Ghost Light




The stage is bare except for a fold-out table with folding chairs placed around it. The work lights are on. The ghost lamp is far down center, lit. 

At the table are Helen Mirren, Catherine Zeta Jones, Anne Hathaway, and Adam Kokesh. All look tired.

HELEN MIRREN: Look, I know that everyone is quite tired and you all have been working overtime this week so I’m only going to keep you for about five minutes and then you’ll be free to go. No one is going to be in the theatre tonight. He’s sleeping with fans and a vaporizer again tonight. Sydney has been staying in the room with him, standing guard which, when I looked in on them last night, looked a lot like snoring away like Jeff was. I think Willie plans to go in there tonight as well. At least they’re getting some good rest. I don’t have to remind you all where the sleepless nights were taking us and I’m just grateful that, at least for now, those seem to be over. I might add that there’s been no sleep medication administered for several months now. Catherine was up until three last night sorting through what we have so far in the way of the post-September 1 quote-unquote plan and I only say that because it— well, let’s just say there has been quite a disjointed nature to the whole thing. There’ll be a few days of talk of goals and actions steps and then what seems to be a complete dissociative break although with Jeff one can never really tell. He did go back on the Wellbutrin this week. Only that. We have it on good authority that he went to the VA with the intention of leaving with Adderall because he had told some of the staff that it worked quite well for him for over a year while he was living in Utah— he was high-functioning, holding down a full-time job through the night at the psychiatric hospital and pulling a 3.9 as a full-time English student at The University of Utah. When he had time to sleep I don’t really—

CATHERINE ZETA JONES: Thus the Adderall!

ANNE HATHAWAY: (“hides” the word in a sneeze) Speed!

all but Mirren laugh

HELEN MIRREN: That’s enough!  Actually even given that drug’s potential for abuse and his own personal history with substance abuse— I think it’s pretty amazing that he was able to — well— let’s just say I find it impressive he took it faithfully by the prescription. He’d told Catherine during one of the scenes where she is cast as his therapists/whatever— what did he say about the Adderall?

CATHERINE ZETA JONES: He said that he wondered sometimes if the fact that he never abused the Adderall wasn’t in fact some kind of further proof that he is a drug addict because he knew if he ever abused it at all then he’d have to give it up altogether and this way at least he could take it some. Personally I think he was begin a little hard on himself with that one. To me it looks like someone who was prescribed a drug for an indicated disfunction, the drug worked, and he took it as prescribed. It seemed to be a great benefit to him so it makes sense since he’s been struggling so much with the attention thing, that he would try to go back on the drug that seemed to help!

HELEN MIRREN: Well it doesn’t matter because the VA doctor refused him telling him that Adderall is contraindicated for PTSD sufferers because it often makes the more anxious—

CATHERINE ZETA JONES: (irritated) But if it worked for him before—!

HELEN MIRREN: Do you want to go talk to the VA?!


HELEN MIRREN: So let’s just move forward with what we have. He’s pretty goddamn anti-pharmaceutical  so the fact that he would even consider putting a pill in his mouth again is pretty remarkable. He’s been to some pretty dark places lately and I think that the willingness to get at least a little biochemical help with the depression is a positive sign. There were several times over the past weeks when the monitors showed almost constantly running suicidal ideations and his pistol’s been loaded for months. Oh! By the way, the pistol’s gone. He got rid of it.

ADAM KOKESH: (furious at the news) What?!

HELEN MIRREN: Adam, is there a problem?

ADAM KOKESH: I just don’t see what the fucking point of taking a gun away from a man who is already feeling very disempowered!!

HELEN MIRREN: (raising her voice to match his intensity) Look! I didn’t take the gun away from him! You’re forgetting I don’t write the script!  (calm) There was a sort of a flashback fantasy sequence which had Anne as the only other character— it was sort of a— what was it?

ANNE HATHAWAY: I was essentially the White Queen from Alice in Wonderland which I really didn’t understand since it supposedly took place in 1970. It was an incredibly powerful scene to be a part of though. It was told as a sort of prophetic montage with— well, mostly it was around 9-11 and the war now that I think about it. I hope we get some more of that stuff. Like that I mean. The Script had me doing some sorts of incantations of sorts— placing this items on or in him—

(Adam snickers. Helen rolls her eyes.)

ANNE HATHAWAY: for protection and so forth. I actually think if we can get some more of that sort of thinking into the system, like that he has somehow gotten the things he needs to move forward then he can get past some of these really serious barriers that—

HELEN MIRREN: Right, and that’s what I— I’m sorry, Anne, were you finished?

ANNE HATHAWAY: Not really but— well, I guess I can be.

HELEN MIRREN: Well it’s just that I said that I only wanted to keep you for about five tonight and— Catherine, you’re operating on very little sleep— are you good for about three more minutes tops?

CATHERINE ZETA JONES: I’m good actually. I’ve gone past tired. Let’s do this.

HELEN MIRREN: Okay, Catherine was up last night just sort of organizing what we have so far. I don’t have to remind you— Oh! I forgot to mention— so the gun thing— while Anne as The White Queen took the gun from a five year old version of Jeff in the sandbox, our current Jeff was selling the pistol to a Marine who had come to interview him about his considering suicide. So it seems like he’s taking some very practical steps to at least stay on the planet and keep working on this thing. Plus, in the testimonials where the script has him pretty much talking to the audience, he’s made quite a few straightforward statements like, “I don’t think I could ever—“  hang on—

She sifts through some of the papers in front of her.

HELEN MIRREN: Here it is. “I don’t think I could ever do it because it would be such a horrible thing to so many people and I’m pretty sure I won’t ever get that much recovery around my codependency issues to be able to—“ So do you see what he’s doing here? It’s sort of fucked up really, in this one case he— or The Writer has him saying this— that he— essentially in all these other ways if he gets into recovery or a healthy state of being with whatever addiction or whatever then we’re on track and moving forward toward the goals, toward a happy life et cetera but then he throws this curve because he implies that for him to stay alive he has to not recover too much in the area of codependency. He’s set himself up in a sort of Catch-22— If he gets into very healthy recovery around codependency issues then many other problems in his life will solved but if he doesn’t get into good recovery around codependency, he’ll still care too much about what others think and feel and put their wants and needs before his and in this case that means not killing himself!

ANNE HATHAWAY: But to me it seems that if he is in good recovery in this area then he’s going to be a lot happier and will be less likely to want to off himself.

CATHERINE ZETA JONES: That’s a good point.

HELEN MIRREN: Well let’s hope that that’s the case. (quickly shifting)  But look! I’ve said I was only going to keep you for a five minutes and I’ve kept you fifteen at least.

She passes around packets. 

HELEN MIRREN: Please take one of these packets. They represent the hard work Catherine was doing last night and again, we’d like to thank her. Essentially— well, you’ll be able to go through them on your own. The bottom line is we’re still very short handed and we are a third of the way through the “year to live” with, some might argue, very little progress. We’ve got to get some more warm bodies in here helping out with this.

ADAM KOKESH: What about the Alphabet People?


ANNE HATHAWAY: He means all those characters who were introduced in— what was it called? “Enter Voices?”

CATHERINE ZETA JONES: Yeah, that was it.

HELEN MIRREN: Oh, the Chorus. Well, actually given the poststructural nature of the format I don’t know if we can even call them a— well, whatever they are— swings et cetera— they’ll likely appear again and in the capacity they were before so we really don’t want to cast from the Chorus— we might as well call them that, the Chorus. So I need you all to take this packets— pay particular attention to the goals— see if any of them speak to you personally, if you feel like you are especially called to help in that area— I lead from a Feminist prospective. I’m just a trusted servant here— I’m no dictator. Come to me with whatever you have. Look at the fears, what’s holding him back, active addictions, any of it. We’ve got to get some traction here or we’re going to be in panic mode come next August. And as I said before, we need more bodies. When you’re going through these packets, in addition to thinking about where specifically you might want to step up, think of who else you know who might be able to serve in some particular capacity— Stratham! He mentions him a lot. Anybody got a connection to him?

ADAM KOKESH: Yeah, I could probably get ‘im.

Catherine and Anne both look at Adam in surprise. 

HELEN MIRREN: And I can’t believe I’m going to say this but we are actually pretty female heavy. I mean with the exception of Adam, we’re all women— strong women— but women. We need some dicks swingin’ in here too— and also, look around. What else do you see— or more appropriately what do you not see?


Catherine and Anne acknowledge.

HELEN MIRREN: That’s right. There is absolutely no way that’s going to be appropriate in this case, especially given his story line up until now. Let’s stop pretending this is a Utah Republicans’ meeting and get some—

ADAM KOKESH: Actually there was a black female republican in Utah last cam—

HELEN MIRREN: You know what, Adam?  I appreciate it, but it is very late and I’d like to get you all out of here so you can be rested and ready tomorrow. Go through the packets, think about who you could bring to the project— let’s get them— let’s see, should we seek some kind of group approval with prospective additions or—

ANNE HATHAWAY: Can’t we just use some kind of interoffice memo for that? I mean if someone has an idea of someone and they are confident they can get them, just shoot a message around with the name of the person and maybe what you think they’d be bringing to the group and unless someone has an objection, then we just welcome them aboard. We are dealing with limited time here. I mean the verdict is still nine months away but that’s less than a year!



HELEN MIRREN: Okay great. Agreed. So let’s get out of here. Is the ghost light on? I can’t really tell from the work lights.


HELEN MIRREN: Okay kids, get out of here and get some good sleep tonight. No one has to show up here tomorrow until— well, someone from staff will give you a call or send a text with call times but no one’s going to have to actually be here before noon. Use the time to be thinking about— or hell, go ahead and reach out to them if you—

ANNE HATHAWAY: I thought we were going to run the names by one another—

HELEN MIRREN: Oh that’s right. So do that. We can get started on that tomorrow before noon and hopefully by Monday we’ll have if not a full cast, a mostly full cast and we can really get cranking saving this poor bastards life.


HELEN MIRREN: Oh come on, if anyone doubts that I love him by now, you just haven’t been paying attention. Who’s going to get the work lights?

ADAM KOKESH: I got ‘em.

Adam goes to the wings to turn off the work lights.

HELEN MIRREN: Everyone’s got transportation?


CATHERINE ZETA JONES: I’m good. (yelling offstage to Adam) Adam, do you need a ride?

ADAM KOKESH: (offstage) I’m set, I’ve got my bike.

HELEN MIRREN: Okay, let’s all walk to our cars together. There are too many gun nuts in this fucking country.

ADAM KOKESH: (offstage) I heard that!

CUT TO: moments later they are all outside, standing at their prospective modes of transportation. They exchange last goodbyes for the night. The last one heard is

HELEN MIRREN: See y’all tomorrow!

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