Hanrott, Robert C. (British playwright, writer, lyricist, composer,
1939- ), and Martha H. Horsley (American playwright, composer,
writer, 1942- ), "The Reckoning,"
a 50-minute three-scene musical fantasy-comedy in English,
set in Heaven, Hell, and the White House, 2000 A. D.,
2m1f (+ 2 extras),
© 1997, script/rights available from Robert C. Hanrott and Martha H. Horsley,
1424 33rd Street NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20007, U.S.A.,
telephone (home) 202-342-9189, (work) 202-342-9189, fax 202 342
0476, e-mail Bhanrott@worldnet.att.net.
Cited by Robert C. Hanrott via e-mail Bhanrott@worlddnet.att.net,
August 2, 1997; Hanrott says,
Dramatis Personae "Lucifer (m), ageless,
baritone, crafty and scheming, an impatient snob, seriously rattled
by the demonstrations against him in Hell, who needs to show that
he is actively doing something about the "living" conditions;
Archangel Gabrielle (f), ageless, mezzo, preoccupied with her
middle-age crisis, but not so dreamy as she seems; The U. S President
(m), about 50, tenor, frustrated in his job, unlikely to be reelected,
wants a job with no term limits; The Attendant (m), about 50,
tenor, doubles with the President, more vicious than is Lucifer;
First Angel (nonspeaking m or f, possibly child) Second Angel
(nonspeaking m or f, possibly child)
Synopsis "Lucifer is struggling to retain
his control over Hell, where there is a rapidly growing number
of dead souls and serious overcrowding. The Archangel Gabrielle
also faces overcrowding in Heaven, where she is accused of admitting
too many new souls. Lucifer persuades Gabrielle to join him in
confronting the U. S. President with an ultimatum: either the
President will sponsor a 'global family plan' to reduce the Earth's
population growth; or Lucifer and Gabrielle will impose an immigration
policy, with Heaven accepting only the meek and the poor, and
Hell only the rich and the greedy. The middle classes would languish
in limbo. The U. S. President stalls, an argument ensues. Under
pressure to appease his critics, Lucifer loses patience and arranges
to take over the White House to implement his fallback plan: war,
famine and disease. The result would be an influx of one billion
people, but fewer souls in the centuries to come. Lucifer gets
Gabrielle out of the way (or so he thinks) and suborns the U.
S. President. Gabrielle sees through his ruse and has him arrested
as he is about to occupy the Oval Office. The U. S. President
is forced to promise a negotiated 'global family plan.' But Lucifer
has the last word!
Comments "The style is comic, played for
entertainment. Music: Gabrielle sings in the style of a Handel
opera. Lucifer sings in bluesy style, the U. S. President in the
style of 1950s Broadway, and the Attendant in the style of Gilbert
& Sullivan. A full piano score is available. A rhythm section
is recommended, but not essential. Staging: for scenes 1 &
2, simple flats depicting flames (Hell) on one side and blue
sky and clouds (Heaven) on the other, plus two thrones for Lucifer
and Gabrielle; scene 3, desk and U. S. flag to denote the
Oval Office. Costumes: Suggest horns and jump-suit for Lucifer
and the Attendant, and white dress with wings for Gabrielle. Suit
and tie for the President. Props: Devils' forks, dummy sub-machine
guns, suitcase, large cannister marked 'Burn Lotion.' Although
intended to be comic and lighthearted, 'The Reckoning' carries
a message: if we do not restrain the growth in world population,
the 'Devil' will do it for us. Production Status: excerpts performed
November, 1996, as part of the regular IN Series at Mount Vernon
College, Washington, D. C. No full production as of August, 1997.
Market: We believe this would play particularly well with college
or high school audiences."
Themes "comedy, fantasy, musical, overpopulation,
political, popular opera, population."
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Page updated August 22, 1997, by the site Webmaster.