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Scene Exploder: Heroes of the Fourth Turning

 

Watch a scene from Heroes of the Fourth Turning above and follow along with the script below. Click on any word or words highlighted in yellow to read annotations from Playwrights Horizons staff. Comment, upvote, or add your own annotations by creating a Genius account.

 

KEVIN
Can I ask — what is the system

EMILY
Men.

TERESA
It’s the culture. It’s the education. It’s literally everything you see on TV.

KEVIN
Like what? The news?

TERESA
99% of it. Mainstream media. And all the shows. All the movies.

KEVIN
But you watch TV you love all the shows

JUSTIN
They’re

TERESA
What shows?

KEVIN
Don’t you love, like… Portlandia. Bojack Horseman.

TERESA
I watch the shows they’re entertaining but the shows do not determine my lifestyle.

EMILY
I love those shows.

JUSTIN
They’re

EMILY
“Put a bird on it.” Haha.

TERESA
Entertainment is inherently Dionysian, and that’s a good thing in moderation. But it’s become our national gospel.

JUSTIN
They’re

KEVIN
Our president is an entertainer

TERESA
Do you want to talk about that? I could talk about that.

JUSTIN
It’s

KEVIN
Plato predicted Trump

EMILY
No Trump please no Trump

KEVIN
Trump is Plato’s “shadow-bleached rich man hung with superfluous fat, sitting in helpless confusion—”

JUSTIN
It’s

TERESA
Trump is a Golem molded from the clay of mass media and he’s come to save us all.

KEVIN
Damn

TERESA
And even if he himself is confused, he has the ability to spit out digestible soundbites rooted in decades of the work of the most brilliant conservative think tanks in the country.

JUSTIN
It’s

EMILY
He’s a gaseous barfbag and I pray for his soul
Okay y’all
Now Justin
You were gonna say something

JUSTIN
Oh nothing, the moment has passed

EMILY
No what J
What

JUSTIN
Are you okay
Is this all stressing you out

EMILY
No I’m okay
I just want everyone to love each other

TERESA
We love each other we love each other.

EMILY
I love you all so much I want to cry
Really, really
Everything is going to be okay and I love you all I love you, I love you, I love you, I really do

KEVIN
We love you too, Emily

TERESA
We love you so much.

EMILY
Really?

TERESA
I mean… yeah.

EMILY
Okay, because you’re fierce. It’s great. I love you.
Justin what did you want to say?

JUSTIN
I wanted to say something about the liberal…
The nice young liberal people. And the system.

TERESA
Okay what.

JUSTIN
So these nice young liberal people are blinded by a system that distracts them from true moral questions and re-focuses their attention onto fashionable and facile questions of identity and choice, which gender do you want to be today?, how much sex can you have today?, how many babies do you want? and how do you want them to look?, which is really all part of a larger ideological system that is rooted in an evil, early 20th-century quote unquote progressive trend towards quote unquote perfection, eugenics, and crypto-racism, endorsed by Margaret Sanger, an American eugenics system which persists, which wants to eliminate anything unclean or imperfect, including black babies and Down syndrome babies, and create a sterilized world based around state-mandated pleasure and narcissism. These are just facts, look it up y’all.

I can honestly say that, having lived in that world, and being a 38 year-old nomad, I can guarantee that 99% of them are willing to just be led blindly into the cave, hooked up to a heroin drip of self-satisfied digital activism and committing vile acts of self-gratification because they’re told that it’s important to “experience” life, when actually they’re numbing themselves to the possibility of real sacrifice or any chance of an ethical life, rooted in the grit and toil of suffering in the name of Christ.

And: there are more of them. We lost the popular vote, by a lot. Despite the indulgences afforded us by our wealthy backers and our electoral loopholes, we lack a unified youth movement. And they have that. And they’re mobilizing. In many ways, they are in power. And they’re trying to wipe us out. They’re wishing for our death. And the only way to survive is to block them out, to focus on the Lord. Try to outlive them. Bake bread, make wine, work the earth, shelter wanderers, and survive.

TERESA
You talk like they’re In Power. But they’re not in power. We are.

JUSTIN
Maybe for now—

TERESA
No, and there are more of us, too. There are. We just aren’t as loud, and we don’t have control of the media. And we need to come together to fight, not to bake bread. It’s honestly
baffling to me that someone as strong as you would already be giving up the fight when it’s barely begun—

KEVIN
Teresa Teresa

TERESA
What

KEVIN
I don’t feel like a hero