WHERE IS DE QUEEN?

A short "dream" play produced at LaMama ETC (as Dream Play), directed by Peter Feldman, and at The Firehouse Theatre, Minneapolis, directed by Sidney Schubert Walter in March, 1966.

EXCERPT

POET: Somewhere in our memory, calamitous in our past, poisoning our present, stone-like, colossal, venerable, ancient and terrible, completely certain, like a rock: Victoria.

AFRICANS (in awe and recognition): Ahhhhhhhhhhh.

POET (to the audience, each title going up a little in pitch...)

Empress of India, Queen Empress, Empress-queen, high and mighty prince of her dominions and peoples and umbrellas across the street, Her Imperial Royal Majesty, The Queen Victoria of England and Somaliland, Ireland and Liverpool, Duchess of Dakar, Countess of Kent, Dikibaa of Pradripoor, Thorwatch of Igglespent, Prush of Prosh, Howbigah in the Desert, Serene Patipah of the Salvation Army, Greedy Great Grandma of Everyone, Saviour of the Gray Noses, Grand Duchess of Rock and Roll, Jewel of the Southeast Desert, Imperial Imperium of Imperiosity, Granule of Farth and Penelope of the Sages, Oregano in the pot, Chicken in the Plate, Homily of Homilies, de Queen ob England, Victoria Vagina!

EVERYBODY (cheering and cheering): Long live de Queen!

(The screen is removed from in front of the Man who is discovered on the huge child’s chair as Queen Victoria....)

MAN: Thank you. We are much moved. The dear soldiers are fighting in the Crimea. The dear officers too. How distressed and warm it makes us feel. I have sent them some chocolates...

Published in War and Four Other Plays by Jean-Claude van Itallie, Dramatists Play Service, (acting edition), and in America Hurrah and Other Plays (Grove Press).

Anthologized in Playwrights for Tomorrow, ed. Arthur H. Ballet, University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis, 1967.

2021©  Jean-Claude van Itallie—All rights reserved