MARILYN/GOD by Rosary Hartel O'Neill

Jeff Church and Heidi Van are teaming up for Marilyn/God at the Fishtank

A one-woman powerhouse that looks at how America's obsession with fame and beauty shaped a single woman's rise to- and death from- stardom.   

Heidi Van and Jeff Church (Producing Artistic Director at the Coterie) surveyed many contemporary solo plays about Marilyn Monroe.

We settled on 'Marilyn/God by Rosary' Hartel O'Neill because it is more than a bio-play - it delves into the mind of Marilyn and challenges her, interrogates her and forces her to hold a mirror to herself and see the past she has left behind," says Heidi Van, actor and Fishtank Artistic Director. 

“I am attracted to the piece because is it more of psychological thriller than a vanity play.  It is extremely active - it’s an “in the moment” exploration and very visceral and physical. As an actor I am completely amped-up for it as well as utterly terrified, which seems to be the place to live.”

"Marilyn/God' opens April 2. TICKETS ON SALE HERE!

At Fishtank Performance Studio in the Crossroads Arts District
Apr 2, 2016, 8:00 pm
Opens: Sat, Apr 2, 2016, 8:00 pm
Closes: Open-ended run
Director: Jeff Church
Cast: Heidi Van


March 4 - March 20, 
Thurs - Saturday at 8pm, 
Sundays at 3pm 


The idea of the play is not to provide answers, but to raise questions. And it tries to do so by keeping roughly a 50/50 balance in scenes in terms of pro-gun vs anti-gun. 

Commissioned by The Riverside Theatre of Iowa City, Iowa, commissioned Higgins to write “Gunplay” in the 90s following the mass murder on the University of Iowa campus. “They wanted to create a play about 'guns in American life,” said Higgins. The play debuted there in '93, and the following year a couple of scenes from the play were read on Capitol Hill just before Congress passed the bill that's come to be called "The Brady Bill." 

The play is a mosaic of scenes and monologues that slice through American history and depict the beginning of gun culture to our present day. Some of the scenes from American history deal with George and Martha Washington's problems on both the national front and domestic front; with Bat Masterson dealing with the temptation to hide the truth about guns in the Wild West, and with the official recognition of dueling by members of Congress. Some of the contemporary scenes were based on interviews with a police officer who offers her critique of the human heart; with an African-American woman who offers an against-the-grain view of why she is for gun rights; with a gun store owner, and with two women who purchased guns and have widely differing views afterward. Higgins is working on the play for this production and updating the play in a couple of places. “Sadly, the subject matter is just as timely now as it was when I wrote the first draft of this unconventional play.” 

“Gunplay” is directed by Margaret Shelby and Ethan Zogge and features Rasheedat "Ras" Badejo, Connor Branson, Karla Fennick, Joseph Fournier, Laura Jacobs, John Mulvey, Brad Shaw, and Meredith Wolfe. “Gunplay” opens March 4 and runs Thursdays - Sundays till March 20. Tickets are $20 and available online at