NOVEMBER 13-29, 1997
By Lee Blessing
Director John Krich
Originally known as the Silent Brotherhood (Bruders Schweigen), The Order was a private guerrilla army, formed in September 1983 with the goal of destroying the U.S. government. Basing their beliefs in a misguided patriotism, paranoia and a race-based theology known as Christian identity, twenty-three people under the leadership of Robert J. Mathews, sought to emulate the fictional account of the overthrow of the U.S. government found in the book, The Turner Diaries.
After they were apprehended by the FBI, the government charged The Order with racketeering based on sixty-seven separate crimes. More than half the people (including Denver Parmenter, Thomas Martinez and Randall Radar) entered into plea bargains and agreed to testify against The Order.
On April 12, 1985, a federal grand jury in Seattle indicted twenty-four members of The Order on charges of racketeering and conspiracy. Through guilty pleas and other circumstances, only 1O defendants were actually tried in Seattle. Those on trial included Randy Duey, David Lane, Bruce Pierce, Andrew Barnhill, Gary Yarbrough and Ardie McBrearty (characters who appear in the play) as well as Jean Craig, Richard Kemp, Frank Silva and Randall Evans.
All of these defendants were tried in court by six prosecuting attorneys, depicted in the play by Mueller, Ward and Robinson. The defendants were all represented by their own attorneys.
Steven Dietz has created God’s Country based on actual court records. All of the words attributed to actual, named persons, are real. None have been invented.
Lee Blessing was born in 1949 . His stage plays include : Oldtimers Game, Eleemosynary, Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music , Independence, War of the Roses, Two Rooms, Patient A, Lake Street Extension, Fortinbras, Down the Road, A Walk in the Woods. Besides having been nominated for the Tony and Oliver Awards and the Pulitzer Prize, Blessing’s plays have garnered numerous other theatre awards.
I confess! I’m very fond of words. Long words in particular. That’s not, however, the only reason I have chosen to direct Eleemosynary. It’s not simply a play about curious words . It’s about the love that binds us all – the love that runs like a thread through our lives, from grandparents to parents to children and their children, and how fragile it often is and how our spirits can soar magnificently into realms of beauty and imaginationgiven the chance . The play is filled with wonderful words , and like Echo, I am enchanted and fascinated by them. I think you might find many of the words equally fascinating. So I provide the following abbreviated dictionary of interesting words from the play. I have also included a few of my favorite words not in the play. See if you know them. I am indebted to my Assistant, Heldor Schafer, for researching and providing most of the definitions. Have fun!
Cast & Creative
Director John Kirch
Assistant to the Director Heldor Schafer
Set Designer/Assistant Costume Designer Erin Macklem
Set Designer Allan Stichbury
Assistant Set Designer Nicola Schicchi
Costume Designer Debra Hanson
Lighting Director Cameron Stewart
Sound Designer Matt Hussack
Original Music Composer Robert Holliston
Stage Manager Jennifer Swan
Jana Dempsey Dorothea
Sara Topham Artie
Michelle Monteith Echo