House Seats

S1 E15 | FULL EPISODE

Fire This Time Festival: One Morning Soon

In One Morning Soon, playwright Niccolo Aeed uses the killing of a Messiah as a springboard to explore how a religion can twist and change from its roots. Told mostly through letters (inspired by the epistles in the New Testament) this work asks us to consider what it means to be saved. Filmed at The Fire This Time Festival at the Kraine Theater.

AIRED: July 27, 2020 | 0:22:58
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TRANSCRIPT

♪♪

Man: Come over to stage right.

Man #2: Places everyone.

♪♪

That woman... What's --

[ Horn honks ]

What's -- I got someplace to be.

[ Scoffs ] I can't be doing all this.

[ Horns honking ]

Look, look, look, look, look, look.

Look, look. Look, look, look.

Hey!

Oh! No! No, no, no.

Please stop.

-No, no. -Please, please stop.

-Guy looks dead. Please stop.

Go.

Look, look, look.

That's not the right way.

This is not how it's supposed to be.

♪ One morning soon ♪

Look at this! Look at this! Look!

♪ One morning soon ♪

♪ One morning soon ♪

♪ I heard the angels singing ♪

♪ They were singing so sweetly ♪

♪ Sing so sweetly, oh, Lord ♪

♪ Singing so sweetly ♪

♪ I heard the angels singing ♪

♪ Singing "Don't cry no more" ♪

♪ No more ♪

♪ Don't cry no more ♪

♪ Don't cry no more ♪ Yeah!

Come on now.

♪ I heard the angels singing ♪ Yes!

♪ Singing "We're going on home" ♪

-We're going home! -Yes!

♪ We're going on home, children ♪

♪ We're going on home ♪ -Yes, Lord!

♪ I heard the angels singing ♪ -Hey!

♪ Singing "Don't cry no more" ♪

[ All shouting ] ♪ Don't cry no more ♪

-Whoo! -♪ Don't cry no more ♪

No more dyin'!

♪ I heard the angels singing ♪

-Yeah! -♪ Singing "Don't cry no more" ♪

-Whoo! -Whoo!

♪ Don't cry no m-- ♪

[ Gunshot ]

Oh, oh!

Oh, no, no, no.

Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh.

Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh. Oh!

[ Whimpering ]

[ Drum beats ]

[ Drum beats continue ]

No!!

[ Sobbing ]

Isa, why?

Why, Isa, why?

[ Sobbing ]

Not like this. Why it have to be like this?

Why her? Why it have to be like this?

[ Sniffles ]

[ Sobbing ]

[ Sobbing continues ]

Isa.

Damn.

[ Drum beats continue ]

Oh, Isa.

Oh, Isa.

[ Bells ring ]

[ Sobbing ]

[ Bells ringing ]

[ Bells ringing ]

A sermon for new churches from the Apostle Boutros.

So, what happens now?

We have witnessed something miraculous.

Think of how we were all strangers,

and now we are brothers and sisters

united through her blood.

From Algeria to Persia,

we come together through her resurrection.

And, brothers and sisters,

when I say "resurrection," I do not mean that as a metaphor.

We will not die anymore.

We will not die in cages or in prisons

or because the electricity was cut off in the hospitals.

Even under strictest Roman rule, one morning soon. Mm!

Apostle Boutros, greetings from Smyrna.

I've started my own church here.

Your sermons mean so much to us.

Isa means so much to us.

We are also under Roman rule. We want change.

We have some people here who are a bit reluctant,

but we believe by preaching every day

our new small church will grow. [ Chuckles ]

We really bring out a whole bunch of different people.

We are a great hit with the prostitutes.

With love,

Bousena, Deacon of the New Church of Smyrna.

Dearest sister Bousena,

what lovely news it is to hear of your new church in Smyrna.

Please consider me a resource.

I marched with our Lord and Savior

and am steadfast when I proclaim her truth.

For she came to us not covered in armor or riding a war horse.

No, she came to us as a human being

and gave us the gift of love.

The revolution will spread thanks to people like you.

Dearest Boutros...

we are honored to have received your letter

in support of the New Church of Cappadocia.

And we love how Isa offers us eternal life.

But we do have a bit of trouble with something.

In addition to Isa, there is a god we like a great deal here.

His name is Albion.

He looks kind of like a giant bird.

Well, have you ever really looked at a bird?

Like a giant bird eating a lizard and been like,

"That's a terrible lizard, okay?"

There's a word for it our language,

but I don't know if there's a word for it in Greek.

Anyway, that's what Albion looks like.

Albion is the god of destruction,

and we think he'd be a great complement to Isa.

Can we tell people to worship Albion as well as Isa?

We think they make a good duo.

Excited to be a new member, the New Church of Cappadocia.

Dearest Church of Cappadocia,

regarding your letter, there are several things

I would like to clear up.

It is not okay to worship other gods.

The only god is God.

Albion sounds like the devil.

I do not think you should worship it.

Please do not ask other churches to worship it.

I hope this clears that up.

Dearest Apostle,

we feel surprised by the tone of your letter.

We feel like Isa would be cool with Albion.

Even now their statues sit side by side on our altar.

Isa, who died with a message of peace,

and Albion, who kills with a fiery vengeance.

Isa did die, right? Killed under Roman rule.

This would not have happened with Albion.

When seeing his people oppressed, he would save them.

He would destroy those who sought to destroy his believers.

Sometimes a thing that confuses us --

First of all,

birds eat fish here.

They don't eat lizards.

Second, Isa is not dead.

She died, but she will come again.

Moreover, God does not want more violence.

Then why has God allowed the destruction of Palestine?

You say you are all not dying,

but we heard very much that you are.

And maybe you know something about death that we don't,

but we don't appreciate you slandering our god

when we have welcomed yours.

P.S...

[ Laughter ]

...of course birds eat fish,

but Albion has dominion over land and sea.

With love, the New Church of Cappadocia.

Greetings Boutros,

father of the church,

we write to you from the Church of Smyrna.

You were previously in touch with a local woman, Bousena,

but you will be corresponding with us from now on.

Almost all of Smyrna is part of the church now.

Some small practices have changed,

but the spirit of God is with us.

First, we kicked out all the prostitutes.

You're welcome.

Second, we don't believe in female priests,

so you will address all your letters

to the father of the Church of Smyrna, Amos.

With love, in His name.

Boutros: Dear Church of Smyrna,

you have misengendered God in your signoff.

God's pronouns are Her, Hers or God's.

In the future please write with love

in Her name or with love in God's name.

I would like you to reinstate Bousena as the deacon of Smyrna.

I also encourage you to welcome back

all the prostitutes, as they were some of the first people

to riot in the streets with our Lord and Savior

and are always welcomed at church.

With love in Her name, the Apostle Boutros.

Dearest Boutros,

we did not read your latest letter to the congregation.

Instead we wrote one of our own, here it is.

Wives, obey your husbands as you would obey the Lord.

The husband is the head of the wife

just as Isa is the head of the church people.

The church is His body and He saved it.

Wives should obey their husbands in everything,

just as the church obeys Isa.

Would you mind if we shared this sermon

with the other new churches?

Boutros: Dearest sisters and brothers,

let us love one another, for love is of God.

And everyone that loves is born of God and knows God.

For understand that if God is in every human life,

then when you hate each other, you hate God.

When you deny each other, you deny God.

Power to the people always, the Apostle Boutros.

Dearest Apostle Boutros,

from the Apostle Siman of the Church of Galilee.

We have an issue with the sermons you've been sending out.

Your most recent sermon,

all who believe in God will have eternal life --

We believe [chuckles]

it's thoroughly wrong.

It feels strange to us that we must remind you this,

but Isa came to us,

the Jewish people of Palestine,

not the Jews of Mizrahim

or the Jews of Ashkenaz, but to us very specifically.

At first we did not mind that you spread the word

around the world to our kinfolk,

but you have spread it far beyond that.

I don't even know where Cappadocia is,

but I hear that they built two new churches.

We even heard that Roman senators

now say they proclaim Her word,

that they are inspired by Her actions,

that they have always been for the cause,

and that should make you vomit.

The very same people who killed our prophet

now tell everyone that our God forgivesthem.

Even while they still patrol our roads,

sanction our foods, and shoot our children.

But according to you, we must greet them in love.

Close ranks.

Not everyone will be saved.

God's message is for God's people.

Sincerely, the Church of Galilee,

the hometown of our Lord and Savior.

Dearest Apostle Siman,

God's message is for all.

For though She came to us,

She meant for us to widen our vision

as to who we include as an "us."

Many people can relate to our Isa story,

how their oppression was like our slavery.

Our oppression is not like slavery.

Itis slavery.

Our suffering is not a metaphor for heathens to appropriate.

It is currently happening to us now.

We are dying in the streets,

and you promise these strangers eternal life.

You want me to stop preaching the word of God?

I could never.

I can't both deal with the criticisms from new churches

and the judgments of the old ones.

Then stop recruiting new churches.

If you want to proclaim the truth of our God,

proclaim it.

Isa came to us.

She gave us love,

and they shot her to death.

And she's not coming back.

What we live in now is the great disappointment.

If these new churches do not acknowledge

that our living God died,

they do not believe.

You think that your optimism is one of your strengths.

It is not.

You keep fostering these new churches

and you will wind up with a community of false believers.

You'll be ashamed of who you call an ally.

Dearest Apostle Boutros,

I find myself surprised to be writing this letter.

I am as old as you.

I was a soldier in Palestine

during the time of Isa's rebellion,

but barely heard of Her.

I heard of the protests after Her death.

I was dispatched to a few of them.

It seems so strange to me

how you all marched in the streets with coffins,

how at funerals you would say

the dead have achieved eternal life,

then sing and shoot your guns off into the air.

Who could imagine that this religion

would gain such popularity?

But, hey, now it seems the whole world proclaims

Her truth, even here in Rome,

which is why I am writing to you.

Many people like me have joined the Church of Rome --

new converts, people of means,

former governors, true believers.

And corresponding with other churches,

we have learned there is no central place for the church,

and we wanted to invite you

to come here to make one in Rome.

You can travel to all the new churches with ease from here

and even spread the word of God north

to people eager to hear it.

Isa said, "Give Caesar Caesar's due and give God God's due."

Now let both things be in one city. Don't you agree?

I swear to God, Boutros,

if you are even thinking of entertaining this idea --

I understand your apprehension.

I too am nervous about trusting a church based in Rome,

but let us imagine an emperor of Rome

who called himself our brother.

The walls would come down --

The walls will not come down!

They'll just be emperors who see fiery crosses

over fields of dead bodies

and praise God for the carnage they created.

Don't talk to me about carnage. I've seen it all my life.

I watched my God's blood splattered on the ground.

But this has to end, it has to --

Apostle, we are awaiting your answer.

I have spent my whole life

telling people we will not die anymore.

And I am old.

I near death myself,

and I know my work of preaching the word of God

has not been completed.

Our homes are still under occupation.

Our equality still escapes us.

But I want our time to be at hand.

Can't you see that?

Aren't you exhausted, too?

If your life gets easier as you sit on a throne in Rome,

it won't mean that She has come back.

It won't mean that Her people have been saved.

It will mean that things are easier for you.

Isa promised us salvation.

No, what Isa promised

is love in a world without end.

To know that as we marched and struggled

and had our blood spilled in the streets,

She was there, too.

Her blood spilled with ours.

That when we died, we wouldn't die alone.

But that's all she promised.

And that may not be enough for you,

but that's what She gave us.

As empires fall to their knees

and worse kingdoms take their place.

When it feels like our whole history

is hundreds of years of slavery in one direction

and a hundred years of slavery looking forward,

She'll be right there with us. [ People humming ]

She won't be in your palace. She won't join you in safety.

Her truth will not be carried out

by imperial laws from a capital central.

It will be carried out by protests in the streets,

by loving those who were taught they were unlovable

and by feeding those who have been starved.

What she gave us is the strength

to keep fight forever and ever.

Amen!

Singing

Singing one morning soon

One morning soon

[ Applause ]

♪ We're going on home, children ♪

♪ We're going on home ♪ -Yes, Lord!

-♪ I heard the angels singing ♪ -Hey!

♪ Singing "Don't cry no more ♪

♪ Don't cry no more ♪ Whoo!

♪ Don't cry no more ♪

No more dyin'!

♪ I heard the angels singing ♪

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