Heaven Sent - A Contemporary Religious Comedy by Patrick Dorn

This Play is the copyright of the Author and may not be performed, copied or sold without the Author's prior consent


JEHOVAH king of the universe (M)
RALPH an archangel (F or M)
TOBIT a righteous Israelite (M)
ANNA his long-suffering wife (F)
TOBY their impossibly naïve son (M)
MERCHANT a dealer in wool (F or M)
STRANGER returns a favor (F or M)
REGGIE a well-meaning father (M)
EDNA his determined wife (F)
SARAH their oft-bereft daughter (F)
ASMODEUS an odious demon (M or F)
ENSEMBLE: flexible supporting cast perform the roles of: ANGELS,

The action of the play takes place in Heaven, Tobit's house in
Nineveh, a marketplace in Nineveh, along the Tigris River, and
Reggie's house in Ecbatana, during the exile of the Israelite
people. Areas are easily identified through lighting and simple

The setting consists of a large, neutral playing area which may have
levels suggesting Tobit's house, Reggie's house, and Heaven.


JEHOVAH: I see what you mean. That guy has issues!

RALPH: So if you'll just sign here, we can put him out of his

JEHOVAH: Now hold on. I don't go around granting everybody their
wishes the minute they want them. (Aside.) I'm not a fairy
godmother, you know. (To RALPH.) I think I'm the best judge of what
people need, and when they need it. So you can put that pen down and
fill Me in on the second case. I can't help but think the two are
related, somehow.

RALPH: Actually, they are. The second request came from Sarah,
daughter of Reggie, who happens to be Tobit's cousin.

JEHOVAH: So what's her problem?

JEHOVAH: Men? Oh, I get it. She's been promiscuous and gotten
herself into trouble, has she?

RALPH: Well, no. As a matter of fact, she's a virgin.

JEHOVAH: That's not so bad.

RALPH: And she's had seven husbands, all relatives, all with the
proper credentials and sacred marriages.

JEHOVAH: What? Seven? You're kidding. And still a virgin? She DOES
have a problem. How can this be?

RALPH: They all dropped dead on their respective wedding nights.

JEHOVAH: This is serious. Is there some kind of heart disease in that

RALPH: No, she's possessed by a jealous demon named Asmodeus. Every
time she gets married, the demon kills the husband in the bedroom.

JEHOVAH: Seven, you say?

RALPH: All dead in the bed.

JEHOVAH: No wonder she's upset. Who wouldn't be? Let's see how
she's doing.

(LIGHTS DIM on heaven. LIGHTS UP on REGGIE'S house. EDNA approaches
REGGIE, who is "digging" a grave, CENTER.)

EDNA: Reggie, we've got to do something about our daughter.

REGGIE: What do you suggest?

EDNA: She needs a husband.

REGGIE: She's had SEVEN husbands.

EDNA: Well, she needs one who can live through the night. It's not
healthy for a young girl to have seven young men drop dead in her

REGGIE: It's not exactly a picnic for the men, either.

EDNA: It's just that a bride has certain, well, expectations or
dreams she hopes will be fulfilled on her wedding night.

REGGIE: And a corpse in bed with her isn't quite what she had in

EDNA: It should be the happiest day of her life.

REGGIE: And not the last day of his.

EDNA: And there's another thing. The Law of Moses requires a two
year period of mourning for a dead husband. Does that mean Sarah has
to mourn for 14 years, or can she do it concurrently?

REGGIE: That IS a problem.

EDNA: In 14 years, she may be too old to bear a child.

REGGIE: Assuming she can keep a husband alive long enough to give her

EDNA: Reggie, I want to have grandchildren!

REGGIE: What do you want me to do about it? I'm not Lot. Don't
ask me to do anything dangerous!

EDNA: That's not what I'm suggesting. I want you to find another
member of our tribe.

REGGIE: At the rate she's going through relatives, it's a wonder
our line isn't extinct!

EDNA: Do something!

REGGIE: Edna, my dearest wife. I'm being kept so busy burying men,
I don't have time to chase down someone stupid enough to marry her.
She's got a reputation.

EDNA: Our little girl has done nothing wrong.

REGGIE: No, of course she hasn't. But she's bad luck. Have dinner
with her, fine. Take her for a walk along the Tigris River, no
problem. But marry her and jump into bed, and you're dead meat! How
do you think that makes me feel? Normally a father is very protective
of his tender child. But lately I've been thinking of marrying her
off to my enemies!

EDNA: You know she mustn't marry outside the faith, outside of her
own tribe.

REGGIE: I know.

EDNA: So find someone, and soon. (Softens.) Please, Reggie.

REGGIE: I'll do what I can, Edna.

EDNA: (Abruptly.) Good. Now finish off that last grave and be sure to
wash your hands before dinner. I'm going to talk to Sarah and see if
I can cheer her up.

REGGIE: All right, dear.

(REGGIE EXITS. LIGHTS DOWN on grave and UP ON SARAH on her bed as
EDNA goes to her.)

EDNA: Sarah, sweetie. It's me, Mom.

SARAH: I don't want to talk about it.

EDNA: I know, honey. It's been a shock for all of us.

SARAH: But I really liked that last one. He had such a healthy

EDNA: He certainly did eat a lot, didn't he? Who would have thought
that such a robust man could go so quickly?
SARAH: It was horrible, Mom. One minute I was lying here on the bed.
I thought that at last I would know what it means to be a fulfilled
woman. And he was standing there, looking so manly and strong. Then he
started choking on a chicken bone. Right there at the foot of the bed.
His face got all red, and his eyes bugged out, and he made little
gurgling retching noises and clutched at his throat. His eyes rolled
up to the top of his head and he just sort of crumpled to the floor.
(Pause.) His meaty legs thrashed and kicked for a few moments, then he
just lay there twitching, with some slobber coming out of his mouth.

EDNA: I know, sweetie, I saw him.

SARAH: And he was dead. Seven in a row, dead. Mom, I think there's
something wrong with me.

EDNA: No, honey, there's nothing wrong with you. It could happen to anyone.

[end of extract]

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