Monday, April 17, 2017

Play a Day: Girl Becomes Bone

Callan Stout
Monday morning I read Girl Becomes Bone by Callan Stout, and available on New Play Exchange.

Science fiction! My first play this month featuring science fiction. Yesterday, docudrama, today science fiction. Or speculative fiction. The wife will set me straight later.

The play originates on the planet Threa, which in an anagram of earth, also a near-homonym with "three" or third from the sun. The name reflects the degree to which its human inhabitants have been unable to emotionally and psychologically leave their abandoned planet behind.

A religion evolves on this new planet, one inspired by the mystical poems of Rainer Maria Rilke. Its tenets and rituals are, depending on interpretation, fixated on an eventual return or the acceptance of no return. At least that is how it appeared to me.

Like Christianity, there lies at the very edge of consciousness the anxiety and terror of having been utterly abandoned by God, which is a kind of perpetual mourning. The insatiable need to comprehend and cope leads to ritual, which, when you are watching someone else do it, appears nothing more than obsessive compulsive disorder.

“Should not our ancient suffering have been more fruitful by now?” Indeed.

Last night I dreamed I walked into a Theaterplex. It was a like one of your suburban "big box" movie centers with popcorn and video games, except inside every theater there was a play going on.

Callan Stout's new work, you do not look, will be presented later this week as part of Columbia Stages New Play Festival.

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