Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Rope

Play. Begins with curtain closed and a haunched gargoyle on a pillar right stage in front of curtain who narrates the play. The audience has been given a small piece of gold rope with their Program. The curtains open to an old man searching for kindling branches in the frozen woods. He doesn't have anything to bundle his collection so he is frequently dropping the boughs. From left stage (approaching the old man) is a large gargoyle with wings, dragging by a gold rope, a shrouded human corpse. He is completely gleeful as he has killed the human lover of the wood nymph that he himself loves. When the old man sees the demon, he drops his branches and falls to his knees begging for his life. Due to his cheerful state, the demon decides to play with the old man and tells him if he can answer 3 questions correctly, not only will he let the old man live but he can, upon winning, ask for any one thing in the world and it will be given to him. The stage turns from a winter wood to a gaudy Jeopardy-like game show with the demon being the host. The old man answers all three questions correctly and despite his good mood, the demon is a little irritated that his toying has backfired on him. The stage turns back into the snowy woods and the demon asks the old man what his wish is. The old man notices the gold rope around the neck of the corpse and decides that it would make a nice binding for his kindling. So he asks for the rope. In the meantime, the wood nymph appears hiding in the trees and laments the death of her human lover. The demon and the old man are not aware of her presence. All of the frosted trees are her maids in waiting and had informed her of the demon's act. The demon hands over the gold rope while secretly putting a curse on it. The wood nymph counteracts the curse and puts a good-luck spell on it. The old man takes the rope, ties up his kindling and returns home. When he arrives home, his only daughter is in distress as she has just found out she is pregnant. The old man in a rage, takes the gold rope to her daughter's illicit, married lover and strangles him to death with it.
The old man is imprisoned for life and he gives the gold rope to his daughter. During childbirth, the baby is breached and the midwife uses the gold rope to save the babies life. And so begins the curses and blessings related to the rope for this family through the centuries. Until... a descendant becomes aware of the magical effects of the rope and decides to throw it out, back into the woods. (Of course thre are a lot of scenes I'm leaving out but I'm just getting the premise down.)
The rope lies on the forest floor for years until discovered by a group of children, playing in the woods, use it to tie up a tire to swing on. The complete disregard for the power of the rope by human children angers the demon and breaks the spell (both good and bad). This signifies the strength of mankind over good and evil regarding his/her choice to take control of their own fate and accept the consequences thereof. The haunched, narrating gargoyle opens his wings as the curtain is falling and flies over the audience to the balcony to silently watch the audience exit the auditorium. The audience leaves with a bit of gold rope to remind them.

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