a play in two acts

by Jillann Gabrielle

inspired by true events surrounding the assassination of JFK



THE SILLY LITTLE COMMUNIST:  After he finishes his tour of duty with the Marines, Lee Harvey Oswald  defects to the U.S.S.R.  JFK is blackmailed by J. Edgar Hoover into accepting LBJ as his running mate in the 1960 Presidential election.  After JFK wins the election, former President Harry Truman warns JFK about the growing menace of the CIA, which Truman, himself created.  JFK, his brother RFK, and the U.S. suffer through the Bay of Pigs disaster.  JFK fires Dulles, the head of the CIA blaming him for the debacle and warns him that he intends to shatter the organization into a thousand pieces.  JFK and RFK plot to unseat LBJ from the Vice Presidency.  Back in Russia, Oswald marries Marina.  He finds out, that because he defected, he was given a dishonorable discharge from the Marines.  He, Marina, and their new Baby June move back to the U.S., as Oswald seeks to reverse his dishonorable discharge.  They meet George and Jeanne de Mohrenschildt, Russian immigrants.  The Joint Chiefs of Staff try to convince JFK to use nuclear weapons during the Cuban Missile Crisis—he refuses.  He and Bobby cultivate a back channel of communication with Khrushchev, devise an appeasement, and save the world from nuclear destruction.  Oswald becomes incensed over his repeated refusals from government officials—namely Governor Connolly and General George Walker—regarding his repeated denials for reversing his dishonorable discharge.  He threatens to kill General Walker.  The de Mohrenschildts visit the Oswalds.  George tricks Oswald into revealing that he was the one who took a potshot at General Walker, says the he is a member of the CIA, and will not turn him in if Oswald performs a few ‘tasks’ for the CIA in return for some cash—which Oswald does.  JFK refuses to increase American troops in Vietnam, and says he plans to withdraw them all in the near future.  Oswald, has trouble holding a job, and his neighbor tells him about a job at the Texas School Book Depository.  November 21st, RFK and JFK speak about the scandal that they are ready to unleash about LBJ the next day.  Oswald enjoys watching an exotic dancer, and drinks with Jack Ruby at his Carousel Club in Dallas.  November 22nd, JFK is murdered on the streets of Dallas.  Oswald drinks a Coke and reads a newspaper in the break room.  Secret Service men, at gunpoint, take JFK’s body away from Parkland Hospital before an autopsy can be performed.  LBJ loses it and thinks there is a plot to get him.  He takes a shell shocked Jackie and stands her beside him as he is sworn in as President.   Oswald is arrested in the Texas Theatre in Dallas.  At the police station, Oswald says he is just a patsy.  Jack Ruby guns down Oswald at the Dallas police station.  Both Castro and Khrushchev hear about the double murder and are beside themselves with grief.


THE DINNER:  Four months after the assassination of President Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy’s mother, Janet—rattled by recurring nightmares of the event—receives a letter from the former Russian spy, George de Mohrenschildt, who claims to have known Lee Harvey Oswald and Janet’s daughter, Jackie, as a child. Her husband, Hugh, urges her to take it to the former CIA director, Dulles, (currently on the Warren Commission investigating the assassination) who is very interested in meeting the spy. She invites the spy, who expects to meet her daughter, Jackie, over for dinner and drinks to get information out of him. Dulles agrees to join them. Janet visits Jackie to try to get her to agree to come—she refuses. And in a contentious scene she tells Janet that she has had enough of the assassination. Nothing will bring Jack back. She needs to move on in her new lives with Bobby Kennedy and Onassis. George de Mohrenschildt and his wife, Jeanne, show up at Janet and Hugh’s residence in D.C. for ‘the dinner’ and drinks.  Dulles listens outside on headsets with FBI agents. George and Jeanne regale Janet and Hugh over drinks as George explains how he originally met little Jackie, as a child, and Janet on a flight to DC. Dulles ‘crashes’ the party, much to the chagrin of George. The five, then, during dinner get into a rather heated debate on who actually murdered Janet’s beloved son-in-law, JFK. George defends Oswald, revealing that Oswald admired Kennedy—despite Oswald’s far left leanings—and he was a terrible shot. Janet strongly suspects LBJ. George and Jeanne doubt the validity of the Warren Commission’s work and Hugh brings the historical perspective of Jack’s contentious relationship with CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dulles is forced to defend the CIA. George and Dulles eventually go mano a mano over the ‘no conspiracy, lone gunman theory’ versus ‘CIA involvement—using Oswald as the patsy theory’.  In the suspenseful conclusion, the real architects behind the assassination are revealed.  Harold Pinter meets Murder She Wrote.