Street Theater Script

This is an open source street theater script from primary source material that can be performed anywhere with at least two actors to inspire the public about the plight of BRADLEY MANNING. Perform in the streets and videotape it and send to Use parts or just take the lines at the end and say them often and everywhere!

for full hour long script written from primary sources e-mail request to:

Creative Commons License
Bradass87 by Claire Lebowitz is licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

A 6’x9’ rectangle is made on the ground with rope or tape or chalk. Cpl Kelly stands at parade rest facing the audience at one of the corners. BRADLEY’s long imprisonment shows in the heaviness of his small but once fit body. The overwhelming loneliness from the isolation he’s experiencing is the palpable setting that the desire to communicate springs from.  His mind begins to race and energy is building up inside of him. He looks anxiously a couple of times towards Cpl Kelly. He keeps his gaze on the guard while he slowly creeps to the floor and does as many push-ups as he can get away with before KELLY sees him and shouts.



Prisoner! (BRADLEY snaps to attention) exercising at any time other than your mandatory supervised recreation time is a violation of this facility for subjects being detained at Suicide Risk Status.



(CWO4 AVERHART enters. KELLY salutes him and AVERHART returns the salute. KELLY returns to parade rest while COMMANDER approaches BRADLEY.)



Approach the door prisoner.

(BRADLEY approaches the door and stands at attention looking straight ahead like a good soldier.)


Can you explain to me what happened today at recreation call prisoner?


Permission to address the Chief Warrant Officer.


Aye, prisoner.


Well Sergeant I was just trying to follow orders but-


I am the commander.




Why did you violate my trust?


Sir, I—


Why are you a detainee that wants to cause trouble?


Sir, I don’t know. I don’t want to cause—I don’t want to cause—I’m not trying to cause any situations or anything like that. I apologize for any confusion. I—


Do I need to take away your recreation call?


Sir, I have been a model detainee at this facility for six months. My psychiatrist, Captain Hoctor and Captain Malone have recommended that I be removed from Prevention of Injury Staus. My counselor Gunnery Sargeant Blenis has consistently given me a very high rating and says he wishes he had one hundred Detainee Mannings—


I am the Commander and you are a junior enlisted detainee. I am the one giving orders. No one can tell me what to do. I am, for all practical purposes, ‘God.’


(slips out) Please stop yelling at me. You still have to follow Brig procedures. Everyone has a boss they have to answer to.

(Pause. The Commander is shocked and enraged and trying to maintain composure and figure out what he’s going to do with BRADLEY.)



Permission to address the CWO4 is revoked. (to the other guards) Special move. Suicide Risk!


I don’t believe in good guys versus bad guys anymore, I only see a plethora of states acting in self-interest, with varying ethics and moral standards of course, but self-interest nonetheless. I mean, we’re better in some respects, we’re much more subtle; use a lot more words and legal techniques to legitimize everything.  It’s better than disappearing in the middle of the night.  But just because something is more subtle, doesn’t make it right.
I guess I’m too idealistic.–


You are currently classified (BRADLEY is interrupted and snaps to attention) at SRS status because you are a harm to yourself and others. It is my duty to ensure your safety. Confirm your wellbeing Prisoner.


Aye, sir.

I think the thing that got me the most; that made me rethink the world more than anything, was watching 15 detainees taken by the Iraqi Federal Police for printing “anti-Iraqi literature”. The Iraqi federal police wouldn’t cooperate with US forces, so I was instructed to investigate the matter, find out who the “bad guys” were, and how significant this was for the FPs. It turned out they had printed a scholarly critique against Prime Minister Maliki, I had an interpreter read it for me, and when I found out that it was a benign political critique titled “Where did the money go?” and following the corruption trail within the Prime Minister’s cabinet, I immediately took that information and *ran* to the officer to explain what was going on- he didn’t want to hear any of it. He told me to shut up and explain how we could assist the FPs in finding *MORE* detainees.


Everything started slipping after that; I saw things differently. I had always questioned the way things worked, and investigated to find the truth,  but that was a point where I was a *part* of something, I was actively involved in something that I was completely against.–


But I was a part of it, and completely helpless.


I kept that in my mind for weeks, probably a month and a half, before I forwarded it to them. It was unreal, I mean, I’ve identified bodies before,  it’s rare to do so, but usually it’s just some nobody. It humanized the whole thing, re-sensitized me. (crying and fighting the tears) I’m just, weird I guess.  I can’t separate myself from others.  I feel connected to everybody, like they were distant family.  I… care?


We’re human… and we’re killing ourselves… and no one seems to see that… and it bothers me. Apathy. Apathy is far worse than the active participation.
I prefer the painful truth over any blissful fantasy.


You are (BRADLEY snaps to attention) currently classified at Suicide Risk status, which means you are a harm to yourself and others. It is my duty to ensure your safety. Confirm your wellbeing prisoner.


Aye, sir
I’m not brave, I’m weak.


I’m not so much scared of getting caught and facing consequences at this point, as I am of being misunderstood, and never having the chance to live the life I wanted to.

an audience member starts yelling one of these lines over and over again from the crowd. One of the guards handcuffs Bradley and takes him out of the cell while the other goes into the crowd and throws the screaming audience member into the cell. Silence.

Bradley watches, amazed until another audience member starts shouting another line and is restrained and thrown in the cell while the first is removed. This pattern continues.


Potential audience lines (they can choose the one that resonates with them):

-Living such an opaque life, has forced me never to take transparency, openness, and honesty for granted.

-They’ve got a lot of ammunition; it’s the support they need from the public in publishing the material coming through soon.

-If you had free reign over classified networks for long periods of time, say, 8-9 months, and you saw incredible things, awful things, things that belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington DC. What would you do?

-Things that would have an impact on 6.7 billion people. Explaining how the first world exploits the third, in detail, from an internal perspective

-It affects everybody on earth, everywhere there’s a US post there’s a diplomatic scandal that will be revealed.

-Its Important that it gets out. I feel, for some bizarre reason.  It might actually change something.

-I just couldn’t let these things stay inside of the system. Inside of my head. I recognized the value of some things, knew what they meant, dug deeper.

-God knows what happens now.  Hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms.  If not, than we’re doomed.  As a species.

-I want people to see the truth, regardless of who they are; because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.

-Listened and lip-synced to Lady Gaga’s Telephone while exfiltrating possibly the largest data spillage in American history.

-Because it’s public data.  It belongs in the public domain.  Information should be free.

Enemies of the State Rally NYC Public Library 10/26/12

at World Can’t Wait’s Emergency Forum 6/19 with video

union square NYC performance for Bradley Manning’s 1000th day in prison (street theater at 2:30)

from street performance in front of the White House 7/3/13
from street performance in front of the White House  with Cindy Sheehan’s Tour De Peace 7/3/13



  1. […] for an idea for an event? Consider putting on this street theatre performance written by Claire Lebowitz. It only requires 2 […]

  2. […] for an idea for an event? Consider putting on this street theatre performance written by Claire Lebowitz which was performed at NYC Pride and other solidarity events. It only […]

  3. john says:

    Great stuff…….just an idea….re-write the “Free Nelson Mandela” song for Free Bradley Manning….the song became world famous back in the 80’s….its catchy and good….and because the song is already known would be familiar and enjoyable….it could easily catch on…its a great song/mantra…

  4. […] in communities across the globe. Looking for an idea for an event? Consider putting on this street theatre performance written by Claire Lebowitz which was performed at NYC Pride and other solidarity events. It only […]

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