A staged reading of a new play at the Barns of Rose Hill Arts and Cultural Center, Berryville, VA, in the fall of 2018!
Glimpsing the Second Horseman is a full-length play of individual Acts over time, regarding war. Its purpose is to encourage audiences to awake from our slumber regarding war. Of the “four horsemen” of the apocalypse, the second is fiery red with a greatsword and represents war.
Act I, The Night Willie Lincoln Died is important because Lincoln embarked on the greatest and last spiritual odyssey of his life with his son’s death. In Act II, The 36th Ulster, a badly-wounded Protestant Irish soldier is cared for by a Catholic nun. The lad will die by morning. Sister Diane is bereft at all the death on the nearby Western Front and enraged by the ghost-like appearance of the boy’s cruel father.
She decides that women should no longer wait behind in times of war—that they should go into the “no man’s land” between opposing sides. In Act III a troubled German youth in 1946 Berlin uncovers a family secret of soul-murdering proportions. His father designed, built and profited from the ovens used at the concentration camps.
Act IV, A Hard Rain, is based on the true story of my ordeal at the draft board to secure a Conscientious Objector status during the early years of the Vietnam War. Act V, Secrets of the Soul, is based on a cross-country trip I made while working for a newspaper. Though sparingly, the play employs sound and images.
(A Full-length Play)
A mid-western woman comes to New York to break up with her adulterous husband just before the attack on the World Trade Center. She’s at LaGuardia when the airport is shut down. So are all the other airports in New York City and around the country. Hotels are quickly booked and as a last resort, she is invited home to stay with her Muslim taxi driver and his family. There are twin sons: one an ardent capitalist who escapes a tower collapse; the other a radical Islamist who may have been involved in the attack.
For three days, Charlene Crawford enters a different world. One son stumbles home covered in the white dust of ashes and powdery human remains. The following morning, money has been left at the door. Though the mystery of who left the money is not solved, it may have been reward money. The FBI comes twice to the home, and in an interesting twist, the optimist throughout the play—a professor of world religions—turns out to be the most despairing of them all.
There are SFX and voice-overs throughout the play, the latter being actual words (though not voices) spoken by people in the twin towers, newscasts from America and the Arab world, a 9-1-1 situation room, call-in radio, etc.
The play’s name reflects how geographically close we have all become. Brooklyn is across town from Manhattan. With air travel, social media, and such, much of the planet is now AcrossTown. (WGA: R22344) Play Excerpt