Aranansi #14 and 15: Setting the Stage and Act I, Scene I

April 05, 2010, 22:03

As we made our way through the last few steps into the theater some other people entered the door down the hall. We entered the theater at the back looking down the curved levels of seats that narrowed as it came up to the large dimly lit stage.
“Let’s sit down in front,” Andre said moving toward the center aisle. ” I want to see and hear everything!”
Other people were entering through another door. They looked as if they stepped out of the 1600’s, leggings and puffy jackets. By the time we sat the theater was beginning to fill up with an odd assortment of people seemingly from many different times and places.

The Stage

The stage has two large tree like structures in center with four shielded spaces among the branches two, one on top of the other, on either side of the trunks. Above the stage are structures to hold 3 marionettes and their puppeteers. On the right side of the stage is a cloth panel with a light behind it. On the left a gamelan orchestra. The middle of the stage is open space with a large flat stone in the middle, big enough to hold 5 people.



April 14, 2010, 07:31

People shuffled around looking for their seats and conversations drifted about the theater in a mumbling background tide with a few quiet laughs and exclamations. Finally the house lights came down and the stage lighting focused on the flat round stone in the center. The audience settled into silence.

Act I

Scene I

A flat round stone in the center of the stage.
A small platform lowers from the ceiling onto the middle with Monkey, on his knees hunched over, head down. He has bright golden fur and is wearing a crimson jacket and sky blue pants. In his hand is a black rod about 3ft long.

music is soft, slow, meditative in the background throughout the scene.

Announcer: And the gods banished Monkey to the cave once more to sleep and dream encased in stone. The water crept through rock and crevice dripping and over the eons melted the stone covering and slowly wakened the sleeping Monkey.

Monkey stretches and yawns, rises slowly and staggers about the flat stone, falls to the floor and searches about on his hands and knees as if blind.

Monkey(voice echoing slightly): Where am I? What is this dark place? How have I come here?

A bat glides down and lands next to him and is just outside the small circle of light and accompanied by a fluttering musical interlude.

Bat: Then you are awake from the stone dream? Finally I can fly and report to heaven that Monkey has risen.

Monkey: Wait! You have been attending me here? How did I come here and where is this abyss?

Bat: I am but a watcher and reporter. I cannot tell, but that my family has watched through a thousand thousand generations anticipating this moment when one of us would fly to heaven to tell of your awakening. I know of no how or where, suffice to say that you are deep under a mountain and placed here by the gods. beyond that, I cannot say, for I do not know more.

Monkey: What will these gods do when you tell them that I am awake?

Bat: I cannot say. The ways of gods are not known to me. I am a bat from a long line of bats who have watched over you in the darkness.

Monkey: Will you show me the way out into the world above?

Bat: I must fly now to give my report. That is all I know. I cannot say what will follow. As I said before, I am only a small creature of the dark and know only the journey I must take and message I must bear.

Monkey: Then take me with you. For I am not a creature of the dark and do not wish to remain in this place.

Bat: You have no wings. How can you follow? You cannot navigate in the blind darkness.

Monkey: I have hands that can feel the way.

Bat: Then feel your way up. I must use swifter route. I am sorry for your discomfort, but I have a task to do that was set in ancient times and must not be delayed. Good luck to you for I think you will need it to reach the lands of light above. Move upward when you can and avoid going down and you should eventually come out of this darkness. Farewell!

The bat exits fluttering upwards. The music rises with the bat then fades with the lighting into darkness.

This entry was posted in Aranansi, conversations, Dreamtime, Fiction, hidden places, Monkey King, music, Mythical and mysterious, Playing on a Stage, Puppetry, Telling Stories, Wild Life and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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