is fiction, not history, although the narrative
reflects major events in the life of Edgar Cayce. It is a ‘memory’ play, much
of it taking place in the mind of the protagonist, just like the memories in
your mind, except that the protagonist’s memories are heard and seen on stage.
And just as you can pick and choose your memories - viewing the same memories
over and over as many times as you like, in any order you like - so can the
protagonist, and so can the playwright.
can your mind go back in time to an event,
it can go back to more than one event, switching back and forth from one memory
to another. Similarly, scenes in this
play may be interrupted by other memory scenes, with the protagonist switching
his attention from one memory to another, while being in the present at the
same time. So this play does not just march through linear time - it organizes
itself in clusters of synchronistic memories drawn into consciousness by the
needs of the protagonist.
this is a play, not reality, there is no ‘realistic’
scenery, just platforms and a few projections. Any furniture props or hand
props required are brought on stage by the actors. Nor are there ‘realistic’
costumes, only actors’ rehearsal clothes.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
The 51 characters – 43 male, 8 female
– in this play can be portrayed in production by 24 actors – 19 male (2
juvenile) and 5 female – by double and triple casting.
CAYCE, Edgar’s mother
as a child
KAHN, Edgar’s business partner
an oil driller
an oil worker
an oil worker
MÜNSTERBERG, a Harvard professor
EVANS CAYCE, Edgar’s wife
CAYCE, Edgar’s father
an oil worker
EVANS, Gertrude’s brother
EVANS, Gertrude’s mother
HOUSE, Gertrude’s young aunt
TOM HOUSE, her husband
HOGARTH, a doctor
FRANKLIN, the House and Cayce family doctor
HANCOCK, San Saba project manager
NORQUIST, a large investor
MCCLARY, a saboteur
JOHN GALLAGHER, Edgar’s friend
Edgar’s photography assistant
a bank clerk
SNOW, an associate of Edgar
WESLEY KETCHUM, Edgar’s business partner
LYNN CAYCE, Edgar’s older son
Edgar’s younger son, a child
COPELAND, a specialist
DAVIS, Edgar’s secretary
STEVENS, patron of Edgar
a Dayton client
of Barber, child
BLOOMBURG, Edgar’s patron
New York City
New York City
New York City prosecutor
DEFENSE ATTORNEY, New York City
Since Edgar is remembering many
scenes, he sometimes is not physically in a scene but watching from the
location of a ‘present’ scene on another part of the stage, even when he speaks
his lines of the ‘memory’ scene, giving a feeling of distance to the memory
to the many scenes of this narrative, the script is color-coded to make it
easier for the reader to visualize and understand the story. On stage, this
would be accomplished by area lighting, with cooler colors in general for
San Saba County,
Texas, drilling site, 1922
Kentucky, home of Edgar’s parents, 1888
Edgar and Gertrude’s home in Hopkinsville,
Hopkinsville, “The Hill”, home of
Gertrude’s family, 1909
Gertrude’s home in Selma, Alabama, 1920
Green photo studio, 1905-1910
home of Edgar’s parents, 1888
Home of Kevin Snow, 1922
Alabama, hotel room, 1922-1923
Alabama, Photo Studio, 1910
the Cayce home, 1923
Dayton, Ohio, the
Cayce apartment, 1923-1925
home of Edgar’s parents, 1925
New York City,
hotel room and courthouse, 1925
‘San Saba County, Texas.’
A platform set with various
levels, each level representing a different locale, at different times.
As the lights go up, there is the
sound of an old-time cable tool oil rig pounding into the earth.
On a rear-projection screen up
stage appears a black buzzard circling in a hot sky near an old-time wooden oil
derrick. Sound of wind across a plain.
EDGAR CAYCE, 45, enters with a
long-handled shovel, goes to up center, looks at the circling buzzard, then
starts to pantomime shoveling dirt.
Lights up down right. CARRIE
CAYCE, 32, EDGAR’s mother, enters and sits on a chair, begins to peel apples.
Faintly, as if from a distance,
off stage left:
EDGAR keeps working. His head and
shoulders dip down again, shoveling earth.
The rear projection cross-fades to
woods and fields. YOUNG EDGAR, 11, is seen running through them, a thick black
book clutched to his chest.
EDGAR (off stage)
YOUNG EDGAR bursts onto the stage
down right and careens to a stop in front of CARRIE, who smiles at him.
What is it,
EDGAR finally hears, looks, waves
toward the voices.
YOUNG EDGAR steps toward his
mother, still clutching the book to his chest, eyes shining with wonder. CARRIE
takes in his expression.
was...reading my Bible by the brook, and when I looked up, I saw - I thought
you came to get me, but...
No. Who was
look right through her - and I saw...wings on her back….
Then she said, “We
have heard your prayers - what do you want more than anything?”
What did you
“I want to
help others, especially sick children.” The lady smiled and then...she wasn’t
there any more.
DAVE KAHN, 30, and KYLE, 40s,
enter, as EDGAR walks toward them.
like a check reading on the drilling, Judge.
If you don’t
I can use a
The three men walk to another level,
left, the ‘shack’, and EDGAR sits at the edge of the platform, takes off his
hat, loosens his belt. DAVE grabs a pad of paper and pencil, sits.
Sure wish I
knew how you do what you do, Edgar.
So do I.
KYLE smiles crookedly as EDGAR
lies down, folds his hands on his abdomen, closes his eyelids.
Mother, am I
No, son, you’re
blessed. I’ve known that for a long while.
call me a freak. Because I know everything in a book after I sleep with my head
ignorant, Edgar. People are always afraid of things they can’t understand.
son. Some day you’ll know what you were born to do and accept it.
She smiles, pulls YOUNG EDGAR to
her, hugs him, kisses him on a cheek.
EDGAR, in trance, has been
speaking silently, DAVE furiously writing down what EDGAR says. EDGAR now
speaks aloud, authoritatively.
- so be wary
in the drilling at the eleven hundred to twelve hundred feet depth. As given,
the production in this will be seventy thousand barrels of forty-two gravity
oil per day, with strong gas pressure -
tell anyone about the lady. She’ll be our secret! Just the two of us.
I love you.
As the rear projection slowly
fades out and the lights dim down right, CARRIE CAYCE and YOUNG EDGAR
EDGAR sits up, tightens his belt,
while DAVE corrects his notes. PERRY, 20s and surly looking, and SAM enter left
and start ‘working’ by the ‘oil rig’.
Get what you
I’ve got a
trench to dig, then.
EDGAR walks over to SAM and PERRY.
it, Edgar. Been tellin’ Perry here ‘bout you seein’ where the oil was in Lucky
If you don’t
need me, I’ll get back to my work.
EDGAR walks back to his shovel,
picks it up, stores it, turns and looks toward his ‘house’, as SAM smiles
grimly at PERRY.
Owners of that
well in Desdemona are makin’ a fortune from it, but they’ve given him nothin’.
How in hell
can he see what’s underground?
If I knew
that, I’d be rich.
Area lights dim out as EDGAR walks over
to his ‘house’.
Rear projection: a full-page of The
New York Times Magazine, dated October 9, 1910: ILLITERATE MAN BECOMES A
DOCTOR WHEN HYPNOTIZED - STRANGE POWER SHOWN BY EDGAR CAYCE PUZZLES PHYSICIANS.
The article shows photographs of
EDGAR, of LESLIE CAYCE, his father, 56, and of DR. WESLEY KETCHUM, 35. Center
drawing, shows EDGAR lying asleep on a table, a weird demon hovering over him.
‘Hopkinsville.’ Lights rise on
DR HUGO MÜNSTERBERG, late 40s, a
large strong man with a determined look on his face, walks briskly toward EDGAR’s
‘house’, turns to stride up the ‘walk’ to the ‘house’, then pantomimes banging
forcefully on the front door.
EDGAR 34 goes over to him.
(with German accent)
I am Dr.
Hugo Münsterberg, dean of psychology, Harvard University.
He charges into the ‘house’.
I am here to
prove you a fake.
He hands EDGAR 34 a copy of the
article. EDGAR 34 looks at it casually.
Only a fraud
would seek such publicity.
EDGAR 34 looks up.
this article but never talked to the reporter who wrote it.
Hands article back
to MÜNSTERBERG, who just grunts, puts it in his pocket.
Very well. What apparatus do you
Yes, yes, yes. Crystal ball,
I don’t use any apparatus.
patients - do you examine them?
(shaking his head “no”)
No. Most don’t
even come here.
write to you of their symptoms.
I don’t want
to know their symptoms. I don’t read their letters.
Well, then, how
do you -
asleep, I’m told their address and my mind somehow finds them.
Yes. Then I
tell what’s wrong with them and what to do for it.
When I was
twenty-three I lost my voice for a year, got hypnotized and asked to heal
myself. I did. Then the hypnotist asked how to heal himself. I told him. He was
How old are
What are you
Then what do
you live on?
I have a
MÜNSTERBERG gives a barking laugh.
like a simple man, but maybe you are...devious.
I only finished sixth grade. I’m as dumb as a rock when I’m
LESLIE CAYCE comes on stage, sits
up center left.
I seem to
Lights up on LESLIE.
ever asked you to -
- describe how the psychic work
is accomplished by
(in trance, authoritatively)
In this state, the conscious mind
is subordinate to
the subconscious. - or soul
- mind, which obtains
information either from other subconscious minds or from minds that have passed
on. What is known to one subconscious mind is known to another. The mind of
this body in the subconscious state can therefore access all information, since
every mind records all of its experiences.
Is the information given always
Always correct. As long as the
suggestion is in
accord with the subconscious or soul mind.
As the lights go down on LESLIE,
EDGAR 32 walks toward another level, which
has two men on it, while MÜNSTERBERG speaks
So, you can
read minds, when asleep.
EDGAR sits near the two men.
MÜNSTERBERG freezes. LESLIE exits.
ROUSTABOUT and SAM
are getting set to play cards down left, on the ‘drill site’. ROUSTABOUT
shuffles a deck of cards.
want to play? Penny ante.
He laughs harshly. EDGAR stares at
him, walks over.
ROUSTABOUT and SAM are seated on
the edge of a platform, the deck of cards between them. EDGAR stops above and
between the men.
at the deck)
ROUSTABOUT narrows his eyes, turns
the card over.
hearts it is.
You won’t call the next one.
EDGAR points at the deck.
spades, nine of diamonds, three of clubs.
ROUSTABOUT grabs the three top
cards, looks at them, looks up. SAM reaches over, takes the cards, looks at
them, looks at ROUSTABOUT. Both look up at EDGAR.
I can call
the whole deck. That’s why I don’t play.
EDGAR starts to turn away, then
stops, turns back.
Oh, and ace
of spades -
ROUSTABOUT starts to reach for the
- on the
EDGAR walks over to MÜNSTERBERG.
ROUSTABOUT stares at the deck. SAM
grabs the deck, turns it upside down, looks at it.
spades, like the man said.
Son of a
ROUSTABOUT and SAM exit left, as the
lights go down on the area, and EDGAR 34
I don’t know
why I can do this, but if anyone’s ever hurt from something I say, I’ll never
do it again.
I wish to
talk with local patients of yours. Who should I see first?
EDGAR 34 starts walking away from
MÜNSTERBERG as LYNN EVANS, 36, Gertrude’s
brother, comes on stage, up center.
House, my wife’s aunt. Her son, two years ago –
Projection screen: “The Hill”, the
Evans family homestead in Hopkinsville. A dark night. Lightning flashes nearby,
but no rain. Thunder rumbles.
As LYNN speaks, the others, below,
come on stage, one bringing the rocker for CARRIE HOUSE.
don’t think Tommy will live through the night. Aunt Carrie’s frantic. She
insisted you come.
LYNN exits. The rear screen goes