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Psychosis Revisited

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  • 8/8/2019 Psychosis Revisited


    March 25, 2009

    Psychosis, a clinical analysis A one-act play by Jorge Faz

    Scene 1 Incidence

    Curtains open. Darkness. A small, simple, partly opened box sitscenter stage. As the audience settles, the sounds of strings(violins, violas, cellos, etc) slowly crescendos. Initially, they playa unison note, preferably a concert A. Once the audience settlesdown, ghoul-like whispering is heard from offstage and around thetheater, and also crescendos with the strings, now playing adissonant chord. This mix of strings and whispering will now becollectively referred to as THE SOUNDS. The following should be called out at random times by different extras, oftenoverlapping the voices (When THE SOUNDS are called for).

    VOICES No hope! / Die! / Suicide is sin / Only way out! / Kill yourself! / Do it / Kill them / They dontreally love you / Use it / Youre tearing them apart / Its all your fault! / Take this pain away /Suffer! / Fall into your eternal slumber / Why did this happen / Why me / God help me! /

    Random Screams of Pain

    Suddenly, an 18 year old ELIAS storms onto center stage, grasping his head, screaming. A soft spotlight exposes him. THE SOUNDS soften.

    Elias kneels down in front of the box..

    THE SOUNDS intensify; Elias takes out a bottle of pills and takestwo out. He swallows them. THE SOUNDS soften.

    Elias swings his head around and then places his hands on the boxlid. Immediately, 3 HOODED FIGURES, one in white, one inblack, and one in gray, stand around Elias; the black and white

    figures on either side, and the gray directly behind him, holding Elias.

    THE SOUNDS intensify throughout as the Gray Hooded Figureleads Elias to take out the gun from the box.

    BLACK HOODED FIGUREMake it ALL go away.

    WHITE HOODED FIGUREFight. Dont give up hope!

    Elias puts the gun barrel in his mouth.


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    Elias takes out the gun barrel from his mouth. Elias looks at the gun.

    GRAY HOODED FIGUREWhat an unfortunate circumstance I find myself in today. What led me to this place? Thisincredible loneliness? This unholy darkness. Chaos. Despair. Should I end it here? Can Imake it better? Can they? Can He?

    THE SOUNDS intensify. The Black and White Hooded figures

    face the audience. The Gray Hooded Figure mimics Eliasas Elias brings the gun slowly to his head.The Sounds intensify beyond what they have been. Elias quietly prays. The Gray

    Hooded Figure mimics him.The Black and White Hooded Figures chant a low note, blending

    in with The Sounds. Then suddenly, from offstage Elias father, Roland, yells


    Blackout. A single scream silences all the noise. The curtainsclose on the scene.

    Scene 2 Escalation

    Lights reveal a desk stage left. It is covered with papers and houses a lamp, phone, and a tape recorder. A chair is placed in

    front of his desk as well. Enter DOCTOR STROMBERG, a 45 year old male psychiatrist. Hes holding a file and a coffee mug. He places the file at his desk and takes a sip of coffee as he turnson the tape recorder and faces the audience.

    DOCTOR STROMBERGFebruary 20, 2006. Have just received a call from Evelyn Carter.

    He takes a sip of coffee, sits at his desk and opens the file. Helooks through the pages.


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    My secretary Patricia was kind enough to write the details of her conversation with Mrs. Carter.( sips coffee ) According to Patricia, Mrs. Carter gave a description of moments preceding and upto the time she made the phone call. Based on the comments made by Mrs. Carter, her son Elias seems to have experienced a very interesting case of panic disorder and undifferentiatedor acute paranoid schizophrenia. For record keeping purposes, Ill read the report left by Ms.


    Lights dim out from Dr. Stromberg, who is still reading throughthe papers, and fade into the Carter familys dining room. There,

    ROLAND (42), EVELYN (41), and ELIAS are sitting around thetable, saying grace.

    ROLANDIn your precious name we pray, Amen.

    Evelyn begins serving them food.

    ROLANDIts smells delicious honey, what is it?

    EVELYNThank you! Its actually an old recipe I dug up from one of my grandmothers old books.

    ELIASGreat grandma Eva?

    EVELYNThats right. She used to make the best Mediterranean meals in the city.

    ROLANDShe also had the worst moles on her face. She looked like

    EVELYN(bitterly) Roland! Dont start.

    Evelyn drops the serving spoon in the dish. She sits down, not having served Elias. Elias gets up and serves himself. Roland begins eating, as does Evelyn.

    Dr. Stromberg turns on the lamp on his desk. Having served himself, Elias sits back down.

    EVELYNSo, Elias. How was school?


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    Terrible. Im swamped with homework, tests, projects. I have my violin recital next week, aconcerto, and my boss is having me work double shifts throughout the month.

    ROLANDIts good that youre working hard, son. Its the only way to get ahead in life.

    EVELYNWhat do you do for fun, son?

    ELIASFun? Well, I like keeping busy.

    EVELYNI know you do, honey, but I dont see you going out with friends or anything. Youre always

    buried in papers and locked up in your room practicing all day and night.

    ROLANDAnd whats wrong with that, Eve? Let the boy strive to be successful.

    ELIASDad, I

    EVELYNYoure forcing him to be a social outcast, Roli. Hes gotta balance work and leisure.

    ROLANDYou know what happens when kids try to balance work and leisure, Eve? They becomeslackers. They forget the importance of a

    ELIASHey! Can we just calm down and have a nice lunch together? Huh?


    EVELYN(to Elias) Hows your plate?

    ELIASIts good.

    ROLANDYouve barely touched your food, son? Is there something wrong?

    A short pause. Elias lowers his silverwaELIAS

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    I heard you two arguing again last night.

    A beat, while Dr. Stromberg says the following:


    Make note, Elias showed signs of a stress induced anxiety disorder. Consider all possiblestressors, environmental, physical, emotional, and psychological

    EVELYNOh, Eli. We were just having a little harmless disagreement.

    Roland stays quiet.

    ELIASI know what you guys were arguing about. Jesus, mom, Im not a little kid any-

    ROLANDWatch your mouth, Eli. Remember, thou -

    ROLAND and ELIASShall not take the Lords name in vain.

    ELIASGot it.

    ROLANDYour mom and I were just talking

    ELIASYelling you were yelling.

    ROLANDWell, son, we were discussing an important matter that I felt needed addressing -

    EVELYN(to Elias) Elias, your father thinks I am having an affair -


    ELIAS Are you having an affair?

    EVELYNOf course not, honey. I love your father very much.


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    Its not the first time I caught you flirting with him, Eve. Youre gonna tell me, and now your son, that youre not seeing another man behind my back? You have the gall to lie to your familylike that?

    Evelyn slaps Roland. Elias wasnt paying attention, looking

    blankly ahead. Breathing heavily.

    DOCTOR STROMBERGSymptoms included accelerated heart rate, sweating, nausea trembling, racing thoughts - ( fadesaway )

    ROLANDCan we finish our lunch?

    Evelyn cries quietly. She sits down, as does Roland. The sound of screeching strings (violins, violas, cellos, etc) faintly crescendo

    throughout the following sequence, joined by whispering (something like: They hate you They hate each otherTheyre going to get a divorce Hes torturing her Sheslying)

    ELIASI dont feel well.

    ROLANDYou havent eaten anything. Go ahead, eat up.

    Elias takes a bite of his food. And spits it back out.

    ELIASIt tastes like ash.

    Elias begins to breathe faster and heavier. The sounds of stringsand voices crescendo.

    ROLANDYour mother made that with a lot of care, Elias. Dont insult her like that.

    EVELYNHe doesnt have to like it, Roland.

    ROLANDHe needs to eat, Evelyn. He needs his strength and he needs to be a healthy, well-structuredyoung man!


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    (Shouting) Stop trying to control his life, Roli. Hes not in middle school anymore,; hes goingto college soon, for cripes sake. He already has so much to worry about, and youre only

    pushing him further towards the edge. -

    The sounds of strings and voices grow even louder. Elias has put

    his head between his arms and begins to groan.

    ROLAND- (shouting back) The edge of what Eve? Dont underestimate his capacity to handle whatever the world tosses his way. Hes got a strong foundation in Christ, and with that, anything is


    EVELYNI know, Roli. Were thankful for what God has given us and for guiding us through thesetroublesome times, but that doesnt mean the boy cant enjoy himself in the company of others.Gosh, I dont even think he has a girlfriend.


    Roland and Evelyn stop shouting. Elias still has his head in hisarms. The sound of voices and strings keep on going. He looks up.


    Elias realizes his parents are quiet.

    DOCTOR STROMBERG- Showed signs of paranoia and hallucinations.

    Elias freaks out, jumps out of his seat and backs up onto the floor.

    EVELYNElias? Elias, whats wrong?

    ELIASMake it stop.

    ROLANDSon, whats going on?

    ELIASThe noise. The voices. They wont stop. I cant control my thoughts.

    The walls should move in closer together. Only Elias notices this.

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    EVELYNOh my gosh. Son Eli Oh, God.

    Evelyn exits. Roland comes up to Elias and pulls him up from the


    ROLANDElias! Elias listen to me! My gosh, youre burning up! (puts his hand on Eliass head) Lord, Icall on your name to free my son from the hold of these demonic beings. Let him be free fromall unnatural thoughts. I cast out any evils possessing my son in your holy name, Jesus!

    ELIASThe walls!

    Evelyn returns with a phone.

    ROLANDWhat are you doing?

    EVELYNIm calling Dr. Stromberg.

    ROLANDStromberg? Eve, we need to take him to the church!

    The noise gets louder still.

    EVELYNHes mentally ill , Roland. Not spiritually, not physically. He needs to see Dr. Stromberg.

    ROLANDHell only make matters worse.

    EVELYNHes a professional, Roli. Bernard is a good man.

    ELIASEnough! Jesus, if you two would just stop bickering for one fucking second!

    Beat. The noise softens slightly.

    (contd) Mom, please take me to Dr. Stromberg.


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    I really have no say in this matter? Son, is that really what you want?

    Elias goes to Roland and hugs him.


    Im going. Pray for me dad.

    ROLANDSon, please.

    Beat. Elias collapses to the floor and cries out. Roland places hishands on Elias and begins to pray quietly.

    DOCTOR STROMBERG- fear of losing control, fear of dying, delusions, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, paranoia( picks up phone and dials) Hello, Patricia? Have Elias and his parents come in as soon as

    possible. He hangs up and turns of his lamp. Evelyns phone rings.

    EVELYNYes? Can he see him right now? OK thank you, were on our way.

    She hangs up her phone.

    EVELYNCome on Elias, we have to go see Dr. Stromberg.

    ROLANDHave faith, son.

    ELIASI will, dad.

    EVELYNYoure not coming with us?

    ROLANDI I have to talk to the pastor. Maybe he can offer some guidance as well. Eli needs all thesupport he can get.

    The Sounds intensify. Evelyn grabs Elias by the arm and they exit.The Sounds Stop. Light focuses on Roland.


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    Beat . Not Yet.

    Doctor Stromberg writes in the file.


    (Looking at the file) Tell me Elias, have you ever felt overwhelmed by stress? Has anythingtraumatic happened in your life?

    ELIASWhat are you writing in there, doc?

    DOCTOR STROMBERGOh. Just some notes. I use this to map out your condition. How is school?


    School is school. Homework. Tests. Projects. Teachers. Books.DOCTOR STROMBERG

    Do you work?

    ELIASPart time on the weekdays and fulltime on the weekends.

    DOCTOR STROMBERGAre you in any extracurriculars?

    ELIASIm first violinist in our orchestra. And I compete in solo competitions.

    DOCTOR STROMBERGYouve got a pretty hectic life.

    ELIASDad says its the only way Ill be successful.

    DOCTOR STROMBERGAnd what your mother say?

    ELIASMy mom?

    A beat. The Sounds linger in the theater ambiance.

    She thinks my dads too strict. That I should be a bit more social and carefree.DOCTOR STROMBERG

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    Do your parents usually disagree with each other?

    The Sounds intensify slightly. Black Hooded Figure and White Hooded Figure enter and stand beside Gray Hooded Figure.

    ELIASEveryone has their fights.

    DOCTOR STROMBERGHave your parents fought before?

    Elias rubs his forehead, as if feeling pressure upon his head.

    DOCTOR STROMBERGElias, have you had panic attacks prior to today?

    Gray Hooded Figure exits slowly; Black Hooded Figure and White Hooded Figure reach out towards him. The Soundsintensify slightly.

    DOCTOR STROMBERGAre you alright, Elias?

    A noose drops down above Elias. Elias puts the noose around hisneck.

    ELIASI saw them.

    DOCTOR STROMBERGSaw them? Saw them do what?

    ELIASDad thought I was asleep. I wanted to surprise mommy when she got back.

    DOCTOR STROMBERGElias, what happened?

    Elias tightens the noose.

    DOCTOR STROMBERGDid something happen between your mom and dad?

    ELIAS A beat. (Crying) Yes.


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    Did you feel the same way you felt today during lunch?

    The Sounds intensify. Elias breaks down.


    (Crying out ) God! Make it stop!

    DOCTOR STROMBERGElias, whats wrong? Elias! ( Runs to the door) Patricia! Bring me the sedative.

    The Sounds intensify. Elias grabs a hold of the rope. The Hooded Figures reach out towards Elias. A flash of light turns to completedarkness and silence but the sound of Elias crying. Then stops.


    Scene 4 Juxtaposition

    PASTOR MORDECHAI MATHESON, a 61 year old, stout man, paces in front of his desk (set up similarly to Dr.

    Strombergs), reading from a bible and taking notes. ROLANDknocks on the door.


    ROLANDRoland Carter.

    Matheson closes his Bible and lays it on his desk.

    PASTOR MATHESONOh! Come on in, Roland.

    Roland enters.

    ROLANDGood afternoon Pastor Matheson.

    Pastor Matheson walks over to Roland, shakes his hand and hugshim.

    PASTOR MATHESONPlease, Roland, call me Mordechai. I think weve know each other long enough, and we are

    brothers in Christ, after all.ROLAND

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    (almost dismissingly, with urgency) Ive come to talk about my son, Elias. Im afraid heshes not himself.

    PASTOR MATHESONYou dont say Please, have a seat, make yourself at home.

    Roland does so. Pastor Matheson pours a glass of water.

    Can I offer you some water?

    ROLANDHmm? Oh, no, thank you.

    Pastor Matheson drinks from the glass and sets it down. He sits at his chair.


    So. Tell me. What seems to be the problem?ROLAND

    Well... Something happened... during lunch.

    A beat.

    PASTOR MATHESONYes? Go on Roland.

    ROLAND(takes a deep breath; exhales) Elias has been possessed by some sort of demonic power. Hes

    been seeing and hearing things that arent there. Screaming incoherently. His body temperature-


    Pastor Matheson grabs his Bible and opens it.


    PASTOR MATHESONTell me more about what happened. Did you speak with this demon?

    ROLANDWell. No.


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    No? Well, did you son speak in evil tongues? Blaspheming the name of the Lord?

    ROLANDWhat? No, none of that.

    Pastor Matheson sinks back into his chair. Roland stands up and paces a little.

    ROLANDHe said he was hearing voices. That the walls were closing in. Pastor, he was -

    PASTOR MATHESONPlease, Roland, calm yourself. Where is your son now?

    ROLANDEvelyn took him to see Dr. Bernard Stromberg.

    PASTOR MATHESONI see. Roland, have you ever had any history of anxiety or panic attacks?

    A beat. Roland looks away from Pastor Matheson.

    Well, Im no professional on the matter, but Ive heard anxiety disorders are hereditary, usuallyimpacting a direct offspring.

    ROLANDI dont know what youre talking about. Please! My son

    PASTOR MATHESON- is sick! Why do you persist in making this a matter of spiritual warfare? Why, Roland? Whymake this bigger than what it really is?

    Roland turns to Pastor Matheson.

    ROLANDBecause I know it is!

    A pause. Pastor Matheson sits up and reaches for his bible. He picks it up and flips quickly through the pages.

    PASTOR MATHESONYou know, Roland, when I first became the pastor of this church, I was approached by severalreligious extremists who questioned my preaching methods. You see, it is doctrine that the HolyBible is the uncontested word of God. But I knew the word of God was much more than just a

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    ROLAND(now crying) I was really hoping you could help.

    PASTOR MATHESONYour son is where he needs to be, Roland. With a doctor.


    PASTOR MATHESONI know, I know. Listen, you have an admirable devotion to your faith and to God. And though itmay seem like Hes not there when you need Him, youre overlooking his presence through theworld around you.

    Roland turns away from Pastor Matheson and takes steps toward

    the door.He is not only a supernatural being, Hes a supra-natural. Hes in everything we take for granted. As religious followers, we often lose ourselves in the dogma and become narrow-minded. Dont you understand, Roland?

    Roland opens the door.

    Why do you seem so disturbed that Dr. Stromberg is attending to your son?

    RONALD(bitingly) Because I dont trust him!

    A beat.

    PASTOR MATHESONBernard? Whatever has he done to

    RONALDI should go to my son and Evelyn.

    PASTOR MATHESON No! Please, Roland, sit down and speak to me.

    ROLANDIve confessed my sins to God; I will not confess them to you.

    PASTOR MATHESONTheres something you havent told me?


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    Im sorry Mordechai. But there are some things best left between me and God.

    Roland exits. Pastor Matheson looks out through the door, closesit and returns to his seat. He tosses the bible on his desk and takesout the phone book. He finds a number

    Lights cross fade to the next scene.


    Scene 5 Derived Examination

    EVELYN sits in Dr. Strombergs office, fiddling with her hands,tensely. A classical piece plays in the background from a

    phonograph. Shortly after, DR. STROMBERG and ELIAS enter. Elias walks in slowly, almost mummy-like. Dr. Stromberg helps

    him to a seat next to Evelyns. Evelyn embraces her son. Eliascloses his eyes and rests his head on Evelyns chest.

    DR. STROMBERGThe sedatives we administered should keep him calm for a while. Ive also started him onmedication treatment for schizophrenia.

    EVELYN(interjecting)How long?

    DR. STROMBERGEvelyn, you have to understand these treatments dont last from one day to the

    EVELYN(more aggressive) How. Long.

    DR. STROMBERGAssuming the best 9 months. But these treatments usually last a year two years.

    EVELYNHes gonna be like this for a year?

    DR. STROMBERGWell, in order for the treatment to work more efficiently, hell also need behavioral therapy.That means that youll have to work to keep him as calm and as sane as possible.


    These treatments arent easy. It asks a lot from all of us. From the patient. From the doctor.From the family. From friends.

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    EVELYNI appreciate all your help, Bernard.


    Anything for you and your family, Eve.

    Elias comes to.

    ELIASMom. Wheres dad?

    EVELYNHes with Pastor Mordechai, honey.

    Elias falls asleep. Dr. Stromberg stands up and turns of the

    phonograph. He paces back and forth his office.DR. STROMBERG

    Eve, Elias said that something happened between you and Roland. Something that might havecaused Elias psychological imbalance.

    A beat. Evelyn thinks to herself for a bit.

    EVELYNI dont know.

    Evelyn releases Elias from her embrace and slowly stands. GRAY HOODED FIGURE enters and walks to Elias seat. Dr.Stromberg directs his attention solely on Evelyn.

    DR. STROMBERGDid Elias ever see you and Roland having sex? Anything that might have-

    Evelyn turns to Dr. Stromberg. Gray Hooded Figure carries a sleeping Elias.

    EVELYN No! Never!

    Dr. Stromberg grabs Evelyns arms. They look each other in theeyes. A spotlight isolates them.

    DR. STROMBERGEvelyn. Pause . Evelyn, I realize its difficult to deal with the past when the present is so bleak.

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    A pause. Gray Hooded figure carries Elias to his bed. Suddenly, Roland comes storming in. Lights rise. Dr. Stromberg lets go of Evelyn, they both break eye contact and see Roland standing at thedoor.

    ROLANDI hope Im not interrupting anything.

    DR. STROMBERGRoland! Its good to see you again, after so long.

    ROLANDWheres my son?

    They look around.

    DR. STROMBERGPatricia took him to go lie down. The Stelazine combined with Seroquel will make him verydrowsy. But after we see

    ROLAND(Dismissingly) If hes done here, Im taking Elias home.

    EVELYNWhy are you acting like this, Roland? Bernard is only helping our son!

    ROLANDYes, but for whos benefit, our sons or his own?


    DR. STROMBERGIts alright. I understand this is a troubling situation for all of us. I would like to assure you,

    personally, that I will do everything in my power to treat your son. And I offer my assistance toyou as well. If theres ever -

    ROLANDBernard, I assure you that we can handle our own matters at home. Thank you for what youredoing for Elias, but please... Evelyn, we should go.

    EVELYN(quietly) No.

    A beat.

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    ROLAND(sternly) Evelyn...

    EVELYN No, Roland! Cant you see what youve done to our son?

    A beat. Rolands posture changes, as if he has come to a terriblerealization. The strings play octaves.

    ROLANDIt- it cant be.

    EVELYNHow do you forget something like that Roland? I still have nightmares from thinking itllhappen again. Or worse.

    A beat. Roland looks at Dr. Stromberg, rage building.ROLAND

    Is that what you were talking to him about?

    EVELYNRoland, please stop.

    ROLAND No, I want to know, did you tell him?

    DR. STROMBERGShe didnt tell me anything-

    ROLANDYou stay out our affairs! As a matter of fact, your services will no longer be needed. Im takingElias home, and hes going to see another doctor.

    EVELYNWhats wrong with Elias seeing Bernard? I trust him more than -

    ROLANDYou know damn well whats wrong!

    A beat. Evelyn looks at Roland in disbelief.

    EVELYNAre you kidding me?!

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    DR. STROMBERGWhatever it is, Roland, I assure you that I stand by my ability to provide the best mental healthcare around.

    EVELYNIts not that, Bernard, trust me.

    ROLANDIts none of your business Ber-

    EVELYNIt is his business, Roli.

    A beat. Elias tosses and turns in his bed. Black and White Hooded Figures join Gray Hooded Figure and stand around the


    We agreed wed put it behind u-

    EVELYNWell, a lot of good that did us! Jesus, Roland

    DR. STROMBERGPlease you two! I need to know what it was that might have caused your sons illness. Its theonly way we can progress with-

    ROLANDIm sorry Bernard, but you are getting far too friendly for my liking.



    (to Dr. Stromberg) This happens again and again

    DR. STROMBERGWhat happened?

    Roland grabs Evelyn by the arms and truns her towards him. Heholds on tightly to her arms as they look each other in the eyes. ACello glissandos down to a low not and lights focus on Roland and

    Evelyn as the set changes to their living room some time ago(approximately 2 years 1 at least), transitioning us into the next

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    scene. Roland and Evelyn exit.


    Scene 6 Recollection

    The stage is divided into 2 parts: Upstage is Elias bedroom,where we see Elias sleeping. Downstage is the living room; thereis a couch, a coffee table and an office desk. A worried ROLANDenters frantically, looking at his watch.

    EVELYN enters, drunk

    Where were you?! Its almost midnight; you said the party was only until 9.


    Well, hello to you too. A beat. Roland approaches Evelyn and holds her close, like at theend of scene 7. He examines her face and breath.

    ROLANDAre you drunk?

    EVELYN No well, yes. But only a little.

    ROLANDWhy are you so careless?

    EVELYN(insulted) Why are you so uptight?

    ROLANDIm uptight because I care for you? Because I care for your well-being?

    EVELYNCalm down, Roli, I just went to a bar with Bernard after the party. I didnt know youd get so


    Elias stirs in his bed. He slowly wakes up and makes his way tothe door leading to the living room. Evelyn walks towards stageopposite from where she entered towards her room, but Roland

    stops her. Elias looks through a slightly opened door.


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    (screams)Mom! Dad!

    Evelyn screams and cries as Elias runs to try and stop his father. Roland throws Elias onto Evelyn. They embrace each other as Roland goes to his desk. Black Hooded Figure points to a specific

    drawer. Roland opens the drawer and takes out the gun from the first scene.

    EVELYNWhat are you doing?!

    Roland stays quiet, only walking closer to Evelyn and Elias,aiming at the two.


    With a glimmer of courage, Elias, crying out and screaming,tackles Roland down to the floor.


    Evelyn goes and holds back Elias. She pulls him back to wherethey were, embracing one another. Roland breaks down and cries.

    Elias is terrified. The sounds diminish, but a lone violin plays ahaunting solo.

    ROLANDGod! Whats happening to me?

    Roland sits up and stretches his arms toward his family. Elias sinks into Evelyns embrace. Evelyn is furious.

    DR. STROMBERG (aside)Then what happened?

    EVELYN(to Elias) Its ok, honey. Daddys gonna be alright.

    Roland gets up and walks toward Evelyn and Elias. They get upand move away from Roland.

    (to Roland) and you... get help.

    Evelyn and Elias exit. Roland is alone, and a spotlight emphasizes

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    this. He falls to his knees and cries to the sky


    Sounds stop. Blackout.



    Lights rise on Dr. Strombergs office. The same desk set up asbefore, but now more papers are scattered across. DR.STROMBERG enters with a cup of coffee and a file. He goes tohis desk and places the file on top of a stack of papers. He then

    sets up his tape recorder for another entry. He takes a sip of

    coffee.DR. STROMBERG

    February 20, 2006. What a day. I dont believe Ive ever had a case so complex, socataclysmic. It seems there was more to Elias condition that I would have asserted. The eventsof May 28, 2004, as described by Evelyn, has served as the primary source of trauma, fromwhich the anxiety disorder grew and manifested itself into schizophrenia. ( takes sip of coffee)Why would anyone allow so much hate so much negative emotional stress be pent up insidefor so long? ( sip) Roland said that after the incident, he went to see Pastor Matheson. Sincethen, it seems his devotion to God has allowed him peace of mind. But then I spoke to Pastor Matheson myself. ( sip) It seems Roland was also treated for schizophrenia following theincident. Which leads me to assess that Elias condition is also hereditary. ( sip) We have begunmedicinal treatment, but his condition requires behavioral treatment as well. (takes a sip and throws cup away, he gets up and walks to the front of his desk.)I would like to talk to Evelyn in private Beauty like that deserves to be watched over verycarefully.

    He turns off his light.

    Scene 7 Behavioral Therapy

    Lights up on the Carter family living room. It is slightlyremodeled, noticeably different from the flashback scene. Eliasand Roland sit on the couch, reading from the Bible. Elias looksbored and would rather be out playing ball. Roland notices this.

    ROLANDAre you ok, son?

    Elias looks at Roland, who taps on his head.

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    ELIASIm doing OK. [taps on his head]


    Are you sure? Whats the matter, son?

    ELIASDad, can we please do something else now? I can only learn the story of King David so manytimes.

    ROLANDHaha, alright Eli, so you think you know King David? What is the story of David and Goliathabout?


    Its about overcoming our fears. Standing up for what we think is right, even when nobody elsedoes.

    ROLANDYes, but its also about bravery. It teaches us to believe in ourselves as we believe in Him. Hegives us the strength to pull off amazing things. We just have to act.

    ELIAS( smiles) Dad Im glad everythings sorted out. About our sickness and everything

    ROLAND(smiles back) Im just glad youre alright, champ.

    Evelyn enters through the front door, crying. Roland gets up and approaches Evelyn.

    ROLANDEve, whats wrong?

    EVELYNI- I spoke to Bernard today. I was just going to pick up Elis medication, but he said he wantedto speak to me in private. Oh, Roli!

    Evelyn embraces Roland.

    ROLANDWell, what did he say?

    A beat. Elias stands up.EVELYN

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    Im taking Elias on a vacation. Something to make sure hes in a calm state of mind.

    ELIASCool, where are we going?

    ROLANDI have to work, Eve

    EVELYNItll be just me and Elias, Roland. Well be going away for just a while.

    A beat.

    ROLANDAway from me

    Evelyn begins to tear up.ELIAS

    Mom, what are you trying to say?

    ROLANDThats does he expect us to argue again? After all weve been through, does he really think were gonna let fear and anger get the best of us?

    EVELYNIts for the sake of Elias. We have to be apart for HIS sake.

    ELIASWhat? No. mom, thats bullshit.

    EVELYNElias, please, dont cuss, you know your father doesnt like it when-

    ROLAND No, I have to agree with him, that is bullshit.

    EVELYNWell, its for the best! Can you still not see how serious all this is?

    The sounds (strings, whispers, etc) return. They are soft at the start, but grow louder throughout the scene.


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    No mom! Youre the one who doesnt see how ridiculous you sound saying that youre willingto leave us instead of working for a

    EVELYNYoure not staying with your father.

    A beat. The hooded figures open the door to Elias bedroom.They lure Elias into his room and close the door. During the

    following, Elias and the Hooded Figures re-enact the First Scene,adjusted for timing.

    ROLANDYou cant be serious. Evelyn, do you even hear yourself?

    EVELYNI cant deal with another attack, Roli. I just I just cant.

    Evelyn walks towards opposite stage; Roland stops her before sheexits.

    ROLANDEvelyn, you cant do this.

    EVELYNLet go of me!

    After a short while, he does.

    For ten years, I had to keep that night a secret from everyone I knew. I was ashamed to evenmention it to my family or my friends. I had to explain to our son that night how his father washaving a psychotic episode. How even though you almost killed us, you still loved us. And thatwe still loved you. It was heartbreaking, Roland. But you treated it like something else.Something passive. And you expected us to act like if nothing happened? Im sorry, Roli. ButIve already made arrangements with my cousin Linda. Im leaving tonight, with Elias.

    A beat. Evelyn looks around.

    Wheres Elias?

    They turn to his bedroom and quickly open the door.


    Elias gets up and points the gun at Evelyn. Evelyn screams. Roland stands between Evelyn and Elias. The Hooded figures

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    stand behind Elias. White and Black Hooded figures lurk around Elias, whispering into his ears.

    Son, give me the gun.

    The sounds intensify.

    ELIASWe cant leave him, mom. You have to be strong. Strong like him. Strong like David. Stronglike me.

    ROLANDElias, give me the gun, now!

    ELIASTell her, dad TELL HER!

    Evelyn comes around and stands in front of Elias. The hooded figures stand around them.

    EVELYNIm sorry. Honey, Im so sorry.

    Evelyn hugs Elias, covering the gun. A gunshot is heard. The sounds stop and the hooded figures disappear. The sounds slowlydiminish.


    Evelyn stands back, revealing that Elias has shot himself in theabdomen. Elias drops the gun and falls to the floor. Evelyn goesdown next to him and holds him up against her chest. Roland goesand gets a phone to call an ambulance. A piano plays a solemn


    ELIAS(weak)We cant leave now, right mom? We have to stay together; we have to be strong together,right mom? (repeats strong together and fades)

    Lights fade out.

    ROLANDThis is Roland Carter, we need an ambulance NOW!

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    The piano passage ends.(SCENE)(END)

    Opt. Epilogue - Pacification

    A spotlight rises on a hospital bed, with Elias laying in it. Roland and Evelyn enter from opposite sides and stand by the bed. Eliaswakes up.

    ELIAS(feeble) Hi ma. Hi dad.

    ROLAND(quietly, teary) Hey, son.

    ELIASWhere am I?

    EVELYNYoure in the hospital. The EMTs were able to get to you just in time.

    ROLANDYou were strong son. You always were.

    Elias gets up, abdomen bandaged. Evelyn helps him walk toupstage center stage.

    ELIASWhen can I go back home?

    EVELYNSoon, honey. Soon.

    A bright light falls on Elias from the skies.

    ROLANDAre you ready to go, Eli?

    ELIASIm ready. Mom

    EVELYN(Crying) Yes, honey?

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    ELIASIm sorry.

    The family shares one last, long embrace.

    EVELYNIts ok honey. I love you.

    ELIASI love you too, mom.

    Elias rises towards the heavens. Lights fall.