The Great Agnostic
A staged reading of the ideas of Robert G. Ingersoll, 1833–1899
Arranged by LeRoy Owens, 1997.
Col. Robert Green (Bob) Ingersoll, a writer, speaker
I. Newton Baker, AM, Private Secretary to Robert Ingersoll
Important note: All of the material used to present this play-reading has been taken directly from published or unpublished articles written by Robert Ingersoll, or presented by his secretary, I. Newton Baker, eleven years after Ingersoll's death in 1899. Other material, mostly direct quotes, are from a biography written by C.P. Farrell, 1920. Some of this previously unpublished material was reproduced by The Internet Infidels for the Freethink Web and the Secular Web. Other material was reproduced from A Biographical Appreciation of Robert Green Ingersoll, written by Herman E. Kittredge. Much of this same material can be found in The Complete Works of Robert Ingersoll, published soon after his death.
Scene. A large meeting hall in New York City.
Time. Evening, year 1882.
The stage for the entire play is set in a large meeting room. On stage is a speaker's podium, located center stage. To the right and near the edge of the stage is a high secretarial desk of late 1800's era, at which Baker, Mr. Ingersoll's secretary, sits on a stool throughout the production. To the left of the podium is a placard stand upon which placards are placed and changed to note the location and/or time of the changing scene. Also on left stage is an old desk, 1850's vintage, occupied by Ingersoll, except when he is at the podium. The placards are changed by an unobtrusive stage hand. Lights on the two desks are activated unobtrusively by the readers/actors as each speaks. A pewter pitcher of water and a glass is on a stand beside the podium. As the play opens, Ingersoll steps to the podium, and commences his speech, turning the light on the podium up, and acknowledging the audience. He is dressed in a suit of 1880's vintage with a bow tie of the same period. He is a balding man of six feet height and about 50 years of age.
Robert G. Ingersoll, Speaker: Unitarian Club Dinner, New York City, 1882
More about Robert G. Ingersoll.