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“Holier Ground”

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Denn, Jonathan M. (American playwright, conference center director, 1955-____), “Holier Ground,”

a 25-minute drama in English in two scenes, set at the Israeli-Palestinian border, near future,

1m1f (+ voice) or 2m1f

; • © 2004 by Jon Denn; • in Jon Denn’s Holier Ground (West Cornwall, Connecticut, U.S.A.: The Author, 2004); • script/rights available from Jon Denn, P. O. Box 272, West Cornwall, Connecticut 06796, U.S.A., e-mail sqlaps@aol.com, telephone, (home) 860-672-4417, (work) 860-672-1000, fax 860-672-2475. • Cited by Jon Denn via ftp November 11, 2004; Denn says,

§ Dramatis Personae Esau (m), 21, Israeli, soldier and lover of Bashie; Soldier #2 (m voice), __, Israeli; Bashameth [Bashie] (f), 19, a desperate Palestinian female, lover of Esau.

§ Synopsis “Bashie is digging feverishly on the Palestinian side of the Security Barrier protecting Israel. She improbably converses with her lover through the fence. She is not necessarily digging her way under the fence, but possibly is digging the final grave of a peace monument called the Orbit of Graves. Some Israelis and Palestinians killed in the conflict lie at rest, head to toe, parallel each other orbiting the barrier. Bashie, five months pregnant by Esau, is bent on finding the real Esau, not this imaginary one, by breaking into Israel one way or another—or die trying. The grave she’s digging may be her own. She climbs the barbed wire fence and pauses at the top—her pregnant belly in Israel. On the Israeli side, the lovely unpregnant Bashie joins Esau, an Israeli soldier. They discuss having a child together. Esau recounts how his parents are no longer liberal about the Palestinian situation after a suicide bomber has killed their nephew, his cousin. This imaginary Bashie leaves Esau impossibly through the fence. Real time and reality crash together when Esau trains his gun on the shrouded hajib-wearing Palestinian breaking into Israel.

§ Comment “A hope-filled ending. Two scenes. One minor change between scenes. While a fence and trapdoor are ideal for the production, ladders and rope can suggest the fence, and pantomime can suggest the digging behind a rock. • The play had a successful informal reading at the Yale School of Drama, Yale University, P. O. Box 208325, New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A."

§ Themes barrier, grave, hope, Israel, love, magic realism, Palestine, parental pressure, peace, teenage, unplanned pregnancy.

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Page mounted November 11, 2004, and updated November 12, 2004, by the Webmaster.

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