The Castle Gates | Griselda Steiner | Scene4 Magazine | September 2016 |


Griselda Steiner

THE CASTLE GATES is a light comedy with satiric overtones that fictionalizes the glitz of Donald Trump’s divorce from Ivana and the Leona Helmsley scandals that rocked the tabloids in the 1990s. In the play Ivana Trump is Ivana Thump and Leona Helmsley is Leona Herman. They buy the Plaza Hotel, NYC from The Donald and turn it into a Goddess temple called The Castle. ATHENA IN DRAG is an outrageous drag queen who is Leona’s alter ego and acts as the narrator making mischief throughout the play.

      The Castle Gates - Dawn
      AT RISE:  
      The Castle Gates span the stage.
      Dawn lights the Castle Gates and the hotel floodlights dim. ATHENA IN DRAG enters the city sidewalk stage front glamorously dressed as a big girl carrying a black patent leather shoulder bag and holding tabloids. He walks past the Castle Gates, the gate in front of the Castle Hotel they adorned with reliefs of worldwide Goddesses. He takes his pet green snake MEDUSA out of his pocketbook.


ATHENA IN DRAG (as snake)


ATHENA IN DRAG (as himself)

Hissss. Hello big boy, where have you been all my life? You slay me. What big eyes you have.

ATHENA IN DRAG (as snake)

The better to see you with my dear.

 ATHENA IN DRAG (as himself)

Suck it to me. What a long tongue you have.

ATHENA IN DRAG (as snake)

The better to bite you with my dear.

ATHENA IN DRAG (as himself)

Ouch, rattle in my cage. Behave yourself, you amphibious reptile.
I’m performing.

    (He puts the snake around his neck)

“The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King.”

Yes, girls, the patriarchal structure is having its boom boom, that's male men-o-pause - it happens every 2,000 years.  Now in the 90s it’s got pot-bellied wars, receding forests, melting icecaps, shaky continental plates and a depleted ozone count.  Plus typhoons, cyclones, earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanoes, hurricanes, sinkholes, droughts, tsunamis, flaming meteorites, wild fires and plagues of all sorts. Viagra just makes it worse.

    (He points to the gates)

These gates are for Us! The Castle Gates that guard the former Plaza Hotel that Ivana and Leona bought from the now bankrupt Donald Thump and turned into a Goddess Temple. Our Great Goddesses are enshrined here. This Gate is a symbol of our entrance into the "New World" and its up to us to make it a better place. How many of you here agree?

Shhhh - it's morning and we don't want to wake our heroines up too early.  Leona and

Ivana and Leona are facing their darkest hours and need their beauty rest.

Those two rich bitches are part of the elite Nouveau Riche. You know what that means. They've made their millions in the past l0 years and lost almost all of it in the last three, with just enough left to keep up appearances, and. . .

    (He looks at a tabloid cover)

Well, they’ll really wake up when the see these headlines.


“Thump Divorce – Ivana’s Fortunes – Trash or Cash” – “Marla Pines Donald’s Prenup” - On her husband’s two-timing Ivana says, “Don’t get Mad – Get Everything”.

Oh, poor Leona.

"Gotham's Queen of the Mean - Crowned Criminal" - "Leona’s Millions - Will They Buy Her Out Now”

Out Now?"- "Leona Herman - The World Famous Hotelier Faces Charges of Tax Evasion."

 “Judge Blackburn Seeks Revenge – Will Athena's Shield Protect Her Now?" Why did you do this to her? If they only knew her soft spots. Priests defile children – presidents start immoral wars – the Fed prints phony money - but they want to punish her for a few little white lies.

Of course, she asked me to take the rap for her. I just hate dreary courtrooms. I’ll just have to dig out my best Dior pants suit for all the photo ops.

Well, today's a special day. It's my last day on earth. By the time the play ends Leona will want to get rid of me and go straight. Her Goddess therapist convinced her that she has her own special male powers and doesn’t need me.

Don't cry yet. I'm not whole. I'm an animus. That’s a Jungian term. I'm the masculine side of Leona. Every woman has one that gives her strength – courage –logic – magnetism. She named me after the Greek Goddess of Wisdom. I've given her a new twist. I'm Athena In Drag. Such a pity. I've got everything she has plus. I've got it and it feels so good.

When she asks me to leave I’ll remind her how I saw her through the maze of greedy profiteering New York City real estate markets - the sleaze ball patriarchal system that devalues women. I did her wheeling and dealing. I even dug up the dirt on her husband Harry – that he was biiii. She used this to leverage a takeover of his holdings. What an ungrateful bag.

If I had any brains I’d leave her now and work for a worthy cause - like animal welfare.

    (He kisses his snake)

But why give up the perks, the room service, le chauffeur . . .

    (His cell phone rings)

Oh my Goddess, it's for me. It's Queen Leona.

    (He listens and holds his hand on the mouthpiece
    while talking to the audience)

Leona and Ivana are fighting over the floral centerpiece for the Gala Opening tonight. They're going to be coronated the Castle's queenz. Queen Leona wants red roses and Queen Ivana wants white.

    (He talks on the phone)

Yes, Leona . I'll send Ivana’s white centerpiece back. I agree that your choice of red is more regal.

    (He looks at his cell phone again in shock)

Oh no… I pushed my future App.

Ducky – I mean the Donald is running for president – like on reality TV – never in my wildest dreams. Poor Ivana will miss her chance to be First Lady and outdo Jackie. Well if I came back to earth he could make me Secretary of Trans – portaton

    (He pauses looking at the phone)

On no! He’s gone rogue. . . rogue. . . rogue . . .

    (He kisses his snake)

Oooooooooouh – take me baby.

Oh, I must run off and find le chauffeur and go for my last cruise in the company limo.

If you want to know what happens on this fateful day, you’ll have to see the whole play and to do that you’ll have to produce it.

Remember I’m in most of the scenes.

Toota Loo.

    (ATHENA IN DRAG exits.)

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Griselda Steiner is a poet, dramatist and a freelance writer and Senior Writer for Scene4.
Visit her website
For more of her poetry and articles, check the Archives.

©2016 Griselda Steiner
©2016 Publication Scene4 Magazine




Volume 17 Issue 4

September 2016

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