"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages."
— William Shakespeare: As You Like It, 1599
Bernard McCall is a brilliant scientist in the field of artificial intelligence; now retired.
Bernard was responsible for the development of the ground breaking—but subsequently disastrous—Augmented Intelligence Plus© technology, in collaboration with Ken Abercrombie and Abercrombie Industries, in the late '90s.
Bernard is a bookworm: intellectual, withdrawn, and socially awkward. Bernard is, however, not unfriendly; he just prefers to be alone with a book than to be with other people.
Bernard now owns and runs a small second-hand bookstore on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Bernard's Bookstore is the gathering place and local hangout for the extended McCall family.
[Bernard's Enneagram fixation is self-preservation 5]
Ken Abercrombie is the CEO of Abercrombie Industries, AI, the world's leading artificial intelligence, robotics, and nanotechnology company. He is extremely successful, and exceedingly wealthy.
Ken is tall, athletic, boyishly handsome, and extraordinarily charismatic. He was elected to Congress in 2014, and is currently serving his second term as a member—and now the majority leader—of the House of Representatives.
Ken has just been awarded the Partisan Party nomination for the 2020 US presidential elections, and he is deeply engrossed in the campaign; it's July, and he has a commanding lead in the polls.
Ken has a penchant for being dominated by older women, and he has become addicted to the sexual excitement that this arouses in him.
[Ken's Enneagram fixation is social 3]
Mrs Lola Chu is Bernard's upstairs neighbour. She is also his landlord, his housekeeper, and his best friend.
Mrs Chu runs a successful cleaning business, called Perfect Clean, which has franchises in all five boroughs of New Eden, as well as Jersey Shores and Atlantic City.
Lola Chu is a tough, no-nonsense, second generation Chinese American woman who possesses a wicked, cynical sense of humour. She is deeply interested in all things political, and, as an enthusiastic activist, she is often involved in lobbying for various political and environmental issues. Her chief passion, however, is saving the planet—and the human race—from destruction through global warming. Lola ran for elected office once, but a fabricated scandal resulted in a humiliating defeat which deflated Mrs Chu's passion for politics for many years.
Lola Chu is interested in Buddhism, Kabbalah, Sufism, and Non-Duality. She also hosts weekly video Satsang* meetings in Bernard’s Bookstore.
[Mrs Chu's Enneagram fixation is social 1]
Faye Abercrombie is Ken's wife, and the powerhouse behind his successful business and political careers. She is extremely capable, kind, and caring. Faye is also a Yale law graduate. If she had a secret superpower it would be the ability to spin gold from straw.
Faye is shorter than the average American woman, but she is classically pretty, as well as being extremely chic and stylish: Chanel suits, twin-sets, court shoes, pearls, etc. She is the devoted mother of twins, Alex and Eve, who are now in their early 20s.
Faye regularly hosts charity fundraisers, and, as potential future First Lady, she has just started up her own cause: Let's All Get Along (LAGA), aimed at achieving universal world peace through promoting smiling, and hugging more often.
The Abercrombie residence is one of the penthouses of a distinctive art deco building on Central Park West. Faye runs the household like an expensive watch: precise, efficient, and reliable.
[Faye's Enneagram fixation is self-preservation 2]
At birth, our protagonist—Angelo Washington Williams—was pronounced to be a boy. The doctor responsible for this decision knew nothing of intersex; the year, 1964.
Growing up Angelo always knew that he wasn't like other boys, but it wasn't until puberty hit that the full truth of the situation was revealed: Angelo was both a boy and a girl; both male and female . . . a true hermaphrodite.
Angelo named zir female side Angel, began living part of zir life as a woman, and when ze was old enough moved from the Bronx to Manhattan to start zir new life.
By day, Dr Angelo Williams is a successful neurosurgeon based in New Jersey. He is competent, kind, compassionate, and extremely well respected within his profession.
By night, Angel is the star of the The Garden Cabaret. Here she is vivacious, full of joie-de-vivre, and much loved by everyone.
Angelo is a fit, handsome, muscular, but also shy and introverted, 'man.' Angel is a voluptuous, full-figured, sexy, confident 'woman. '
Angel O—as ze now calls zir integrated self—is great friends with Bernard and Adam McCall, and Mrs Lola and William Chu. Ze lived on the third floor of the Lower East Side apartment building they all shared for almost 20 years, and Angel O helped raise Adam who treats zir as one of his parents. Angel O now lives just a few blocks uptown in the East Village.
[Angel O's Enneagram fixation is sexual 4]
After this awakening of the soul, attention may be turned away from the outside world—and the accumulation of more things and more experiences—to looking inside oneself for happiness and fulfilment. Here an ever-deepening examination of the present-moment experience of the individual can begin to take place. This is called self-inquiry, and it is the way Home.
Adam McCall is Bernard's son. He is unaware of his mother's true identity, mistakenly believing that she died in childbirth.
Adam is muscular, strong, and handsome; he spends a lot of time at the gym. Adam thinks he is charming, but in actuality he is more goofy than charming.
He is currently working as a back-up dancer alongside Angel at The Garden Cabaret (TGC, as it's known to its inner circle).
Adam would also like to think that he is motivated by idealistic goals of making the world a better, healthier, and safer place—his hero is Captain America—but he is a little too lazy and self-absorbed to actually achieve anything useful, and he is frequently paralysed by doubt whenever he has to make a decision about anything.
Adam is addicted to pornography, sex, bodybuilding, adrenaline rushes, and his own reflection. He is also a nudist.
[Adam, clearly, has a sexual 6 fixation]
Eve Abercrombie is currently living at home with her parents, Ken and Faye, after dropping out of college two years ago following a suicide attempt.
Eve is melancholy and lost. She is addicted to tranquillisers and shopping. One of the precursors to Eve's suicide attempt was being suddenly and unceremoniously dumped by her college boyfriend of three years, who announced he was to marry his childhood sweetheart.
Eve has just started working part-time as a hostess at The Dark Side (TDS) — the BDSM cabaret owned and run by Ken Abercrombie's mistress, Lobida— where Yantra, Eve's former nanny and best friend, is the manager.
Eve is a singer, dancer, and actress, but she is shy, lacks confidence, and doesn't believe she has any talent. Yantra is encouraging Eve to start performing at TDS to try and boost her self-esteem. Ken is supportive of the plan, but Faye—who is bitter about Ken's ongoing relationship with Lobida—is vehemently opposed to it.
[Eve's Enneagram fixation is sexual 4]
William Chu is Mrs Chu's only child. He is a restless soul who is often away from home traveling around the country, and around the globe, seeking fun and adventure.
William is eternally optimistic and a natural entertainer; he is a part-time stand-up comic. His other passions are snowboarding, abseiling, surfing, and all extreme sports.
At present William is working with Angel and Adam at TGC for a few months until he has enough money to travel to Australia where he aims to work with a shark cage-diving company.
William is a cheeky young Asian man of medium height and slim build, and he has long, jet-black hair that he wears in a ponytail. William and Adam grew up together from the time they were very young, and they were inseparable as children. They are still the best of friends.
[William's Enneagram fixation is social 7]
Yantra Srinavasan was born in New Jersey in 1969. She narrowly escaped being killed in a car accident on her 21st birthday whilst deeply inebriated. Thanks to AA she has been sober ever since.
Yantra was employed by the Abercrombie's as Eve and Alex's live-in nanny from their birth until when they were in their early teens. She is Eve's best friend in the world, and her confidante.
Yantra is warm and nurturing, a natural mother. She is naturally funny, but she can also be extremely lazy and stubborn, and has a fierce temper when provoked.
Yantra is now the chief hostess and manager of TDS. She is also Lobida's secret lesbian lover; they have recently started living together in a small, but sumptuous, apartment in Harlem.
Yantra is a curvy, sexy, Rubenesque woman; her father was South Asian, her mother African-American.
[Yantra's Enneagram fixation is sexual 9]
Zoe Parker, THE GARDEN's antagonist, loudly rejected her stiflingly rich family and their privileged lifestyle from the youngest age. As soon as she was legally allowed to, Zoe left Boston and her family, and moved to New Eden to start her career as an actress.
After an embarrassing public scandal erupted in New Eden, Zoe moved to Los Angeles and changed her name to Lucinda. She became a celebrated Hollywood actress during the '90s and '00s, winning an Academy Award for a much-lauded role portraying Benazir Bhutto in 2007.
After winning her Oscar, Lucinda quit the movies and moved back to New Eden to pursue her other life's calling of becoming a dominatrix. Here she changed her name for a second time, this time to Lobida; a nod to her dark side.
In 2008 Lobida met Ken Abercrombie, and soon afterwards he made her his exclusive mistress. The main condition of the contract that was signed at this time was that Lobida be given the title and deed to premises where she could indulge two of her life's passions—BDSM, and cabaret. The Dark Side opened on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in 2009, and is hugely successful; repressed sin and debauchery apparently rife in this prosperous neighbourhood.
Genetically Lobida is pure Mayflour, but deep in her soul she is pure Latino. She is strong-willed, loud, larger than life, and has commanding presence. Lobida also has an insatiable appetite for life's sensual pleasures, and a palpable dark side.
[Zoe/Lucinda/Lobida's Enneagram fixation is most definitely sexual 8]
Amir Wahim is a graduate student of Political Science at NEU. He was born in Paris of Syrian parents—academic professors of architecture (mother) and philosophy (father)—who had fled their home country in search of a better life.
Amir is smart, kind, and helpful, but also extremely nervous. His passions are poetry and politics, and he is a practising Muslim.
Amir works part-time at Bernard's Bookstore; he lives in the small studio that is at the back of the store, behind the stacks of books. He has quickly become great friends with Bernard, Adam, William, Angel O, and particularly Mrs Chu—he loves her political opinions and passion.
Amir attends the weekly video Satsang meetings, along with Mrs Chu, Angel O, and Bernard. Amir and Alex Abercrombie met at NEU, and they are lovers.
[Amir's Enneagram fixation is self-preservation 6]
Alex Abercrombie is Eve's twin brother. He bears an uncanny physical resemblance to Eve: slim, athletic, light brown curly hair, average height, cute face, glasses.
Unlike his sister, however, Alex is outgoing, friendly, and confident. He is also very hardworking and ambitious.
Alex is gay, and he is currently working as a back-up dancer at TGC while he puts himself through medical school at NEU. His relationship with his father is strained as Ken had wanted Alex to publicly deny his relationship with Amir in order to keep the family image untarnished for the upcoming presidential elections. Alex leaked the truth quietly to the left-wing press and caused a minor scandal.
Alex now lives in a small apartment near the corner of Bleecker Street and Broadway, NOHO.
[Alex's Enneagram fixation is self-preservation 3]
A non-speaking role, the beggar can be played by either a male or a female of any age, and any race. He/she appears repeatedly throughout the play, often in the background of the action, and is usually ignored by the other characters.
Throughout the play the beggar may give various characters pieces of paper with short phrases written on them that may catalyse or clarify the action.
The beggar represents the awakened, self-realized mind . . .
"When you know who the characters are and what they want, when you root hard for them all night . . . you are set up to have the greatest creators reach right past your intellectual faculties at the last minute and press down hard on that joy buzzer that lurks in the back part of your brain. When they do, your spirit levitates, just like Peter Pan heading out the window to Neverland."
—Jack Viertel: The Secret Life of the American Musical, 2016
* Satsang - means association with Truth. It refers to a gathering of Truth seekers.