Genericide: The Play

Return to Genericide


Thoughtscape/Written by Michael Declan Dunn Copyright 1994

SOUND CUE 1: Open play with Tibetan Monks chanting.

The play begins in total darkness, with the sounds of chanting A spotlight emerges on the narrator, reading a newspaper, explaining to the audience that they are to wear either black or white circles for the duration of the play. Charlotte is on the opposite side of the stage, unlit.

NARRATOR: History! (Repeat 2 times)

CHARLOTTE: Memory! (Repeat twice).

NARRATOR: History. Rwanda, 500,000. Bosnia. Cambodia, 3 million. Hiroshima. Or Auschwitz, 3.5 million, estimate. Just look at the circles you are all wearing. Black and white, black and white; here we are made to be opposites.

CHARLOTTE: Where is “here”?

A spotlight focuses on Charlotte.

NARRATOR: You’re looking at it, “virtually”.

CHARLOTTE: No, you’re looking at me, “really”.

NARRATOR: Who are you?

CHARLOTTE: I’m Charlotte, a poet and a survivor.

NARRATOR: We’re here to talk about you. And stop….him!


SOUND CUE 2: War sounds begin.

Behind the figure sleeping in the bed is a painting of Hitler. In the four corners of the stage hang four stars of David: Victim, Perpetrator, Survivor, and Victim. The Narrator takes a rolled up newspaper and aims it at the painting.

CHARLOTTE: What good was that?

NARRATOR: You always have to fight the enemy with bricks, guns, whatever you have. Fight until he stops attacking you.

CHARLOTTE: Attack him so he won’t attack you? Revenge is your enemy. Give it up.

NARRATOR: I’ll remember that. (BEAT) History tells us that he massacred people who gave little resistance. “Never Again” is our motto. We’re prepared to fight him. Remember, those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it?

CHARLOTTE: Keep on fighting and you’ll turn “Never Again” into “Over and over again.” (BEAT) Who is that dreaming?

She points to Carl sleeping in the bed, as the spotlight rises on him.

NARRATOR: That’s Carl, your friend from the nursing home. We’re part of his dream.

CHARLOTTE: Why is he dreaming about me?

NARRATOR: He remembers you as you are and wants to rescue you, from him (pointing at Hitler’s picture).

Lights go down leaving only the spotlight on the Carl in the bed, with theNarrator standing over him. Lights focus on the four corners of the stage.

We understand we are virtual; whatever you make of us is history. We are the actors and you are the bystanders, or participants if you wish. The choice is yours, sit back and watch or sit up and notice.

Carl dreams that he can change the past. Right now, Carl must choose.

Because Charlotte is dying.

In the darkness a single spotlight shines on the figure in bed. A voice is heard saying, “Charlotte is dying.” The drums fade into silence.


The Dream

The silence and darkness are maintained.

HITLER: (Screaming) WAKE UP!

Carl wakes up startled. The silence and darkness are maintained. The figure cannot be seen.

HITLER: Over here, over here, give me some light will you?

A spotlight searches around the audience and the stage, looking for the voice, finally hitting on Hitler, sitting on a chair. In his hand is a mask that he fingers. Carl watches Hitler.

HITLER: Why does it always take you so long to find me? But now that you have, let me introduce myself; I’m Adolf Hitler, the director of the 20th century. You all know me, don’t you.

Hitler improvises with the audience, clowning as he makes them laugh.

Chorus in the audience jump and cheer.

DIETER: Mein Fuhrer, you are my hero.

HITLER: Of course I am, I’m everyone’s hero, especially those who hate me. Check this out.

Hitler stands up, menacingly staring at the audience and Dieter. He slowly raises his hand in a salute and launches into a German speech.

HITLER: We say that the war will not end as the Jews imagine it will, namely with the uprooting of the Aryans, but the result of this war will be the complete annihilation of the Jews. Now for the first time they will not bleed other people to death, but for the first time the old Jewish law of An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, will be applied. Ein Deutschland, unsere Deutschland, meine Deutschland.


SOUND CUE 3: Play Nazi audience applause music.

Dieter applauds and the audience cheers. Carl rises out of bed and approaches Hitler.

Look out Dieter, here comes our guest. Which mask will he choose?

DIETER: Let me be one of the perpetrators, please, please?

HITLER: You’ll have to earn it first.

Hitler shows Dieter a Perpetrator mask, while showing the other masks to Carl.

CARL: Who are you?

HITLER: Who do you think I am?

CARL: I think you’re Hitler in my dream…

HITLER: Your dream, my reality. Ready to choose?

CARL: But it’s my head and my dream. Is Charlotte dying?

HITLER: Of course. (BEAT) You’re Carl Mari. How did I know that? Because it’s my reality, you’re my player. You just went to sleep, right?

CARL: Right.

HITLER: And you ran into me here, playing with my masks.

CARL: So what happens next?

HITLER: If you don’t know the future, then it happens; I know it, you don’t, so wait for it to happen while I create it.

CARL: What are you creating?

HITLER: Simple. See that woman behind the fence? She is the victim.

Dieter, put this mask on her.

Points to younger Charlotte. Dieter grabs her and puts the Victim mask on her.

CARL: What’s this all about?

HITLER: You and her. Something in your mind told me she was your survivor friend, Charlotte.

CARL: That’s not Charlotte.

HITLER: Think of her only as another, soon-to-be-burnt Jew.

CARL: That’s my roommate, Crystal.

HITLER: Her papers claim that her name is Charlotte. ||BREAK||

CARL: There must be a mistake. Charlotte is old.

HITLER: An old survivor of my Holocaust! I should let her die, even if she looks so young now.

CARL: You can’t kill the wrong person.

HITLER: Which is the right one? Who cares? Dieter, come up here!

DIETER: Heil Hitler!

HITLER: Good boy, here’s your mask. Light the ovens, will you?

A red glow shines behind the barbed wire fence. Crystal attempts to sneak away.

CARL: What are you doing?

HITLER: Like you don’t know.

CARL: I don’t know.

HITLER: There’s the barbed wire, a red fire glowing in the background, and the Jew! After all, Holocaust means the whole gets burnt; we’ll make sure to do a complete job.

Dieter grabs the young Charlotte and drags her to the barbed wire.

CHARLOTTE (YOUNG): Stop, I won’t go, no, stop!

DIETER: Jew, get into the camp, burn, baby, burn!

CARL: Leave her alone. What the hell are you doing?

HITLER: Exactly, hell is what we’re doing. You’re catching on, want us to include a cattle car?

CARL: This isn’t funny.

HITLER: Hmm, I think it is. Pointing to audience. Don’t you think it’s funny? She’s in her place as the victim. Myself and Dieter are her perpe-traitors. And you, the innocent bystander, a little bit of us both. Try this mask on!

Dieter forces Carl to put on the bystander mask.

CARL: Let her go!

HITLER: I’m just playing my part. You let her go.

CARL: I will.

HITLER: There is a rescuer mask, you know; trade places and earn this mask.

Hitler points to the Rescuer mask in the middle of the stage.

CARL: Let her out.

HITLER: I’m her cancer, doing my job. Look at her, you’ll always remember her as she is, what else could she be?

CHARLOTTE (YOUNG): Carl, do something, help me!

HITLER : Oh, yes, do something Carl, please rescue her!

CARL: I’ll save you, Crystal.

HITLER: Uh, buddy, her name is Charlotte, okay? (BEAT) Save her now; choose the oven for yourself.

CARL: Just let her go.

Dieter smiles next to the young Charlotte.

HITLER: We can’t just let her go; go back to your history books. I fry the Jews and get a cult. They get to be martyrs. It’s the way of the world.

Carl walks in front of the crowd.

CARL: Can someone help me?

HITLER: Leave her in there and hate me, or put yourself in and hate her, you can’t have it both ways. Put the old hag in there too.

From the Survivor’s stage the older Charlotte is dragged by Dieter and joins the younger one behind the barbed wire. Dieter gives her a Survivor’s mask.

CHARLOTTE (OLDER): Carl, please help us.

CARL: Charlotte, who is the other girl?

CHARLOTTE: That’s apparently me as a young woman. This is who I am. I am dying.


HITLER: They are annoying, aren’t they, always complaining. You earned the mask, now wear it! Can’t you see the boy is suffering from Genericide?

Dieter forces the older Charlotte to put on the survivor’s mask.

CHARLOTTE (OLDER): Genocide is what you’re doing, not him.

HITLER: Not genocide, Genericide. He thinks he should free you from this death camp, but he won’t act on it. He’ll act like everyone else, generically following and hating me, the leader. That kills individual thought, therefore, Genericide; the elimination of independent thought through a little fear and even less action.

CHARLOTTE (OLDER): He can’t change the past.

The older Charlotte points at Carl.

CARL: I don’t want to hate. I want her to be free.

HITLER: She’s twice your age. Besides, the younger one has a “sordid” background.

CARL: I’m going to free her – them!

HITLER: Love, love, love, all you need is love, everybody now! I’ve heard this before. (BEAT) Haven’t you Charlotte?


CARL: What are you talking about?

HITLER: Should I tell him?

CHARLOTTE (OLDER): Leave him alone.

The two Charlottes whisper to each other, conferring over what to do.

HITLER: So much you two don’t know about each other, and yet you love each other. True love the illusion. Did she ever tell you about Karl with a K?

CHARLOTTE (YOUNG): He doesn’t need to know that.

HITLER: I think he does and I decide. Charlotte had a lover, Karl with a K, one of my guards who thought he could rescue her. They used to sneak off, pretending she was his secretary, and screw.

CHARLOTTE (YOUNG): That’s a lie.

HITLER: I’m the source of history, Jew, not you. You mounted one of my soldiers and then, how cute, he promised to free you one night, didn’t he?

CARL: I don’t believe you.

HITLER: Now you sound like the original, German, Karl. He got all the way to the fence before he dumped her.

CHARLOTTE (OLDER): He was forced to turn me in.

HITLER: Forced to save his own ass! In the end he followed me and turned her in. And she survived! Cruel sentence, life, much worse than death, don’t you think?

CARL: I’ll make the right choice.

HITLER: How touching! The thought of torching in one of my ovens changed the German Karl’s mind. How about you?

Dieter, with lighter, strokes the red light, motioning to Carl to join them.

HITLER: Love is nice, Carl, really, I love my dog but he’s loyal. Woman aren’t. Jews aren’t. And neither are you. Your only loyalty is to yourself. (BEAT) Have you ever smelt burning flesh?

Dieter laughs.

HITLER: Nasty smell, like bacon. Made me a vegetarian.

CARL: I hate you.

HITLER: Exactly! Hate me, leave her, and let’s get on with the show!

CARL: I can’t leave her.

HITLER: Then change the scene. I dare you. ||FULL STOP||

Carl stands in place, frozen, trying to move but he can’t.

CARL: I can’t move.


{DIETER: To the ovens! To the ovens!}

Dieter pushes Charlotte(s) towards the ovens.

HITLER: The only thing between you and her is me…and the barbed wire…and the oven. What do you do, Carl, what do you do?

CARL: I’m going to save her.


CARL: I hate you! Let her go!

HITLER: I don’t see you moving. (BEAT) They’re evil, that’s why I have to get rid of them.

CARL: You’re the evil one. I hate…

HITLER: Hate is sexier, isn’t it? Maybe I can get you to move.

DIETER: Can we dance, boss?

HITLER: Yeah, Carl’s stuck in his place, Charlotte’s going to burn in her place, let’s have some fun! How about a little Burning Hell?

CARL: I’m not stuck…

CHARLOTTE (OLDER): Carl save me!

CARL: I will, I promise, I don’t know how…

HITLER: Good choice, kid, just stay there, I’ll help you out. (BEAT) Jew, stay behind the fence and watch us. No one will rescue you.

CARL: I’ll save you!

HITLER: Yeah, right, forget her, let’s celebrate!

DIETER: Let’s get this thing jamming!



The players on stage start slam dancing together as music plays. Carl stares in confusion as Hitler grabs him. The feeling is like a wave, forcing him to become part of the dance. The chorus run up on stage and join the primal dancing, As the music reaches a climax, the stage goes dark except for Hitler dancing with Carl.

HITLER: What, aren’t I good enough for you?

Single spotlight of Hitler, jerking Carl’s head back and forth, his hands squeezing Carl’s throat. They both end up in front of the bed. Spotlight closes in on Carl’s face, confused and being strangled, his tongue hanging out. Suddenly a buzzer interrupts the music. Stage goes black for a moment, until the house lights come up showing Carl, alone, in bed.


The Reality

Carl shoots up from under his sheets, his eyes in shock as he sees that he will be late for work.



ANNOUNCER: Good morning, time to go to work! It’s a beautiful 95 degrees out. If you hurry you can get to work before it reaches 100! How about that? And for you listeners, how about a little Cool Water? But first, this message…

Carl sits on the edge of his bed, wiping his eyes. Crystal enters.

CRYSTAL: Wake up Carl.

CARL (startled): Crystal, I just had the weirdest dream.

CRYSTAL: Yeah, and I had the weirdest reality, I just got back from the U.S. in Bosnia protest last night.

CARL: How was it?

CRYSTAL: The usual screaming, breaking things, playing up to the news cameras. All these phonies who don’t really care about Bosnia using the protest as a reason to go nuts.

CARL: At least you tried…

CRYSTAL: All these “causes” are wearing me out. I want to fight injustice and all I get are slogans; last night I saw a bumpersticker that summed it up for me: Nuke a gay whale for Jesus.

CARL: That says it all.

CRYSTAL: What was so weird about your dream?

CARL: Everything, even you were in it.

CRYSTAL: We were in a weird dream? Sounds fun.

CARL: I can’t figure it out.

CRYSTAL: What did you dream about?

CARL: It started with Hitler giving everyone masks and ended up with you and Charlotte both behind this fake barbed wire and oven setup.

CRYSTAL: Isn’t Charlotte that lady at the nursing home where you work?

CARL: Yes.

CRYSTAL: So me and Hitler and Charlotte were hanging out?

CARL: Not hanging out, Hitler was going to kill you both.

CRYSTAL: What did you do?

CARL: Nothing, I couldn’t move. But Hitler told me a secret about Charlotte.

CRYSTAL: Now you and Hitler are sharing secrets? What gives?

CARL: Something is telling me I have to help Charlotte out, before she goes. I can make the right choice.

CRYSTAL: So all this dreaming is about a feeling you have for Charlotte. Must be all those weird Holocaust talks you both have, I don’t get it. {REFER TO HITLER PAINTING?} But it means something to you, doesn’t it?

CARL: Yeah.

CRYSTAL: Tell her about it!

CARL: I better get heading out to work.

CRYSTAL: Later. I’m going to check out this nuking of gay whales thing.

Carl leaves the Bedroom and re-enters the stage, approaching the Attendant.

ATTENDANT: Running a little late, huh? {Phone improv buy some time}

CARL: I’m surprised you’re even here; the night shift’s over.

ATTENDANT: I’m putting in a few extra hours. What’s up?

CARL: Have you seen Charlotte?

ATTENDANT: Not yet. She did call, asking for you. You should go see her.

CARL: This is my last day. Charlotte and I agreed not to see each other.

ATTENDANT: Go on. She’ll miss you.

CARL: I’ll miss her. But I have a problem, I think she is dying.

ATTENDANT: You know she is dying.

CARL: No, I know I know but now I think I know for sure. I had a dream.

ATTENDANT: I had a dream too. They don’t matter.

CARL: Where is she?

ATTENDANT : Probably in her room. She’s been too weak to get up, so she might be using the FE there.

Attendant points to the FE virtual reality goggles in his hand.

CARL: Do those Fantasy Enhancers really do anything?

ATTENDANT: I don’t know from experience, but from what the folks around here say, the FE’s the thing. Take this one to Charlotte in case she lost hers.

CARL: I’ve never tried virtual reality, real reality is weird enough for me.

ATTENDANT: I still say you should go up and say goodbye.

CARL: I’ll try.

Carl puts on his white medical smock, and walks off stage around the audience, circling them while talking to himself.

CARL: (to himself) How can I explain what’s in my head? I have to rescue her. If she dies he’ll get her. Should I just do my job? I can’t let Charlotte go, she’s my friend. The other Karl left her at the fence; I’m going to be the one who gets her through it. I have to.

Carl walks to the Bedroom where Charlotte is lying in bed, her FE goggles propped up on her face.

CARL: Charlotte?

CHARLOTTE: A rose. Is a rose. Is a rose. Do you agree?

She ignores him, playing with the imaginary roses. When his attention wavers, she confronts him with a hand thrust in his face.

CARL: Sounds good to me.

CHARLOTTE: Carl, is that you?

CARL: Yeah, how can you hear me?

CHARLOTTE: This is just a visual fantasy. Give me a second to check out of this thing.

The word “Kassel” is heard through the loudspeakers. A strobe light flashes.

CARL: What does “Kassel” mean?

CHARLOTTE: That is where I was born. It’s also the machine’s way of checking me in and out. All I have to do is think of my birthplace and the fantasy is over.

CARL: I wish I had something like that.

CHARLOTTE: You want to use this thing? I’ll show you how.

CARL: It’s illegal for me to use it. I came to talk to you.

CHARLOTTE: I thought we agreed you would avoid me today.

CARL: But you called me.

CHARLOTTE: I don’t want to ruin the day for you. Just leave me here, really, I’ll be fine. {SILENCE FOR A MOMENT}

CARL: I had a dream about you last night.

CHARLOTTE: I hope it wasn’t about today.

CARL: Sort of, maybe, I don’t know…

CHARLOTTE: Are you alright? I’ll make them find someone else, no need for you to be upset.

CARL: I dreamed that you were dying and that Hitler had you..

CHARLOTTE: The only thing that has me is cancer and that’s enough. Hitler? I don’t care about Hitler and believe me, he’ll never have me.

CARL: But he’ll get you…

CHARLOTTE: He is dead. I will be soon. Don’t get caught up in things that happened to me.

CARL: It’s not just your past, in some ways they are still happening.

CHARLOTTE: Where can you get with that kind of logic? If you want to look at the Holocaust as some universal, continuing thing, then yes it will continue and you’ll end up believing that this is just the way people are.

CARL: Charlotte, I know about Karl, the German Karl. {EMPHATIC}

CHARLOTTE: I hope you know about yourself.

CARL: In my dream last night, Hitler threw you behind the barbed wire with the ovens. You screamed for help and he told me how another Karl left you at the fence.

CHARLOTTE: Who is this other Karl? I don’t want to discuss my history, your history, anyone’s. Let me go and get on with your life.

CARL: Be honest, I didn’t just dream Karl, he was real.

CHARLOTTE: See this thing? It’s my Fantasy Enhancer, FE, the thing that helps me escape reality into my imagination. You should try it sometime.

CARL: You still haven’t answered me; is Karl with a K real?

CHARLOTTE: Do you believe everything you dream?

CARL: Be straight with me.

CHARLOTTE: Be straight with you? Who told you about living through that hell? Let me go the way I want to. (BEAT) You are so selfish sometimes.

CARL: In my dream I couldn’t move, you were screaming behind that fence, and he kept telling me to hate him. That’s all I could do, hate him. He called it Genericide.

CHARLOTTE: (hugging him) Quiet, quiet, slow down. Let’s talk. Genocide has nothing to do with hating Hitler or caring about me.

CARL: Not genocide, Genericide, he said I thought differently but acted the same. And I did. I couldn’t get you away from the ovens, from the fence, I couldn’t move until the music started and we danced…

CHARLOTTE: You…and me?

CARL: No, me and Hitler. (BEAT) Karl is real. {SITS DOWN}

CHARLOTTE: You won’t let it go, will you? (BEAT) I don’t want to talk about it here. You have an extra FE, let’s use them. I’ll show you how, let’s get virtual. I think we can talk better there.

CARL: No way, I’m not getting virtual, that’s weird.

CHARLOTTE: It’s all in your mind.

CARL: I don’t believe anything is in my mind. {FUNNY}

CHARLOTTE: If there’s nothing there, then there’s nothing to be afraid of.

CARL: I don’t want to time travel with you.

CHARLOTTE: It isn’t time travel, this is virtual reality, you and me go inside our separate minds and talk, really talk, so I can die peacefully and you can go on with your life. Trust me, will you?

CARL: Alright.

CHARLOTTE: Let’s do it! Just be sure to follow my instructions. (BEAT) Don’t take all of this too seriously, it’s just the noise inside your head.

CARL: Great, that makes me feel alot better.

Charlotte gives him an extra set of FE goggles. Carl looks around to make sure that they will not be disturbed and mimes locking the door.

CHARLOTTE: Just put these on and we’ll head into our brains. Hold on!



The following is a dialogue between Carl and Charlotte, who move around her bed with goggles on. Charlotte can now move freely.

CHARLOTTE: Nice change of atmosphere.

CARL: What?

CHARLOTTE: Nice change, isn’t it?

CARL: I feel like I lost my body. We are so flat.

CHARLOTTE: It is like being on screen, isn’t it? Sharing a fantasy removes the three dimensional quality. We can talk now.

CARL: This is weird.

CHARLOTTE: Try not to fade in and out, it’s most distracting. Look, this is a rose. It smells and looks beautiful, but one day it will fade away. It’s lucky. Without a mind to over think everything, it just lives and dies. Do you think roses search for the meaning of being a rose?

CARL: What does this have to do with my dream?

CHARLOTTE: Something told you about my Karl, but the story was twisted by what you’ve learned and who told it to you. That’s why we’ve come here. Do you think a rose would think about the “tragedy” of hundreds of its peers being picked out and killed? It would still be a rose and it would still be as beautiful, with or without the other roses, because it has survived.

CARL: Yeah, but roses aren’t human, they can’t choose between good and evil, between living and dying.

CHARLOTTE: Exactly. Love and death are not the myth of roses; they do not create a life around words, they just live. And die.

CARL: Sounds nice, but you’re not a rose.

CHARLOTTE: Knowing yourself means knowing all sides of the human tradition.

CARL: I don’t want to talk about this.

CHARLOTTE: You brought it up. Most people look at me like I’m dead, something they want to forget. When I left the camps I was indifferent, trapped; I hadn’t found the strength to forgive the living because I was living with the dead. But I had to move on. So do you.

CARL: Can we leave?

CHARLOTTE: Do you want to learn about the other Karl?

CARL: Tell me about you first. How can you handle going on after what you’ve been through?

CHARLOTTE: I used to think that I hated the living. They seemed like such skeletons. I wondered why I even bothered surviving.

CARL: Why did you?

CHARLOTTE: Because it didn’t make sense.

CARL: What?

CHARLOTTE: It didn’t make sense to survive, so I did. Everyone seemed like skeletons to me, but then so did I. Living was almost worst than death. All I know is that we all have to deal with it.

CARL: Doesn’t that make you angry?

CHARLOTTE: Anger won’t solve the problem. Hitler, Stalin, the Ethnic cleansing; different names, same play. I want a change of writers.

CARL: But don’t you hate the Nazis?

CHARLOTTE: Labels get in the way. {Hatred is just a quick fix.}

CARL: I think it was a tragedy. {FIRST TRAGEDY, THEN COMEDY}

CHARLOTTE: Let me read you one of my favorite poems:


I’ve spoken with death


I know

that so many things we learned were useless

but I learned that at the price of suffering

so great

I wonder

if it was worth it.

CARL: That’s what I hate about history. You have to shut off. I want to get out of here!

Carl tries to rip his goggles off.

CHARLOTTE: Get back here! (Carl stops) History is something you haven’t lived and the future hasn’t happened. All we have is now, Carl, just now.


CARL: Did you love the other Karl?

CHARLOTTE: Like I love you, as a friend. He helped me in the camps, got me food, talked to me. He wanted me to get out of there.

CARL: Nazis aren’t friendly.

CHARLOTTE: I didn’t say friendly; he helped me and I appreciated it. Simple. Beautiful. A rose.

CARL: In my dream, Hitler said that Karl turned you in instead of sacrificing his life for you.

CHARLOTTE: Do you think he owed his life to me? When someone sticks a gun to your head, things change.

CARL: They wouldn’t change for me.

CHARLOTTE: Things changed in that camp. Karl – my Karl, not you – had kept me as a secretary. He asked for nothing but a few pages of typing a day. He helped me make it through the winter, but even he knew I had to escape or I would die like everyone else. One night we planned on it.

CARL: What was your plan?

CHARLOTTE: An escape through the fence. Karl would let me out and set me up with contacts outside. We would rendezvous when the war was over.

CARL: Sounds twisted to me.

CHARLOTTE: The Nazis twisted many good people. I thought Karl could untwist himself.

CARL: So you escaped?

CHARLOTTE: We tried. I remember the clear sky, with the stars glowing, Karl holding a gun to my head and pushing me like I was being taken in for punishment. {He was as afraid as I was.} If anyone caught him, he would be put into the camp. It took courage for him to attempt this escape. I had nothing to lose.

CARL: So what happened?

CHARLOTTE: We crawled over to the fence when a searchlight found us. We heard voices shouting to each other, that and dogs. I tried to cut the wire. He could see that I needed his help, but he could also see German soldiers. If he helped me escape, his life was over. Some choice.

CARL: He turned you in.

CHARLOTTE: When the guards got close enough he turned his gun on me and told me to stop. They patted him on the back while the others hit me.

CARL: You must hate his guts.

CHARLOTTE: I tried to. If you saw the look on his face, you’d know it wasn’t a simple choice.

CARL: Sounds like my dream.

CHARLOTTE: No, it was my reality. Always will be. (BEAT) Don’t let the dream bother you. You can’t change my past, but you can remember and influence your future. I’m feeling a little sick. We should be getting back.

A flashing red light signals the police are monitoring the fantasy.

CARL: I want to talk some more.

CHARLOTTE: That light means the police are monitoring, must be something in your “illegal” thought patterns. All I have to do is mention “Kassel”…When she mentions Kassel the house lights turn on. They take their goggles off. Charlotte is noticeably affected by the Fantasy. Carl helps her get back into bed.

CHARLOTTE: I hope you understand a little more. Could you get me some help? That fantasy took alot out of me.

CARL: I’ll miss you.

CHARLOTTE: Here. (handing him her Fantasy Enhancer machine) Keep this as a momento, but don’t remember me by it.

CARL: This is illegal!!

CHARLOTTE: So are most fun things. But promise me one thing, your solemn promise: Don’t ever visit me. Here’s my code number (slips a sheet of paper in his pocket).

CARL: Why not?

CHARLOTTE: You have to promise me.

CARL: Why (putting the FE in his pocket)?

CHARLOTTE: Just do me a favor and learn from the past. It’s all choice. Take care.

Charlotte is fading fast. Carl rushes around the stage and gets some help from the Attendant.

CARL: Is she going to make it?

ATTENDANT: It doesn’t look good.

The Attendant rolls the covers over Charlotte’s eyes.

ATTENDANT: I hate to tell you this…

CARL: It’s all my fault, I should have done something.

ATTENDANT: It’s not your fault, it was just her time.

CARL: Yeah, sure, thanks. I’ll see you.

Carl takes the FE out of his pocket and plays with it in his hands.

CARL: Maybe I can’t change the past now, but if I go back there and become part of the past, things might be different. We’ll meet again, Charlotte, believe me, we’ll meet again.

Carl exits. The Attendant takes Charlotte’s FE, looks around for anyone watching, and follows Carl out.



Carl walks around the stage, in his bedroom again. In his right pocket he sneaks a peak at the Fantasy Enhancer. He puts the machine on his face as he goes to bed. The Narrator and Charlotte appear again.


SOUND CUE 7: Drums play, about 10 seconds

NARRATOR: Memory and history, one hand feeds off the other, so we can make sense of the past in the present. Really.

CHARLOTTE: He’s not going to listen to me, is he? Even when I’m dead he won’t leave me alone.

NARRATOR: Carl must rescue you, or this guy wins.

The Narrator points to the painting of Hitler.

CHARLOTTE: Doesn’t look too promising to me. He’s in the wrong time period. Why don’t you deal with your own future instead of going back to my past?

NARRATOR: Ask Carl. He thinks the answer lies in the FE technology, not in himself or his future.

Glances at Carl looking foolish, lying in bed. Lights dim on Narrator and Charlotte.

CARL: I’ll get you out, Charlotte, just you wait.

He shuts his eyes and presses the button on the machine and a voice resonates.



The stage is flushed in light and darkness, as strobe lights indicate entrance to a Fantasy. A table is set where the younger Charlotte sits, waiting. In each Fantasy, the younger Charlotte appears.

{HITLER: You can get anything you want, at Hitler’s Restaurant, excepting Adolf; you can get anything you want, at Hitler’s, Restaurant, you just walk right in and sit right down, we’re the only railroad track in town, you can get anything you want, at Hitler’s Restaurant.}

Carl (who is wearing the FE throughout every fantasy) looks around the room for Charlotte. Next to him is Dieter, the soldier who appeared with Hitler in the opening dream sequence.

DIETER: Karl, Karl, what are we looking for?

CARL: What do you mean?

DIETER: You look around this train like you are looking for your lost love. There is no love here, Karl, only Jews.

CARL: Who are you?

DIETER: I am Dieter.

CARL: Oh, then I am Karl! Where have I met you?

DIETER: I am your friend – remember your dream?

CARL: Yeah, you had a friend named Hitler. And I`m on a train, looking for someone.

DIETER: No you’re in Hitler’s Restaurant, you know, “You can get anything you want, in Hitler’s Restaurant”. You’re looking for your table, it’s that one in the corner.

CARL: NO, you don’t understand.

DIETER: You don’t understand. They told us we are supposed to take care of the tailors and the shoemakers, but all I see are a bunch of Jews and Gypsies, even a queer here and there.

CARL: I want to find a woman.

DIETER: Don’t we all, a nice woman to roll over once or twice.

CARL: No, my woman is here. Her name is Charlotte.

DIETER: You even named her, how sweet. But if she’s in this train, she’s probably dead. You will be too if you don’t take her order.

CARL: What do you mean?

DIETER: I mean the captain, Hitler, will have your neck if you don’t take the order from that table in the corner. Go to it!

CARL: Why are there waiters bringing them bread and water? Isn’t this supposed to be a cattle car?

DIETER: Nummer eins, I don’t ask questions, I just obey orders. Nummer zwei, those aren’t waiters, Karl, they’re soldiers. Nummer drei, this is a French car; they are more civilized Jews, so they get better transport.

Carl proceeds, unknowingly, to Charlotte’s table, finding the younger Charlotte again.

CHARLOTTE: I want to go back to Kassel!

CARL: Charlotte!

DIETER: No, I wouldn’t call her Charlotte.

CARL: Actually she is Crystal but she is also Charlotte. I remember.

DIETER: No, but it is your table. Get over there.

CARL: I’m going to talk to her.

DIETER: I warned you. Listen, I’ll keep an eye out for you. But if Hitler comes, you better jump back.

Carl walks across the room to Charlotte. He arrives at the table and tries to talk politely.

CARL: Hello, I wonder if I could speak to you for a moment. Please.

She ignores him.

CHARLOTTE: Nice goggles. I’d just like to place my order, alright?

CARL: It’s me, Carl, I’m here to take you away from all of this.

CHARLOTTE: I told you never to see me again!

CARL: I have to.

CHARLOTTE: You are the enemy and we are your prisoners. Can we just leave it at that?

CARL: Keep your voice down. I’m just doing my job.

CHARLOTTE: Your job and my life. I understand that you are the cause of all this. What did I do to you?

CARL: You know you can choose to look at the ugliness of all this or you can feel what I feel, which isn’t ugly.

CHARLOTTE: Is that why our menu lists only Bergen-Belsen, Maidenek, and Auschwitz? I’ve never eaten those dishes, what DO THEY TASTE LIKE?

CARL: You didn’t mean that.

CHARLOTTE: You have the nerve to come back here and take me from my home, then you want to treat me to your feelings?

CARL: I just want to save you.

CHARLOTTE: Listen, you’ll get us all in trouble. Save yourself. I’ll be ready to order in a few minutes. Let me live my life and I’ll let you live yours.

CARL: I don’t know if that’s allowed.

CHARLOTTE: I’ve been through this one before, it’s allowed. Hey we’re stopping!

CARL: Yes we are. Can we talk?

CHARLOTTE: I have nothing to say to a Nazi. Especially a waiter. {COMIC}

CARL: I’m not a Nazi waiter. I’m a soldier.

CHARLOTTE: Even better, what do you call that get-up you’re in?

CARL: You don’t understand.

CHARLOTTE: No, I don’t, I don’t know where I’m going or what will be there. Can you tell me?

CARL: I`m not sure.

CHARLOTTE: I get it, just stick to the menu. Would you mind if I ask this guy?

CARL: Go ahead.

Charlotte looks for help. In the Bystander’s corner, she sees a man who stands up and looks at her. She motions to him. Finally he responds by putting his index finger to his throat and slicing across his Adam’s apple.

CHARLOTTE: I’m sorry sir, but I must not talk with you anymore. We could get in trouble. Thank you.

CARL: But Charlotte, I’m not like them.

CHARLOTTE: You look like them, you sound like them, if you’re not like them, why don’t you let me off the train now? Huh? Can you do that if you’re so special?

Dieter rushes up behind Carl to indicate that he must return to his post.

DIETER: Schnell, Karl, mach schnell, Hitler is coming. He must not catch you talking to this whore.

CHARLOTTE: I’m no one’s whore.

DIETER: All Jews are whores. You took all our money and now we take you.

CHARLOTTE: Is that your excuse?

DIETER: I ought to belt you one, bitch, teach you the same lesson my father taught me.

CHARLOTTE: To be a dog?

DIETER: I’ll kill you.

CARL: Dieter, don’t, let’s get back. I’ll talk to you later, Charlotte.

CHARLOTTE: I can hardly wait. Leave me alone.

Dieter and Carl walk back to their posts as Hitler enters. Carl sees the red light flashing.

HITLER: Listen, prisoners, we have run out of Bergen-Belsen and Auschwitz, so I guess you can all have Maidenek, unless there are any objections? None, good. You will receive instructions then. Anyone caught talking or looking outside will be shot. Remember not to…

The red light flashes, as Carl realizes he must leave the Fantasy.


The lights come down, leading to a moment of darkness. Carl wakes up in his bed. The house lights come up.

CARL: I’m back! I have to save her. I know what will happen. I can change history.

Carl sees Crystal standing across stage. She notices him and motions for him to sit down next to her.

CRYSTAL: Carl, can I come in? (BEAT) How was your last day at work? Did you see Charlotte?

Carl retreats from talking with her.

CRYSTAL: What’s wrong?

CARL: Charlotte died this morning.

CRYSTAL: What happened?

CARL: You promise not to tell anyone? (BEAT) We used her FE and talked about my dream.

CRYSTAL: Are you crazy? Those things mess with your mind, you have to be old to even use them.

CARL: I know, but she convinced me. It was too much for her though; she died right after we used it.

CRYSTAL: Does anyone know you did it?

CARL: No, and I still have it. She gave it to me.

CRYSTAL: Get out of here! You have one of those Fantasy machines? Have you used it since?

CARL: Yeah, I got to tell you what happened today. During my FE trip, I met someone special in a train that was a restaurant.

CRYSTAL: What is this, code? So, you and this someone else, is it a secret or what?

CARL: No secret, I just met her today.

CRYSTAL: You met someone today and you’re already loyal? You are lost.

CARL: I’m not lost, I’m in love with a woman.

CRYSTAL: So, you do like women.

CARL: I always have.

CRYSTAL: As far as I’ve seen, you’ve always been alone.

CARL: That’s going to change.

CRYSTAL: At least something’s changing. Just one question; is this woman real or is she only in your mind?

CARL: I think she’s real…it’s Charlotte.

CRYSTAL: You met Charlotte, but if I remember she died today, so I don’t think she’ll exactly be hanging out with you.

Crystal flirts with Carl, teasing him.

CARL: Please back off.

CRYSTAL: The man who says “Please”; no wonder you don’t get any.

CARL: I can’t.

CRYSTAL: Can’t or won’t.

CARL: I have made up my mind. Charlotte is my friend.

CRYSTAL: The one who died?

CARL: She’s the woman I met today.

CRYSTAL: What do you mean, met today? You talk about Charlotte in the present, but she died.

CARL: It’s hard to put into words.

CRYSTAL: Put it into words. Did you meet her while using that FE?

CARL: Yes, I met her when she was younger. Her older self used to live, but now her younger self is alive again.

CRYSTAL: Used to live?

CARL: Yeah.

CRYSTAL: Did she move somewhere else?

CARL: Not exactly.

CRYSTAL: What exactly?

CARL: She stopped living, sort of. {PLAY UP COMEDY!!}

CRYSTAL: Sort of? Sort of dead or sort of alive, there’s only two choices.

CARL: She died today.

CRYSTAL: In reality, she’s dead. In your mind, she’s alive?

CARL: Exactly, and that’s what’s important, not how she died but the fact that she is living.

CRYSTAL: Earth to Carl, are you reading us?

CARL: You can’t understand, I’m in love.

CRYSTAL: You are weird.

CARL: It’s not weird.

CRYSTAL: Charlotte died. Now in your mind she is living. Better put that FE thing away, you’re getting kinky.

CARL: We had this incredible talk together using the FE. Now I use it to get to know her even better. Problem is, the younger one looks like you.

CRYSTAL: So she’s dead and you still love her, even though you only met her today, on the day she died. And she looks like me.

CARL: No, no, I met her before, but we didn’t really “meet” until she died. Then I fell in love with her.

CRYSTAL: I guess dating is out of the question. What made you fall in love?

CARL: My dream and her reality.

CRYSTAL: She’s dead. You want to sleep with a corpse?

CARL: Not exactly.

CRYSTAL: What, exactly? This is weird-o-rama.

CARL: I can’t tell you, but I have my ways.

CRYSTAL: What are you going to do with a dead woman? (BEAT) Wait, don’t answer that, I don’t want to know.

CARL: I’m not dating Charlotte today, I’m dating what she used to be.

CRYSTAL: Falling in love with a dead person is sick, Carl, any way you look at it.

CARL: But the dead body isn’t what I’m falling in love with.

CRYSTAL: Then who, or what, are you falling for?

CARL: The person she used to be, with her history and her memory. I need to free her from the past.

CRYSTAL: Whew, you’re in this one deep, buddy, you need to wake up. Charlotte has left the auditorium with Elvis, get it?

CARL: I’m not lost, I’m in love with a woman.

CRYSTAL: Keep telling yourself that, it might help.

CARL: I’ve had a strange day.

CRYSTAL: I’d say so.

Crystal leaves the room, leaving Carl alone. A pensive look crosses his face, then he smiles as he rises from his chair and goes to his bedroom. He lies down in the bed and pulls out the FE machine from his jacket pocket. Carl puts on the goggles to enter his second fantasy.



Carl emerges in this fantasy dressed as a soldier. Charlotte walks back and forth, moving rocks. Hitler (the Gameshow Host) and Dieter stand stage left. Dieter holds a swastika which spins on his raised arm; he yells “STOP”,”RUN”, and “STAND” at various times of the dialogue to determine Charlotte’s movements.

GAME SHOW HOST: Hey gang, what’s the name of the game?

CHORUS (in audience): Guys and Gals Connection!

GAME SHOW HOST: That’s right, it’s the Guys and Gals Connection and I’m your host, Shev Adenoid. At the Connection we like to bring guys and gals together, because after all, that’s what love’s all about, right?


GAME SHOW HOST: Sounds like we have a great audience tonight and are you all in for a treat. You know how they say opposites attract? Well these two are about as opposite as you get, let’s hear it for Carl and Charlotte, our contestants on the Guys and Gals Connection!



GAME SHOW HOST: When I mean opposite, I mean opposite, check out the set these two chose to pursue their Guy and Gal Connection on.

CHARLOTTE: I didn’t choose it, he chose it.

GAME SHOW HOST: Careful, Carl, she’s a feisty one. And she should be; her background is a concentration camp, kind of grim stuff, huh?

CHARLOTTE: Do I have to stay here? I’d prefer to do something else.

GAME SHOW HOST: Come on Charlotte, relax, it’s only history, tell us a little about yourself.

CHARLOTTE: I’ve been forced to relive my past by this thing (pointing to Carl). I just want to be left alone. Do you hear me, I just want to be left alone!

GAME SHOW HOST: Now, Charlotte, we all need some love, and this might be the guy, let’s hear it for Carl, a Nazi soldier!

Chorus screams loudly.

CARL: I’m not a Nazi, I’m just a soldier.

GAME SHOW HOST: Yeah, sure, and I’m Ghandi. Want to meet my cow? Lighten up and enjoy the show.

CARL: I’m not who I am and I want her to be with me. I know who you are and I know your game.

GAME SHOW HOST: Enough of this small talk, it looks like we’ll have a tough time with this connection, but what do you say audience, should we give it a go?

Chorus cheers.

GAME SHOW HOST: Well then let’s do it! The rules of the game are simple. Charlotte, you spin this thing (Dieter holds up the swastika) and if Dieter says the word “Escape,” you get to leave with Carl, but if he says anything else, just carry a rock to the pile over there, bring another one back, and spin it again.

CHARLOTTE: Not much chance to escape…

GAME SHOW HOST: Love works in mysterious ways. Carl, your job is to try and convince her to leave with you instead of carrying the rocks, unless of course she gets the Escape signal from the spinner, in which case you get her anyway!

CHARLOTTE: Either way I lose.

GAME SHOW HOST: He’s trying to rescue you.

CHARLOTTE: How can he rescue me from what I am?

GAME SHOW HOST: I guess you’ll never get the answer to that question, but you will get some great prizes just for participating, Before we let you give it a go, you have to have one more obstacle to your Guy and Gal Connection.

The Game Show Host walks off stage, bringing back two shields, He gives the yellow star of David to Charlotte, which straps on to her arm, and walks up the stairs to give Carl his black swastika shields, which he straps on his arm. The weight on the shields encumbers both characters throughout the scene.

GAME SHOW HOST: Now that we’re prepared, let’s play the game! Give the wheel a spin, Charlotte!

She spins the wheel and Dieter screams the word, “Work”. Charlotte grabs a rock and starts to walk over to the other side.


CHARLOTTE: Yes, sir.

CARL : Don’t call me sir, it’s me, Carl, remember from the train?

CHARLOTTE: How could I forget, is there anyway I could talk you into doing something else besides this stupid show?

GAME SHOW HOST: How are you two going to make a connection with all this cynicism, have fun, it’s only a show!

CHARLOTTE: Your show and my life.

CARL: I want to talk with you.

CHARLOTTE: (Lifting a rock stage right) I can’t talk to you, I have to work. (Reaches stage left, spins the wheel and hears work again) Surprise surprise.

CARL: Stop spinning that wheel and talk to me.

CHARLOTTE: I’d love to talk but I have work to do.

CARL: I’m not going to hurt you.

CHARLOTTE: I don’t need you to do that, I’ve got this wheel.

CARL: I’m going to rescue you.

CHARLOTTE: That’s not how the story goes. You leave me at the fence, remember, the reality part of life? I told you I didn’t want you to visit me.

CARL: I’m going to change your life.


CARL: Now.


CARL: Just believe in me.

CHARLOTTE: That’s easy. (Shuts her eyes) I believe in you. I believe in you. I believe in you. (Opens her eyes) Didn’t work. I’m still here. Let me walk.

CARL: I came here to change your life, whether you like it or not. You’ll thank me for it.

CHARLOTTE: I don’t know if you’ve looked in the mirror, but you’re a Nazi soldier. I am Jewish prisoner. I know this because I lived it once. Now that you’ve made it part of your fantasy, I’m forced to live it again. Can’t you give me a break?

CARL: What about this poem?

CHARLOTTE: What poem?

CARL: One you wrote:

I don’t know

if you can still make

anything of me

But if you have the courage to try.

I want to try. May I have this dance?



Music plays. He takes CHARLOTTE and dances with here, following the music until she gets angry. He twirls her around like it is a music video; she throws him to the ground and shuts off the music.

CHARLOTTE: ENOUGH! This isn’t some fantasy, it’s my life and stop with this stupid music! You really need to get a clue. I’m not going to run away with you. Do you think this is real? Do you think this is what my camp was like, a game show? Or a restaurant? How lame can you get?

CARL: I need to make you understand.

CHARLOTTE: I need to make you understand. I don’t need you. When you left me at the fence, I survived. I’ve made it past this time, but you keep dragging me back into it. When are you going to let it go?

GAME SHOW HOST: Thought you had her there with that music angle, but tough luck CARL. We have some nice parting gifts for the both of you, for being such good guests!

CARL: I don’t want any gifts, I have to save her.

GAME SHOW HOST: Little too late for that CARL. But we will give her some more rocks just for being on our show.

CARL: It’s never too late!

CARL takes his black swastika shields and maniacally runs around the stage, trying to break the Stars of David as well as the spinning swastika. Nothing breaks, leaving CARL dejected.

GAME SHOW HOST: Time for you two to leave so we can have our next contestants on the Guys and Gals Connection.

CARL: Not until I tell her something.

CRYSTAL: Do you want to tell me something?

CARL: Things will change.

CHARLOTTE: You can’t change anything. You think by breaking those symbols that anything will change?

CARL: Things have to change!

CHARLOTTE: Just give up the meaning behind the symbols and get back to your life. Symbols are like ghosts, they’re dead and they only live if you believe in them. Let me and them rest in peace.

CARL: Maybe…maybe not. The swastika symbolizes evil and it must be destroyed.

CHARLOTTE: Thank you, God.

CARL: You don’t have to be God to see evil.

GAME SHOW HOST: This is great, you two, mind leaving the stage? I’d like to get on with something a little more cheery.

CHARLOTTE: (Ignoring him) Yeah, but you do have to be God to think you’re on the side of good. Did you think it was such a black and white thing that you could just change it with some Fantasy Enhancer? Do you know how ridiculous you look with those goggles on?

CARL: I’m going to get you out of here. The only way is to destroy these symbols. Without them, you will be free.

CHARLOTTE: Without them you might be free, but I’m still stuck here.

CARL: Not if I have anything to say about it.

Noises in the background as people are being called to take these two off stage.

GAME SHOW HOST: Take your parting gifts and get the hell out of here!

CHARLOTTE: (to CARL) Maybe you can take me home. To…

CARL: Kassel?

CHARLOTTE: Yes, how did you know?

The lights fade out and CARL wakes up in his bed. Crystal calls to him from offstage.

CRYSTAL: You alright in there? You were making alot of noise there.

CARL: I’m fine, just had a bad dream.

CRYSTAL: Try not to think about her so much, you’ll hurt yourself.

CARL: I’ll try, it’s been a long day.

CRYSTAL: You’ve got that right.

CARL puts on the headphones from the FE and closes his eyes.



CARL emerges, in the spotlight, carrying his gun and wirecutters as a German soldier. He is looking around for someone in the darkness.





CHARLOTTE emerges out of the background,

CHARLOTTE: I’m ready if you are. Are you really going to help me escape?

CARL: Of course, I told you I…

CHARLOTTE: That you would help me get back home to…

CARL: Don’t say the word!

CHARLOTTE: What, Kassel?

The lights on stage flicker as CARL screams in frustration.

CARL: NO! NO! (The scene reemerges in the darkness)That was close.

CHARLOTTE: I thought you left.

CARL: Just left for a moment. But I’m back.

CHARLOTTE: You sure you want to do this? I don’t need a tease.

CARL: Why would I lie about this?

CHARLOTTE: Might have something to do with that uniform you’re wearing.

CARL: I have to wear this uniform. I don’t know why.

CHARLOTTE: And I have to wear this. Now that we’ve got our roles straight, are we escaping or what?

CARL: I don’t like your tone; it’s not my fault I’m stuck in this uniform.

CHARLOTTE: It sort of has something to do with me wearing this, wouldn’t you say?

CARL: Yes, but I’m not the real Karl, I’m a different one, here to change history.

CHARLOTTE: If you don’t want to do this, let’s stop it now, but don’t start the dual personality thing.

CARL: I want you out of this place, to escape what is holding you back.

CHARLOTTE: It’s you I should escape.

CARL: No, this camp, me, this camp, everything, just get away. That’s all I want.

CHARLOTTE: Why don’t you free yourself? They can’t do anything but kill me here.

CARL: You have to get out of here.

CHARLOTTE: With my luck I will. Then I’ll be stuck remembering this place all the time.

CARL: At least you’ll be able to remember.

CHARLOTTE: Your choice. You realize, it’s all your choice, I’ve been through this a thousand times. If I have to escape with you, or without you, let’s just get going so I stand a chance.

CARL: We better hurry.

CHARLOTTE: Little worried that you’ll get caught?

CARL: No, it’s only me.

CHARLOTTE: Take a hint – get worried. Get very worried.

They duck down and shuffle over to center stage, where a barbed wire fence blocks them from going offstage. A spotlight begins to go back and forth behind them, pointing out to the audience. They reach the fence and pause.

CARL: Stop here. This is the spot.

CHARLOTTE: Don’t tell me you planned this.

CARL: I heard about it.

CHARLOTTE: From who?

CARL: It doesn’t matter now. Just escape.

In the background another spotlight joins the first one, with the sound of voices, an alarm, and dogs barking. In the background the red flashing police light interrupts the darkness. CARL doesn’t see it.

CARL: They’re coming, quick, go through the barbed wire.

CHARLOTTE: What is that red light?

CARL: Forget it, just go through the fence.

CHARLOTTE: What would you like me to cut them with, my teeth? You have the cutters, do it!

CARL: I can’t, you do it.

He is trying to reach for the wirecutters on the ground, but his nerves do not allow him to hand them over to her.

CHARLOTTE: CARL, they’re coming.


CHARLOTTE: Some things just aren’t worth living through.

CARL: I’m trying, I’m trying.

CHARLOTTE reaches towards the wirecutters, only to be stopped by a spotlight that focuses on her attempt. CARL has to make a decision. His face looks into the spotlight and freezes.

CHARLOTTE: CARL, wake up, do something, CARL!!!

The lights go down and CARL wakes up in his own bedroom. His fantasy has been unplugged by a police officer who puts the Fantasy Enhancer in a bag for fingerprints.

CRYSTAL: CARL, wake up, do something, CARL!

POLICE OFFICER: Enough dramatics, leave the room. Mr. CARL Mari, you have been charged with the criminal possession of a FE. You practically called us by going over the 4 a day limit. Are you okay?

CARL: I’m fine, I have to go back.

POLICE OFFICER: No going back, just keep going forward.

CARL: Please, I just need to do one thing, let me back, all I need is a minute, I promise I’ll come right back.

POLICE OFFICER: Just relax Mr. Mari, the ambulance will be here soon. I need to talk with your roommate for a moment.

Police Officer goes over and quietly talks with Crystal.

CARL: I don’t want to relax. I’ll be back CHARLOTTE, I’ll be back.

CARL runs out of bed and out the door stage right.

POLICE OFFICER: Hey, come back!



The lights raise up to show the Narrator and

CHARLOTTE sitting across from each other. She is staring at him intently.



CHARLOTTE: Three fantasies, three strikes. So what’s the point?

NARRATOR: The point is that he tried.

CHARLOTTE: The point is, there’s no point.

NARRATOR: You can’t give up yet.

CHARLOTTE: I’ll never give up. But he will.



CARL enters through the Survivor’s corner, bumps

CHARLOTTE out of the way, and walks the streets.

SALESMAN: What you looking for, I got it, anything you want?

CARL: Do you have a FE?



SALESMAN: Ain’t no sissy FE’s in this neighborhood, damn, why don’t you get your FE ass out of here, you ugly…

CARL continues to walk, motioning with his hands to attract attention. The Salesman returns.

CARL: SOUND CUE I need this machine.

SALESMAN: What kind of machine, time machine?

CARL: No, not a time machine.

SALESMAN: I got one of those, right here, cheap, one hundred bucks.

CARL: How can you travel in time with that, it’s just a briefcase.

SALESMAN: Well, the time travel part is yours, if you believe in it, but you’re not a believer…

CARL: Can this thing do the trick like a FE?

SALESMAN: No one on the street has a FE, but I used this and had a blast back at Woodstock. Now I can say I’ve been there.

CARL: Can I try before I buy?

SALESMAN: Do I look like a department store? Get out of here, ass, cash, or gas, nobody rides for free, and I don’t need your ass, and I got enough gas, so give me the cash and the deal is done.

CARL: One hundred?

Handing over the money.

SALESMAN: Just one Ben Franklin, that’s all, remember, keep the adventure in mind but never, never look behind.

CARL walks over to stage left and fiddles with the machine in the briefcase.

CARL: What the hell to I press?

CARL presses the buttons again and again until a Voice interrupts.

VOICE : Welcome to the time trip. Please enter your code number now.

CARL looks surprised.

CARL: Ready if you are. Get ready CHARLOTTE.

CARL keeps hitting the keys, with no response. The theatre lights flicker to show a change of scenery, but he never leaves reality.

VOICE: Welcome to the time trip. Please enter your code number now.

The Voice repeats this over and over. CARL gets frustrated, banging the keys repeatedly until he throws the machine down in disgust.

SALESMAN: Hey, what are you doing to my equipment?

CARL: I want my money back! This thing doesn’t work.

SALESMAN: If I was you, I’d be more concerned with getting out of this neighborhood than getting my money back, you get me?

CARL walks off, leaving the Salesman behind. He walks in front of the audience and comes upon the nursing home, where the ATTENDANT is waiting .{ CARL: Work! That’s it, Work!}

ATTENDANT: Back so soon CARL? Never thought I’d see you again.

CARL: I need some help.


CARL: That FE you gave me, do you have another one?

ATTENDANT: I know what happened. In my nine years on the job you are the first one to get caught using one of those things. Old lady CHARLOTTE was always passing that thing around, you just got caught. It’s all for the best anyway.

CARL: She offered it to other people?

ATTENDANT: To just about anyone that would talk to her, just always told them not to visit her, which wasn’t exactly hard to do, if you know what I mean.

CARL: Yeah I guess so. So can I have it?

Attendant turns his head and hands CARL the goggles.

ATTENDANT: You catch my drift.

CARL: As it drifts by.

ATTENDANT: Now get out of here and be careful.

The shadow of the Police Officer follows CARL as he returns to his room.


VOICE: Welcome to your Fantasy. Please enter you Enhancer code now.

CARL frantically presses buttons in the darkness, as the dark figure approaches from behind.


CARL: I’ll be out in a few minutes!

POLICE OFFICER: Come out now, son, it’s for your own health. You can’t do this to your mind. Wait until you’re old enough to lose your mind.

CARL: You don’t understand, I have to save her!

POLICE OFFICER: I understand that you need help. Come on along. I’ve called the ambulance and this time. I’ll keep my eye on you.

CARL is put into his bed by the Police Officer, who watches over him.

CARL: I went too far today. I went too far.

POLICE OFFICER: How far did you go?

CARL: I guess I went far enough.

POLICE OFFICER: You can’t go back and recreate the past. You have to live it. (BEAT) You’ve got to let her go son.

CARL: You don’t know what happened.

POLICE OFFICER: I watched you punch out a briefcase. Do I need to see more?

CARL: I’ve been places you couldn’t dream of; I’ve seen it.

POLICE OFFICER: Don’t you have any respect for the dead?

CARL: Misdemeanor possession of a Fantasy Enhancer. That’s all I did. What’s the big deal, I’ll be out soon.

POLICE OFFICER: We’ll let you out tomorrow, but I don’t know if you’ll ever get out of this Fantasy thing without some help.

CARL: I just wanted to save her.

POLICE OFFICER: No such thing as time travel, you either lived it or you didn’t, the rest is myth. Go to sleep, they’ll let you out soon.

CARL: I know, I just want another chance to travel.

POLICE OFFICER: Just get a good night’s sleep and try to think more about your future than her past. I bet she would have wanted it that way.

CARL: You’re right there.

The lights dim. When the light returns, CARL is in front of the barbed wire fence again.



CHARLOTTE: I’m waiting. I’m waiting.

CARL: No, you’re escaping.

HITLER: Mari, Mari, you’re doing great. Put this on.

Hitler puts the perpetrator mask on CARL.

CARL: What am I doing here?

HITLER: It’s choice time. Time to leave CHARLOTTE at the fence and send her back to the camps. You both get to survive, so it all works out. Yeah, let me see, that looks right. Perfect looking Nazi, never thought you’d get this part, but you fit it beautifully. Just do what your told and turn her in, then we can all go home.

CARL: I want to get off this circle.

HITLER: Are you ready?


HITLER: Think quickly, come on, I have a budget and deadline to meet. What’s your problem?

CARL: I don’t know what I’m doing here.

HITLER: Exactly! You’ve got it, you don’t know why you are trying to free her so make the only logical choice, fend for yourself! Turn her in; you’re a Nazi, so you’re not supposed to know what you’re doing here, the only thing you have to know is that you are here, okay?

CARL: I’m here and I’m a Nazi. What else?

HITLER: Simple. You stop her from escaping.

CARL looks over to the “her” the HITLER referred to. It is young CHARLOTTE (Crystal) carrying her yellow Star of David. and wearing the victim’s mask. CARL has his giant black swastika/shield on his arm again. He looks at her and realizes he is here to finish the job.

HITLER: Got it straight? You turn her in, history continues, and we wrap it up and get a beer. How’s that sound?

CARL: I can’t turn her in.

HITLER: Not this motivation crap again. Okay, okay, I normally don’t give into talent but this story’s just so plain strange I’ll indulge you once more. Dieter, bring in the old bat.

Dieter pushes the older CHARLOTTE inside the fence and puts the survivor’s mask on her. The younger CHARLOTTE is hunched in front of the barbed wire fence, with CARL standing over her. Hitler moves back and forth between both sides of the fence.

CARL: I have plenty of motivation to let her go.

HITLER: I have plenty of motivation to replace you.

CARL: With who?

HITLER: How about this guy? (pulls the German soldier Dieter to his side) He’ll do anything, isn’t that right? (Dieter nods head.) Good, good, back in line. So, Mari, you want the part of the guard or you want to change things?

CARL: SOUND CUE: I want the part of the guard. ( the younger CHARLOTTE looks up at him in anger.)

CHARLOTTE (YOUNG): The only thing to fear is hatred itself.

CARL : What?

CHARLOTTE (OLDER): The only thing to fear is hatred itself. It’s my choice.

CARL: No, I’m the one that has to free you.

CHARLOTTE (OLDER): The only one who can free me is me. The victim has to give up the role of the victim, just like you have to give up the role as the perpetrator.

CARL: What?HITLER: Lights, Cameras, History!

CHARLOTTE (OLDER): Trust me. I’ll take care of it.

The stage empties, leaving only younger CHARLOTTE at the barbed wire fence, with CARL standing over her, holding the wirecutters. The spotlights flash back and forth in the background, as the sounds of dogs and shouting German voices fill the loudspeakers. The choice is at hand. CHARLOTTE reaches for the wirecutters.

HITLER: Do her, Mari, do her, turn her in, knock her hand away from the wirecutters.

CARL: CHARLOTTE, I don’t know what to do.

CHARLOTTE (OLDER): I know you don’t. That’s why I asked you to leave me alone, so I could get on with my death. Instead, I’m back at the fence again.

HITLER: Just where you belong.

CHARLOTTE (YOUNG): Good intentions but no action. It doesn’t matter if you think different and act the same. In the end, a result is a result. Watch this.

CHARLOTTE rises from her submissive position and rips the wire apart with her bare hands. As a trickle of blood spills on her Star of David, she throws it through the fence. Ripping off the Star of David , she throws it through the fence and steps to the other side. Dieter comes running up to CARL, who stands there staring at her on the other side.

HITLER: Cut, cut, that’s not in the script, let’s do this again.

CHARLOTTE (OLDER): No, this is a new ending, what do you say boys, the only rule is get rid of those swastikas and dump this barbed wire.

CARL and Dieter stare at her, transfixed and unable to do anything. CHARLOTTE (YOUNG) steps back through the fence, takes the wirecutters out of CARL’s hands and takes his swastika/shield, throwing it through the fence. She goes up to Dieter, who points his gun at her, but when she rips off his swastikas from his uniform and throws it through the fence, he drops his gun.

CHARLOTTE (YOUNG): The fence isn’t only my prison.

DIETER: It never happened. None of this happened.

CHARLOTTE (OLDER): No, it did happen but it won’t happen again. Do you understand?

DIETER: I get it.

Hitler stares through the opening in the fence, a red glow of the oven behind him.

HITLER: Are you trying to change the script?

CARL: I’m supposed to save you.

CHARLOTTE (OLDER): That’s your story. This is my history. It’s time to leave these camps behind and never let them back. Step through the fence or be left behind with him.

CARL and Dieter follow CHARLOTTE’s (Older) directions. The younger CHARLOTTE escorts CARL to a seat in the middle of the stage, Hitler attempts to step through the fence. The two CHARLOTTEs take off the victim masks and throw them on the ground.

HITLER: I don’t get it, tribes exist because of their opposites. It is instinctual to fight to survive, to eliminate the enemy.

CHARLOTTE: The only enemy is yourself.

HITLER: Oh, how beautiful, I’ll go find others who will change your mind, come on boys, take her!

CARL and Dieter stand by both CHARLOTTEs, defying Hitler. Hitler comes out to get them.

HITLER: Get over here now! Put her back behind the fence!

CARL and Dieter grab Hitler and drag him behind the barbed wire fence. They put him behind it and join CHARLOTTE (OLDER).

DIETER: What do you say we kill him now?

CARL: There does look to be an empty oven somewhere.

DIETER: Yeah, we can end him so this will never happen again.

CARL: He deserves it.

Dieter rushes towards Hitler, picking up a gun and pointing it at him.CARL attacks Hitler and forces him through the hole in the fence. Dieter and CARL jump through the hole in the fence and try to force Hitler into the ovens alive. As they fight with him in front of the oven, the younger CHARLOTTE is drawn away from the older one towards the hole in the fence.

CHARLOTTE (YOUNG): CARL! Dieter! What are you doing?

CARL: We’re finishing the job.

CHARLOTTE (YOUNG): Seems the same to me.

She is drawn through the fence, closing the hole and kneeling in front of it, bringing all the symbols with her. CHARLOTTE (YOUNGER) puts her victim mask back on. CHARLOTTE (OLDER) is outside the fence. Hitler breaks away from the surprised boys and walks freely behind the fence.

HITLER: Thanks boys, but this will call for a whole new script, it will take rewrites and rehearsals, I don’t know if I can handle the job.

CHARLOTTE (OLDER): If you don’t want the job, I’m sure someone else will take it.

CARL: I’ll take it!

HITLER: Do I have to stay behind the fence?

CHARLOTTE (OLDER): Look’s like you’re stuck there for a while.

CARL and Dieter again try to grab Hitler and throw him into the oven. The older CHARLOTTE stops them. She holds up the Rescuer mask.

CHARLOTTE (OLDER): Leave him alone!

CARL: We can’t leave him alone back here.

CHARLOTTE (OLDER): So what are you going to do, kill him like you didn’t want him to kill me? You can’t change history, only what he represents. (BEAT) You really don’t want to change anything, do you?

CHARLOTTE (YOUNGER): I liked the first Karl better.


CHARLOTTE (YOUNG): There might be one thing he could do.

CHARLOTTE (OLDER): What’s that?

CHARLOTTE (YOUNG): Get rid of all these symbols. I can’t stand walking with this thing.

CARL and Dieter look at her; they step up and pull the Star of David off of her.

CHARLOTTE (OLDER): That wasn’t too hard; but there is one thing else you’ll have to give up.

CHARLOTTE points at the two black swastika shields they are carrying. CHARLOTTE (Younger) pulls the fence hole back open and steps through, joining the older CHARLOTTE. CARL and Dieter try to drop their symbols and step through, but they’re frozen.

Dieter and CARL look back at Hitler standing in front of the oven. Between them are the symbols.

CHARLOTTE (OLDER): Wake up, wake up, wake up!

The lights dim and reemerge with CARL waking up in his bed with the Police Officer standing over him. The barbed wire fence separates the characters.

POLICE OFFICER: Wake up! Wake up!

CARL: What?

POLICE OFFICER: Come on boy, wake up, rolling and grunting in your sleep, she ain’t here son so give it a rest.

CARL: I’m back.

POLICE OFFICER: You never left.

CARL: I’m getting out of here.

POLICE OFFICER: You’re stuck in here with me, so you best be quiet and take it easy.

CARL: I’m getting out.


CARL: With them.

He points out to the middle of the stage, where the dream continues with the players seated at the same positions. A drum beat begins in the background, one followed by several drums joining in unison. Gradually the Chorus dances on stage around the central figure of CHARLOTTE. CARL sees the symbols behind him and recognizes the Police Officer for who he is.

CHARLOTTE (OLDER): Here are two symbols in opposition. This Star and this Wheel of Death.

She holds up a Star of David and takes Dieter’s Swastika.

POLICE OFFICER: There’s no one out there.

CARL: I can leave if I choose to.

HITLER: Yeah, right, I believe you.

CARL: Watch.

CARL gathers up the symbols and forces the Police Officer (Hitler) into the corner. The police hat comes off, revealing his identity as the red glow of the ovens remains behind him. CARL hands him the symbols and motions for him to put them in the oven as he walks away, laughing, and the drums become faster and faster, with the circling chorus adding to the movement.

HITLER: Hey, get back here, you’re not allowed to leave.

CARL: Says who? I want to join them (pointing to the audience).

CHARLOTTE (OLDER): Here are two symbols in unity, a Star and a Wheel of Life. These are just symbols, but we put much into them. He turned the wheel the wrong way and brought us World War II. I’m turning it back. Anyone want to dance with me?

She plays with the Wheel of Life, the swastika pointed in the direction of life, balancing it with the Star of David. The cast takes down the four Stars of David – Victim, Perpetrator, Survivor, and Bystander – while moving in a circle around the older CHARLOTTE, handing the symbols to Hitler behind the fence.

HITLER: You can’t change history..

CHARLOTTE (YOUNGER): These two symbols need to live together in the future. You belong back in your time, but you’re not running this show anymore.

CARL: I own this prison. And I’m leaving.

CHARLOTTE (OLDER): We are all forgetting something; it’s not the symbols, or way of looking at history, that’s important. Remember the people, not the theories or symbols. That’s where our strength lies.



Music of final dream sequence rises up, as all characters emerge from audience and join the two CHARLOTTEs in a dance before taking a final bow. As the music climaxes, the entire cast faces the audience, with the older CHARLOTTE holding up the Rescuer’s mask. The music stops.

All: We are the Children of the Holocaust

Dieter: We are both Germans and Jews

Attendant: We are both the handicapped and the politically incorrect

Narrator: We are both Gypsies and Russians

CARL: We are both Gays and Catholics

CHARLOTTE (Younger): We are both those who oppposed and those who followed.

ALL: We are the children of the victims.

We are the children of the oppressors.


We started out on opposite sides,

but the memory of the Holocaust

will join us forever.

We shall never let the victims be forgotten,

for if we do, we will forget that the

perpetrator can be in all of us.

ALL: (to audience) Wake up!




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