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“The Schindler of Nanking”


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Waterstreet, Margaret G. (American playwright, 1953-____), “The Schindler of Nanking,”

a 2-minute drama in English, set on a street, Nanking, China, during the Japanese army’s genocide of Chinese civilians prior to World War II, 1937,

2mlf (+ female voice);

 •  © 1998 by Margaret G. Waterstreet,  •  script/rights available from Margaret G. Waterstreet, 1509 West Cornelia Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60657-1305, U.S.A., telephone (home/work) 773.665.4726, e-mail _____. Cited by Margaret G. Waterstreet via postal mail, 1998; Waterstreet says,

 §  Dramatis Personae John Rabe (m), 55, wears his Nazi armband on his businessman’s overcoat; Minnie Vautrin (f), 51, Belgian-American missionary wearing cross on a necklace over her threadbare raincoat; Japanese Soldier (m), 30, like most of his colleagues, rapes and kills Chinese civilians who surrendered "like cowards”; Voice (f), girl’s scream.

 §  Synopsis “John and Minnie view the carnage and decide to create in their quarter of Nanking a safe zone for Chinese civilians. John exits to investigate an offstage girl’s scream. The Soldier enters backwards. He is pulling up his trousers. He is bowing to John as he reenters. The Soldier tries to placate John with praises of Hitler-san. John chases the Soldier away, furiously warning that the Führer will stop this genocide when he reads John’s full report.

 §  Comment “Use power to do good.  •  This mini-drama is based on true characters in this true but largely-forgotten story. This mini-play needs neither scenery nor props. The comedy is an ideal transition during an evening of one-acts—perform ‘The Schindler of Nanking’ downstage while upstage you change scenery for your next one-act. This play was successfully workshopped.”

 §  Themes carnage, civilian, culture, deference, fury, Führer, genocide, haven, Hitler, intercession, investigation, Nanking, placation, rape, report, sack, warning.

See also Margaret G. Waterstreet’s
  • Bad Tidings,” a 2-minute comedy in English, set on a California beach, daytime, 1998, 4m or 4f
  • Chained to My Fridge,” a 60-minute comedy in English, set in an American kitchen with dining area, 1997 with flashbacks to the 1950s-1980s, 1m2f
  • Diablo Car Rental,” a 2-minute comedy in English, set at a car rental counter at an airport, spring night, 1997, 2m or 2f
  • Familiar Faces,” a 30-minute comedy in English, set in a Chicago living room with dining area, school parlor, 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., summer, 1990s, 4f or 1m3f
  • Free Advice,” a 7-minute comedy in English, set in an urban train station, evening rush hour, 1997, 2f (+ male or female voice)
  • A Matter of Scale,” a 2-minute comedy in English, set in the bathroom of an American household, late evening, 1997, 1f (+ male or female voice)
  • Stranger at My Gate,” a 10-minute comedy in English, set in an alley in an American neighborhood, summer day, 1997, 1m1f
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