The Christian Soothsayer

by  Aaron Robertson

Short Play, Drama  /  3m, 1f

Set during the 1967 race riot in Detroit, The Christian Soothsayer follows two conmen, Isaac and Scoot, who are interested in neither money nor fame. When Albert and Ethel, an older black couple, become embroiled in the conflict, the conmen pose as journalists and agree to tell Albert and Ethel’s story...

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The Christian Soothsayer

by  Aaron Robertson

License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    3m, 1f
  • Duration

    Duration

    30 minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Docudrama/Historic
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

Set during the 1967 race riot in Detroit, The Christian Soothsayer follows two conmen, Isaac and Scoot, who are interested in neither money nor fame. When Albert and Ethel, an older black couple, become embroiled in the conflict, the conmen pose as journalists and agree to tell Albert and Ethel’s story. Isaac places three dice on the table and claims that he can receive messages from God. Supposedly, he already knows what has happened to the couple. His strange behavior incites Albert, who regrets his own inability to act when a policeman molests Ethel in front of him. Hoping to dispel Albert’s irrational concerns, Ethel challenges Isaac’s warning that the basement window will erupt. When she removes the candles from the windowsill, Isaac pulls her away as soon and the glass shatters. Albert abandons reason and decides to face the cop. After he leaves, Ethel asks why Isaac did this, and he tells her about his experience with the African-American community. Ethel leaves, and when the rioters cause a nearby explosion, Scoot experiences a seizure. Not knowing what to do, Isaac resigns and waits as the rioters enter from upstairs.
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Reviews

Published in the collection Thespian Playworks 2013.

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $45 per performance
    $75 with other plays in collection

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1960s
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Setting: Detroit, 1967. There is no order to the scene. A few upturned tables and chairs, and a bar. The stairs to the basement are on the opposite side of the bar. 
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Casting

3m, 1f
ISAAC - A conman.
SCOOT - Isaac’s friend and accomplice. 
ALBERT - Ethel’s loyal husband. 
ETHEL - A pious woman. 

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Cast Attributes

  • Role(s) for Black Actor(s)

Casting Notes

All the characters are African American. Albert and Ethel are at least two decades older than Isaac and Scoot.

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Authors

Aaron Robertson

Aaron Robertson

The Christian Soothsayer was presented in a staged reading as part of the Thespian Playworks program at the 2013 Thespian Festival on June 29, under the direction of Mark D. Kaufmann. 

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