Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes: Revised and Complete Edition

Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes: Revised and Complete Edition by Tony Kushner

Book: Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes: Revised and Complete Edition by Tony Kushner Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tony Kushner
    SISTER ELLA CHAPTER (Immediately alarmed) : Is there gas in the—
    HANNAH : Of course not. Libby’s a fool.
    SISTER ELLA CHAPTER (Still alarmed) : ’Cause I’d have to include that in the description.
    HANNAH (Ending it): There’s no gas, Ella .
          (Little pause, then) Give a puff.
    (Hannah takes a furtive drag of Ella’s cigarette. Then she hands the cigarette back to Ella.)
    HANNAH : Put it away now.
    (Ella carefully knocks the ash off the cigarette, extinguishes it and returns it to the pack. Desolate, she looks at Hannah.)
    SISTER ELLA CHAPTER : So I guess it’s good-bye.
    HANNAH (Uncomfortable) : You’ll be all right, Ella, I wasn’t ever much of a friend.
    SISTER ELLA CHAPTER : I’ll say something but don’t laugh, OK?
          (Tentative, careful) This is the home of saints, the godliest place on earth, they say, and I think they’re right. That mean there’s no evil here? No. Evil’s everywhere. Sin’s everywhere. But this . . . is the spring of sweet water in the desert, the desert flower. Every step a Believer takes away from here is a step fraught with peril. I fear for you, Hannah Pitt, because you are my friend. Stay put. This is the right home of saints.
    HANNAH : Latter-day saints.
    SISTER ELLA CHAPTER : Only kind left.
    HANNAH : But still. Late in the day . . . for saints and everyone. That’s all. That’s all.
          Fifty thousand dollars for the house, Sister Ella Chapter; don’t undersell. It’s an impressive view.

    Not-Yet-Conscious ,
    Forward Dawning
    December 1985
    Scene 1
    Late night, several days after the end of Act Two. Prior’s bedroom, completely dark. Prior is in bed, having a nightmare. He wakes up, sits up in bed, and switches on a lamp. He looks at his clock. Seated by the table near the bed is a man, fierce and gloomy, dressed in the clothing of a thirteenth-century British farmer/squire, carrying a scythe. Prior is terrified .
    PRIOR : Who are you?!
    PRIOR 1 : My name is Prior Walter.
    (Little pause.)
    PRIOR : My name is Prior Walter.
    PRIOR 1 : I know that.
    PRIOR : Explain.
    PRIOR 1 : You’re alive. I’m not. We have the same name. What do you want me to explain?
    PRIOR : A ghost?
    PRIOR 1 : An ancestor.
    PRIOR : Not the Prior Walter? The Bayeux tapestry Prior Walter?
    PRIOR 1 : His great-great-grandson. The fifth of the name.
    PRIOR : I’m the thirty-fourth, I think.
    PRIOR 1 : Actually the thirty-second.
    PRIOR : Not according to Mother.
    PRIOR 1 (Angry!) : She’s including the two bastards, then; I say leave them out. I say no room for bastards! The little things you swallow . . .
    (The ghost snatches up a plastic pill bottle from Prior ’ s night-stand.)
    PRIOR : Pills.
    PRIOR 1 : Pills. For the pestilence. (He struggles to open the bottle but can’t get past the safety cap) I too— (He throws the bottle aside)
    PRIOR : Pestilence . . . You too what?
    PRIOR 1 : The pestilence in my time was much worse than now. Whole villages of empty houses. You could look outdoors and see Death walking in the morning, dew dampening the ragged hem of his black robe. Plain as I see you now.
    PRIOR : You died of the plague.
    PRIOR 1 : The spotty monster. Like you, alone.
    PRIOR : I’m not alone.
    PRIOR 1 : You have no wife, no children.
    PRIOR : I’m gay.
    PRIOR 1 : So? Be gay, dance in your altogether for all I care, what’s that to do with not having children?
    PRIOR : Gay homosexual, not bonny, blithe and—never mind.
    PRIOR 1 : I had twelve. When I died.
    (A second ghost appears, this one dressed in the clothing of an elegant seventeenth-century Londoner.)
    PRIOR 1 (Pointing to the new ghost) : And I was three years younger than him.
    (Prior sees the new ghost and screams!)
    PRIOR : Oh God another one.
    PRIOR 2: Prior Walter. Prior to you by some seventeen others.
    PRIOR 1: He’s counting the bastards.
    PRIOR : Are we having a convention?
    PRIOR 2: We’ve been sent to declare Her fabulous incipience. They love a well-paved

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