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Goddess of Cancer – Scene 5

Excerpt from Goddess of Cancer and Other Plays by Gabriel Constans.

Goddess of Cancer – Scene 5


GODDESS: Multi-cultural woman of no particular age. Face painted a variety of flesh tones. Hair a mixture of blond, brown, red, black and gray. Long rainbow-colored robe. Changes persona frequently.

VICKI: Asian-American woman in her twenties. Casual dress. Animated. Angry. Anxious. Scared.

WENDY: European-American woman in her thirties. Conservative dress. Quiet. Shy. Fearful.

JENNIFER: African-American woman in her forties. Business suit (beeper). Intellectual. In control. Avoids emotion.

LENNIE: Mexican-American woman in her fifties. Flowing skirt, flowery blouse. Insightful. Compassionate.

BARBARA: Arab-American woman in her sixties. Gray skirt and sweater (wearing a cross). Strong. Survivor. Dogmatic. Angry. Tired.

CHANTALL: Jewish-American woman in her seventies. Slacks and blouse (gray wig, in wheelchair). Humerous. Matter of fact. Sarcastic. Worried.


Living room. White couch center stage facing audience. White chair next to couch, stage left and black coffee table in front of couch. Large green plant on floor between couch and chair. Flowers in a vase on table. White door stage left. Three large pictures with red frames on wall behind couch. One picture is of the Grim Reaper, one is of an angel and the other an hourglass. Black bar facing audience stage right, with potted plant on its corner. A light switch is on the wall by the bar. Closed cupboard behind bar is full of cigarettes.

A slide-projector (with a color slide of each actor’s face shown at beginning of each scene) is placed on one end of the bar for the Goddess to operate or in front of the stage and controlled by a stage member.

Time: Afternoon or early evening. Present.



(Barbara’s photo appears on screen/wall.)

GODDESS: Barbara. Sixty. Housewife. Mother of five children, six grandchildren. Married to Yusef. Abdominal cancer and surgery two years ago. In remission? (Act’s surprised.) Oh well, better luck next time.

(Goddess turns off projector and lights on. She goes to the bar, pours a glass of red wine and places it on the coffee table. There is a knock at the door. She goes over and opens door. Barbara enters.)

GODDESS: Barbara, what a pleasant surprise. Come in.

(Goddess offers her hand in greeting.)

BARBARA: (Glares at Goddess. Doesn’t lift her hand to shake back.) Nothing pleasant about it!

GODDESS: Of course not. You’re right. Sit down.

(Goddess and Barbara both go to couch and sit at opposite ends.)

GODDESS: (Offers glass.) Like some wine?

BARBARA: (Looking offended.) I don’t drink!

GODDESS: I’m sorry. Are you alcoholic?

BARBARA: Of course not! It’s religious.

GODDESS: Are you a Muslim?

BARBARA: No. Catholic. My family is originally from Lebanon.

GODDESS: So, you are a Lebanese Catholic?

BARBARA: No. I am an American Catholic! Yusef and I immigrated with the children in the seventies. Our faith in God sustained us.

GODDESS: Life has been hard?

(Goddess moves a little closer.)

BARBARA: Nobody said it would be easy. We’ve sent three of our five children to college. Of course, they don’t appreciate the sacrifice and suffering it took.

GODDESS: You’ve given a lot. What did you get?

BARBARA: Just knowing I gave everything I had is enough reward. (Pause) There’s a better place I’m going to.

GODDESS: I hope I can help. After all, if you are so miserable, what is the point of sticking around?

BARBARA: I didn’t say I was miserable. I’ve got grown children and grandchildren. I’m very proud of them. I just pray they don’t get taken in by life’s temptations.

GODDESS: Has that happened before?

BARBARA: (Pause) My middle son, Daud, was disrespectful to his father once. (She looks away sadly.) He moved in with a girl then had the nerve to say it was none of our business. His own parents! (Pause) His father said he would never talk to him again. (Pause) That was four years ago. They have a child we’ve never even seen.

GODDESS: Don’t you miss him?

(Goddess moves closer.)

BARBARA: Every day. (Pause) I try not to think about it. (Pause) When I had surgery a few years ago . . .

GODDESS: (Overlapping) I remember. One minute I was there, the next I wasn’t.

BARBARA: I missed him so. I thought, ‘What if I die and never see him again?’ I begged Yusef to call him. He refused. He misses him too, but he says he’d rather die than give in.

GODDESS: Would you?


GODDESS: Die before making amends with your son?

BARBARA: No! But it’s not up to me. His father…

GODDESS: (Overlapping) You’re going to let your husband’s pride come between you and your son?!

BARBARA: No! I mean, yes! He’s the head of the household. If I disobeyed him he’d disown me.

GODDESS: How can he disown you? You’re not a piece of furniture.

BARBARA: You don’t understand. It’s God’s will.

GODDESS: Ah, but I do understand. If you start to question your beliefs now you may discover that you have been subjected to an archaic system of servitude designed by men, for men, under the guise of religion and morality.


(Barbara stands and points at Goddess as she heads towards the door.)

BARBARA: (Continued) You’re evil! Only the devil would say such things.

GODDESS: (Stands and walks towards Barbara.) To you I’m the devil, to others I’m a nightmare, but I told you the truth.

BARBARA: Stay away!

GODDESS: I can’t help it. I want you. I want your mind, your heart, your soul. Anything I can get my hands on!

(The Goddess lunges towards Barbara. Barbara screams and runs out the door.)

GODDESS: Of well. She’s just as good as dead anyway. Her husband’s seen to that.

(Goddess goes and turns off light.)

Goddess of Cancer Continued – Tomorrow Scene 6

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