Sign Of The Times

Sign Of The Times

a postmodern verse play and pastiche


Sign of The Times “updates William butler Yeats’ poem ‘The Second Coming’ for our current age of diminishing expectations.” – The Chicago Reader


Sign of The Times offers “a universal message packed with thoughts and reflections.”

– Kambuika Kamunga – WBEZ Radio


“Jeff Helgeson’s dedication to experiment, surprise, twisted absurdities, and language

reflect and refract in Sign of The Times.”

– Marc Smith
Poetry Slam Founder

The music that has been composed by Clayton Horath for Sign of The Times was designed as a chamber piece for fourteen musicians. Like the play itself, the music seeks to explore the issue of the use of allusion in an era when everything is derivative and yet nothing is thought to be referential.

Sections of the composition are: “Future Shock,” “The Question Why?” “The Vicious Circle as God”, “The Seduction of Unreason,” and “Now-morrow Dawns.”


Sign of The Times: From the Prologue of this verse play by Jeff Helgeson, from the beginning, or even before the beginning, from what anticipates and thus exceeds the beginning, one thing is clear: this is a play that raises many issues and yet, paradoxically, is about nothing. Not, it should be noted, about absolute nothing, or absolutely nothing – as though something, such as a beginning, could come from absolutely nothing – but rather about nothing as it surrounds every something, first enabling the present moment, the presence of each and every thing, now, here and now, for just a moment.