The Holy Ghost People by Joshua Young
Plays Inverse Press, 2014; 85 pp
Reviewed by Nathan Kemp


Joshua Young’s The Holy Ghost People: A Play in Verse is a hybrid that fairly represents its two parts. The characters are the Holy Ghost People, the Speakers, a Policeman, and a Barfly. The stage directions best represent the hybridity of this collection, as they create environmental depth in poetic fashion while still being indicative.

This play tackles the concept of belief. The Holy Ghost People, a mysterious group with a god and science unfamiliar to the Speakers, are compelling and worth multiple readings. This otherness, which I assign to the Holy Ghost People—but that’s only a matter of perspective—is important because of how closely the debate between the Speakers and the aforementioned imitates real world religious, scientific, and social debate (from Scene XXVI):

SPEAKERS blasphemy only exists for believers.

HOLY GHOST PEOPLE belief is irrelevant, whether you believe or not doesn’t make something not there. the sun will explode & space is cold even if you deny it, these are truths.

The reader isn’t made to pick a side though a typical reader may be more comfortable with the Speakers’ more familiar dialogue. I think the Holy Ghost People are more memorable, however, because of their grand and, at times, strange dialogue.