SCRIPT - sleepwalking apocalypse (first version - may 2005)



(Audience gathers outside in front of a fabric curtain that says SLEEPWALKING APOCALYPSE.

Audience members are given pieces of red paper and asked to write down something they fear.

The pieces of red paper are collected.

One performer, the Fear Carrier, is covered with the pieces of red paper.  The red paper completely covers her or him, including eyes and ears.   The Fear Carrier will be led by the hand through the following.

A performer walks through the crowd humming on a kazoo and carrying a red paper airplance.  When s/he reaches the curtain, s/he flies the airplane over the curtain.

Drumming begins, then stops for an amplified voice.)


On August 6 1945

at 8:15 in the morning

the all clear sounded

There was only one airplane and it was gone.

We all got up from where we were covering

and thought we were safe

Then a sheet of sunlight passed through us,

then thunder like gods coughing

and the world came to an end.

It was reborn one instant later

but different.

(Through the fabric curtain comes a woman riding a tricycle, wearing only a bathrobe.  She is masked.  She rides the tricycle through the crowd and away.

The Fear Carrier and the audience enter through the fabric.)


(A number of red-masked performers are standing frozen with their backs to us.

The Fear Carrier touches each one of these as s/he passes, and that performer turns to face the passing audience.  Each one holds an object: burnt credit card, chocolate wrapper, computer screen, tennis shoe, disposable diaper, torn bit of the Constitution, teddy bear, toilet paper, ziploc, book, etc.

As the audience passes, dreams are being read aloud.)


(alternating voices)

in my dream

we're being invaded

the airplanes are big fat and white

like blimps

some of the planes have our flag on them

but shooting and bombing us anyway

by accident or what

my family's there

we huddle under trees

the fat white airplanes start to shudder and crack

they're not planes at all

they're larvae

and bugs with big black eyes and wings

come squirming out and fly down toward us

and bugs with no wings come tumbling down

and a shower of crawling bugs

buries us screaming

in my dream

a mushroom cloud of water rises from Puget Sound

Is it an attack

or a mistake

in my dream

there's a contagious disease wiping out everyone on earth

To find out if I have it

I drop a stone into a glass of special liquid

If the liquid turns green

I'm infected

I drop the stone and I wait

in my dream

I'm a kid playing in the yard

my mom runs out

says Get in the car

It's a minivan full of bottled water

I run inside to get my special hat

but my mom is screaming There's no time

We have to get away right now

They're coming

But I can't leave without my hat

we argue   she pulls at me

and the minivan drives away

with nobody in it

we run after it   carrying the baby

the baby is pointing at things while we run

and telling us words for them



telephone pole

doggie   hey buddy   hey buddy

in my dream

there's an opera house with an ornate front

i duck insided to escape the bombing

inside there are many stages

each with a different war being played

Some US Marines come busting in

They're lost they tell me   Where's the stage for Iraq?

I take them out back to a secret stone door

with long dark steps leading up to Iraq.

in my dream

i run outside

my face is covered with some kind of cloth

people are throwing molotov cocktails at airplanes

it's a stupid idea

i start to pray

but i'm speaking a language i don't know

i'm trapped with some people against a wall

and i'm debating in my head which religion i should use

to pray

in my dream

i'm trapped in an airport with Michael Moore

Someone has taken over and everyone's trapped

until further notice

Michael Moore is a pushy companion

i dreamed the human race was gone

the world was simpler

the world was colder

I had a dream the other night

and you were in it

We were driving a car in a desert landscape

looking for some way out

then the car was gone and we were walking

We come to a barrier and try to climb it

An alarm goes off and security comes up

It's my uncle

My country has been invaded.

The china lamp, a jar of sea glass

a child's paper airplane

and a great hole in the ceiling

where once the chandelier hung

solid and steady

as a dream over my head.

My house has been invaded.

My mind too is gone from here.

It climbed the attic stairs

when the soldiers burst in

with broomsticks

and fisted hands

and four sharp teeth that drew blood.

Bruises, ragged nails and shattered thoughts

these are what's left of me.

My body has been invaded.

The potted herbs, a trampled rug,

one battered can

of gasoline

and the radio humming the distant tune

of freedom marching in my living room.

this is my home.

this is my kitchen sink.

this is my window garden

now filled with metal rain.

this is my bed of dust,

these are my shattered walls,

these are all that’s left for me:

one last match,

one last breathe,

one last glance,

And one foot in front of the other

one foot

one foot

one foot

one foot

all the way

to far away from here.

(The red-masked performers join the procession.)


(Two ladders rise up as Towers.

(Drumming.  A performer tosses a red paper airplane toward the Towers.)


in my dream

i watch the towers falling

the smoke and glass come up

and become a mushroom cloud

I point and shout but no one else sees it

I run around shouting

There's going to be fallout

You can't live here anymore

You can't live here anymore


When the towers fell

they punctured the crust of the earth

Most of the casualties were actually caused by

the outflow of molten magma

The magnetic pole was wrenched aside

East is now true north

The earth's crust is unstable

Tectonic plates have not yet moved to cover the hole

The ground is not solid anymore

my feet don't meet the ground anymore

I can't adapt to the new gravity

My organs shift    I move differently

My heart is in a different place

My feelings combine in different ways

I can't see anymore what I saw

The world I was in no longer exists

Everything that stood under me is gone

CHORAL (w/audience)

Repeat after me.

Repeat after me.

Repeat after me.

Repeat after me.

We called it

the City of Minarets.

The flash of bombs at night

made the city

a garden of domes and light.

No one could sleep.

So many now

will never wake.


(The Towers are taken down and carried like coffins.  The Fear Carrier and the audience follows them through a graveyard.   Faces look up from the pavement.  No text; some music.)


(scattered, with no amplification)

This is the last movie I will see.

This is the last page I will read.

This is the last time I will be touched.

This is the last food I will taste.

This is the last time I will swallow.

This is the last sigh.

This is the last sound.

This is the last intake of air.

This is the last giving away.

(At the end of the graveyard a ragged street person starts shouting from around the corner. The street person appears, wearing a primitive animal/god mask.  Behind him someone walks tapping on a small drum.)



wathufuka yall doin


wathufuck all these people

gethufuk away

standn round like buncha cows

wusso fukin funny

oooooooooo i geddit

youre peace people

ooooooo youre fukin speshl

youre the ones think Saddam Hussein

just din geddenough love when he was a kid


think we juss shoulda dropt him abirthday cake

steada all those bombs     za righ?

(Etc. adlib, walks through audience and away.

Fear Carrier and audience move on.)


(The street person has left a crumpled bag in the middle of the sidewalk.  The Fear Carrier is led to it, touches it.

A Bomb Squad guy with a whistle runs out, pushes the audience away as from a dangerous object.  S/he has a table and some toy Godzilla tongs.  The bag is gingerly lifted up and set gently on the table.  The Bomb Squad crawls under the table and ducks and covers; then whistles and shouts "All clear!" 

The Fear Carrier and the audience move on.)






click click

click click click click click

click click click click click click click click click click click click click click


you have entered a zone of unacceptable radiation exposure hazard

you have been exposed to unacceptable levels of radiation

do not leave this area

do not expose others to yourself

do not take defensive action

it is too late to protect yourself

The radiation level is so high

your DNA is not safe

your DNA has already been impacted

your DNA is undergoing random mutations at an accelerated rate

your DNA is mutating so quickly

     you are no longer whatever you were

     one instant ago

you have only been what you are now for one instant

your cells have passed away

you have no memory of what you were

you will have no memory of what you are now

your memory is a random mutation

the person you were has no future

the person you are has no past

you may hold someone's hand if you wish

that person will not exist by the time you touch them

you will not exist by the time you touch them

someone new will hold their hand

and someone new will hold yours

(A man in a radiation suit walks toward the audience.)

You are no longer what you were.

You no longer laugh the way you did,

or smile

or think

or touch.

I have watched you change and move away

while I have stayed the same.

You are gone.

You no longer exist.

I'm still here.

I want to be with you but I'm afraid.

I love what you used to be.

I am alone with what I still am.

Nothing reaches me anymore.

(The man in the radiation suit moves through the crowd and away.  Singing starts and the audience moves on.)

SONG:   "What if the Russians Don't Come"


(Audience moves along the sidewalk.  From the opposite sidewalk, two voices, male and female, calling out:)




























































in my dream i'm in chains with no escape

till fire comes up and melts the chains

but then i'm falling through fire

so i grab at the redhot chains to save myself

in my dream

i wake up in someone else's room

my clothes are spread out all over the floor

all the clothes i own

all over the floor and the grass outside

clothes i haven't seen in years

clothes i wore when i was a kid

clothes i only imagined spread out

across the grass and the sand beyond it

in my dream

I'm buried in a pit of dollar bills

they're worthless and nobody wants them

I scramble and flail to get out

but every time I reach the top

someone pours more dollars on my head

in my dream

i'm falling

but then I wake up

but I'm still falling

but then I wake up

but I'm still falling

but then I wake up

but I'm still falling

in my dream

I'm attaching scorpions to clocks

on the edge of a cliff

When I attach a scorpion to a clock

its pinchers stretch out

and become a crucifix

in my dream

i have two wombs

a man with the face of Jesus fills them both

one with my life on this earth

the other with my life in forever

my life in forever already exists

it grows in my womb like a child

and i build it with all i take in like a child

and it takes the shape of my soul

in my dream

they were right

I was wrong all along

I'm shaking Joseph McCarthy's hand

he's patting me on the shoulder   forgiving me

in my dream

the voices in my head are gone

they've stopped and gone away

and I'm alone

there's a voice in my head still

but it's just my own voice

and it never stops

in my dream

the sky rains biscuits and pornography

anyone eating the biscuits or looking at the porn

will fall into the pit of molten cheese

but those who resist temptation

will be taken to a place in the sky where they can have

all the biscuits and porn they want

in my dream

i'm gazing at Earth from a distance

it turns out there's a whole portion of land on the planet

no humans have ever discovered

thousands of acres untouched

should i tell anybody?

For a lover gone off to war

How am I to know you my love

when the seas are rising,

when the glaciers melt and the sun goes cold?

How am I to know you then-as lover or foe or only in passing?

You promised me forever, love; I continue to look forward.

The tiger lilies have wilted since you left my side, love,

the anthill is still and the birds stay silent.

From our mountains, the sun sets like a fireball,

or painting,

or something too golden for life.

For you the grass waits,

covering my feet as only the dirt lies at peace.


Every second, how many die, love?

How many of hunger or love or flaming entrance into heaven,

Only their charred bodies left to comfort souls?

In the wind I hear their wives, shreaking to the rain,

their sons, packing their bags,

their mistresses, calling on the streets for a buck.

How am I to recognize you

when the trees are burning

when the wind is still and the rain falls hard on my back?

How am I to love you then- your body, your face, your pain?

You promised me forever, love- how do I look forward with you gone?


(The ladders block the path and become fences.  The audience is pinned inside.  The fences are held by helmeted soldiers.)




a material layer enclosing space. 

any upright structure having a length much greater than its thickness, used for   support, enclouse, etc.

a rampart raised for defensive purposes.



to protect, confine,or divide

to seal or entomb



a barrier meant to prevent escape or intrusion or to mark exclusive possession



to enclose

to separate

to attack with a sword

to receive or sell stolen goods



a material object or set of objects that separates, demarcates, or serves as a barricade

anything that restrains or obstructs

a border or boundary of any kind

(During this text, the soldiers' helmets are removed and their heads are covered by black hoods.

Then their helmets are replaced, but on top of the black hoods.)


The wall is not a wall but a fence.

Much of the wall is not a wall but a fence.

Some of the wall is not a wall but a fence.

We can agree to call it a barrier.

A necessary barrier.

For protection and defense.

It is just defense.

A barrier is just defense.

It is just defense.

It is just defense.


when I am asleep

I dream of grass and water and soft skin

when i am awake

i dream that i live in a house of rubble

i dream that my mother is buried there

and my family driven out

i dream that an iron wall

splits the ground where i was born

i'm screaming but no one can hear

i'm screaming but no one can hear



(The fence becomes a wall of thorns: a green cord with red paper airplanes on it. .)


The Sleeping Kingdom came about

because the king was afraid for his daughter.

If he heard a sound in the night he would rise

to see she was still in her bed

and not being kidnapped by pirates.

If she stood on a chair his hands would hover

like angels or prison guards.

To protect his beauty, he sealed the kingdom

with a hedge of roses that no one could penetrate

in or out.

The roses bloomed, the petals fell

and all that remained was a wall of thorns.

Over time, cut off from the world, the people

began to lose their taste for daylight

and the prick of a thorn would send them to sleep.

By the time his daughter pricked her finger

she barely knew she had fallen asleep

because everyone else already was

and none of them knew they were sleeping.

(Audience walks past the green cord, behind which are masked performers.)


The rapture will come and all the good people will be taken away and the four horsemen of the apocalypse . . . nah.

Someone will push the button and nuclear holocaust . . . nah.

The Mayan Calendar will come to an end in 2012. 50000 years of darkness over, then 50000 years of . . . nah.

The rainforests will all be cut down and we'll only have oxygen for 8 years . . . nah

I lost something.

You took it.

I lost something.

You took it.

I lost something.

You took it.

I lost something.

You took it.


i see you

do i look okay


i see you

do i look okay

No I love YOU more.

No I love YOU more

No I love YOU more

No I love YOU more

No YOU'RE full of shit.

No YOU'RE full of shit.

No YOU'RE full of shit.

No YOU'RE full of shit.

the sky is blue     beautiful

the sky is gray     sad

the sky is red     murderous

the sky is green     pregnant

the sky is yellow     sickly

the sky is orange     dawning

the sky is violet     distant

the sky is black     hidden

outside the wall there are monsters

outside the wall there is a wall of water

outside the wall is a desert

outside the wall is a garden

outside the wall there are meteors falling

outside the wall are bacteria

outside the wall are lightning bolts

the wall goes on forever

there is nothing outside the wall

when i touch you i'm a caterpillar

when i touch you i'm a starfish

when i touch you i'm a nutshell

when i touch you i'm a rosebriar

when i touch you i'm a stone

when i touch you i am water


In the Sleeping Kingdom

handsome princes tried to break out

by slashing the wall of thorns with their swords

But every thorn they destroyed

created two more

and the deeper the prince goes into the hedge

the more the thorns multiply and surround him

and pin him inside the wall forever


(A man in a suit wears a green cord with paper airplanes around his neck.  He reads some of the following:)




Draft--January 9, 2003

Section 503


The Attorney General does not have sufficient authority to bar an alien from the United States, or to remove an alien from the United States, on the basis of national security. . . .This provision would give the Attorney General sufficient authority to deny admission to the United States, or to remove from the United States, those individuals whom the Attorney General has reason to believe would pose a danger to the national security of the United State.

Furthermore, the Administration strongly urges the conferees to include the Real ID Act of 2005 in the final version of the bill. This important legislation will strengthen the ability of the United States to protect against terrorist entry into and activities within the United States. In particular, the legislation tightens procedures for non-citizen entry into the United States, facilitates the building of physical barriers where appropriate to protect U.S. borders, and facilitates the strengthening of State standards for the security and integrity of drivers' licenses .

Section 201


In certain instances, the release of information about persons detained in connection with terrorism investigations could have a substantial adverse impact on the United States' security interests, as well as the detainee's privacy. Publicizing the fact that a particular alien has been detained could alert his coconspirators about the extent of the federal investigation and the imminence of their own detention, thus provoking them to flee to avoid detention and prosecution or to accelerate their terrorist plans before they can be disrupted.

Although existing Freedom of Information Act permit the government to protect information relating to detainees, defending this interpretation through litigation requires extensive Department of Justice resources, which would be better spent detecting and incapacitate terrorists. This provision thus establishes a specific authority under Exemption 3 to clarify [that] the government need not disclose information about individuals detained in investigations of terrorism until disclosure occurs routinely upon the initiation of criminal charges.

Section 202


Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act requires private companies that use potentially dangerous chemicals to submit to the Environmental Protection Agency a "worst case scenario" report detailing what would be the impact on the surrounding community of release of the specified chemicals. Such reports are a roadmap for terrorists, who could use the information to plan attacks on the facilities.

This provision would revise section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act to better manage access to information contained in "worst case scenario" reports. . . .The revised section will require that public access be limited.

Section 501: Expatriation of Terrorists.


This provision would make clear that, just as an American can relinquish his citizenship by serving in a hostile foreign army, so can he relinquish his citizenship by serving in a hostile terrorist organization.  This provision also would make explicit that the intent to relinquish nationality need not be manifested in words, but can be inferred from conduct . . .

(While he speaks, a troupe of women all dresssed in red come up and perform a power dance around him.  The women dance a circle dance several times, then dance away and off.

The man looks after them.  Looks around. Looks at his papers. 

Crumples his papers, drops them.  Rips off the green cord, tosses it away.  Takes out a another paper, unfolds it.  Starts shouting the text as he exits opposite.)


We hold these truths to be self-evident!  That all people are created equal!  And endowed with certain inalienable rights!  Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!  And whenever a government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it!  Let facts be submitted to a candid world!  Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!


[serpent belly song - in Spanish?  English?]


(The Towers rise up, one on each end of the audience.)


On July 16 1945

the first atomic explosion

melted the desert sand into glass.

(A red sheet is snapped up into the air, settles to the ground and is spread as a mat.)


For one instant

before the human race was vaporized

we were able to see into the heart of the earth.


in my dream

my 85 year old mother

is squatting over a ditch

she's not used to it

but it's all we have

i'm trying to help her

by holding her arm

she keeps trying to tell me

It's alright dear

but she's in pain


in my dream

everyone has my face

i'm buried under piles of my own face

i claw at my faces trying to get out

but there's always more of my face

Noone notices I'm not there

because everyone has my face


I want to protect our children.

I want to protect everyone's children.

I want to protect my freedom.

I want rivers to stay alive.

I want the world I grew up in to be here for my children.

I don't want to lose my child.  I don't want my child to hate me.

I don't want my tiny spot to become tinier.

I want everything to stay the way it is.

I want everything to change.

Please stay.

Please go

I want what is true to still be true

(The Fear Carrier is led forward between the Earth Spirits.  The audienced is not allowed to follow.  The Earth Spirits lead the Fear Carrier some distance away from the audience.

As this happens, the red-masked performers step up one at a time and lay their objects on the ground in front of the Earth Spirits.  They also take off their red eyemasks and lay them down.)


and there will come a passage

o child of endless sky

when demons will surround you

do not fear them

recognize them     they are your own

they are images of your mind and your heart

they are images of your strength

savages will attack you

do not fear them

tyrants will threaten you

do not fear them

poisonous insects will infect you

do not fear them

they are only the body of your desires

if you fear them and run with fright

they will turn into devils and vampires and your flight

will become a battle that is never won

do not fear them     they are only your thoughts

you are empty     you are a form of emptiness

and your thoughts take on form in this emptiness

you will come toward death at the gate of darkness

death by the spear of the dark savage

death by the blinding light

death on the slaughterblock

do not fear it

it is only the face of your hatred for yourself

o learn it is yours

the revolving flame of death is only

the appearance to your body of the final pathway

which leads to the ocean of light

the crossing to fullness     o do not fear it

it is yours     it is the reward of your birth

if you stiffen with terror and turn your back

you will bring into being the death by spear

you will give teeth to the blinding light

and the body of death will overtake you

do not fear the demons your mind brings forth on the world

they are only the children of your heart

your love and your hate give them body

they are angels of your desires

they are you     recognize them    they are only yourself

they are you     o child of endless sky

o love them

they are you

(The Earth Spirits have led the Fear Carrier far away but not quite out of sight.  They surround the Fear Carrier, mostly blocking him from sight.  They will take away his red papers, sit him down, and perform a simple healing with smudge/smoke on him, but the audience will not necessarily see that.

Behind the audience, a gong is struck.)






(Several masked creatures -- demons? animal heads?  gods? -- have been sitting unobtrusively around the area.  They now begin to gather in front of the audience.)

(The several animal-head Earth Spirits have formed a line in front of the audience.

Guttural throat singing is heard.)


Repeat after me.

Repeat after me.

Repeat after me.

Repeat after me.

The earth dreams

of galaxies and footsteps.

Stars take shape

and draw closer

as universe follows universe.

The planet dreams

the collapse of space.

When all footsteps

have fallen silent

galaxies will walk the earth.



The towers are fallen, that stood so proud.

Dust and smoke spread wings to the sky

and everything's blotted out.

Troy is gone forever.

The tide of fate has twisted round

and we are drowned beneath it.

You Greeks, you masters of the world,

we were the world masters once.

Our power has passed, and yours will too.

Your sky-reaching towers will fall to the ground,

you will scrape in the dirt for your family's bones,

you will end up dirt yourselves.

You will live in fear of your world of slaves,

you will live in fear of their children,

and their children's children.

You have set the end of your world in motion.

It is already underway.  It's begun.

Oh your children themselves.  And their children.  And theirs.

I pity your children.  I pity them all.

Troy, country where I was born, live in my heart forever.

(Gong.   A sheet is unfurled that says



sleepwalking apocalypse


in my dream

i'm in a desert

and gravity is failing

To keep from flying out into space

i have to remember things from my past

Sometimes i remember things i love

sometimes its too painful

and i remember irrelevant things

to keep gravity working

and lift the earth to my feet again