By Dan Evans• Genesis 4:1–15
Late evening. SPACESHIP opens to a 1950s styled restaurant booth sitting in the center of the stage. PAUL, early 30s, sits alone on the right side of the booth drinking from a mug. GREGORY, late 20s, enters. Gregory begins hurriedly walking towards the booth. Paul gets up from the booth.
In light of Genesis 4:1-15, Dan Evans’s one-act explores relationships after the death of a sibling.
Note: This play contains strong language and implications of violence and may not be suitable for all audiences.
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1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD . 2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD . 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. 8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
9 ¶ And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? 10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. 11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; 12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
13 And Cain said unto the LORD , My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. 15 And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
Inspired by the characters and familial relationships in the Genesis 4:1-15 story of Cain and Abel, I wrote Spaceship wanting to explore creatively the spiritual and emotional relationship between two brothers after one has passed away. I lost my own brother in an accident like the character Paul fourteen years ago. Even though my brother passed away in completely different circumstances, I tried imagining in this work what a conversation would maybe look and sound like if a surviving brother were to hypothetically be given the chance to sit down in a diner booth with his deceased brother and just talk (especially if that conversation only lasted for several minutes.) Would the reunion be angry? Joyful? Sad? How do we as human beings process death and the responsibility of it? Especially when it seems to make no sense and happens to those closest to us? These are the questions I hope my audience asks when they read or watch a performance of Spaceship.
Dan Evans is a playwright and writer living in Brooklyn, NY. He recently graduated from The King’s College in New York City with a B.A. in Media, Culture, and the Arts. There he studied under playwright Chris Cragin Day and presented his senior thesis and play LUNGS (working title) in a reading directed by Christopher Domig. Dan’s other writing has been featured online on Thought Catalog, GLAAD, V magazine, and Vman magazine.