About the Script

Documentary and Theatrical Versions of the Script

There are currently two major versions of Project Unspeakable’s play on the “unspeakable” forces behind the assassinations of the four leaders:

Documentary Script, currently titled Project Unspeakable

Written by Court Dorsey, with associate writers Debbie Lynangale and Stephen Wangh, this script is intended for participatory readings and discussions focused on the historical content. Composed largely of true quotes from historical figures, Project Unspeakable raises questions about the role of the national security apparatus of the U.S. government in each of these four assassinations. The purpose is not to present an airtight legal argument to prove that they were responsible any of the killings; rather, our purpose is to leave the audience with a compelling desire to find out what really happened and why, to reflect on the implications of what happened then for the problems and crises we face today, and to consider why it is that we, as individuals and a society, have become so tolerant of, so unwilling to look into or even speak about, “the Unspeakable.”

The script lends itself to an energetic presentation, including excerpts from the speeches and writings of the four slain leaders, witness testimony which has been covered up or explained away, ignored evidence, testimonials from trusted sources, and the political and spiritual elements that helped shape these leaders’ beliefs and actions.  The script seeks ways to sustain our inquiry with spirit, humor, and eye-opening content.

The Documentary Script is available in the original 120-minute version, along with 90-, 45- and 20-minute versions.  An annotated version of the original version is also available.  See Versions of the Script, Use of Scripts and Request a Script for details.

Theatrical Script, currently called The Play

Written by Court Dorsey, with Convergences Theatre Collective (CTC) and associate writers Stephen Wangh and Debbie Lynangale, this script is intended to incorporate Project Unspeakable’s historical context into a more dramatic storytelling form, with compelling narratives, fully developed characters and theatrical design elements. The Play is currently in draft form; Project Unspeakable is working with CTC to create a workshop production of the The Play. This script is generally not available to the public at this time; regional, university and professional theater companies are welcome to contact us with inquiries about creating workshop productions of the script.

 

Request a Script

To request a free copy of the Documentary Script, please complete the Contact Us form. In the Comment section of the form, be sure to indicate your specific request for a script: Full length (120 minutes), 90-, 45- and 20-minute versions, and/or full annotated version. Versions of the Scripts provides additional information on the potential uses and strengths of each version.

See Use of the Scripts below for details on permitted use of these scripts, and Organize a Reading for information on creating your own reading or performance.

Use of the Script

We want to share Project Unspeakable, and are actively seeking to have more readings and performances of the Documentary Script.  We will happily provide electronic copies of the Documentary Scripts to anyone who wants to read the script (see Request a Script). We ask that you not share the script with others outside of the group with whom you plan to do a reading or performance.

Electronic reading copies of Project Unspeakable will be provided without charge. If you prefer to not read this material in digital format and need physical copies of these Documentary Scripts, we can provide copies but will request that you make a donation to Project Unspeakable to cover printing and postage costs. We appreciate your donations to support continued development of the script.

If you decide to do a reading or performance, you must complete a Pre-Event Form and receive affirmative, written approval to use the Documentary Script for that purpose – this will be a fairly easy process, but we do want to be sure you and we agree on the parameters for such readings and performances.

Generally speaking, if a Pre-Event Form is submitted for readings and performances where there is no intent to create commercial profit, there will be no fee to perform the script.  However, we strongly encourage readers and organizers to collect donations and/or charge a small fee for tickets for public readings to support the continued work of Project Unspeakable.  If you do collect donations or ticket fees, you may generally use up to 50% to support your local non-profit organization (splitting post-expense revenues with Project Unspeakable).

Please note that readers and organizers may not modify or edit the play without previous written permission from Project Unspeakable.

Some recordings or photos of your group’s reading or performance are permitted, but prior written permission is required to broadcast performances or distribute recordings outside your immediate group of readers/performers.  There are guidelines for publicity, programs and playbills related to Project Unspeakable public readings and performances.  See your agreement or notification for additional details regarding these provisions. Please contact us with any questions related to use of the script or the provisions in agreements related to readings or performances.

The Theatrical Script (The Play) is not currently available for general use, and may not be performed or publicly read except with the express written permission of the playwright.

Versions of the Documentary Script

There are currently five versions of the Documentary Script:

Full-Length, 130-Minute Version:

The full-length version of the script introduces the four leaders and gives the richest background information regarding what it was they were saying and doing that made them such a threat to the U.S “national security” apparatus (i.e., the “why” of their assassinations) and the evidence that rebuts the “official stories” of the government’s investigations of these assassinations. As is true of all five script options, the text is comprised almost entirely of direct, documented quotes. When this version is read or performed at a good clip, this version runs about 75 minutes for Act 1, and 55 minutes for Act 2.  Therefore, the piece runs about 2.5 hours, including an intermission.  If there is to be even minimal discussion following, 3 hours (plus) is required.  Often, this is a lot for an evening, but fine for a weekend afternoon.  This version is also excellent for living room and classroom readings where the event can take place over two or three sessions, including discussion.

90-Minute Version:

The 90-minute version retains much of the richness and scope of the full-length version, but simplifies the evidence and background sections, “cutting to the chase”.  This version is suited to evening performances, where time limits and audience energy are factors, and post-performance discussion is important.  It is also excellent for living room or classroom readings that need to take place in a single evening.  The 90-minute version can be performed or read with or without intermission.

45-Minute Version:

The 45-minute version was designed for a conference presentation, where it needed to fit within a 75-minute workshop slot and include ample time for discussion.  It effectively introduces the four leaders and touches on the key themes presented in the longer versions.  It presents a kind of “headlines” version of the material.  This version can be used where panel discussions or other more formal discussions are a high priority, and where time is limited.

20-Minute Introductory Version:

This version was created to present as a short introduction to the Project at fund-raisers and other promotional events.  It introduces the four leaders and gives a snapshot of the key themes and evidence that the longer versions present more fully.  It can be used in situations where the presenters want to propose a more thorough engagement with the material at a later time, or where only a very short time is available.

Annotated Version:

This is a fully annotated version of the full length script that details where the playwright found the material, and assists the reader or audience member who wants to continue their own “experiment with truth” and consider the material more deeply.  This version is available on request from Project Unspeakable.

Playwright’s Notes

    “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.”

—President John F. Kennedy

The play, Project Unspeakable, is a vehicle for challenging the silence surrounding the “unspeakable” assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy. The scripts makes clear that these are not just stories that point to criminal actions on the part of “dark forces”.  Perhaps more importantly, they are inspiring accounts of human transformation, of human awakening, on the part of all four leaders—which was precisely what made them so “dangerous.”  Believing that transformation is possible, for us as well as our leaders, can be a welcome source of hopefulness that is often sorely lacking in these difficult times.

Even though polls have consistently revealed that a majority of Americans have always believed that elements of the U.S. Government were responsible for some or all of these assassinations, we fully anticipate that some people’s initial reaction may well be: “Why dig up these old pieces of history?  Okay, so the government was responsible.  What does that have to do with the problems we’re faced with today?  Isn’t this just a distraction?”  These and similar questions are deliberately raised, and addressed, as part of the Project script.

Thomas Merton wrote in 1965:

“One of the awful facts of our age is the evidence that [the world] is stricken indeed, stricken to the very core of its being by the presence of the Unspeakable…[that] too few are willing to see.”

The Project hopes not only to bring back into focus the inspiring legacies of these four men, but also to shed light on the role of today’s ever-more-powerful ‘National Security State’ as it relates to various lies and cover-ups that too few people are willing to challenge.  Ultimately, the goal of Project Unspeakable is to motivate people to demand and work for governmental and corporate openness, transparency, and democratic accountability, which we believe is a prerequisite for effectively addressing the multiple social, political, and environmental crises we currently face.