, such a perfect day. You just keep me hangin' on. You just keep me hangin' on."
NOSEWORTHY: (STANDING AT CENTER OF TABLE) OK, as you now all know we are the twelve selected as followers.
K: But I don’t want to be a flower, I had so wanted to be a character, something recognizable, someone you could recognize.
PEEWEE:  You are un-recognizable.
R:  And we will all be killed.
K: What’s all this about a funeral?
ISCARIOT : Our dear  friend and his confidant Magdalena Karenina.
MARY: The soliloquy.
F: ( TO MARY)You've always had a holier than thou.
MARY: For good reason.
PEEWEE: I don’t believe you are the mother of Jesus.
MARY: Please don’t sit in his chair.
K: We are seven.
NOSEWORTHY:  There are twelve here.
R: Count. One,two,three,etc. - twelve. So you must follow the path we have set for ourselves.
PEEWEE: But the power and the glory…
R: It will be but long gone after we are gone.
K: But we were going to rewrite everything.
PEEWEE:  Again?
NOSEWORTHY:  Gospel and verse but you won't  be here to read it.
R: OK, lets see….he left on the donkey…
NOSEWORTHY: Peewee ,could you go to Rome tonight?
F: I wanted to go to Rome.
R:  He must go and go alone. And then be hung upside down on  a cross.
PEEWEE: I don’t really need to go.
K: What's his name left the brunch on  a bicycle.
F: They took him away on a donkey.
MARY: I don’t think I like this story, it's so degrading.
R: Ok, just put that he took a donkey ride into the city.
NOSEWORTHY:  And after he left the brunch….
R: Supper.
NOSEWORTHY: OK, supper…
F: ….he was taken away to the…… hospital.
K:  We know he skipped out to Switzerland.
MARY: After you….
R: ….we……
K: …..abandoned him..
F: Poor Magdalena, her legs were so thin.
ISCARIOT:…and I am getting out the hell out of here.
NOSEWORTHY: There will have to be some sort of funeralization.
ISCARIOT:  You can roll away the stone yourself.
F: Her legs were so thin….
R:  Those unfortunate things you said about Marymag will have to be stricken from the record.
NOSEWORTHY: Jesus has left the house.
R:  There have been complications.
ISCARIOT: We'd better split.  We'll be implicated.
NOSEWORTHY: Someone clean up that tabouli, its all over the place.
R: Grab  the wine before it goes stale.
ISCARIOT:  Its turned to urine.
NOSEWORTHY: Water! Factcheck and rewrite!
R: So we will un-write ourselves.
F: We were just having a meeting discussing….
K: I'm sorry, but I haven’t been able to control myself.
PEEWEE: You will learn but it won't save you from your eventual flaying.
R: We will erase everything before us and lay out the future of our plans for the world.
K: In pure crushed, light blue, lovely velvet.
F: This could get messy but we won't be around to have to clean it up.
PEEWEE: But we will re-write the memory of us and we'll live on in other peoples' memories even though we'll be dead.
R: OK, we've just been having a meeting about interpretation, funeral design and personal politics.
PEEWEE: With snacks, dynamite and Anna Karenina.
R: We had all better  change our identities to men, that way  it will be less sexual.
NOSEWORTHY:  I don’t mind.
ISCARIOT: Are we women?
L: Some kind of moral hermaphrodites.
PEEWEE: God's dirty underwear.
NOSEWORTHY: OK, twelve men discussing in a room, business meeting, cultural activities.
R: Have we covered our tracks?
K: But remember we aren't trying to fool anyone. We are trying to maintain the truth of it all.
PEEWEE: I just don’t think it's going to go anywhere.
R: Somehow I wonder if you really are with us, Judas.
ISCARIOT:  Does anyone  have change for a thirty?
NOSEWORTHY: We will all meet again several years later for phase two. Factcheck!


(ISCARIOT AND MARY SIT IN FRONT OF CAMERA. THEY APPEAR ON CENTER SCREEN TOGETHER.ISCARIOT SPEAKS INTO HER EAR.)
ISCARIOT: The continent of Japan was an island
 which lay before the great flood 
in the area we now call the Atlantic Ocean.

MARY: Stop it.
ISCARIOT: So great an area of land, that from her western shores 
those mutilated  sailors journeyed 
to the South and the North Asias with ease 
in their ships with tainted sails.


MARY:  "It's  like seeing a garden at night in which certain parts are lit up so brightly that we can distinguish each blade of grass, each minute insect, each nuance of color- while the rest of the garden and the  tidal wave  that threatens it remain in darkness."
ISCARIOT: To the east Mexico was a neighbor across a short strait of sea miles.

MARY: Please, I can't hear it anymore.
ISCARIOT: The great Egyptian age is but a remnant of The American culture.

MARY: It can't be true.
ISCARIOT: "The antediluvian kings colonized the world."

MARY: "All the gods who play in the mythological dramas,

in all legends from all lands were from fair Atlantis."
ISCARIOT: No, they weren't.
MARY: No, we were not.
ISCARIOT: Knowing his fate, Jesus sent out ships to all corners of the Earth.
 On board were the Twelve:
 the poet, the physician, the farmer, the clown, the scientist , the donkey…
MARY:  Please….
ISCARIOT:  ….the Mizoguchi, the drunkard, the cow,
 the magician, Iscariot, Miss Noseworthy  and all the other so-called gods of our legends- though gods we were not .  And as the donkeys  of our time choose to remain blind... " …
let us rejoice and let us sing and dance and ring in the new."

(K STRUMMING ELECTRIC GUITAR)
MARY…and I saw her thirty years later and she was beautiful, empty, pure, evacuated of all desire.
F: But I'm not like that at all. I am full of everything  and I hate her. Who knows what she thinks about me?   Probably not much. I wonder if she knows  about the funeral or the cancer I got from not feeling sorry enough for wounded animals and weak people.
K: And I am sorry about  your thorn stuffed heart.
MARY: That’s OK, but at least here and now for this moment you'll be worth something, be something, someone. We'll at least see the purity of our soullessness and that has to be a true beauty of some kind. The perfection one sees in a donkey's eye. And we'll just sit here and accept it and be beautiful and empty and accept it.
NOSEWORTHY: Sing, you guys.
K: And Jesus said: "We are building a world inside a world. And my heart was stuffed with happiness." What does it mean?
MARY: It’s a poem, it doesn’t have to mean anything. It only has to expand the  universe. That’s its reason for being.
K: What about me?
MARY: You'll mean something when you say it.
ISCARIOT: Say it and you'll be stronger than dirt, stronger than the black chocolate filth of truth. The singer becomes the song. Isn’t that enough? Say it and find out.
K:  In the after light, the after bite of heaven- flaming lipped devils in waiting, we soared.