PLAYS by KEITH JOHNSTONE
“Many people find my adult plays disturbing but isn’t the whole universe disturbing? Anyway, be warned. And I apologise for not being about to write more comfortable plays. Here are extracts from a few of the ones I like.”
~ Keith Johnstone
SHORT (TILT) PLAYS
Additional plays and other writings are available through Keith Johnstone Workshops Inc. and/or in the Keith Johnstone Papers at Stanford University Archives. If you are interested in acquiring and/or producing a Keith Johnstone play or publishing literary content (including artwork) created by Keith, please contact Keith's literary executor.
An excerpt from the play by Keith Johnstone.
(Mary Christmas, burned alive, arrives at immigration in Heaven)
Waif (INNOCENT) I'm sorry if these aren't the right answers, but I
have a 'limited experience' of Grown-ups.
St. Peter You can't have forgotten the Lord's prayer! It's like
forgetting who Jesus is.
Waif (DRYING EYES?) Oh, him!
St. Peter (TESTING HER) Henry Jesus? Builds model aeroplanes?
Waif That's right.
St. Peter I meant the Jesus who was crucified for our sins!
Waif Oh that Jesus!
St. Peter (INTO PHONE) St. Peter here!.....The Nuns? They should
coming up the escalator just about now.......Good! (QUIETER) Oh - ask
them if a Mary Christmas belongs to their party. (MORE CLEARLY)
No problem! (HE HANGS UP) The Nuns have never heard of any Mary
Waif I wasn't actually with them. I just thought they might be heading
in the right direction.
St. Peter They were Nuns! What other direction would they be going in?
(BUSINESSLIKE) All right! Recite the Ten Commandments.
Waif (GLIBLY) Thou shalt not kill! Thou shalt not commit
adultery....Thou shalt not draw pictures of anything, or make statues,
or take photos....
St. Peter Take your hat off!
Waif Do I have to?
St. Peter Do what you're told!
SHE REMOVES HAT. THE CROSS ON HER FOREHEAD IS BLACK
St. Peter What's that on your forehead? Why isn't your cross shining
like all the others! Come here!
St. Peter Come here when I tell you!
HE LICKS A HANDKERCHIEF AND WIPES THE CROSS AWAY
You drew that yourself!
Waif Well I didn't have one!
St. Peter Mary Christmas indeed! What's your real name? Come on! Own
Waif (RELUCTANTLY) It's Becky!
St. Peter Becky!
Waif I thought you wouldn't let me in if I told the truth!
St. Peter Well you're right about that!
Waif What's wrong with me?
St. Peter You're Jewish!
Waif Jewish! That's not my fault!
St. Peter You have to burn in Hell like the Islamies, and the other
riff-raff. You think we let Einstein in there? You think Woody Allen
is going to get in there?
Waif Aren't you Jewish!
St. Peter I was baptized!
Waif So baptize me!
St. Peter It has to be while you're still alive. They should have
whipped you until you became a Christian like in the old days.
Waif That's cruel!
St. Peter Nothing's cruel if it saves you from the everlasting
barbecue. Now step into that elevator over there and press the button
ST. PETER TURNS TO HIS PAPERS, ETC. AN SS OFFICER ARRIVES (CARRYING A
Nazi (CLICKING HEELS, ETC.) Heil Hitler!
St. Peter (BUSY WITH COMPUTER?) Wait behind the yellow line. (HISSING
AT WAIF) Go away!
THE NAZI CLICKS HIS HEELS AS HE COMES TO ATTENTION BEHIND THE YELLOW
(TO NAZI) Step forwards, please.
Nazi (GIVES NAZI SALUTE) Heil Hitler!
St. Peter (GIVES NAZI SALUTE) Heil Hitler! Congratulations on reaching
SHORT BURST OF ECSTATIC CHORAL MUSIC ST. PETER MIMES SLITTING HIS
THROAT TO SWITCH IT OFF
Glory be to God who....
Nazi My papers.
St. Peter Yes, er....yes.....
Nazi You will find them in perfect order!
St. Peter (AT COMPUTER?) When you died you were a elderly gentleman?
Nazi Yes, but this was the best time of my life. And I love the
uniform! (POINTING OUT HIS LAPELS) You see the little skulls?
St. Peter Ah! (LOOKING AT PAPERS) And you received absolution.
Nazi From the spiritual adviser who helped me escape to Argentina.
Waif It's him! It's him!
St. Peter (WAVING HER DOWN) Please....
Waif He's the one!
Nazi Are these stinking Jews even at the gates of Heaven!
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