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Written by the members of Creative Justice 2010-2011: Demond Bush, David L. Hamilton IV, Ryan Hodge, Keesean Hudson, Ronald L. Kirk, Fawn Knight, Leonard Knight, Craig Lindsey, Jacob McQueen, Diego Phillips, Yorig R. Reyes. Edited by Fawn Knight

Summary:  The man called Legion is terrorized by demons from his past who continually assure him that he can never be free of their influence.  Guilt, shame, and addictions hold Legion in bondage until Jesus intervenes.

Note:  This play was written by a group of Christians, some incarcerated and some the family members of men in prison.  The demons in the play come from their experience.  Several speak the language of the streets.  Some, like Mom, are not demons as we usually think of them, but rather memories we replay endlessly in our heads, feeling helpless and ashamed.  The authors invite you to replace these “demons” with others from the experience of your group.  Dialogue is improvised and performers should feel free to use humor in their roles.
Style: Serious, but with occasional humor    Duration: 22 minutes
Actors: 11M, 1F (parts may be doubled)
Biblical Text:  Mark 5

 

Characters:
Mob of Townspeople
Legion
Rage
Jesus
Addict
Thief
Pimp
Pride
Dad
Accuser
Mom
Depression

Script

 

(Legion enters from behind audience, followed by mob of townspeople screaming and “stoning” him.  Legion comes running into the room in “chains”  with “stones” being hurled at him.  Note:  townspeople played by all cast except Legion and Jesus, who stands, observing, at stage left.)
Mob: Stone him, stone him, stone him.
Townsperson:  You’re a disgrace.  We want you to stay out of our city.
Townsperson:  You have destroyed enough of our property.
Townsperson:  You aren’t worth anything (throwing stone).  You’ll never amount to anything.
Townsperson:  (throwing another stone as Legion runs away)  We’ll kill you next time.
(Legion screams as he runs to the stage, breaking the chains.  Helpful, although not required, to have a black backdrop from behind which demons can enter.  Legion, alone, on stage, paces restlessly, clearly unbalanced.  One-by-one, his demons enter from upstage and confront him.  Demons try to entice Legion down the center aisle, and when they fail, they exit through the house, taking up positions around the perimeter of the audience, where they pace constantly, mirroring Legion’s constant unrest. )
(Rage enters.)
Rage:      What’s up, partner?  So you’re just going to sit there and not give your boy some love?  O.K.  I see you’re in a little slump, but I know what will make us feel better – some money.
Legion:      What do you want now?  Last time we were together, you got me jailed.  Before that you got me stoned, and the time before that . . .
Rage:   Man, forget all that.  Listen, this one is the big lick we need.  We can get some good wine and bread.  Plus we can get out of this tomb.
Jesus:    Love your neighbor as yourself.
Legion:  [Reacting each time to Jesus’ words.  Although he cannot see Jesus, each time Jesus speaks, we see that Legion is briefly heartened.]  I have enough problems now.  I don’t need or want to add more.
Rage:   What!  Man, don’t tell me you’re getting soft on me.
Legion:   What I’m getting is tired of you!
Rage: O.K., there’s that fire in you now – let’s use it to do what we know.  I know you miss having that sword in your hand, making people do what we say. Running in their business or hut and taking what we want.
Legion:  Man, just leave.
Rage:  O.K.  I’ll leave.  I don’t want to people around somebody so soft anyway. Don’t call on me when you need help and these townspeople licking your butt.  Look at you, just sitting there looking stupid.  Yeah, we’ll be back.  You can’t leave us . . .
ALL DEMONS:   For we are many.
(Rage exits; Addict enters, carrying a bottle In a brown paper bag, which he sips from himself and occasionally offers Legion.)
Addict:  Man, today was a rough day.  (Pause)  Well, you know what we do on rough days.
Legion:  Every day is a rough day for you.
Addict:  You know, you kind of have a point there.  Anyway, I know where we can get three for a drachma and a teaspoon of smack for a piece of silver.
Legion:  I don’t think I’m going to do anything today.  You know, maybe not at all.
Addict:  Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!  Aw, man, that’s pretty funny.  That’s a good one, but come on, man, let’s go.
Legion:   I’m for real, man, I think I’m finished.
Addict:  You finished?  [Sarcastically] You goin’ to AA now?  Come on, AA’s for quitters.
Legion:  No, I mean it.  I’m done.
Addict:  You’re finished, all right.  Look at you. You’re filth and everyone knows it.  You live worse than the animals.  You’re living in caves, mountains, and tombs.  You’re not fit to be called human.  You see how the townspeople treat you. 
Legion:   I don’t care.  They mean nothing to me.
Addict:  Stop lying.  Who do you think you’re talking to?  Now, it’s time to stop playing.  Let’s go get high.
Jesus:  Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Legion:   No!  I said I will not.
Addict:   We will be back.  You can’t leave us. 
All DEMONS:   For we are many. 
(Addict exits; Thief enters.)
Thief:  Hey, man, did you see our rich neighbors jus’ move in with their fancy cars?  Nice clothes, 50-inch flat screen TV, all kinds of jewellery, ummmm hummmm?
Legion:   Really? Any money? You know, I need money.
Thief:  You know, they probably have millions hid in that house. You know you deserve it.
Legion:   I know I want that stuff, but I don’t think it’s a good idea.
Thief: Shut up! You know you worked hard all your life. Where has that gotten you?  Look at you:   holes in your shoes, torn shirt, cuts all over you. It’s time to be a man and take what is yours.
Legion:  You really think this is going to work? I mean, they just tried to kill me and chase me off. If I go back, they really will kill me.
Thief:  Man, don’t worry about them. You know whoever has the money, has the power, the women; we can be kings, with the town in our hands.  We can rule.
Jesus:  Treat other people as you would like to be treated.
Legion:  Man, I just don’t know.  I’m not going to do it.
Thief:  You’re never going to be anything. Just poor and pathetic like you always were. Scraping for crumbs. No one will ever give you anything  ‘cause no one cares about you.
Legion:  Just go away and leave me alone. I never told you to come in the first place!
Thief:  You don’t know what you’re missing!
Legion:  I said leave!
Thief:  Okay, but I’ll be back because you can’t leave us.
ALL DEMONS:   For we are many.
(Thief exits; Pimp enters)
Pimp:  Hey, baby, what’s happ’nin?  Both of those nothings are wrong, baby.  What we need are some women.  (Pimp gestures to a group of supposed women;  Legion waves at them.) Ha! Ha!  There’s a lot of money to be made, baby, and we looooove money. 
Legion:  Love women! 
Pimp:  Baby, you remember Susan?  Ha! Ha!  Don’t act like you don’t remember Susan, baby.  She was one of our best girls, baby.
Legion:  [Sarcastically] You talking about the Susan who stabbed me because you told me to slap her?  That Susan, baby?
Pimp:  You know there are minor setbacks in the game, baby – but you know this pimping don’t stop, baby. We put a wing on a pig – you dig, baby?
Legion:  I don’t know what to do.  I’m so confused and I don’t believe Susan or any other woman will solve my problem.
Pimp:  Pimping, you’re in a funk, baby.  Get up.  Let’s pitch a tent and get busy.
Jesus:   Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Legion:   Nah,  I’m not with it.
Pimp:  Not with it?  You can’t leave pimpin’.  You grandfather was a pimp, your father was a pimp, your uncle – man, pimpin’ is in your blood.
Legion:  No, I mean it.  Just leave, Jason.
Pimp:  Hey!  Hey!  My name’s Pimping.  Don’t be using my government player.(1)  You think you can just leave the game, you’re wrong.  We will be back.  You can’t leave us . . .
ALL DEMONS:  For we are many.
(Pimp exits; Pride enters.)
Pride:  What’s been going on man?
Legion:  Today has been a horrible day.
Pride:  Oh, I seen it all, I know. You let the townspeople try and stone you, ridicule you, and run you  -- emphasis on you—run you out of town!
Legion:  Well, I have been wrong.
Pride:  Forget that! How could they do you like that? You are better than that. Did they forget who you are? Did you forget WHO YOU ARE?
Legion:  You’re right, man.  They must not know who I am.
Pride:  Now, you’re getting it! You’re the man and without you, there will not be a town. Let’s go back and show them what is really up!
Legion:  I am with you!
Jesus:  Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Legion:  [Looks around] I, uh – I don’t think that is a good idea, on second thought.
Pride:   Yeah, I agree with you.  Let’s start our own town.
Legion:  What?
Pride:  You heard me. Your own town where you rule.
Legion:  Yeah, you’re right.  That’s what I deserve.
Pride:  Yeah [Laughs.]  We’ll show that town it is your time.
Legion:   [Holding his head, as if in pain] No, that is a bad idea.
Pride:   I am your friend. Trust me.
Legion:  No, you are wrong. You are not my friend. Just leave.
Pride:  C’mon, man—
Legion:  Just LEAVE!
Pride:  All right, I will leave for now, but you will never truly be rid of us.  We’ll be back . . .
ALL DEMONS:    For we are many.
(Pride exits; Dad enters)
Dad:  Myyyy son! Look at you. When I heard about a demon-possessed man, I just knew it had to be you.   So, I came to see for myself!
Legion:   Dad!
Dad:  [Angrily.  Dad is alternately mocking, demeaning, sarcastic.]  Don’t call me that. You’re a disgrace. Look at you – when was the last time you bathed? And to think, after all me and your mother sacrificed for you, and now we have to live with the shame of having a demon-possessed son! How could you!? How could you repay us like this?
Legion:   [Pleadingly.] I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to, Dad!
Dad:  Don’t call me that! You worthless piece of…  why couldn’t you be like your brother? He’s respectful and intelligent and even got a job in order to help with the bills. You never cared about your family, and now we’re burdened with the shame of having a demon-possessed son. You broke your mother’s heart.
Legion:  I’m sorry, Dad!
Dad:  You call me that one more time and I’m going to crush you – do you hear me? A lot of good “I’m sorry” does for me. I have to pay for all the property you keep destroying – and it’s all because you’ve always been evil. You always disobeyed me and your mother, and never loved us or cared about how society looked down on us because of you!  Why couldn’t you be like Matthew?
Legion:  Okay, here we go.  Matthew, Matthew, Matthew.  I’m so sick of hearin’ about Matthew.  Why didn’t you love me the way you loved Matthew? 
Dad:  What! So, now it’s my fault you’re a demon? I showed your brother love because he obeyed us, he respected us.       
Jesus:  Your Heavenly Father loves you.
Legion:  You know what, it doesn’t matter if you don’t love me.
Dad:  Oh, so now all of a sudden it doesn’t matter? I’m not your dad anymore.
Legion:  I never had your love, and I never will.  Please, Dad, just go away!
Dad [starting to exit, turns back;  venomously] I wish you had never been born!
(Legion begins to weep, but tries not to show his pain;  just stares at his Dad. )
Dad:  You can’t get rid of me, you know.  You need me.  I’ll never leave . . .
ALL DEMONS:    For we are many!
(Exit Dad; Enter Accuser)
Accuser:  You robber, you thief, you addict, you criminal, you loser. Which of those things are you not? That’s what I thought, no answer.
Legion:  I don’t need you to tell me who I am.
Accuser:  Oh yes you do. You need me to remind you what you are and what you are not. You have a tendency to forget those robberies you did for your addiction. You forget all the criminal activity and pain you have caused others. You wonder why these things have come upon you now.
Legion:  I live with that every day. I don’t need you reminding me of it.
Accuser:  Ha! Ha! You do need me, I am what motivates you to continue to be the addict and criminal you are.
Jesus:  If you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Legion:  Just leave! Leave!
Accuser:  No! I will never leave. Every time you look into of those townspeople’s faces, you will see me. Every time you look in your mirror, you will see me.
Legion:  Get away from me now! Leave! Leave! Leave!
Accuser:  I promise I will be back. You can never leave us . . .
ALL DEMONS:  For we are many! 
(Accuser begins to exit, but returns to hand Legion a letter.  Enters Mom, who writes on a “desk” [lectern] at stage right.  Legion opens the envelope, takes out the letter, and begins to read.  Mom begins to read aloud the letter she is writing to Legion.)
Mother:  Dear Legion, I hope things are well with you, son.
Legion:  (Happily)  Oh, Mom!
Mom:  (Continuing to read; Legion reacts non-verbally to what she says.) This is a hard letter to write, but I need to tell you some bad news. I don’t know if Dad told you, but he has moved out.
Legion and Mom [together] We’re getting a divorce.  [Mom begins to weep.]
Legion:  (Reading her letter aloud, as Mother continues writing silently.) I don’t have any money without Dad’s paycheck, but I’ve got a job!   So I don’t want you to worry about  me.  I can take care of myself.
Mom:  [Whispering to herself, not part of the letter)  Legion, I’m scared.  I wish you were here.  Can’t you come home, son? [Picks up writing and reading aloud as she writes, while Legion reacts non-verbally to what she says.) The real reason I’m writing, though, is to tell you I’m sorry.  Legion, I meant to be a good mother.  I never meant to let you down.  Please forgive me.
Legion:  (Protesting) No, Mom.  It’s not your fault.  You didn’t let me down.
Mom:   I know we always talked about when you come back home.  Legion, there’s one more thing I need to tell you.  I can’t afford the house, so I’m selling it.  I know it won’t be quite the same as we planned, But wherever I am, there’ll always be a place for you. [Mom’s voice changes as she becomes one of the “demons”] You know, we’ll never leave you.
ALL Demons:  For we are many.
(Mom exits.  Music:  Any selection of heavy, slow, instrumental music – plays softly until Jesus says “STOP” (below).  Music begins and Depression enters.  Legion is largely silent as Depression speaks; Legion acts out his despair or dully repeats what Depression says as Depression circles and oppresses him.)
Depression:  You’re so tired.
Depression:  It hurts so bad.
Depression:  It will never change.
Depression:  You can’t go on. (Depression starts to press Legion down to his knees.)
Depression:  That’s right.  Here’s the edge of the cliff.  It would be so easy.
(Legion begins to contemplate “jumping,” as Depression continues to press him down and offer to “help” him.)
Depression:  So easy.  And you wouldn’t hurt anymore.
Depression:  You don’t have to do it alone.  We’ll go with you.  We’ll always be with you . . .
ALL DEMONS:  For we are many.
Jesus:  (Stepping up to Depression) Stop!  [All demons stop their pacing and face Jesus.] Leave this man alone.  [To demons] What is your name?
ALL DEMONS:  Legion, for we are many.
Jesus:  He is a man, not your slave.  Leave him. Go back to hell where you belong!
(DEMONS SCREAM & exit, running.)
[Jesus helps Legion to his feet. Legion is now clearly in his right mind.]
Jesus:   [Kindly] What is your name?
Legion:   I don’t know.  I was Legion.
Jesus:    No, I’m giving you a new name.  From now on, you will be called Christian. (Begins to exit, stage left.)
Legion:  Can’t I come with you?
Jesus:  [Kindly, giving him a slight hug] No.  Go home to your family and your friends.  Tell them what I have done for you.
Legion: (Pleading)  My demons will come back.
Jesus:  No, for I am with you.  The One who is in you is greater than all the demons.  He is stronger than the Evil One. Remember, you are mine, and I have overcome the world.
(Jesus exits;  Legion is left alone on stage.  Music:  Soloist begins “Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone” as Legion realizes his freedom and exits, jubilant, down house center.  Congregation invited to join in singing the hymn to its conclusion.)

 

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[1] Given name, the name appearing on official, government-issued identification.

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© Fawn Knight, ed., 2011; all rights reserved. The script may not be reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on the Internet, without written permission of the editor. This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the authors would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed.  They may be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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