The God of Hell: A Play

The God of Hell: A Play

Sam Shepard

Language: English

Pages: 45

ISBN: 1400096510

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Pulitzer Prize winner Sam Shepard’s latest play is an uproarious, brilliantly provocative farce that brings the gifts of a quintessentially American playwright to bear on the current American dilemma.

Frank and Emma are a quiet, respectable couple who raise cows on their Wisconsin farm. Soon after they agree to put up Frank’s old friend Haynes, who is on the lam from a secret government project involving plutonium, they’re visited by Welch, an unctuous government bureaucrat from hell. His aggressive patriotism puts Frank, Emma, and Haynes on the defensive, transforming a heartland American household into a scene of torture and promoting a radioactive brand of conformity with a dangerously long half life.

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course. Easy to make snap judgments. He could be one of those middle Europeans or something. Latvian maybe. Belarusian. EMMA: I think you must have the wrong house or something. I don’t know what in the world— (WELCH suddenly moves very quickly across to the kitchen cupboards. EMMA just stands there, watching.) WELCH: Would you mind if I borrow a saucer? I don’t want to get crumbs all over your floor. I can see you run a very tight ship here. (WELCH sets his case down on kitchen counter,

managed by Jared Clarkin Production stage managed by Linda Marvel Scene One Set: Early morning. Interior, very simple Midwestern farmhouse. Frosty windows looking out to distant vague, snowbound pastures—no details. Two rooms separated by a simple kitchen counter. Small kitchen stage left with faded linoleum floor. Modest living room, stage right, with plank wood floor; small couch downstage right. Many potted plants of various sizes line the walls of the living room, not arranged with any sense

anyway? EMMA: Oh, it’s plenty cold. FRANK: Cold enough to stick your tongue to a mailbox. EMMA: How cold was it back there in Colorado, Mr. Haynes? HAYNES: Graig. EMMA: What? HAYNES: Call me Graig. EMMA: Craig? Oh—all right—Craig. HAYNES: No, Graig—with a G. EMMA: What? HAYNES: Never mind. EMMA: Would you like a cup of coffee, Craig? HAYNES: Please—yes. (She pours him a cup) EMMA: So, how cold was it back there in Colorado, Craig? (FRANK stands suddenly from the couch, throwing

evidently—some stranger. I guess that’s it. Got her shook up. HAYNES: A stranger? FRANK: That’s what she said. She gets nervous. We hardly ever see anyone out here. HAYNES: Well—what did he want? FRANK: Who? HAYNES: The stranger. FRANK: You got me. I didn’t see him. I was down feeding my heifers. HAYNES: She didn’t say? FRANK: Not really. Just asked her a bunch of strange questions about the house. HAYNES: What kind of questions? FRANK: Nothing, really. I mean—how many rooms there were.

EMMA: Who? WELCH’S VOICE: You know who, Emma. I came by yesterday with the cookies. Remember? EMMA: What do you want this time? And how in the heck do you know my name? WELCH’S VOICE: I’d just like to ask you some more questions about the house. EMMA: No! No more questions! You just get away from here. Go down and see my husband. He’s down there by the barn. You go down there and ask him your questions. Don’t ask me. WELCH’S VOICE: I’ve already seen your husband, Emma. EMMA: You have?

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