The C. G. Jung Society produced its second play, Answer to Joe in March, 2019. The play is loosely based on Jung’s book Answer to Job, and deals with the same themes—the nature of God, the reality of the divine versus an individual’s image of it, and the psychological implications of an individual’s often unconscious god-image. Though these are deeply serious topics, the play presented them in modern understandable dress and treated them with considerable humor.
Rick Vaughn, author of Answer to Joe, has long been interested in Jungian Psychology and its potential for resolving inner conflicts in ways that release creative energies. In his proposal to the Jung Society Board for possible production of his original work, he said, “My intention was to communicate some of the profound, transformative insights that I discovered from reading Answer to Job. In the process of writing, it became clear that the work was much more personal. This story is my story. It may well be a story for many others. Job’s working out his relationship with the overwhelming and overpowering energies of Yahweh– which Jung equates with an individual’s coming to terms with the unconscious—has been my quest for decades. My own god-image of a punitive, demanding, and intractable old patriarch needed considerable updating. In writing the play, I knew I was somewhat describing my own inner conflicts and working them to a more satisfying end. I seemed to be engaging the energies bound up in an old god-image and tempering some of them so they could be directed creatively. I’m happy with the result, and in some strange way, I feel my ‘god’ is, too.”
- Stage Manager – Caleb King
- Set Design – Rick Vaughn, Caleb King
- Costumes – Sheila Vaughn, Fradi Spilberg
- Props – Rick Vaughn Caleb King, Sheila Vaughn
- Casting – Caleb King, Rick Vaughn
- Sound/Lighting – Rick Vaughn
- Sound/Lighting – Rick Vaughn
- Filming – Visual Alchemy
- Announcer – John Camie
- Harp Music – Amy Camie
- Piano Composition – Pauline Freschette
- Graphics – Elizabeth Short
CAST OF CHARACTERS
- Joe/Job/Summons Server – Jack Dearborn
- Becky/Rebekah – Talichia Noah
- Lucius/Satan/Servant – Braxton Angle
- Yaweh – Mike Thompson
- Sophie/Wisdom/Drummer/Angel – Tina Renard
- Justin/Justice/Angel/Friend – Sean Hill
- Daughter/Barmaid/Assist Angel – Linsey Stevens
- Angel Mikey/Son/Baliff – Greg Jamison
- Friends of the Jung Society of St. Louis
- Anonymous Donor in Honor of Alice Aslin
- Joanne Callahan Sandy Cooper
- Shirley Fontenot Leah Friedman
- Rose Holt Nancy Kibens
- Ed Steinmann Don Wesemann
- Peter Van Arsdale Anonymous Donors
And with the support of many others who worked tirelessly to produce Answer to Joe.
After each presentation, Rick and a local Jungian Analyst (Rose Holt on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sheldon Culver on Sunday afternoon), joined with the audience in lively discussions of the play and the issues it enjoined.
Answer to Joe was the second play the Jung Society has produced. In February 2017, our first one Casting Shadows by Carol Haake was presented to sold-out audiences for three performances. We were delighted with similar enthusiasm for Answer.