PURITANICAL!

Book & lyrics: Noelle Donfeld Music: Brian Leader

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William Halsall

Prejudice is in the eye of the beholder in this farce about the challenges facing lovers in a mixed marriage (one living and one undead).

Goody Mercer’s husband has died of cholera, and his body is rotting in her living room, as the Church of England has forbidden the burial of Puritans in its churchyard.  To escape such prejudice, Father Emden convinces Goody and her devoted son Degory to accompany other Puritans to the New World on the Mayflower.  Degory wants Emily, whom he loves, to go with them, but Goody, while lambasting Episcopal prejudice, forbids it as Emily is a “Mennonite”.  Goody then leaves poisoned food for her neighbors.

Degory learns to his relief that Emily is a not a Mennonite, although she is a vampire, and he is determined that she still go with him.    However, for Emily to cross the ocean, she needs to be in a coffin with a bit of  land from the vampires’ ancestral homeland.  The lovers conspire to fake Emily’s death and hide her in a coffin on the ship with dirt they plan to steal from Emily’s jealous “maker”, Damien.  The night before reaching land, Goody discovers Emily in her husband’s coffin, and Degory pleads with Emily to turn him into a vampire, as well, as he fears his mother will kill her.

Facing their new life in the new world, the vampire lovers have to find a way to keep Father Emden from warning his parishioners about vampires in their midst and to get some relief from the ever-carping Goody.  There is also the matter of jealous Damien, whom Emily has rejected for a century and who has followed them to the new world in another coffin.   Emily and Degory determine that convincing Father Emden to marry Goody would keep him silent, as Goody would do anything to protect her son.   However, Damien “changes” Emden.   When Goody, at last, meets Damien, all thoughts of prejudice vanish, as she offers him her neck, while the others vainly warn him not to bite.

LIST OF CHARACTERS:

DEGORY MERCER – a young, naive Puritan man

EMILY – a beautiful 16-year old (plus a century)  vampire

GOODY MERCER – Degory’s bigoted, carping mother

FATHER EMDEN – a passive Puritan pastor

DAMIAN – a besotted and jealous vampire