Paradise Lost

Written by:

Erin Shields

Cast Size:
12

Roles For:

  • Indigenous Peoples: 12
  • LGBTQ+: 7
  • Men: 6
  • People of Colour: 12
  • People with Disabilities: 12
  • Women: 6

Genre:

Comedy
Drama

Themes:

Feminism
Religion
Revenge

Length:

140 min.

Year Written:

2018

Synopsis:

The seventeenth century and present day are seamlessly intertwined as Satan vents to an audience about her frustration at being cast out of Heaven and her thoughts on oppression. When she finds out that God has created delicate new creatures called “humans,” she crafts a plan for revenge and betrayal on the Almighty.

Erin Shields turns Heaven and Hell upside down in this witty, modern, feminist retelling of John Milton’s epic poem about the first battle between good and evil. Shields’s wickedly smart and funny script questions the reasons of the universe, the slow process of evolution and the freedom of knowledge. The debate over right and wrong has never been so satisfying.

Characters:

Satan (f, 35-40) formerly Archangel Lucifer; a rebellious angel, tempter of humanity, clever, wounded, free

God the Father (m, 60s) creator of everything, weary innovator, loving patriarch

God the Son (m, 33) son of God, redeemer of humanity, full of love

Adam (m, 20) the first man, in love with Eve

Eve (f, 20) the first woman, in love with Adam

The Chorus of the Damned

Beelzebub (f, 40) Satan’s confidant and second in command

Moloch (m, 40s) Satan’s general, a fierce warrior,

Belial (m, 70s) a wise warrior and philosopher

Mammon (f, 25) lesser angel, an early adapter

Sin (f, 50s) daughter/lover of Satan; half-angel, half-serpent

Death (m, 20) son/grandson of Satan; angry and hungry

 

 

The Chorus of the Chosen

Gabriel (f, 40) archangel/seraph, General in God’s army

Michael (m, 40) archangel/seraph, General in God’s army

Raphael (m, 70s) archangel, gentle mentor, amateur theatre director

Uriel (f, 25) archangel, regent of the sun,

Zephon (f, 50s) angel, guardian of the garden,

Ithuriel (m, 20) newly formed angel, guardian of the garden,

First Produced:

Paradise Lost premiered at The Stratford Festival in 2018

Resources:

Paradise Lost was published by Playwrights Canada Press.

Paradise Lost can also be found at the Canadian Play Outlet.

Notes:

On casting

– Gender and ages of chorus members are flexible. Ideally, all angels should inhabit a fluidity of gender – in one scene, they may appear to identify as female, in another, male. Cultural diversity should be a priority when casting all roles. The Chorus of the Damned and the Chorus of the Chosen were written with doubling in mind.

– The Chorus of the Chosen also play roles in the play-within-the-play in Act 4.

– Suggested doubling and casting for the play-within-the-play are listed below.

Featured Play Category:

Madeline's Picks

Selection Notes:

Paradise Lost is a delightfully humorous, and modernized take on John Milton's poem. Come for the mythology, stay for the compelling yet flawed characters that Shields has so carefully crafted. - Madeline