Announcer: Monkey felt his way up and ever upward. How long he climbed, he could not tell for nothing in the darkness changed except the rocks he climbed and they measured time in a different way than creatures of flesh.
Monkey moves about making climbing motions, slipping and falling a few times, but giving the impression of slow upward progress.
The music matches his climbing song. It is not cheerful or complaining just matter of fact and guileless.
Monkey (singing as he moves):
Here in the darkness I climb alone,
Up through the mountain rocks and bone.
I know not night or day.
Only my fingers to show me the way.
I believe in the light.
From deep within, I recall,
the mighty rise to life,
and from that peak,
the deep and stony fall.
A centipede appears on the installation next to monkey’s hand and bites him.
Monkey shrieks and falls to the stage.
Centipede: That is not a flavor I am familiar with.
Monkey: Maybe because you don’t get many monkeys down here.
Centipede: Oh by my sinuous segments! It is the stone monkey. How goes your journey sir?
Monkey: Dark and solitary, most arduous indeed.
Centipede: Sorry about the bight. But I must try to eat what I can find to make my bellies tight.
Monkey: Is it poison? I feel my hand throbbing.
Centipede: Not very, unless you are much smaller than you sound.
Monkey: You are also blind in this darkness?
Centipede: In the absence of light everyone is blind.
Monkey: What is your usual prey?
Centipede: Small and furry like your hand, hard and furry many legs, hard and juicy very small this is sweetest of all.
Monkey: I do not seem to be hungry. Except for the light and open space, that I am long for.
Centipede: I have never tasted light, though I must say the very thought of it makes me shiver.
Monkey: Will you climb with me a ways and keep me company. I will teach you a song or two.
Centipede: I am not a singer, but a stinger. I will go with you a ways and listen to your songs. It is not often I find anyone who shares my company for long.
May 30, 2010, 09:05
As soon as the centipedes voice stops, monkey begins to climb up the branches of the structure where the centipede perches. The tree begins to rise up out of the floor carrying the characters toward the ceiling where a square of light appears in the dark directly above them. By the time monkey gets to the top of the tree, he is able to climb through the square of light. He pulls himself up and disappears from view.
Centipede: This is where I stop for I see light at the top.
Monkey (poking his head back down through the square): Why let a little illumination stop your ascent? You should really lighten up anyway. besides I thought you were blind.
Centipede (shivering): It is true my eyes don’t see, but I know when light is touching me. I feel a prickle on my shell. When in the hard light I don’t feel well. In soft shadows I will hunt and dwell.
Monkey: I have had enough darkness for a while. Happy hunting, Mr. manylegs. I hope I never make it back here, but stranger things happen.
Monkey’s head disappeared upward and the centipede faded into the darkness.
An Audience in Search of a Play
We watched uninhabited stage and waited. Nothing happened.
“We have to follow him,” Andre said after a few minutes. “It’s the only way we can see what happens.”
“You mean climb up there?”
“Yeah, we could do it!” Andre grinned broadly as he said this.
“Well, I guess it beats sitting here waiting for something to happen.”
As Andre and I approached the stage, we noticed a few other members of the audience straggling down the stairs behind us, vague shadows in the dimness. Andre went first, climbing energetically and almost slipping off about 20 feet up. I moved so I wasn’t directly below him.
“This looked a lot easier when the monkey did it,” he said looking back and smiling.
“So slow down a bit. Whatever is up there will be there, but you won’t see it if you break your neck.”
“Good point.” Andre, who was breathing heavily, slowed his pace, testing his hand and foot holds before trusting them.
I could see 2 other figures starting to climb while most of the rest of audience milled about on the stage.
After a few minutes of climbing Andre pulled his head up through the square of light, through which I could now plainly see a patch of brilliant blue.
Andre turned his head slowly, and then looked back down. “This is pretty cool. I don’t know about the plot or the character development, but the staging is really innovative.”