To Die by Night (Morir de Noche)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Puerto Rico
translated by Prof. Charles Philip Thomas
CAST: 2 men, 1 or 2 women. Vincent Van Gogh, Emile Zola, Naná, Sien, La Virgen, Psychologist (Possibly all played by the same actress) Teresa Van Gogh
SETTING: A quay. The play is a free version, not a documentary, of what could have been an emotional conflict in the lives of Vincent Van Gogh and Emile Zola. The work takes place in the present.
After cutting his veins, trying to smash himself up in a Fiat, and drinking paint solvent, Vincent Van Gogh has attempted to kill himself once again. He has thrown himself into the ocean near a beach full of sharp coral reefs. His wife Teresa Van Gogh has called Emile Zola, his best friend who is a prosperous novelist from the capital, to help Vincent in his crisis. Emile and Vincent reminisce about their bohemian past.
Vincent tells him about the disgust he feels toward his marriage and how the love that he has felt for everything in his life has become trite and boring. In addition he tells him that the only time he felt that his life was worth living was when he had an affair with a prostitute, which made him question his reason for living. After discovering the amorous relationship, Van Gogh's wife burns his paintings and makes his life miserable. Vincent intends to kill himself again and wants to try with a pistol. He asks Emile to give him a reason not to do it. After ``seeing'' the story and realizing that his life as a writer has been as guilt-ridden, boring and insubstantial as Vincent has laid out, Emile cannot give him a convincing reason. Vincent decides to commit suicide, but does not because of a new attack of guilt. Emile Zola, who has taken the pistol from him, kills himself using the pistol.