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One Act Plays – Supper with the Pope

(one-act, 4 actors, minimal set and props)

Columbus has returned, claiming he has discovered a new route to the Far East. If so, this could break the monopoly Islam has on trade with China. At the Vatican Pope Alexander VI (Roderigo Borgia) sups with his son Cesare and their prisoner, the Sultan Djim.

Pope Alexander

I should grant you permission to tour Italy, you would not find us bankrupt. God has seen fit to glorify man in our time. Never before has art reflected back so vividly the beauty of God’s work in us…

Sultan Djim

I would like to see this. I’ll be available as soon as you will grant me a cortege.

Cesare

(Amused) Isn’t the artistic representation of man forbidden in your faith?

Sultan Djim

For the lesson I might learn, I would expose myself to your art. (Playfully) It’s a risk I will gladly take.

Cesare

It’s a risk I won’t take. “Assassins have murdered the sultan” would at once become “Cesare has murdered the sultan.” My enemies don’t care for a notice so long as they can add another name to my list of victims.

Sultan Djim

I have complete faith that you can protect me o the streets.

Cesare

You live in an imagined land where the birds bring you good news. In Rome, those who go in the streets wear chain mail shirts. You fear poisoned food. I merely expect it. Don’t hand yourself to me wrapped up in pretty dreams, I’ll drop the parcel…

Pope Alexander

Cesare, don’t be rude to our guest tonight. When he hears our news he’ll have cause to be mad enough.