Sunday, March 06, 2005

Pharyngula: The Musical (Part One of Several)

THE CRUCIBLE TONGS, or LES MYERSABLES, a Fine and Upstanding Musical Show


CAST

Pompous Narrator - A Narrator, who Explains the Plot to the Not-So-Intellectually-Endowed
PZ Myers - A Noble and Embattled Knight of Science
Miss Johnson - A Student
Miss Johnson's Sadly Neglected Young Swain - A Student's Boyfriend
Mr. Iscariot - A Student Who Is A Little Sneaky
Ragged Students - A Chorus of the Knowledge-Hungry
His Holiness - The Grand Inquisitor of the Church of Divine Creation
A Senior Church Official - A Churchgoer who Isn't Terribly Special, but Gets His Own Scene Anyway
Various Churchgoers - A Chorus of the Grievously Deluded
Newscameramen - A Chorus of the Impartial (One Hopes)

[Contents] [>]

ACT ONE, SCENE ONE

SCENE: A dim, dark, dreary, deserted LAB at the University of Minnesota. Enter the POMPOUS NARRATOR, bearing a Ponderous Volume of Forgotten Lore.

POMPOUS NARRATOR (in a loud and sententious voice): In a MOST TERRIBLE THEOCRACY of the NOT-SO-DISTANT FUTURE, where KNOWLEDGE is decidedly not power, ONE MAN stands alone against the dread Church of Divine Creation. He is a BRAVE man! He is a PROUD man! He is a NOBLE man! He is Professor P.Z. Myers, of the University of South Dakota!

WHISPER (offstage): Pss, pss, pss.

POMPOUS NARRATOR: ...of the University of Minnesota. In a DARK and DESERTED lab, EMPTY save for the RATTLE of CRUCIBLE-TONGS in the WIND, his huddled students lament their dire fate! Without further ado: Atto Primo, lar-go can-ta-bi-le!

Enter Miss Johnson, Miss Johnson's Sadly Neglected Young Swain, and a chorus of Ragged Students bearing candles.

MISS JOHNSON (whispering): All quiet?

MISS JOHNSON'S S.N.Y.S.: As Gross Anatomy.

MISS JOHNSON (breaking into song): Will there be no class tomorrow?
Has he left us to our sorrow?
Will there be no books, no lecture
Is this now the Church's prefecture?

RAGGED STUDENTS: (Will there be no class tomorrow?
Will there be no books to borrow?)

MISS JOHNSON'S S.N.Y.S.: Will we have no harsh correction?
Will we not strive for perfection?
Will the Church halt all proceedings
That are linked to math or reading?

RAGGED STUDENTS: (Will we have no harsh correction?
What of natural selection?)

MISS JOHNSON and MISS JOHNSON'S S.N.Y.S.: Mr. Myers, won't you teach us?
Won't your golden wisdom reach us?
Raise the lectern, lower the pulpit
Cast the Church as sinful culprit!

RAGGED STUDENTS: (Mr. Myers, won't you teach us?
Let your words of wisdom reach us!)

MISS JOHNSON: Wisdom makes the common regal
(Even if it is illegal.)

MISS JOHNSON'S S.N.Y.S. (holding a book up to his face): Reading in the dark is murder.
Hang a lantern on the girder!

RAGGED STUDENTS (lighting lanterns and hanging them from a conveniently-placed beam): (Mr. Myers, won't you teach us?
Let the light of wisdom reach us, etc.)

ALL: Mr. Myers, won't you teach us?
Won't your golden wisdom reach us?
Raise the lectern, lower the pulpit
Cast the Church as sinful culprit, etc.

Suddenly, a RESOUNDING CRASH is heard offstage, then the slap of approaching footsteps. Everyone falls silent, and turns to face the DOOR. What EVER will happen next?
Part 2

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