The story line is simple:
It is night, December 2, 1864.
Two soldiers of the Cvil War -- one Union and one Confederate -- are sentenced to be executed in the morning. To pass the time and to take their minds off the upcoming terror, they imagine “what other folks are doing around about tonight.” So they take turns making up stories of other people in different situations: a soldier standing guard, three women in a sewing circle waiting for mail, two reb soldiers about to murder their yankee captive, an industrial manufacturer selling a new form of weapon, a group of slaves planning a revolution, marauders killing civilians, and so forth. Think “The Arabian Nights,” “Under Milk Wood,” and “Spoon River Anthology.”
At the end, we see how the night has changed each of the two men.
The play is designed for a versatile ensemble of players to all play a variety of different roles, except for the two actors playing the prisoners. Individual roles may be cast gender- and racial-blind. The evening must be very theatrical.
As it stands now, there are ten vignettes in each act.
7 men and 5 women should work.
Thematically, the play is intended as a commentary on war and our nation’s preoccupation with it. Every event in the past is both based on some historical evidence and echoed somehow in today’s news. Thus the play deals with PTSD, women in the military, conspiracy theories, terrorism, machines of mass destruction, imperialism, genocide and so forth. Some of the scenes are serious parallels, others are ironic or satiric commentaries.