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 Lessons from Purgatory

Copyright Ó 1997, Dorian Scott Cole *

This play takes place in a room in Purgatory. In the room are several famous people who have died in this century. None of them know why they are there. They are people we have refused to let die.

Present are:

Adolph Hitler. Hitler has nearly disappeared from the tabloids. Every once in a while you see a photo of a wrinkled man in South America, with the caption, "Could Hitler still be alive?"

John Kennedy. We still want to dig him up and check the bullet holes.

John Lennon. Did he actually disappear, or did he just want to permanently leave the Beatles?

Elvis Presley: He is frequently seen in many places.

Jimmy Hoffa: We think he may be in a barrell, but chances are he's still around.

Toward the end of the play, Richard Nixon appears. We know he is dead.

John Lennon keeps singing, "Imagine there's no heaven." He keeps asking others why he is there, but refuses to consider why he is there.

Hitler takes refuge in John's song. He prefers to believe there is no Heaven or Hell. He frequently spouts Marxist dogma about how Heaven and Hell were fables of the Church to keep people in line.

John Kennedy knows why they are all there - it's because people refuse to let them die. But no one believes him. Abraham Lincoln appears occassionaly to commisserate.

Jimmy Hoffa refuses to believe they are dead and in Purgatory. He thinks they are all victims of a mafia plot. He thinks the Mafia killed Kennedy and John Lennon, too.

When Nixon enters, he gets to free some Kennedy and Hoffa. Nixon and Kennedy are great friends. They ask why he is the one. Because he has been pardoned - because he pardoned others. 

Lennon asks why he can't be freed. Nixon: because you have no place to go. 

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