I Bertolt Brecht

by Victor A. Grauer

Act II (all scenes continuous)

[scene 1]

Voice from loudspeakers: Act II, Scene 1. Our hero is only a shell of his former self. Inside that shell, he's possessed by the spirit of the German poet Bertolt Brecht. A specter of some sort remains on the scene, trying to convince us of something. But it's hard to say what. Eagerly attended by three beautiful women, the newly embodied "Brecht" feels both rejuvenated and inspired. So inspired, in fact, that he wants to rewrite his play. At the last minute.

[An apartment in New York City. In one corner is a large screen depicting the river, tree and outhouse of Scene 1. VG, dressed as BB, is seated at the piano. He is wearing a name tag with the words "Bertolt Brecht" on his lapel. The Secretary is seated at stage right, in an oversized rocking chair. The young student actress from Scene 3 is seated at stage left in a similar rocking chair. Both are rocking furiously, obsessively, back and forth. In the center is a table, on which rests the same typewriter as in Scene 1. A modern personal computer is on another table, at extreme stage left. A smoke machine is located at upstage center.]

VG: [singing and accompanying himself] Mornings, in my empty rocking chairs,

I bring some ladies nigh,

Study them casually and say:

I'm one on whom you can't rely.

Together, VG and the Actress rise, walk to the table and seat themselves at either end. At VG's end sits an elaborate breakfast, complete with eggs, bacon, potatoes, rolls, fruit, etc. Then the Secretary follows suit, seating herself in front of the typewriter, facing the audience. During the following dialogue, the Secretary types what they say, word for word, while looking straight ahead at the audience, as in Scene 1. VG eats continually during the entire scene.]

[Start slow -- keep getting faster]


Secretary: [tak]

A: I

S: [tak]

VG: Bertolt Brecht

S: [tak tak tak tak tak tak tak . . . tak tak tak tak tak tak]

A: Bertolt Brecht

Secretary: [etc., continually typing, letter by letter, throughout dialogue between VG and the Actress, as in Scene 1.]

VG: am

A: am

VG: from

A: from

VG: the black

A: the black

VG: Forests

A: Forests


A: I

VG: Bertolt Brecht

A: Bertolt Brecht

VG: am

A: am

VG: from

A: from

VG: the black

A: the black

VG: Forests

A: Forests


A: I

VG: Bertolt Brecht

A: Bertolt Brecht

VG: am

A: am

VG: from

A: from

VG: the black

A: the black

VG: Forests

A: Forests


A: I

BB: [from off stage] Ich


S: [stops typing]

VG: Bertolt Brecht

A: Bertolt Brecht

BB: Bertolt Brecht

VG: am

A: am

BB: bin

VG: of

A: of

BB: aus

VG: the black

A: the black

BB: den schwarzen

VG: forests

A: forests

BB: Waeldern

BB: [poking his head out from the curtains at stage left] Ahem.

[spoken dutifully, as though at a job interview]

Ich, Bertolt Brecht, bin aus den schwarzen Waeldern.

Meine Mutter trug mich in die Staedte hinein

Als ich in ihrem Leibe lag. Und die Kaelte der Waelder

Wird in mir bis zu meinem Absterben sein.


[Sound of toilet flushing, as in Scene 1]

VG and the Secretary turn and stare in the direction of BB.

S: Him again.

A: [to VG] Professor Brecht, you look like you've seen a ghost.

VG: No. Not really. Well, yes, in a way. [to the actress:] Could you get me a glass of water, my dear? [the actress leaves] [To the Secretary] It's the ghost of this Victor Grauer person. Keeps hanging around. At first I thought he just wanted his body back. Now it seems he actually thinks he's me. [Makes circling gesture with hand near ear, indicating BB is crazy.]

S: [to BB] Yes, of course, the ghost of the Grauer person. I can see right through him.

VG: [To Secretary] He's no longer of any use to us. If we ignore him he'll go away.

BB: [louder, with more emphasis] In der Asphaltstadt bin ich daheim. Von allem Anfang

Versehen mit jedem Sterbsakrament:


Sterbsakrament. Sterbsakrament.

S: [to VG] "Sterbsakrament." "Final Sacrament." Does he want us to pray for him?

BB: Ihr seid wirklich sehr anders geworden, wisst ihr.

S: [to BB] Different? We've grown different? It's entirely possible. University life can do that.

BB: [to the Secretary] Aber ich bin doch euer Kamerad, Elizabeth.

[S and VG laugh at him -- the Actress returns with a glass of water.]

VG [to the Actress -- holding out his empty plate] Could I have another portion, please? Now that I'm directing again, I have a tremendous appetite. And I love this University. [the Actress hands him the glass and leaves.]

BB: [to S] Wer ist denn das, der da eure Portionen aufisst?

VG: It's none of your business whose portions I eat. And you know very well who I am.

S: [to BB] Who he is is Brecht, the real Brecht, not some see through puff of smoke. Come on, YOU couldn't be the real Brecht. [sarcastically] The real Brecht would never have allowed himself to cheat on his woman, would he? The real Brecht would never have betrayed her trust. The real Brecht would never have taken credit for the work of others, would he? So how can YOU claim to be Brecht?

BB: Doch, sicher bin ich est.

S: Prove it, if you can.

VG: Poor fellow, he has no idea what's happened does he? [to BB] You're making a huge mistake. [to the Secretary] Not right in the head. [makes circling gesture] Are you delirious with hunger ? Or thirst? Look, do you see this name tag? Says "Professor Bertolt Brecht." Is that the problem, is that what you're after, an identity? Are you having an identity crisis? Lizzie, look in the drawer where we keep Grauer's old things, see if you can find a name tag for our specter. It's important to have some sort of something in black and white with your name on it, because nowadays they are always trying to make you into a number, know what I mean? A name is important, it means something.

S: All I could find was a blank name tag. But I'll write his name on it: Victor Grauer.

VG: OK, then. Let's let bygones be bygones, Vic old buddy. Let me pin this on you. [He tries to pin it on BB, but it falls to the floor.] Anything else I can do?

BB takes the name tag from the floor and tries to pin it on two or three times but each time it falls again.

BB: You, at least, are trying to be kind. As for her, forget it, may she go to the Devil.

[BB stands glaring at the Secretary.]


VG: If we ignore him he'll go away.


BB disappears behind the curtain. The Actress returns with a full plate of eggs and potatoes.

VG: Thank you, my dear. [Resumes eating.] You know it just occurred to me. "Forests." "Forests" in German is "Waeldern." "The black forests." "Den schwarzen Waeldern." "Waeldern" means "forests," but the word. The word.

S: [sarcastically] The "great man" is thinking.

A: [Genuinely impressed] Isn't this exciting? Oh Wow!

VG: "Waeldern." "Wilderness." "Wilderness." The English "Wilderness" must be derived from the German "Waeldern." So "wild," "wild." "Wild" must also be derived from that same word. "Waeldern." "Wild." Isn't that wild? I just thought of that. Amazing. The more I think about it the more I think. The more I think English is just a kind of German in disguise. So many English words are German words, but we never really think about it.

[Dean Fairchild pokes her head out from the place where BB had appeared, looks toward VG, then walks up to him.]

DF: [clapping] Bravo, Bertolt, Bravo. What a mind! How could I ever have doubted you? Silly me, you know I even hired a detective agency to investigate. And then all these reports. These reports that "the real Brecht" had died. That you were somehow not who you said you were, you were some sort of imposter. Those detectives were absolutely convinced, isn't that something, my darling?

[Takes his hands in hers and kisses him on the lips. The Actress is jealous, wrings her hands, looks down, then at the Secretary, who ignores her.]

VG: You really shouldn't blame them, my life has been so complicated, I've had to flee from so many countries, for one reason or another, often with forged papers, all sorts of aliases, etcetera etcetera. I hardly know who I am myself these days. [laughs -- the secretary laughs with him -- loud, forced laughter -- then both abruptly stop.] [Moving to stage front and addressing the audience:] That's actually true. I am a bit confused, though I'd never admit it to my "pals" here. What exactly happened back there in Act I? Was the soul of Bertolt Brecht actually transmuted into the body of Victor Grauer? Or was Victor Grauer simply tricked into believing that? Perhaps I tricked myself. But if so, then which "I" was it that was tricked, eh? Who, exactly, is dwelling within this body. And whose specter is it, exactly, that is haunting this house?

DF: [to Actress] Why Marlene, what are you doing here?

A: Professor Brecht [smiles brightly at VG] is helping me with my paper on the role of women in the theater. He's been teaching me so much, haven't you, Professor? [A walks up to VG, looking deeply into his eyes.]

DF: Oh really! So early in the morning?


A: And I've been a big help to him as well. With the assistance of La Laptop. [she holds up a folded laptop computer].

DF: La Laptop? What are you talking about, my dear?

VG: Her portable computer, Emanuella. She takes it with her everywhere. She's been designing a website devoted to my theories. And working on some other very interesting projects, isn't that so, Marlene?

S: Yes. Well now it's time for Herr Brecht to get to work, ladies. We have so much to do, isn't that richtig, mein Fuhrer?

VG: Oh. Yes, I'm afraid so. We have much to do.

DF: But I was hoping we could take a little walk together this morning, Bertolt. I do so want to show you our campus.

S: Herr Brecht keeps a very strict schedule, Dean Fairchild. Morning is the time for work, isn't that true, mein Fuhrer?

BB: I'm afraid so, yes. Ladies [he kisses Dean Fairchild's hand, then that of the Actress] -- please excuse me. I'll see you both at tonight's rehearsal, OK?

DF: I suppose. Come, Marlene. Don't you have a class this morning with the Professor? You're going to be late.

[DF takes A's hand and leads her out of the room.]

Once they've left, the Secretary approaches VG, puts her arms around him and kisses him quite passionately, caressing his chest, arms, back and butt. Then abruptly pulls away.

S: Nicht schlecht. Could be better, though. The new body is definitely out of shape. But then again, so were you, my Love. I like the lips. Thick, sensuous. [kisses him again]

VG: Mmmmmmm. I don't care what they say, "out of body experience" is definitely over-rated. Much nicer to be IN a body again.

S: Well, as you once so wisely said: a man's a man. Mann ist Mann.

[They embrace for several seconds.]

[The Translator appears]

T: Very touching. But shouldn't we be getting back to work?

S: What work? The rehearsal isn't till this evening.

T: Our comrade wants the play rewritten. Didn't he tell you?

S: Rewrite it? Not again. Berty, no.

T: We need new material. This play is getting stale. We haven't done anything with it since the Thirties. It's important to keep up with events, to draw on what is current, what is topical. Is this not the basis of Epic Theater? And Bert had some new ideas, am I right?

S: New material. What new material?

VG: Well, I'll tell you. But it's a bit strange. I have access now to this Grauer person's memory banks. And there are some things in there that interest me, things that were on his mind before we . . . ahhh . . . took over. [addressing the theater crew:] Dim the lights please. [picking up remote control] Let's get this onscreen.

[VG clicks the remote. A large movie screen descends. After another click, an image appears, of a hot fudge chocolate sundae.]

VG: No. That's not it. Let me try again.

[Another click. We see the image of a nude young woman.]

S: Is there some purpose to this display?

VG: Wait, wait, I must concentrate, I'm sure I'll find it. [He clicks again. This time we see a newspaper article, headlined "Holy Land Peace Plan Fizzles -- PalestinianYouths Attack Police with Stones."] There. This was troubling him. It occurred to me, that maybe . . .

S: I thought you said NEW material.

VG: Well, um, hmmm. Maybe you're right, maybe you're right. Well, there were some other things, maybe not so earth shattering, but topical, very topical. And there are some interesting angles we could work. [He clicks again. Another newspaper article appears, with the headline: SteelersLIVE - Stadium Deals Get OK - October 27, 1998]

T: Stadium deals? What's that got to do with anything?

S: Stadium? Why are we now interested in sports?

VG: Trust me. The deals in question are very interesting, something that went on in his home town, a place called Pittsburgh.

T: Oh, Pittsburgh. Union town. Good people, yes. Steel. Coke. Strong union.

S: Where have you been? The strongest union in Pittsburgh these days is the teacher's union. The mill's are all closed. Now the largest employer in town is sick people. Plenty of them around, I hear.

VG: This stadiums deal. I want to look more deeply into it. Get us on the Internet, Gerhardt. And Lizzy, we're going to need coffee, lots of it. We have work to do.

[Scene 2]

Voice from loudspeakers: Act II, Scene 2. After finding some interesting material in the databanks of our hero's brain, Brecht and his associates do an Internet search for more details. And out of this develops a very interesting and amusing little skit.

[The Translator switches the computer on. The Secretary gives VG a menacing stare, which he ignores, then goes to the kitchen to make coffee. T and VG hover around the computer, surfing the 'net, later to be joined by S, with the coffee. Soon after the computer is turned on, we see a very long cigar (at least six feet long) emerge slowly in the foreground from stage right, followed by the person holding it, Mr. Baseball, wearing a baseball cap turned backwards, who seats himself on the nearest rocking chair. After Mr. B. enters, we see another equally long cigar, carried by Mr. Football, wearing a helmet, gradually emerge from stage left. He sits himself on the other rocker. Both are now facing one another, at roughly one cigar-length distance. As each puffs on his cigar, the smoke machine emits a cloud of smoke. Eventually the stage will be filled with smoke.]

Mr. Baseball: Mr. Football, I've come to you for advice. You know the Pirates aren't doing very well. Baseball is not what it used to be. The team is in last place. And this is a small market town. For most games we're lucky to fill a quarter of the seats in Three Rivers Stadium.

Mr. Football: Thank God, Mr. Baseball, we don't have that sort of problem. Football is big these days. Very big. And the Steelers are in first place, doing great. For our games, Three Rivers Stadium is always sold out. Years in advance, actually. We're doin' jes' fine. [Takes a deep puff.]

Mr. B: I know. Which is why I've come to you for help. I need ideas. How can we fill the stadium like you do? If we continue losing money, we may have to pick up our balls and bats and leave the fair city of Pittsburgh.

[A third man pokes his head out from behind the curtain at stage left.]

Mr. Mayor: Excuse me, gentlemen, I couldn't help overhearing. Hope you don't mind my joining you.

Mr. B: Mr. Mayor, please by all means, come on in. [Pulls up a chair for Mr. M., who enters and seats himself.]

Mr. F: Welcome Mr. Mayor, care for a cigar?

Mr. M: Why yes, thank you, how thoughtful. [Another long cigar descends from above. Mr. M. takes it, lights it and takes a puff. More smoke from the smoke machine.]

Mr. M: [to Mr. B.] Leave Pittsburgh? You're actually considering that? How terrible. Pittsburgh without the Pirates? How can you even think such a thing?

Mr. B: We're losing money here. It's simple economics, Mr. Mayor.

Mr. M: Economics. Don't know much about that myself. But I do know someone who does. I just met this gentleman, some professor, who claims to be the greatest authority on economics that ever was.

Mr. B: Well I'd sure like to talk to him. Maybe he can dream up some scheme to get the team out of this mess. What's his name?

Mr. M: Well now let me see. I think he said his name was Marx. Professor Marx. If you want, I should be able to find him for you. He likes to hang out here at the Allegheny Club. Weird sort, kinda strange, spooky.

Mr. F: Marx? M-a-r-k-s?

Mr. M: M-a-r-x.

Mr. F: Oh HIM. Well, gosh, I dunno. You really think we should be talking to this guy?

Mr. B: Yeah, I dunno either. I've heard some really bad things about him. Isn't he the one who once said baseball was the opiate of the masses? I can't mess with ANYONE involved with drugs.

Mr. M: He seems harmless enough to me. But judge for yourselves, gentlemen, here he comes now.

[Another long cigar slowly emerges from stage right, followed by BB made up to look like Groucho Marx. BB pulls a seat over, sits down and takes a long puff from his cigar.]

Mr. M: Friends, meet one of the smartest men I know, Professor Marx.

Mssrs. B & F: How do you do sir?

BB: Very glad to meet you [shakes hands with Mr. B]. And you, my dear sir [shakes hands with Mr. F]. What a pleasure, I'm sure [shakes hands with Mr. B again]. Charmed. [shakes hands with Mr. F again]. How good to meet you. [shakes hands with Mr. B.] A pleasure. But haven't we met before? [shakes hands again with Mr. F]. You'll have to forgive me, gentlemen, I only have two hands. And I'm not as young as I used to be. Now, what can I do for you?

[All four take long drags on their cigars. Smoke pours out of the smoke machine.]

Mr. M: We have a problem, here, Professor, which maybe you can help us solve.
BB: If it's a problem, then I can solve it, no problem.
Mr. F: You see, Mr. Baseball here is worried because his team can't fill Three Rivers Stadium. The Pirates are playing badly, interest in the team is waning, attendance is low. And that stadium is huge.
Mr. B: That's it, Professor. Small crowds, lots of empty seats. It's embarrassing. And depressing.
Mr. M: Hey I've got it! What you need is a smaller stadium. [laughs] Small crowd. Small stadium. Full house. No empty seats.
[Mssrs. B, F and M laugh loudly.]
Mr. F: [still laughing] Well, that's ONE way of solving your problem, eh? [more laughter]
BB: [deadpan] Mr. Mayor. Have I ever told you you're a genius? Come to think of it, have you ever told me I'm a genius? And if not why not? Build a smaller stadium. What a brilliant idea! If you can't fill the big one, make a small one. And if you can't fill THAT one, make another, smaller yet. That way, you can be sure of selling out. Because in the immortal words of Yogi Berra: "less is more."
Mr. M: Well, now that you put it that way, maybe my knowledge of economics is greater than I thought. This idea just came to me. In a flash!
BB: Brilliant, Mr. M, brilliant. Why if my brothers were only here, they'd be stupid compared to you.
Mr. M: I can't believe I figured that out on my own. It just came to me, just like that. Less is more!
Mr. B: Amazing. So let me get this straight. We are losing money in the big stadium. Because we can't sell enough tickets to fill it. So if you build us a SMALLER stadium, THAT way we can have the same small number of fans and still manage to sell out. Brilliant, yes, Mr. Mayor. But I dunno, something tells me . . . somehow I'm confused, not sure why . . . Will we be able to make more money that way?
BB: You're confused because you don't understand economics like our Mayor here. What's important to him is not the money. What's important to him is . . . selling out.

Mr. M: Right. Money is no object.

BB: Of course not. Less is more.


Mr. F: Well if the Pirates are going to get a smaller stadium, the Steelers have to have one too.

Mr. M: Well, gosh, Mr. F, I don't know about that. You've been selling lots of tickets in the big stadium. You don't need a smaller one.

BB: But if the Steelers had a smaller stadium, they wouldn't NEED to sell so many tickets, now would they? [aside, to the audience:] And if they had a REALLY small stadium, they wouldn't need to hire so many players. [arches eyebrows, Groucho style.] Less is more.

Mr. F: Exactly. And I have to insist on that. We gotta have a stadium of our own. A small one. Because according to the professor here, less is more. And we need more. So I'm going to have to insist on less. If not, I'm pulling the Steelers out. And don't think I haven't had offers. The Schenectady Steelers, how does that sound?

Mr. M: OK. OK. Fine. But who's going to pay for these stadiums?

Mr. B: Pay?

Mr. F: Pay?

Mr. B& Mr. F in unison: Surely you don't expect US to pay!

Mr. B: The Pirates are almost broke, there's no money there, no money at all.

Mr. F: The Steelers are rolling in cash -- a good chunk of which went to YOUR campaign, Mr. Mayor! Now you want us to cough up even more?

Mr. B: The stadiums shouldn't belong to the teams, anyhow. That would be wrong!

Mr. F: No. By rights they should belong to the people. Isn't this a democracy? So let them pay.

Mr. M: But my oh my, it's going to be hard enough to convince the taxpayers to foot the bill for one new stadium. But two? Can we figure out some way to cut costs?

Mr. B: Well just because we're getting a smaller stadium, that's no reason it has to cost less, that would be unfair.

Mr. F: UnAmerican! It would be unAmerican to take advantage like that.


BB: Actually, we have to come up with a way for it to cost more. Lots more.

[pause -- all look at him in astonishment.]

You can't just ask for money to build a stadium for the Pirates -- and another for the Steelers. No! The public wouldn't stand for it. So ask for more. Much more. Because . . . more is less.

[He gets up and begins to sing and dance]

BB: Ask for money for the zoo,

Ask for lots of money too,

Ask for money for the arts,

That will melt the people's hearts.

Let them feel good as they pay

So they won't notice when we get our way.

Mssrs. B, F, and M: More is less and less is more

That is what we're fighting for!

BB: Ask for money for the kids,

If there's no cash then take some bids.

Don't be shy, go for the gold,

Ask for money for the old.

Then they'll really feel good as they pay

And won't notice that we've got our way.

Mssrs. B, F, and M: More is less and less is more

You can take that to the store.

BB: If the stadiums won't fly,

Toss more pie into the sky.

And if for cash the jerks won't vote

Then some bonds we'll have to float.

Mssrs. B, F, and M: God, I hate to be a bore,

But more is less and less is more.

BB: Make the suckers civic minded

So to our real plan they'll be blinded.

And when we move in for the kill,

Pleased as punch, they'll foot the bill.

Mssrs. B, F, and M: Gosh I hate to be a pest

But less is more and more is less.

[During the song, VG, S and T gradually leave the computer and surround the singers, who, when the song is over, freeze in place.]

S: Well, this is not quite the way it happened. It was more complicated than that. I tried to get the gist of it across.

T: [To the Secretary] Interesting. Not exactly your best effort, but it is amusing -- and instructive -- I suppose.

S: It does need some work, I admit. I didn't have much time, you know. And lots of those Internet links just went nowhere. Took me forever to figure it out.

VG: I think I get it. The people would never go for the idea of tax dollars for stadiums. After all, the players are millionaires and the owners, billionaires. Why shouldn't they pay?

T: But the citizens might go for the idea of a new, teensy weensy little sales tax of only one per cent, for a whole raft-ful of good causes, from bigger cages at the zoo to new and better playgrounds for the kiddies.

VG: Not to mention subsidies for the arts, education, health programs, food banks, sports teams, you name a good cause, they've got some money for it.

T: Sports teams? How'd you sneak that one in?

S: Exactly! Sneak it in, as though it were an afterthought! That "tiny" one percent is far more money than would be needed to bankroll those stadiums, so why not let the suckers think it's an afterthought. Instead of the whole point. Magicians have a name for it: misdirection.

T: [Pulling a sheet out of the printer] Well here's how they did it in Tampa. Hot off the Internet, from the St. Petersburg Florida Times, September 18, 1998: [reading] "The [owners] were insisting on a stadium, but two questions remained: Exactly how should the stadium be paid for? And how could the public be convinced the price was worth it. Commissioner Joe Chillura said the answers to those questions came as he was eating dinner at a restaurant with his wife and two sons."

Mr. M: [suddenly unfreezing] "My wife looked at me and said, "You all right? It looks like you're in a daze,' " Chillura said. "I said, "No, I just figured out the answer to these problems with the [Tampa Bay] Bucs. Look at that line. Look at all the different things on the menu. That's the solution. We've got to come up with a buffet-style proposal where everybody would get a little something.' "

T: [Still reading] "That idea became the community investment tax, a 30-year sales tax that would pay for schools, jails, parks, police equipment and, of course, a new stadium." [Aside to VG] Only in this case, someone saw through the plan, the former Mayor, a guy named William F. Poe. [Reading from the sheet again:] "Enter former Tampa Mayor William F. Poe. Poe filed suit in an effort to block the sales tax referendum, saying the state Constitution forbids the expenditure of public money to benefit a private entity such as [a professional football team]."

VG: Well, bravo. Good for him!

T: But he eventually lost. The buffet idea: "Schools, jails, parks, police equipment." Something for everyone. The citizens bought it. The referendum passed, 53% to 47%. And the court backed it up.

VG: It was more complicated in Pittsburgh, though. And in this case the citizens were NOT buying. The referendum went down in flames. But roughly the same thinking, essentially the same sort of scam. It's all here [pointing to his head]. In the memory banks.

[Scene 3]

Voice from loudspeakers: Act II, Scene 3. Now, in the spirit of one of his own "Lehrstuecke," or "learning plays," Brecht offers us a lecture on the history of the nasty little scheme he's uncovered. Some of us know all too well what he'll be talking about. And maybe, for some, this will be old hat, water gone under the mill. But, hey, that bond issue is going to be draining some city's resources for a long time to come.

[At this point various people appear in the auditorium, on stage and off, some seated in the audience, all with newspapers, reading various accounts of the Pittsburgh Stadiums controversy, or rather, intoning them, chanting, in a kind of cacaphonous chorus.]

VG: [pulling out a bull horn so he can be heard:] Let's take a look at the history. [Hands newspapers to S and T and takes one himself. They take turns reading text from their newspapers, the bullhorn being passed from speaker to speaker. Each line is intoned at top speed on two notes, the lowest of which is sung only on the last sentence of each word Each entrance should overlap the previous paragraph by roughly a sentence. As they read, the following text is displayed on the main screen, one word at a time: "Why do all these corporations pour a ton of money into . . . the next election? The answer is they are buying affirmative action, they are buying preference, they are buying quotas -- all the things we think are terrible when the same terms are applied to minorities and those of our citizens we think are less advantaged." General Colin L. Powell, as quoted in the Wall Street Journal, 1995.]

VG: How they scored: A timeline

Wednesday, April 07, 1999, from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"The play-by-play:

S: 1993, Dec. 14 - Mayor-elect Tom Murphy, finishing his chores as a state legislator, is informed privately the Pirates are for sale and the team's finances are in critical shape.

T: 1994, Aug. 4 - Public announcement that the Pirates are looking for a new buyer is made. At the same time, current owners raise issue that a new ballpark is needed if they are to survive in Pittsburgh. During sale process, Major League Baseball makes a new ballpark a requirement.

. . . . .

VG: 1995, Sept. 7 - Kevin McClatchy emerges as the front man putting together a package of investors to buy the Pirates. A preliminary deal is reached with the city within a week.

S: Oct. 9 - Steelers president Dan Rooney makes first public pronouncement that an upgraded Three Rivers Stadium or a new football stadium is needed if the team is to remain competitive. Intitial estimate is $75 million to install luxury suites, club seats and replace the field at Three Rivers.

T: Oct. 25 - National League president Len Coleman informs the city that baseball will reject the McClatchy bid without a pledge for a new ballpark.

VG: Nov. 7 - Larry Dunn and Bob Cranmer elected as first Republican majority on Allegheny County Commission in 60 years. Both have vowed no public money for stadiums.

. . . . .

S: 1996, Feb. 14 - Final approval given to McClatchy and a group of 28 investors. Pirates are promised that funding for a new ballpark must be in place within two years and the new park must open by 2001.

T: June 25 - Forbes Field II task force recommends ballpark site on North Shore, adjacent to Sixth Street Bridge and just several hundred yards away from Three Rivers.

VG: July 2 - NFL officials visit Murphy to press case for new or improved football facility.

. . . . .

S: 1997 . . . . . June 18 - Ridge signs legislation [for a so-called "Regional Renaissance Initiative"] that lets voters in 11 counties decide whether to boost the sales tax 0.5 percent to finance economic development projects, including money for two new stadiums and a tripling of the size of Pittsburgh's convention center. . . . . .

. . . . .

T: Sept. 19 - Steelers make it official. They prefer a new 65,000-seat stadium rather than a refurbished Three Rivers.

. . . . .

VG: Nov. 4 - The initiative is soundly rejected with 530,706 votes against and 281,336 votes in favor. The Pirates' deadline for having funding in place is only four months away.

S: Nov. 5 - Murphy, Dawida and Cranmer meet in mayor's office, agreeing to find a backup plan. Their staffs are instructed to find financing that won't involve a tax increase.

T: Nov. 11 - A Plan B framework emerges. The local sources of money include: the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD), which manages money from a 1 percent county sales tax that is over and above the 6 percent state sales tax; the county hotel tax, a surcharge of 7 percent for each hotel/motel room rented; ticket surcharges; parking revenue; and a payroll tax on non-resident athletes.

VG: 1998 . . . . . March 9 - Plan B is announced. Formally known as the regional destination development plan, it is heralded as an $803 million economic development package to triple the size of the convention center, build two stadiums, pay off and tear down Three Rivers Stadium and build a destination point attraction.

S: March 17 - Pirates unveil plans for 38,000-seat, baseball-only ballpark that will be the most intimate park in America and have a view of the city skyline.

. . . . .

T: May 9 - The Pennsylvania Poll of 812 Allegheny County residents shows that a majority of them oppose the use of existing tax revenues to pay for the three major projects. The opinion poll shows 55 percent are opposed to Plan B, 32 percent are in favor and 13 percent are unsure.

VG: June 1 - Frederick Baker, Cranmer's appointee to the seven-member RAD board, resigns because he is philosophically opposed to Plan B. He is replaced by David Christopher, former chairman of the county Republican Party.

. . . . .

S: July 9 - RAD board votes 6-1, the bare minimum required for passage, to allocate $13.4 million over 30 years [a total of $142,000,000, not counting interest] toward Plan B. . . . [The remainder of the public funding, it is hoped, will come from the State.]

. . . . .

T: 1999

. . . . .

VG: Feb. 3 - By a 136-62 vote in the House and 34-15 vote in the Senate, state share of $325 million is approved. The vote saves the Pirates and anchors the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

S: Feb. 9 - Ridge signs state share into law.

T: March 24 - State Supreme Court rejects legal challenges to Plan B, eliminating the final hurdle to moving forward.

VG: April 7 - Pirates break ground on PNC Park with day-long ceremonies and usher in new era."


VG: Can we back up please? Can we scroll back up to November 11?

[The display is scrolled to that date, which reads: "Nov. 11 - A Plan B framework emerges. The local sources of money include: the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD), which manages money from a 1 percent county sales tax that is over and above the 6 percent state sales tax; the county hotel tax, a surcharge of 7 percent for each hotel/motel room rented; ticket surcharges; parking revenue; and a payroll tax on non-resident athletes."]

VG: "The local sources of money include: the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD), which manages money from a 1 percent county sales tax." The so-called "RAD tax." Now please scroll back down, to June 1.

[The display is scrolled to June 1, which reads: "June 1 - Frederick Baker, Cranmer's appointee to the seven-member RAD board, resigns because he is philosophically opposed to Plan B. He is replaced by David Christopher, former chairman of the county Republican Party."]

VG: Frederick Baker is a member of the board of this organization which manages millions of dollars in tax money. He cannot accept this "Plan B." In fact, he realizes that it is corrupt, a blatant handout of public money for the operation of two private businesses run by billionaires.

S: You're losing me, Bert. What does this have to do with our play?

VG: This Frederic Baker. Don't you see? He can't be bought. The other members of the committee have to find someone to replace him. Doesn't that ring a bell? Mann ist Mann. Man is man. Anyone can be replaced with anyone else.

T: Provided, of course, that the replacement is someone who cannot say "no."

[Scene 4]

Voice from loudspeakers: Act II, Scene 4. Yet another version of a by now familiar scene. Reshaped by Brecht and his collaborators for maximum relevance to what is happening now, baby. Or what's happened up to now. It's only a bit confusing. Keep your eye on the funny looking guy caught in the middle. All goes smoothly, till the Dean appears and tries to stop the show. But then she's upstaged by some guy in a beard, with the biggest cigar of all.

[During the above, the student actors who play the three soldiers, the Widow Begbick and Galy Gay gather downstage, stage right, while, on stage left, the actors who just played Mr. Baseball, Mr. Football and the Mayor take their chairs and seat themselves around a desk. When all are in place, VG, S and T freeze, we hear the March Music once again, only this time, after a brief introductory march, the actors speak their lines, as in Scene Three, and the rest of the music is heard in the background:]

[On stage right:]

Uriah: Is this the canteen for the Eighth Regiment?

Polly: Are we addressing its owner, the world renowned Widow Begbick? We are the machine gunners of the Eighth Regiment.

Begbick: I see only three of you. Where is your fourth gunner?

[On stage left:]

Mr. Baseball: Is this the meeting of the Regional Asset District board? RAD, for short?

Mr. Football: Are we addressing the chairman of RAD, the locally renowned Mayor of Pittsburgh? We are the new appointees of the regimented political machine.

Mr. Mayor: I see only two of you. Where is our fourth board member?

[On stage right:]

[Galy Gay enters, carrying a cigar and a menu, as in Scene 3.]

GG: This is a terrific cigar! And I love this place. Music. Fancy menus. Pretty waitresses. Look, they've even got Chicauqua sauce. It's a side dish. Chicauqua sauce, imagine. What a place. With connections you can get anything you want in this town. It's who you know, that's it.

Jesse: My dear sir. You are in a position to do a small favor for three poor people in a difficult situation, without going to hardly any trouble at all.

Polly: One of us hasn't arrived yet, he's saying goodbye to his wife, and if we're not all present and accounted for at roll-call there'll be the Devil to pay.

[On stage left:]

Mr. B: [pointing to Galy Gay] [to Mr. F] Looks like someone who can't say no. This might be someone we could use. [to Galy Gay] My dear sir. You are in a position to do a small favor for three poor people in a difficult situation, without going to hardly any trouble at all.

Mr. F: [to GG] One of us hasn't arrived yet, he's being uncooperative, and if we're not all present and accounted for at the RAD roll-call, we won't be able to vote on an important civic matter.

[On stage right:]

[GG briefly looks at the group on stage left, then back to stage right.]

Uriah: It would therefore be a great help to us if you would put on this uniform. You just need to be there for roll-call, that's it. Just for the record.

Polly: A cigar more or less, that you perhaps thereby wish to smoke at our expense, naturally plays no part in this matter.

[On stage left:]

Mr B: [to GG] It would therefore be a great help to us if you would put on this business suit. You just need to be present for this vote, that's it. Just for the record.

Mr. F: [to GG] Here, have a cigar! [pulls one of the six foot long cigars from offstage and offers it to GG].

GG: [Looking desperately back and forth between the two groups] Look, I'm sorry, I've gotta get going. Gotta get home to the wife, you know. We can't always do what we'd like, I'm afraid.

Jesse and Mr. B in unison: I thank you. I expected -- I openly confess -- this sort of response from you. That's it: You cannot do as you would like. You would like to go home, but you cannot. I thank you, my dear sir, for justifying the confidence you inspired in us when we first set eyes on you. Your hand, dear sir! [they each grab onto one of GG's hands]

[on stage right:]

Uriah: Permit us to garb you for this purpose in the honorable vestments of the great British army. Widow Begbick, can I speak openly with you? We need a complete outfit.

Begbick: I just happen to have exactly the right thing in my tote bag. [holds up a huge cloth bag]

[on stage left:]

Mr. B: Permit us to garb you for this purpose in the honorable vestments of a Pittsburgh lawyer. Mr. Mayor, can I speak openly with you? We need a complete outfit.

Mr. M: I just happen to have exactly the right thing in my briefcase. [holds up a huge leather briefcase]

Jesse and Mr. B in unison: [to Begbick and Mr. M respectively] Honestly, this just has to do with a little joke.

Begbick and Mr. M in unison: A joke. Ah so.

Polly and Mr. F in unison: [to GG] Isn't that, perhaps, true, Sir? Doesn't this just have to do with a joke?

GG: Yah. I suppose. It has to do, I guess, with a -- cigar. [laughs -- then all laugh] What's this all about, actually?

Jesse and Mr. B in unison: Actually, nothing at all.

GG: Won't it be dangerous if someone finds out?

Polly and Mr. F in unison: Not at all. And for you, one time is no time.

GG: True enough. Einmal ist keinmal. One time is no time, so they say.

BB: [Appearing from behind the curtain at stage right, marches across the stage, chanting over and over again, very slowly, as in a trance] Einmal keinmal einmal keinmal einmal keinmal [etc. -- he continues chanting throughout the ensuing dialogue]

[Begbick and Mr. Mayor, carrying their tote bag and briefcase, converge on GG and start to undress him.]

Begbick: [to Mr. M] Hey! What are you doing? We saw him first. [Pulls on a sleeve of GG's shirt.]

Polly: Yeah. Who the Hell are you anyhow? This is our play, not yours.

Mr. B and Mr. F in unison: [both pulling on GG's other sleeve] But we need him. Someone who can't say no. The RAD committee vote has to be unanimous or we won't get any stadiums. We need him for Plan B!

Mr. B: [beginning to cry] Our fourth man. Freddy.

Mr. F: [choking down a sob] Freddy Baker. He deserted us.

Mr. B: Refused to go along. Claims he "left before being forced to leave." [Pgh. Post Gazette, June 2, 1998]

Mr: F: Not a team player. Just look at what he said: [reads from display which has just appeared on the "Internet" screen] "[H]e could not bring himself to vote in favor of the funding given the lopsided defeat of the proposed sales tax increase last fall and informal polls showing a solid majority against the use of RAD money for stadiums." [from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, June 2, 1998]

Mr. M: [sobbing uncontrollably] That selfish bastard! What a Gyp!

Mr. F: And then the County Commissioner has to get into the act: [again reading from the screen]

"Commissioner Larry Dunn, a vocal opponent of the $803 million plan to use RAD funds to help build the two stadiums and expand the convention center, called the resignation 'power politics at its worst.' He maintained the resignation shows that Cranmer, Commissioner Mike Dawida and Murphy, who with Cranmer developed Plan B, will stop at nothing to win RAD board approval of the spending. He said they have 'totally corrupted' the integrity of the board." [from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, June 2, 1998]

Mr. M: What a load of crap! What does HE know about corruption? This guy will do anything to curry favor with the people, just to get some lousy votes.

Mr. B: Get this. They claim he resigned because his conscience wouldn't let him vote for Plan B.

Mr. F: He can't be bought! Do you believe it? Why everyone has his price! Our whole system is based on that!

Mr. M: He's out to destroy our system, doesn't care!

Uriah: Well, our guy was selfish too, our Jip.

Jesse: Yeah he abandoned us in our hour of need.

Polly: Good soldier though. Tough.

Jesse: As nails.

Mr. B: Our fourth man, this Freddy Baker, was also tough. Which is why he wouldn't go along. Just said "no."

Polly: We could use someone like that right now, actually.

Uriah: Yeah. Our guy, this Galy Gay, actually he's not really soldier material, if you know what I mean. Kinda soft. Indecisive. Wishy washy.

Jesse: And he can't say "no." So you guys might be able to use him. Maybe we can make a deal.

Polly: Mr. Mayor, I would like you to meet our friend Galy Gay. Mr. Gay, I understand the Mayor may have a deal for you.

GG: A -- a deal?

Mr. M: How do you do sir [shaking GG's hand]. Yes, a deal. We have a white elephant on our hands we need to get rid of. This old stadium we've been using for both baseball and football, it's falling apart, really. Although it's not actually all that old.

Mr. B: And the city owes more on it now, around Forty Million dollars, than when it was new. Which was not actually all that long ago.

Mr. F: But new is old.

Mr. B: And short is long.

Mr. F: And more is less. So this stadium, which is much too large anyhow, has got to go, it's a white elephant.

Mr B: And less is more. So what we need is smaller stadiums, fewer seats, so we can make more money. That old stadium, it holds too many people. Definitely a white elephant.

GG: Well, gentlemen, if an elephant is involved, I'm your man.

Mr. M: I'm really glad to hear that, because we've lost our fourth man and we need someone exactly like you. Here, try on this business suit.

GG: [Tries it on, but struggles.] Too small. I won't be able to get into it.

[The Mayor struggles to get the jacket on him -- it's so small, his arms remain outstretched to the sides -- then he gets down on his hands and knees, and starts lacing a pair of shoes on his feet.]

GG: And the shoes really pinch. Ow!

Mr. F: [to GG] Here pal, have another cigar for your trouble. And a beer.

[GG finally gets into the suit, with much "business" juggling the cigar and beer.]

[On stage right:]

A Soldier: Machine gunners fall in. Roll call. Names!

Polly: Polly Baker.

Uriah: Uriah Shelley.

Jesse: Jesse Mahoney.

[On stage left:]

BB [still made up like Groucho Marx, but now dressed in judge's robes]: Hear Ye Hear Ye Hear Ye, it's time to vote on the funding for two proposed new stadium's for Pittsburgh, also known as Plan B.

Mr B: [to GG] Here's your RAD membership card. All you have to do is vote "yes," OK? Nothing to it. The vote has to be unanimous.

[On stage right:]

Polly: Now wait a minute. What are WE gonna do? [To Mr. M] We gave you our guy, but now we don't have our fourth man anymore. What about your guy, this Freddy Baker, the tough one? The one who won't say "yes"? Hey, a deal's a deal.

Mr. M: [to Polly] I haven't forgotten you, no. A deal's a deal. A man's a man. Man is man. Mann ist Mann. This Freddy, he's definitely your man. Why here he comes now. [Fred Baker, a businessman carrying a briefcase, appears from stage left.] Hi Freddy, how ARE you, it's been a while. I want to introduce you to an old friend of mine, Mr. . . .

Polly: Baker. Polly Baker, at your service, sir.

FB: Why hello. Glad to meet you. I'm Fred Baker. Are we related?

Polly: Possibly, possibly.

Jesse: My dear sir. You are in a position to do a small favor for three poor people in a difficult situation, without going to hardly any trouble at all.

Polly: One of us hasn't arrived yet, he's saying goodbye to his wife, and if we're not all present and accounted for at roll-call there'll be the Devil to pay.

Uriah: It would therefore be a great help to us if you would put on this uniform. You just need to be there for roll-call, that's it. Just for the record.

Polly: [offering him a cigar] A cigar more or less, that you perhaps thereby wish to smoke at our expense, naturally plays no part in this matter.

FB: Look, I'm sorry, I've gotta get going. Gotta get home to the wife, you know. We can't always do what we'd like, I'm afraid. And I don't smoke.

Jesse: I thank you. I expected -- I openly confess -- this sort of response from you. That's it: You cannot do as you would like. You would like to go home, but you cannot. I thank you, my dear sir, for justifying the confidence you inspired in us when we first set eyes on you. Your hand, dear sir! [takes FB's hand]

Uriah: Permit us to garb you for this purpose in the honorable vestments of the great British army. Widow Begbick, can I speak openly with you? We need a complete outfit.

Begbick: I just happen to have exactly the right thing in my tote bag. [holds up a huge cloth bag]

FB: Now wait just a minute. I thought I made myself clear. The answer is NO!

Polly [to Uriah]: Now isn't that just what I was saying? This guy, this Baker, he must be a relative. A real fighter. Just like our lost mate Jeraiah Jip. He's gonna fill Jeraiah's shoe's just fine. This is a guy who "says 'no' -- in thunder! Not even the Devil himself can make him say 'yes.'" [Herman Melville -- on Hawthorne.]

Polly: Tough as nails!

Jesse: Incorruptible!

Uriah: Can't be bought.

Mr. M: BUT -- he CAN be arrested. [to Polly] Officer!

Polly: [saluting] Yes SIR!!!

Mr. M: Arrest this man. Take him into custody.

FB: [indignant] On what charges?

Mr. M: Insubordination. Contempt of the system.

[Jesse and Polly hold FB while Uriah puts the cuffs on him. Polly then clubs him over the head, and all three then drag him offstage.]

Mr. M: Now where were we?

BB: About to take a vote! Are all present and accounted for?

Mssrs: M, B & F: Yes. SIR!

GG: Yes. S - sir.

BB: The Regional Asset District board, known as RAD for short, must now vote to appropriate, from funds made available to it by local sales taxes, garnered from rich and poor alike, but mostly from poor, 13.4 million dollars per year for the next 30 years to cover 170 million dollars in bonds towards the cost of two new stadiums, which will principally benefit the billionaire owners of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Pittsburgh Steelers and their millionaire athletes and, moreover, have such a tiny seating capacity as to make it all but impossible for ordinary people to afford tickets. This outrageous proposition, known as Plan B, which requisitions tax dollars that could far better be spent on public health and education, was, in an earlier form, overwhelmingly rejected by the voters. But at this time the voters are not being asked to participate. So what's required is simply a unanimous vote of this committee. How vote ye, aye or nay?

Mr. F: Aye

Mr. B: Aye

Mr. M: Aye

[pause -- all turn toward GG]

GG: Yes! Er, Ahhh . . . . Aye.

BB: The measure is taken. You should all be thoroughly ashamed of yourselves.

GG: [lifts up his bottle of beer to the audience] Well, a little favor among friends can't hurt can it? You see, live and let live. You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. I'm enjoying my beer and saying to myself: I've been of use to these folks. And that's what really matters isn't it, that one just once sends up a little balloon and says "yes" just as easily as one might say "good evening," and you're what people want you to be.

[A disruption can be heard backstage. Dean Fairchild then appears, looking very flustered, followed meekly by the Professor.]

DF: WHAT on earth is going on here? You've scheduled a rehearsal without me?

VG: Trust me, Emmanuella. I decided to rewrite the play and threw together a little tryout to see if this was going to work.

[During the ensuing dialogue between DF and The Professor, a cigar, twice as long as any of the others we've seen, slowly emerges from offstage, as before.]

DF: Rewrite the play? How can you do that? Who told you you can do that? We have a schedule -- and a contract! This is an outrage! Who do you people think you are? What do you think you're doing? Stadiums? Tax deals? Plan B? Pittsburgh? What on Earth does this have to do with the play we were working on? What does this have to do with ANYTHING?

The Professor: Don't you see? Far out!!!! It's the "Brecht Collective" at it again, making the play relevant to what is happening now, baby. Yes. I dig! Actually Brecht rewrote Mann ist Mann several times in the Twenties and Thirties, in response to historical events. For him a work of art is never fixed, but flexible, changeable, adaptable to new circumstances. This rewrite is his take on the New Economy, the Free Market, the weakening of governmental controls over big business, the age of corporate takeovers in every sense of the word, uncontrolled corporate manipulation of world markets, unrestricted election financing, the buying of public officials, corporate greed, corporate welfare. What happened in Pittsburgh is symptomatic of what's happening all over the world. Groovy!

DF: Who died and made YOU king? When I need your input, Herr Professor, I will ask for it. You know, don't you, why they call me "Bloody Five"?

The Professor: Oh yes, yes I do, Emmanuella, I'll be good, I promise.

DF: Five tenure denials! In one year. All with so-called "impeccable" credentials. All enthusiastically nominated by their respective departments. What a bunch of airheads! Each one of those losers with NO funding smarts, ZERO grant raising aptitude, but TONS of attitude, all sorts of "bright" ideas on how this University should be run, telling me how I should do MY job.

[At this point DF notices the cigar and watches, with the others, in silent fascination, as it gradually emerges into full view, and with it the man smoking it, BB, made up and dressed like Fidel Castro. "Castro" strides, with quiet dignity, to stage rear, from which he addresses all present. As he speaks, all onstage gradually seat themselves around him and slowly, one by one, fall asleep.]

BB [as Castro]: "What happened 10 years ago was the naive and unwitting destruction of a great social historical process that needed to be improved, but not destroyed. This had not been achieved by Hitler's hordes, not even by killing over 20 million Soviets and devastating half of the country. The world was left under the aegis of a single superpower, which had not contributed even five percent of the sacrifices made by the Soviets in the fight against fascism . . .

The United States, such a vocal advocate of multi-party systems, has two parties that are so perfectly similar in their methods, objectives and goals that they have practically created the most perfect one-party system in the world. Over 50% of the people in that 'democratic country' do not even cast a vote, and the team that manages to raise the most funds often wins with the votes of only 25% of the electorate. The political system is undermined by disputes, vanity and personal ambition or by interests groups operating within the established economic and social model and there is no alternative for a change in the system.

When the small English-speaking nations of the Caribbean achieved independence, they put into place a more efficient parliamentary system where the ruling party remains in power as long as it enjoys consensus. This is much more stable than the presidential regime imposed to the rest of Latin America, which copied the U.S. model. And, nothing has changed in almost two centuries.

[As those on-stage fall asleep, they begin to snore . . . Mixed with the sound of snoring is the faint chugging of a train, which gradually gets louder as Castro's speech continues. As the train gets louder, the lights get dimmer, until they black out completely.]

Under capitalism it is the large national and international companies that actually govern, even in the most highly industrialized nations. It is they who make the decisions on investment and development. It is they who are responsible for material production, essential economic services, and a large part of social services. The state simply collects taxes and then distributes and spends them. In many of these countries, the entire government could go on vacation and nobody would even notice.

The developed capitalist system, which later gave rise to modern imperialism, has finally imposed a neoliberal and globalized order that is simply unsustainable. It has created a world of speculation where fictitious wealth and stocks have been created that have nothing to do with actual production, as well as enormous personal fortunes, some of which exceed the gross domestic product of dozens of poor countries. No need to add the plundering and squandering of the world's natural resources and the miserable lives of billions of people. There is nothing this system can offer humanity. It can only lead to its own self-destruction and perhaps along with it to the destruction of the natural conditions that sustain human life on this planet.

The end of history, as predicted by a few euphoric dreamers, is not here yet. Perhaps it is actually just beginning. . .

Of course, everybody thought that Cuba would not survive the collapse of the socialist bloc and the USSR. One could certainly wonder how it was possible to withstand a double blockade and the economic and political warfare unleashed against our country by the mightiest power ever, without the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, without credits. However, we managed to achieve this feat. At a summit meeting recently held in Havana, I somewhat ironically said to our guests that it had been possible because we had the privilege of not being IMF members.

There were times when we were swimming in a sea of circulating money. Our national currency experienced an extraordinary devaluation, and the budget deficit reached 35% of our gross domestic product. I could see intelligent visitors almost faint from shock. Our peso, the national currency, dropped to a value of 150 to the dollar in 1994. In spite of this, we did not close down a single health care center, a single school or daycare center, a single university, or a single sports facility. Nobody was fired and left on his own without employment or social security, even when fuel and raw materials were most scarce. There was not even a trace of the customary and hideous shock policies so highly recommended by the Western financial institutions.

Every measure adopted to confront the terrible blow was discussed not only in the National Assembly, but also in hundreds of thousands of assemblies held in factories, centers of production and services, trade unions, universities, secondary schools and farmers', women's and neighbors' organizations as well as other social groups. What little was available, we distributed as equitably as possible. Pessimism was overcome both inside the country and outside.

During those critical years, the number of doctors was doubled, and the quality of education was improved. The value of the Cuban peso increased sevenfold, from 150 to the dollar to 20 to the dollar, between 1994 and 1998, and has since remained consistently stable. Not a single dollar fled the country. We acquired experience and efficiency on a par with the immense challenge facing us. Although we have still not reached the production and consumption levels we had before the demise of socialism in Europe, we have gradually recovered at a steady and visible pace. Our education, health and social security rates, as well as many other social features, which were the pride of our country, have been preserved, and some have even been improved. [Fidel Castro, as quoted in GRANMA INTERNACIONAL DIGITAL,CUBA, June 23, 2000.]

[Scene 5]

[The last paragraphs of Castro's speech have been increasingly drowned out by the sounds of snoring and the chugging of the train, which is now all that can be heard. It is totally dark. Gradually the chugging diminishes (but never completely dies away) and the lights come up again, but never beyond a kind of murky dimness. The set has changed in the meantime. We are in a train filled with soldiers. In a corner, we see the actors playing Uria, Jesse, Polly, Begbick and Galy Gay.]

[When the chugging has diminished to the point the actor's voices can be heard, the following dialogue, from Scene 10 of Brecht's Mann ist Mann, ensues. Insofar as possible, the actors should try to mime the action as broadly and clearly as possible, so the audience can get at least some idea of what they are saying.]

GALY GAY [waking up, stretching, yawning]: Was ist das, was da so schaukelt?

URIA [waking and stretching]: Das ist der Elefant, der an deiner Huette knabbert, du Quengler.

[As the dialogue proceeds, we hear, superimposed, over the loudspeaker:] Act II, Scene 5. For some reason, the entire cast now finds itself plunged into the last section of Brecht's play, where his entire troop of soldiers rides a train headed for the front. And no, I can't speak German either.

GALY GAY: Was ist das, was da so zischt?

URIA: Das ist der Fisch, der im Wasser kocht, du Angenehmer.

GALY GAY [arising with difficulty and looking up]: Eine Frau. Schlafsaecke, Telegraphenstangen. Es ist ein Zug.

GALY GAY [Approaching one of the sleeping soldiers]: He, du!

Soldier: Was willst du?

GALY GAY: Wohin fahrt ihr?

Soldier [Looking up]: Nach vorn! [Going back to sleep]

GALY GAY: Es sind Soldaten. [Waking another] Herr Soldat, wieviel ist es? [No answer]. Gegen Morgen. Was ist das heute fuer ein Wochentag?

Soldier: Zwischen Donnerstag und Freitag.

GALY GAY: Ich muss aussteigen. He, du, der Zug muss halten.

SOLDAT Der Zug haelt nicht.

[The ensuing dialogue, in English, starting at this point, takes place concurrently with the rest of the scene in German, as presented in the opposite column. The English dialogue should always be audible over the German. In the episodes where the dialogue of the Mann ist Mann scene is being paraphrased in English, the actors should base their actions on the corresponding miming of the Mann ist Mann group, in an attempt to make the parallels as clear as possible. ]

The Professor: [stretching, yawning -- prods Dean Fairchild and whispers] Where are we? What's going on?

DF: [wakes up, stretching, yawning] How should I know? Who are these people? What are they saying?

P: It's German.

DF: My God! We're on a train! Am I dreaming?

P: Far out! I think they're acting a scene from the play, from Mann Ist Mann. But this is no set. This is real!

DF: That's it, I must be dreaming. What's going on, I can't understand a word.

P: It's scene 10. War has broken out. All the soldiers have packed up and embarked on a train. A train to [gulp] Tibet. It's war with Tibet! Galy Gay has been tricked into thinking he's one of the soldiers, Jeriah Jip. But as he wakes up, he starts insisting all over again that he's still Galy Gay. And when he discovers they're on this train, he tries to get it to stop. He wants off!

DF: Can you blame him? [sound of gunfire, bombs, artillery] What's that? Are those guns? Oh my God! Wake up, wake up.

P: The soldiers have to convince him all over again that he's really Jeriah Jip, the tough-as-nails soldier, not Galy Gay, the gentle porter. And finally, when they DO manage to convince him, he changes dramatically. He becomes transformed into a "human fighting machine" and leads the attack.

[VG, the Translator and the Secretary now also begin to wake up, yawning and stretching. Lying, still asleep, beside VG is the young student actress, Marlene.]

VG: [waking, confused]

What's all that shaking?

T: [to the Sectretary] Only an elephant snuffing around your behind, creep.

VG: I hear a hissing sound.

S: [to the Translator] It's just the sound of the fish cooking, sweetheart.

VG: [gets up with difficulty and looks out of the window]: I see a woman, men in sleeping bags. Telegraph poles are going by. We're on a train!

[VG approaches one of the sleeping soldiers]: Excuse me?

Soldier: [yawns] What's up, buddy?

VG: What's happening here, where are we going?

Soldier [opening one eye]: We're headed for the front. [Goes back to sleep.]

VG: Soldiers! [Goes up to another sleeping soldier] Mr Soldier, what time is it? What day is it?

Soldier: Somewhere well beyond Thursday and yet prior to Friday.

VG: I gotta get off. Hey, buddy, stop this train!

Soldier: No can do, pal.

VG: This is all very familiar. Almost like a scene from the play. But this is no stage set. This is real! I must be dreaming! If the train won't stop and everyone else is asleep, Id better lie down too and sleep till it finally does stop. Or I wake up. [Sees the young actress asleep beside him.] Who's this woman? How beautiful she looks. How innocent.

T: [pretending to wake up for the first time.] Well, good morning comrade.

VG: Good morning, Gerhardt. So you're here too.

T: [winking] Looks like you scored last night. Nice, very nice. But couldn't you be just a bit more discrete?

VG: Isnt that amazing? Indiscrete, yes. But a man's a man, as you well know, he's not always his own master. For example, no sooner do I find myself awake, then theres this lovely young woman asleep right next to me.

T: So I notice, yes.

VG: Would you believe it, at times like this I get totally confused. To be honest, man to man, I have no idea who this young woman is. Gerhardt, man to man, do you have any idea who this is? And come to think of it: who am I?

DF: [annoyed] It's that airhead little student, Marlene. Intelligent girl -- lots of promise -- but far too naive and trusting for her own good.

S: Berty, my love, I can see you're up to your old tricks. What a hopeless womanizer.

VG: Well, if I've seduced a young woman, I must be Brecht after all, no question. Not that I was ever in doubt. But I have to admit, having slept on it, now I'm a bit confused. Am I really Brecht? Or are these people just pulling the wool over my head? When I was Victor Grauer, why there was nothing wrong with that. So what if I wasn't a celebrity? A name is a name and when it's your name, why that's who you are and who you are is you and no one can take that away from you.

T: Confused? C'mon now, what's your name, say it out loud so we can all hear.

[VG is silent.]

DF: I can't believe my eyes. And now he's trying to play dumb?

T: Well you do know what your name is?

VG: Yes.

T: That's good. When you're fighting a battle you need your wits about you.

VG: A b-battle? What battle?

T: Well, in THAT play [pointing in the direction of the soldiers and GG, who are still acting out scene 10 of Mann ist Mann] it's a battle in the war with Tibet. But in THIS one it's a different sort of battle.

DF: That treacherous weasel! That creep! He sweet talks me and then turns around and seduces this innocent child. [Going over to one of the soldiers, she pulls his revolver from its holster.] That sex fiend, that sleezeball who can't control himself, has sullied the good name of Emanuella Fairchild. I'm gonna shoot his bloody prick off!

P: Well, actually, in the original version of the play, Bloody Five shoots off his own prick. Because he can't control his, uh, sensual desires. Heavy!

DF: Well, duh? I don't have a prick do I? I like this version better anyhow. In the name of every woman who's ever been wronged by some egotistical brute, I'm gonna shoot that bloody fucker's prick off. Because he can't control HIS sensual desires.

P: Emanuella, no! My God!!! Don't do anything foolish. I love you. How can I compete with someone like Brecht, someone with a name? I'm just a lowly Assistant Professor. Don't even have tenure yet. I'll never make a name for myself, never. What a pathetic loser! Shoot me! I'm the one who loves you, can't you see? I've always loved you. And it's hopeless. I'm the one who can't control himself. Give me the gun!

[They struggle for the gun. A shot rings out! A scream is heard. Suddenly all is silent. Blackout. When the lights come on a few seconds later, the Professor and the Dean are both lying on the floor, face up.]

VG: BANG!!! [pause] I know who screamed. And I know why. It's all because of a name. Observing these hysterical people in action has been extremely instructive. Now I realize how pigheaded I've been, how pointless it is to be perpetually dissatisfied and confused, what a blunder it is to make too much of a fuss over a name.

T: So now, finally, do you know for sure who you are?

VG: Bertolt Brecht, that's who. Here, take a look at this name tag and you'll see. Whew! Now I'm starved. Anything to eat around here?

[There is suddenly a tremendous explosion. The sound of gunfire can once again be heard.]

A soldier: My God, what was that?

T: Artillery! The train is approaching the battlefields of Tibet. Our play is nearing a climax.

[The March Music is played once again, in the background, as the dialogue continues.]

[Everyone scurries off, grabbing their gear and disembarking from the train. Only the Professor and Dean Fairchild remain, lying on the floor. Dean Fairchild comes too and begins to shake the Professor.]

DF: Hey Professor. Are you hurt? Are you OK? I didn't mean it, really I didn't. Oh God, did I shoot you?

P: [Coming around] Where am I? What happened? Whatever it was, it helped. I feel closer to you now, Emanuella, almost as though we were the same person.

DF: I feel the same way, my darling. But what's going on? Where is everybody?

P: Oh dear. It must be time for the concluding scene, the battle over Tibet. Everyone disembarks from the train and joins the battle and Galy Gay destroys the fortress with five well placed cannon shots. Let's go.

DF: Wait! Marlene, wake up dear, come with us. Quickly!

Marlene: [waking] What? What's happening? Where are we? [She gets up, looks around, and finds a small laptop computer, which she takes with her as she exits the train with P and DF.]

[The train set is wheeled away. It is now dawn. We are on the battlefield and, as before, there are two groups, The Secretary, the Translator, Marlene and VG, with the Professor and the Dean, and in the second group, Polly, Jesse, Uriah, Begbick, Galy Gay.]

[Scene 6]

Voice from loudspeakers: Act II, Scene 6. Now I get it. The part in English represents the new, revised version of these final scenes. But I don't know, the whole thing seems to be spinning out of control. If this is real, then I must be dreaming.

[Throughout this scene, the chorus (soldiers) softly intone the following text, repeating various words, phrases and lines over and over, as in this version:

"The field is thick with indestructible platoons

Swarming as the eye swarms in a floodlit room.

The air is rent with indelible torment

Of mouths and blood screaming but also singing.

And a trumpet salutes the Eternal Moment."]

Group One

T: Here we are, finally. We can't go any further. We're blocked by the fortress of Sir El-Djower, which commands the route to Tibet.

VG: On the double everyone, or we'll be too late. C'mon, let's get out of this train and swing into battle. I'm rarin' to go. In dreams begin responsibilities.

Marlene: Wait! Wait for me, Professor Brecht. I brought La Laptop. Oh, you are being SO brave!

P: Far out! She brought her computer. You know, she may not look the type, but Marlene is THE primo Internet hacker on campus, I kid you not.

S: Keep a sharp eye out for the fortress of Sir El-Djower.

VG: Give me the first shot. But something's in the way, it's got to be eliminated. We can't keep this whole division waiting. The mountain will not be harmed at all, I promise. Jesse, Uriah, Polly! The battle is under way, and already I feel the taste for blood. [pause] But WAIT. No no no! That's not the plan. That was what happened in the old version. We worked out a new one. I'm starting to remember now. Marlene . . .

Marlene: Yes, Professor, I'm right here. Don't you remember? We spent all last night rewriting -- and programming.

VG: Programming. Yes. La Laptop. You have it with you. What was it you wanted to do again?

Marlene: It's called a "mail bomb," Professor, remember? Actually it's an "email bomb." With this real nasty "worm"? Wait, let me get us online. [Marlene climbs a nearby telephone pole and strings a line to La Laptop. Then she opens it, and turns it on.] OK, [rubbing her hands] we're ready to Rock 'n Roll.

S: WHAT on Earth is going on here? No one informed me of THIS development. What is this child going to do with this tiny computer? We're on a battlefield.

VG: There are battlefields and battlefields, my love. Oh GOD, I'm starved. What did you bring me to eat? [He opens her purse and pulls out a long salami.] Salami! My favorite. [He devours it in a few gulps.] Going into battle always makes me ravenous. And the thought of attacking THIS particular fortress really delights me no end.

S: I'm totally confused! What fortress are you talking about?

VG: The fortress that is the "New Economy," the fortress that is the so-called "Free Market," the "New World Order," the fortress harboring the powers of hegemony, control, manipulation and exploitation. The fortress shielding the powers that have victimized the Palestinian people, systematically looted the economy of the former Soviet Union, set in motion the dismemberment of the entire nation of Yugoslavia, the civil war in Bosnia, and the debacle in Kosovo, made the world safe for unbridled laissez faire capitalism, the ruthless downsizing of the American workplace, the building of sports arenas and stadiums all across the United States at the expense of millions of disenfranchised taxpayers. [to Marlene] OK, dear, now we're doing this in five steps, right?

Marlene: Right. Oh this is going to be SO cool! Professor Brecht, you are truly one of the great soldiers in the army of postmodern poststructuralist anti-hegemonic feminist multicultural post-historical materialism, the sort of dude a girl can really go ape over.

VG: Step one:

Marlene: Activating the modem. [VG presses the "return" key on La Laptop] We are now online.

VG: Step two:

Marlene: Opening Microsoft Outlook Express. [VG presses the "return" key again.] OK. It's up and running.

VG: Step three:

Marlene: Emailing our seemingly innocuous message along with its insidious worm-laden macro attachment to one hundred University computer labs throughout the United States and Canada. [For the third time, VG, enters "Return."] Oh! This is SO Shaka Zulu!

VG: Step four:

Marlene: Opening the nifty little executable I concocted last night while watching Jay Leno. [VG pressed the "Return" key once again.] Mmmmm. The little bugger is ready to do some SERIOUS dommage.

VG: Step five:

Marlene: Activating my nasty little gem. [With great ceremony, VG once again presses "Return."] There! Now the fatal signal has been sent to one hundred University computer labs throughout the United States and Canada. The macro we just embedded will be executed, forwarding millions of copies of my worm-laden letter bomb to every corrupt government office, manipulative stock exchange, greed ridden multi-national corporation, phoney Internet startup, big spending special interest group, whiney, money grubbing football and baseball team owner, deregulated, profiteering Utility Company, . . . AND, in the same process, wiping out my very considerable student loan obligation of approximately $100,000.

[An announcement is heard over the loudspeaker system, presented by a voice in a heavy German accent:]

The Fortress of Sir El-Djowr, which was defending the approach to Tibet, has been destroyed. Our army is now marching forward unimpeded. This fortress, in which seven thousand innocent refugees had taken shelter, is now in flames. Their horrifying screams can be heard.

[Another announcement over the loudspeaker, in a different voice]

And now this: The stock exchanges of New York, Tokyo, Toronto, Paris, Berlin and several other major cities have been hit by a devastating email letter bomb of unknown origin containing a highly destructive virus-like computer program known as a "worm." A similar "worm" has infected thousands of other computer systems throughout the world, wreaking havoc with several multi-national corporations, hundreds of government offices, several leading sports teams, and the entire power grid of the United States and Canada. Welfare payments and Social Security mailings have been discontinued. Large portions of the United States and Canada are now without heat and power. Millions of innocent citizens are being victimized.

A Soldier cries out: Who is the man who so bravely destroyed the fortress of Sir El-Djowr and, practically in the same stroke, brought the "New World Order" to its knees?

VG: [Shouting] It was me! I did it! A man like you. Someone who could be any of you. A man of the people. I, Bertolt Brecht!

[At this point, the chorus, which has all this time been quietly intoning the text given above, gets gradually louder.]

BB: [standing on a high platform, lit by a spotlight, sings along with the chorus, with a bullhorn, the complete text, but this time with no repeats, pausing at the end of each line:]

"The field is thick with indestructible platoons

Swarming as the eye swarms in a floodlit room.

The air is rent with indelible torment

Of mouths and blood screaming but also singing.

And a trumpet salutes the Eternal Moment."

[Just after BB sings the last line, a trumpet solo is played. The chorus continues, gradually dying away. As they chant, all the lights, including the house lights, continuously flicker and then suddenly go dark.]

End of Act II

GALY GAY: Wenn der Zug nicht haelt und alle schlafen, will ich mich auch hinlegen und schlafen, bis er haelt. [He notices the Widow Begbick.] . Eine Frau liegt neben mir. Was ist das fuer eine Frau, die heute nacht neben mir gelegen hat?

JESSE: Hallo, Kamerad, guten Morgen!

GALY GAY: Ach, ich bin froh, dass ich Sie sehe, Herr Jesse.

JESSE: Du bist doch ein toller Lebemann! Du liegst hier und hast eine Frau neben dir, wo doch alle dir zusehen koennen.

Galy GAY Nicht, das ist merkwuerdig?

Es ist fast unschiklich, nicht? Aber wissen

Sie, ein Mann ist ein Mann. Er ist nicht

immer ganz Herr seiner selbst. Jetzt zum

Beispiel wache ich da auf, und da liegt

eine Frau neben mir.

JESSE Ja, da liegt sie.

GALY GAY Und wuerden Sie es glauben, dass ich manchmal eine Frau gar nicht kenne, die da so am Morgen neben mir liegt? Um es geradeheraus zu sagen, von Mann zu Mann, ich kenne sie nicht. Und, Herr Jesse, unter Maennern, wuerden Sie mir sagen koennen, wer es also ist?

JESSE Ach, Sie Grosssprecher! Es ist diesmal natuerlich die Witwe Leokadja Begbick. Wenn Sie Ihren Kopf in ein Wasserschaff stecken, wuerden Sie ihre Freundin schon kennen. Dann weisst du wohl auch nicht, wie du heisst?


JESSE Wie heisst du denn?

GALY GAY schweigt.

JESSE Du weisst also, wie du heisst.


JESSE Das ist gut. Ein Mann muss wissen, wer er ist, wenn er in den Krieg zieht.

GALY GAY Ist jetzt Krieg?

JESSE Ja, der tibetanische.

GALY GAY Der tibetanische. Wenn einer aber im Augenblick nun nicht wuesste, wer er ist, das waere komisch, nicht, wenn er in den Krieg zieht! -- Mein Herr, da Sie von Tibet reden, das ist eine Gegend, die ich immer einmal sehen wollte. Ich kannte einmal einen Mann, der hatte eine Frau, die stammte aus der Provinz Sikkim, die an der tibetanischen Grenze liegt. Dort wohnen gute Menschen, sagte sie.


POLLY Dann weisst du also auch, wer du bist?

GALY GAY listig: Habe ich das denn nicht gewusst?

POLLY Nein, denn du warst tollwuetig und wolltest ein anderer sein als du selber.

GALY GAY Wer war ich denn?

JESSE Es ist dir also immer noch nicht besser, wie ich sehe. Ich glaube auch, du bist immer noch gemeingefaehrlich, denn in der letzten Nacht wenn man dich bei deinem wahren Namen nannte, dann wurdest du so gefaehrlich wie ein Moerder.

GALY GAY Ich weiss nur, dass ich Galy Gay heisse.


STIMME DES SERGEANTEN FAIRCHILD 0 Elend, O Erwachen! Wo ist mein Name, der gross war von Kalkutta bins Cooch-Behar? Sogar mein Rock ist dahin, den ich getragen habe! Sie haben mich in einen Zug gelegt wie ein KaIb in einen Schlaechterkarren! Mein Mund ist zugestopft mint einem zivilistischen Hut, und im ganzen Zug weiss man, dass ich nicht mehr der Blutinge Fuenfer bin! Ich muss gehen und diesen Zug so zurichten, dass man ihn wine eine verbogene Blechroehre auf einen Schuttablagerungsplatz schmeissen kann. Das ist ganz einfach.

JESSE Der Blutige Fuenfer! Wach auf, Witwe Begbick! Fairchild kommt in beflecktem Zivilrock.

GALY GAY Ist Ihnen vielleicht etwas mint Ihrem Namen zugestossen?

FAIRCHILD Du bist der Truebste von allen, und dich werde ich zuerst zerdruecken. Heute nacht noch werde ich euch alle fuer Konservenbuechsen zurechtmachen. Er sieht die Begbick sitzen, sie laechelt. Gott verdamm mich! Da sitzt du immer noch, du Gomorrha! Was hast du mit mir gemacht, dass ich nicht mehr der Blutige Fuenfer bin? Geh weg da!

Die Begbick lacht. Was habe ich fuer ein Kleid an? Ziemt sich das fuer mich? Und was babe inch fuer einen Kopf auf? Ist das angenehm? Soll ich mich noch einmal zu dir legen, du Sodom?

BEGBICK Wenn du willst, tue es!

FAIRCHILD Ich will es nicht geh weg da! Die Augen dieses Landes sind auf mich gerichtet. Ich bin eine grosse Kanone gewesen. Mein Name ist Blutiger Fuenfer. Die Blaetter der Geschichte sind mit diesem Namen dreimal uebereinander vollgeschrieben.

BEGBICK Dann tue es nicht, wenn du nicht willst!

FAIRCHILD Weisst du nicht, dass mich meine Mannheit schwach macht, wenn du so dasitzt?

BEGBICK Dann reisse dir deine Mannheit aus, Junge!

FAIRCHILD Sage mir das nicht zweimal! Ab.

GALY GAY russt ihm nach: Halt! Tue nichts wegen deinern Namen. Ein Name ist etwas Unsicheres: darauf kannst du nicht bauen!

FAIRCHILDS STIMME Das ist ganz einfach Das ist die Loesung. Da ist ein Strick. Da ist ein Armeerevolver. Da kenne ich gar nichts. Aufstaendige werden erschossen. Das ist ganz einfach! "Johnny, pack deinen Koffer." Mich kostet auf dieser Welt kein Maedchen mehr einen Pfennig. So. Das ist ganz einfach Dabei darf mir noch nicht einmal die Pfeife ausgehen. Ich uebernehme die Verantwortung. Ich muss es tun, damit ich der Blutige Fuenfer bleibe. Gebt Feuer!

Ein Schuss faellt.

GALY GAY der schon lange an der Tuer steht, lacht: Gebt Feuer!

SOLDATEN in den Waggons vorn und hinten: Habt ihr denSchrei gehoert? -- Wer hat geschrien? -- Da muss einern etwas zugestossen sein! Sie haben bis in die vordersten Waggons mit Singen aufgehoert! -- Horcht!

GALY GAY Ich weiss, wer so geschrien

hat und auch warum! Dieser Herr hat

wegen seinem Namen etwa

sehr Blutiges mint sich gemacht. Er hat

sich eben sein Geschlecht weg

geschossen! Das ist ein grosses Glueck

fuer mich, dass ich das gesehen habe:

jetzt sehe ich, wohin diese

Hartnaeckigkeit fuehrt, und wie blutig es

ist, wenn ein Mann nie mit sich zufrieden

ist und so viel Aufhebens aus seinem

Namen macht!


BEGBICK Und jetzt weisst du doch

auch, wer du bist?

GALY GAY Jeraiah Jip, mein Name. Er

laeuft zu den dreien und zeigt es ihnen im


JESSE und die andern laecheln: Richtig.

Du weisst deinen Namen ueberall

einzuschlagen, Kamerad Jip!

GALY GAY Und das Essen?


EIN SOLDAT Was ist das fuer ein
Geraeusch in der Luft?
URIA bose laechelnd: Das ist das
Donnern der Kanonen; denn wir naehern
uns den Huegeln von Tibet
GALY GAY Habt ihr nicht mehr Reis?.

[Scene 6]
Group Two

STIMMEN von unten: Es geht nicht weiter! -- Das ist die Bergfestung Sir El Dchowr, die den Engpass nach Tibet verstopft.

GALY GAYS STIMME hinter dem Huegel: Lauft, lauft! Sonst kommen wir zu spaet. Er taucht auf, eine Kanone ohne Rohr auf dem Genick. Heraus aus dem Waggon, hinein in die Schlacht! Das gefaellt mir! Eine Kanone verpflichtet!

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

BEGBICK taucht auf. Sie schleppt ein Knonenrohr auf den Ruecken: Lauf nicht so schnell, Jippie! Das kommt davon, weil du ein Herz has wie ein Loewe.


JESSE Wir muessen sofort das Maschinengewehr einrichten.

URIA Der Kanonendonner ist schon so laut, dass man sein eigenes Wort nicht versteht.

POLLY Wir muessen unsere Augen ungeheuer scharf auf die Festung Sir El Dchowr heften.

GALY GAY Und ich will zuerst schiessen. Da halt was auf, das muss doch weg. Man kann doch nicht die vielen Herrn hier warten lassen! Der Berg wird nicht kaputt gehen. Jesse, Uria, Polly, die Schlacht beginnt, und schon fuehle ich in mir den Wunsch, meine Zaehne zu graben in den Hals des Feinds. Und zusammen mit der Begbick baut er die Kanone auf.

. . . . . . . . . . POLLY steilt Galy Gay auf die Kanone einen Teller Reis hin. WilIst du nicht deine Portion Reis essen, denn die Schlacht geht bald an?

GALY GAY Gib her! Er isst. Also: zuerst esse ich meine Portion

Reis, dann bekomme ich das auf mich entfallende Quantum

Whisky, und waehrend ich esse und trinke, betrachte ich diese

Bergfestung, damit ich ihre weiche Stelle finde. Da haben

wir es dann leicht.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

GALY GAY Noch eine Portion! Ich habe heute starken Appetit vor der Schlacht; denn diese Bergfestung gefaellt mir immer mehr.

Polly gibt ihrn den dritten Teller.

GALY GAY So, und jetzt mache ist es mit fuenf Kanonenschuessen!

Der erste Schuss falit.

BEGBICK eine Zigarre rauchend: Du bist wieder von der Art jener grossen Soldaten, die in fruherer Zeit die Armee schrecklich machten. Fuenf von ihnen waren fuer eine Frau lebensgefaehrlich.

Der zweite Schuss faellt.

BEGBICK Ich habe Beweise, dass in der Schlacht anh Tschadseflusse nicht die Schlechtesten in der Kompanie an meine Kuesse gedacht haben. Eine Nacht bei Leokadja Begbick war etwas, wofuer Leute den Whisky aufgaben und die Schillinge zweier Loehnungen zusammensparten. Sie hatten Namen wie der Dschingiskhan, bekannt von Kalkutta bis CoochBehar.

Der dritte Schuss faellt.

BEGBICK Eine Umarmung der beliebten Irlaenderin brachte ihr Blut in Ordnung. Lest in der Times nach, mit welcher Ruhe sie kaempften in den Gefechten bei Bourabay, Kamatkura und Daguth.

Der vierte Schuss faellt.

GALY GAY Das, was jetzt kein Berg ist, das faellt herunter!

Die Berg festung Sir El Dchowr beginnt zu rauchen.

POLLY Schaut!

. . . . .

GALY GAY heftig ladend: Noch einen Schuss. Nur noch einen.

Nur noch den fuenften!

Der fuenfte Schuss faellt. Es erhebt sich in der Schlucht ein Freudengeschrei: "Die Berg festung Sir El Dchowr ist ge-fallen, die den Pass nach Tibet verstopft hat! Die Armee marschiert ein nach Tibet!"

. . . . .

SOLDATENSTIMME von unten: Wer aber ist der Mann, der die Bergfestung Sir El Dchowr gefaellt hat?

GALY GAY Einen Augenblick. Reiche mir, Polly, das kleine Megaphon aus dem Kanonenkasten, damit ich ihnen sage, wer es ist.

Polly holt das Megaphon und reicht es Galy Gay.

GALY GAY durch das Megaphon: Ich bin es, einer von euch, Jeraiah Jip!

JESSE Es lebe Jeraiah Jip, die menschliche Kampfmaschine! POLLY Schaut!

Die Berg festung hat begonnen zu brennen. Ein fernes tausendfaches Geschrei des Entsetzens erhebt sich.

FERNE STIMME Die Bergfestung Sir El Dchowr steht in Flammen, welche 7000 Fluechtlinge aus der Provinz Sikkim beherbergt hat, Bauern, Handwerker und Kaufleute, zum grossen Teil fleissige und freundliche Menschen!

GALY GAY Oh. -- Aber was soll das mir? Das eine Geschrei und das andere Geschrei!

Und schon fuehle ich in mIr

Den Wunsch, meine Zaehne zu graben

In den Hals des Feinds

Urtrieb, den Familien

Abzuschlachten den Ernaehrer

Auszufuehren den Auftrag

Der Eroberer.

Reicht mir eure Paesse!

Sie reichen ihm die Paesse.

POLLY Polly Baker.

JESSE Jesse Mahoney.

URIA Uria Shelley.

GALY GAY Jeraiah Jip. Ruhrt euch! Wir ueberschreiten jetzt die Grenze des eisstarrenden Tibets.

Alle vier ab.