The Mother of God Visits Hell  by Daniel Guyton
The Mother of God Visits Hell
THE MOTHER OF GOD VISITS HELL - 7M,7F (flexible gender). Full Length (90 min),
Based on a poem described in
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky; and
written in rhyming Iambic pentameter. The Virgin Mary travels to hell to comfort
the souls in torment. While there, she condemns her own soul to save those of all
mankind - much to God's dismay. What erupts is a war between Heaven and Hell,
with all of our souls in the balance.

*Winner of the
Helen-Jean Play Contest 'Literary Creativity' award, 2015*
*Honorable Mention in the
Triad Shakes New Play Competition, 2017*
*Official Selection of the
Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, AK, 2014*
*Semi-Finalist in the
Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship in 2014*
*Performed as a staged reading with
Judith Malina in the title role, 2010*

"Tightly structured, with an amazing premise... THE MOTHER OF GOD VISITS HELL
by Daniel Guyton, directed by Sylvia Bush, was just ducky. The story captivates you. It
has a premise that is delectable to the nth degree. The actors pulled it off in spades. Mary
(Calli Dunaway) defies God (Eric Ruiter) her Father, her Son, and moseys down to hell
to minister to the damned. She makes a deal with Satan (Paul Knox) to stay down there
so the damned can leave (Would Janine Garofalo do the same thing for the prisoners at
Guantanamo?). Mary does just what Christ did, the ultimate self-sacrifice. Satan does
what he does best. He deceives. In so doing, [Mary] inspires God to show a little
compassion. He does but only after realizing that mother knows best. The acting draws
you in. Calli Dunaway’s Mary was an inspired performance. Not only does she have to be
meek, humble, and virginal, she has to also show some moxy to pull off this Mother
Teresa act. Dunaway captures all that. Eric Ruiter, who plays God, has that same “Okay,
yeah, I’m the Almighty but while I’m up here I might as well have some fun” attitude
that Christopher Walken has in the Fatboy Slim “Weapon of Choice” video. He’s
omnipotent but he’s also not a little vain. Ditto for Knox’s Devil." (
What the Butler Saw
theatre website, 2009)

THE MOTHER OF GOD VISITS HELL has my strongest recommendation. It holds out
the hope that American playwrights will move above realism. What's more, Mr. Guyton's
talents as a poet and a dramatist are stellar, and the script is a model for other
dramatists." (Steve Capra, The Living Theatre in NYC, 2009)

THE MOTHER OF GOD VISITS HELL... was absolutely terrific! Daniel’s wonderful
writing provides a Shakespearean poetry and characters that are totally engaging! The
event, at the Academy Theatre in Atlanta, was sponsored by Working Title Playwrights.
Daniel’s got a real winner with this play and I hope to see it on the stage!" (Bill Gibson,
Working Title Playwrights, 2012)

"With an opening sequence that begins in Heaven and encompasses a mother-son
argument of philosophical magnitude between two spiritually and Biblically iconic
beings, the elevated language... is quite justified - and effective. It's a tale of a journey
from home in the vein of Hesse's "Siddhartha," but with a more philanthropic aim for
the titular Mary... Mr. Guyton's gift for lush language is a gem for any reader, and it
demands as many live readings as possible." (Sean Polite, Town & Gown Players, 2012)

"The most professional performance, and one that intrigued me, was Daniel and Kate
Guyton's piece with Christopher Hall. It combined poetry, theatre, and Israeli Gaga
dance... Simply costumed and expertly presented by both the actors and the dancer, the
use of the Gaga movement lent a surreal aura to what would otherwise have felt like
straight theater." (Amy Howton,
The Backstage Beat, 2012)

[THE MOTHER OF GOD VISITS HELL] is quite fantastic! I like the way, in iambic
pentameter, you had so many rhymes within the middle of the lines... I thought your
work with this aspect of the play was remarkable. I especially liked the characters of Mary
and Satan. I imagine they would be fun and rewarding to play... I am so impressed by
you and this piece of work, which might be called 'religious' or 'epic' or 'poetic'... It tells
a simple story of Mary getting people/bodies out of Hell into Heaven, but in such a poetic
and complex and delightful way. The additional characters (like the Cobbler) work
excellently as well." (Martha Patterson, playwright, 2015)

"This play manages to take what appears, on first examination, to be an absurd premise,
and uses it to explore profoundly serious issues. At the same time, it manages to not only
be entertaining but also an excellent literary result." (Official Feedback from the Helen-
Jean Award Committee, 2015)

"Daniel's plays... are witty, a little off-center and always entertaining. He is a wonderful
playwright and an audience favorite." (Lorenzo Scott, The Living Theatre, 2012)

"All the things I value in a good play: it's full of onstage action, it's brainy, and it
wrestles with moral issues. I can't wait to see it performed." (Peter Marino, playwright,

"We did a reading of this play by Daniel Guyton with No Shame Athens! You need to
check it out - it's so much fun." (John Patrick Bray, No Shame Theatre, 2015)

"Thank you for the submission of your play
our inaugural New Play Competition. Although not selected as the winner, the panel was
impressed with your play and has decided to recognize it with an Honorable Mention
Your play may also be considered for production in future Triad Shakes' seasons." (Rob
Taylor, Triad Shakes, 2017)

"Wow!  I just finished reading it! What an amazing piece of work. Quite impressive.  
Kept me reading to the end. Thanks for sharing it with me. You deserve all the credit
given." (Elly Rakowitz, Playwright's Binge, 2016)

--Performed at Stageworks Theatre in Tampa, FL, 2008
--Produced at the
Town & Gown Playhouse in Athens, GA, 2009
--Produced at the
Alive Theatre's Cherry Poppin' Play Festival in LA, 2009
--Published in
Alive Theatre's Cherry Poppin' Plays 2009, 2009
--Performed at the
Living Theatre in Manhattan, NY, 2009
--Published by in 2009
--Excerpt performed at
Collaborations Atlanta in Atlanta, GA, 2012
--Performed at
No Shame Theatre in Athens, GA, 2012
--Performed at
Working Title Playwrights in Atlanta, GA, 2012
--Produced on
WUGA Radio (97.1 fm) as a Radio Drama in Athens, GA, 2013
--Radio Drama aired on the
Atlanta Fringe Festival's website in Atlanta, GA, 2013
--Performed at the
Dramatists Guild Friday Night Footlights in Atlanta, GA, 2013
--Published by
Indie Theatre Now in 2015

Interview with Chris Alonzo of the Atlanta Fringe Festival Radio (2013)
Radio Interview with Mary Kay Mitchell of WUGA Radio (97.1fm) (2012)
Review by Amy Howton of The Backstage Beat (2012)
Newspaper article by Erin Rossiter of The Athens-Banner Herald (2009)
Review on What The Butler Saw Theatre Website (2009)
Interview with Julie Leung of The Red and Black Newspaper (2009)
Interview with Michael Boylen of The Fayetteville Citizen (2009)
Amy Laine Dowdy and Sean Polite
as the Virgin Mary and God
Sean Polite as God
Amy Laine Dowdy as the Virgin Mary
Patric Ryan as the
Archangel Michael
Sherelle Patisaul as Satan
I was interviewed by WUGA radio (97.1fm in Athens, GA) in regards to my play
"The Mother of God Visits Hell". Click above for interview.
Click here for the Full production of "The Mother of God Visits Hell" for WUGA
radio. Produced by Robb Holmes of NPR.
This play can be found on Amazon
by clicking the above image.
Judith Malina and Dan Burkarth of the Living Theatre
in NYC