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Tower Base

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Note from author: Tower Base is patterned after the Tragic Play. In addition to oration, music and sets it adds multimedia. It was written over a period of time from September 2017 to February 2019. This edit is from March 4, 2019. Sincerely I hope it does not come to pass.

Drama / Thriller
Bernard Re, Jr.
Age Rating:

A tragic play unfolds...


It was once a place with promise.
A place founded on principles of enlightenment.
Where diverse peoples could become more.
But the plotters and schemers
Politicians and PACs
Deniers and faith mongers
All of us by action and inaction
Knowing and unknowing
Broke with those enlightened principles
And became participants in its downfall

But all that is history now.

Tower Base

(On a top floor, in a darkened boardroom at night a shadowy figure faces a huge window and from on-high looks out into the blackness to the lights of a dazzling city stretching out before him. His reflection mixing with the lights and the darkness. A dot of red light from a speakerphone glows on the dark boardroom tabletop.)

THE KING: Make power come to me and I will make the air you breathe sweet with sea breezes.
I will expand our place in the world.
From my tower I will proclaim greatness to a land where I will become
both Father and Lord.
For what good is just the lust for wealth that draws followers to me?
What of loyalty?
What of worship?
Greater wealth is always good.
Greater. Greater. Greater and more.
It brings them.
It buys them.
But what keeps them is
The promise of prosperity.
Even as I destroy all the foundations of their little lives with loud, vulgar brashness they will chant how great this is.
How great I am.

(Out of the speaker on the boardroom table comes a voice with a thick foreign accent.)

THE KINGMAKER: If only your words were honorable the warm sea would truly open to our reach. But it is only when you finally withdraw from the world will our desires be fully realized.

(In the corner of the darkened boardroom partially illuminated in the shadows appears a group of men reflected in the dark mirrored windows behind them.)

CORPORATE CHORUS: It is time to take the lead.
Time to throw back the least among us into the oblivion of their own making.
Their beliefs and faiths rule them, ruin them.
And by this failure of reason
and recognition of facts
Their failures
Will be our instruments
Our empowerment.
And as the institutions of the past are overturned
Not by force but by the rule of law
We will have realized the great unmaking that we have worked for for so long.

(As the shadowy figure paces back and forth in front of the reflecting window the foreign voice from the speaker on the boardroom table speaks.)

KINGMAKER: But what is my guarantee and warranty that if I do foul your process and you emerge the victor through the deflections, deceptions, distractions and doubt that I help you sow that your promises be true?
Ah, but is there any honor in you that I can really rely on?
Only if you break with your institutions, values
and friends can I be assured that we are together in this undeclared alliance.
Forsake enlightenment.
And all will be granted.
I can help you.

CORPORATE CHORUS: Let this be your guarantee and warranty.
That in the place of justice we will install a strict code that stifles, betrays and destroys the foundations of one set of laws and replace them with another.
Inalienable rights replaced with a strategy of rights neglected, selected and rejected.
Fairness doctrines evaded and suppressed.
Objected to, then obliterated.
Justice for all superseded with
Rewards for we few.

(The door to the boardroom opens and a group of shadowy figures come in. A chant begins.)

CORPORATE CHORUS: Pardons for the loyal.
Loyalty is the leverage to rule.
Pardons for the loyal.
Loyalty is the strength to rule.
Pardons for the loyal.
Loyalty is your guarantee.

(The speaker on the boardroom table vibrates with the screaming foreign voice.)

KINGMAKER: And what does all that mean to me if this king still has his great personal brand competing with mine!

(A single member from the Corporate Chorus Board Member steps forward and speaks slowly and confidently.)

BOARD MEMBER: You talk of deceit?
Godless you are in your cold lands!
How do you rule?
Not by truth, to be sure.
We doubt each other and so we should but even if there is little trust between us
We still have but one shared goal.
To have the power to act freely
without interference.
To take. Take. Take.
Without common regard for propriety,
humanity or the planet.
To have it ours for the taking.
Ours to rule over.

(The shadowy figure stops pacing and with back to the audience stares out the huge window overlooking the dazzling city . A more controlled soothing voice comes from the speaker on the boardroom table)

KINGMAKER: Truth is always hard to hear.
But I acknowledge the truth of that shared goal.
Power unchallenged to rule.
Ours to take.

(The shadowy figure at the window speaks, back still to us. On a stage right wall a screen begins flickering making the reflection of the figure now speaking flicker too, like in an old filmstrip.)

THE KING: My foe is already your enemy. The injustices brought upon you and your lands by her family and her like are still daggers in your heart.
Now the opportunity is yours.
Will you have your revenge.
Will you have your time of retribution?
Aid me.
Ruin them!
Reward yourself, if not me.
Or can you turn away from *this* truth
Ruin all of it for all I care.
But aid me!

(A monitor on the boardroom wall lights up slowly. The screen flickers, it is difficult to recognize the face, the foreign voice now comes out of the monitor sounding calm and resolute.)

KINGMAKER: No I cannot deny my revenge.
But your promise is still hollow.
Yet it is true.
For they did destroy my world
And now I will wreak havoc on your foe
On them all
On their world.
And crack and splinter that shining example
Of a free, honest, brave, compassionate people.
And make it a lie.

(The Corporate Chorus enters and takes their seats around the boardroom table. They chant.)

Data turned.
Into a lie.

Wealth concentrated.
Into a vote.

Data manipulated.
Into a collar.

Wealth overturning.
We the People.

Into we the few.

We the few.

We the few.

(Begin on-stage and audience videotaping AV1.)

(The stage and theatre go dark, actors come onto the stage from both sides of the stage and move down from stage into the aisles as the setting is changed from boardroom to political rally. Crowd of actors spilling from stage into audience, some audience members now reveal themselves as actors, mingling so that the whole audience appears to be one crowd.)

(Under a bright roaming spotlight of a political rally the crowd cheers. The (Electoral Chorus) individuals and small groups within the crowd are spotlighted as they take their turn to speak.)

We rally for our chosen one
The one we place our trust in.
This person who is like us.
A joker, saint, lover.
(Crowd cheers.)

We rally for our chosen one
Our white, Christian,
Our Leader!
One who is fair to us, honorable to us.
(Crowd cheers.)

We rally for our chosen one
Who is hateful to the ones who criticize us
Destructive to the disloyal.
Denies what we don’t care about.
(Crowd cheers.)

We rally for our chosen one
Who says what we think.
Knows our fear of being displaced in our own country.
Personifies our dreams of wealth.
(Crowd cheers.)

We rally for our chosen one
Who feeds our belief in nightmares.
Who preys on weakness.
And seeds doubt in facts.
(Crowd cheers.)

We rally for our chosen one
Who rejects truths that are inconvenient
And laugh with him at the lies he tells
And the injustice he condones.
(Crowd cheers.)

We rally for our chosen one
Cheering prejudice as salvation.
Reveling in fear as power.
Welcoming misunderstanding as progress.
(Crowd cheers.)

We rally for our chosen one
In denying the greatness of our country.
By distrusting our own ears and eyes.
We are the righteous!
(Crowd cheers.)

(A shadowy figure walks out on stage to a cheering crowd, gesturing, spurring them on into a frenzy, he cannot be seen clearly, more spotlights pan the crowd and those in the spotlight are projected on huge screens positioned around the theatre, with one behind the shadowy figure on the stage. The shadowy figure steps up to the podium and speaks.)

THE KING: Be more alert, harder, steadfast.
You were so vicious once
You acted, you rose up
You triumphed!
Now you are empowered!
We are making this country great again!
I will protect you!
I will bring you prosperity!
Defend you!

Have I your trust?
Have I your loyalty?
Have I your all?

(Stepping back from the podium he speaks in a slow serious tone.)

Will you do what needs to be done?

(Cheering crowd yells out a resounding.)


(As the lights dim and the theater goes dark, in the crowd there are muffled voices. As they speak a bright light comes on from under their faces. Those faces are projected as shadowy images on the screens positioned around the theater. The Electoral Chorus eerily begins to chant.)

(Individual chanters, saying the same lines, out of sync, as in a “round”.)

ELECTORAL CHORUS: Am I being duped?
Have I been persuaded to act against
my own best interests?
To be selfish? Is that who I am?
Was I manipulated into believing that
self-interest alone matters?
Could I have been convinced to forsake
the common good?
Have I really rejected what my country stands for?
Did I just abandon hope?

(The lights and screens go out, the crowd in front of the stage and on stage parts and kneels, the actors mixed in the audience sit back down, the spotlight comes on, lighting a podium. The shadowy figure speaks, the spotlight never revealing his face.)

THE KING: You believed in me.
I helped you gain respect,
Status. Wealth. Health!
I uplifted your race
Your European heritage.
Together we will preserve it.
I will not diminish you!
I will strengthen you!

(The videotape (AV1 - visuals are shadowy and the audio is full of static) of the crowd runs, very loudly but full of static, on all the screens as the stage is cleared in darkness for the next scene.)

(Stage right a huddle of uniformed military men speak. Now trajectories and routes of ships and missiles combine with maps of China and North Korea begin flashing on the screens on the right side of the theatre.)

MILITARY CHORUS: Attack them at
the same time.
Reduce them to ruin together is the only
option if our way of life is to survive.
And no after war recovery plan this time!
Keep the ruins
Keep mastery over them
Wall them off
Yes, “Walls!” will be your lasting legacy.

(Stage left huddle of (Constitutional Chorus) civilians male, female of many races and dress speak. Images and motion-graphics with views from around the country and the planet from space are flashing on the screens on the left side of the theatre. While the screen images on the right keep flashing to a drum beat.)

CONSTITUTIONAL CHORUS: Is it that you do not understand what “We the people…” stands for?
Or is it that you never knew?
Never cared?
Did it ever matter to you few?

(Quote from The New Colossus, Emma Lazarus 1883, Statue of Liberty)

This, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift up my lamp beside the golden door!”

You don’t care about this nation
What it means to the world.
Or what you have wrought.

(All goes dark in the theatre, shadowy stage, screens begin to flicker and sputter with static. Through the window now is a scene of the city burning and exploding. Boardroom setting with chairs tossed aside, upturned, broken, a strong wind blows papers off the table into a spiraling effect and into the audience. A shadowy disheveled figure crawls out from under the table to center stage and speaks.)

THE BLIND KING: Stand away from the
shadows out there
That we all may see you fully.

That you might realize who you really are
Who it was that really did this.
Fully revealed.
The quaking avarice.
Let the light in to expose the lies
That you have believed.
Let it shine on the facts
That you have ignored.

(Screens still flickering and sputtering with static, live cameras begin to pan the audience and adding them into the flickering, sputtering, shadowy, static filled mix being projected on all the screens.)

Supporters, plotters and schemers.
Politicians, PACs, parties.
Collaborators, resisters and deniers.
Believers, charlatans and fools.
All of you by action and inaction.
Knowing and in ignorance.
All have contributed
All have participated.
Do not plead innocence or point your finger.
This is not about the tragic rise and fall of a King
But the end of a journey to a more
enlightened world.
And the fall of a civilization.

(Everything, house lights, fade, then go dark, as the audio/visuals static slowly fades on the screens, the house lights slowly come up.)

(Exeunt omnes.)

Note from author: Tower Base is patterned after the Tragic Play. In addition to oration, music and sets it adds multimedia. It was written over a period of time from September 2017 to February 2019. This edit is from March 4, 2019.
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