The Royal Society by Michael Wayne
Several impoverished men, from time to time homeless, get together at a local church every Friday night for an Out-of-the-Cold-style dinner where they debate the meaning of life. One proclaims that it can be found in Scripture, another in poetry and drugs, a third in numbers and nature. There is also a Black man who, in the words, of the nurse practitioner, “seems to have a copy of Wikipedia in his head.” He has counter arguments to every claim made by the others at the table. The central character is a man who suffers from bipolar disorder and has spent his adult life trying to write the song that will capture his take on the meaning of life. There is a volunteer at the church dinners, a Ph.D. student writing his dissertation on the poor during the Middle Ages. There are also three female characters: the nurse practitioner who runs the church program; a psychiatrist; and a young woman who was taken away from her Anishinaabe mother within days of her birth and adopted by a white family.
Keywords: meaning of life, poverty, homelessness, mental illness, songs, Scripture, poetry, numbers,
Genre: Drama with music