Globe Theater
Act II, Scene 1: Sayonara Diorama

The Script
March 8, 1998

Characters in Order of Appearance:

The Ship's Detective and Mates (robots)
Questress [video]
Mr. Blemye
Mr. Panotti
Mr. Sciapod

[Opening Scene [overture]:
Dark stage. A glow grows from the orchestra pit. The orchestra pit rises up [1 minute 30 seconds] to reveal a group of robots] one or two of which looks, left, right and lifts its head and speaks.]

Robot 1: "The Ship's Detective paces the deck, wondering whether it is an illusion to imagine it is free to seek satisfaction for its curious nature.

[Robot 2, the tethered robot comes downstage and sings its heart out]

[the Ship's Detective Song words by AW, music and voice by CC:] Tethered as I am to the limitations of my senses, I worry as to whether my discoveries can indeed provide remedy for the multitude of dangers, lies, crimes and insults couched in every pocket of the Ship. Overhead, my delegated lookout, my scout, my sidekick, my higher eyes, scans the horizon in 360-degree swoops, showering this intrepid sleuth with even more possibilities for disclosure.

The Ships' Detective absorbs, sorts and de-democratizes information, in order to discern which bits are truly clues. The rest, the residue that, in his weathered opinion, offers no disclosure, I cast overboard in consideration of the limitations of the ship's cargo holds.

This discretionary business is not an easy task. At times, when the Ship's Detective is overwhelmed by the abundance of information in the ecosystem, it cocks its ear to catch the strains of the siren's solid refrain, the atonal dirge, the chorus handed down through history for detectives seeking to discern that one clue masked in the deluge, which will change everything.


Then a video of the Questress on the back screen of the stage. She speaks:

A magic carpet flies and is so incredible that it is, in fact, difficult to believe. A true story, however, is harder to get off the ground. It has its other liabilities: predictable coincidences, the resonance of it's-life-is stranger than fiction aspect, and the challenge of running to touchdown without being tackled by cliche.


I have had to change their names. They believe that if they are named, they are discovered and once discovered, exist only in the the eyes of their discoverer. They never acknowledge reflections in the water, even when they fish to survive. They say the reflection "is the fishes way of distracting them to ward off capture. If they acknowledge thier own reflections, it means surrender - their own capture by the fish."

[Light comes up on Darwin picking up the robots from the orchestra pit and placing them on downstage right.

Questress Continues:
Naming them outside their own company is a heinous and threatening concept. Substituting names is frightening. For false names may inadvertently name some other innocent party who does not want ever to be named. They have suggested I use their word for vacant space "audvak" suffixed by serial numbers, or other signs or symbols - but that would mean that no one would walk away with a true understanding of their nature. They fear that codes can be deciphered and in the process reveal more than just the name, but the very soul by its way of choosing a code.

Their survival depends upon their anonymity. So I will do my best to protect them. I will indeed change the names to protect the innocent, and now you see the first evidence of my story's liability, its first cliche.

VIDEO TWO: natural history images

In my middle years, when the tide of my physical powers had reached its zenith and was struggling against an inevitable recession, my mental powers remained robust.

I moved to seek a place where I could put those faculties to good use. The margins of my path were filled with blossoms of a species I had never seen before. They were sweet scented, but as I moved throught their bower, their prickly thorns inflicted injury and pain along the way.

At times I wondered whether I had passed this way before. Was the territory indeed familiar, or merely resonant from dreams or fiction? Had Nostalgia laid its hollow mask upon my eyes?

Was this memory? A dream? I remember beginning one more journey along the deep grooves incised in maps and sea charts.

But am I really "here"? Or am I "there"? Have I been here before? Is "here" a way back "there"?

Is it any way at all?

[changes to present tense]


It is clear, though hard to bear, that I am at a loss as to my placement in relationship to "here", "there" and, to the concept of "other."

I have an empirical knowledge of my bearings, but it seems I have lost the ability to discern the worth or lack of it in being in one place rather than another.

I need once again to find the center of things and shake off the feeling that I am doomed to inhabit forever the purgatory of the edge.

[During the following speech, light begins to come up in the "clearing" revealing Pandora and the monsters in tableau- still]

[Darwin notices them.]

LooK! These creatures, they are the living expression of the literary conventions of Soleenus, the 3rd century cartographer who rendered the creatures at the edge of the flat disc that was the world as monstrous.

I dont understand, I thought them only mythical paradigms of strangeness for what Soleenus could not actually see or understand. But here they are, these strange creatures, one with huge ears that encapsulate his body, one with his eyes, mouth and nose centered in his chest, and one whose lower body ends in one limb rather than two.[pointing to sciapod] Look how he tries to swing his foot over his head so it served as protection from inclement weather.

And the beautiful woman with them....

For myself all I ever wanted was that perfectly pitched telescopic perch from which to view the earth; a gradual approach to a position near its face where I could just begin to hear the low HUBub, the sum of all creatures' voices. I sought to treasure that moment before we are too close and begin to distinguish dialects, for it is true we cannot see or hear the whole earth properly unless we are at a respectable distance.

Clan Is Raw HerdL
I am dreaming arent I? This couldn't be a conscious state. But what else IS there? Am I turning my gaze inward (quite alarmed) - inward on myself and on my own mind? ....How incredibly strange..

The whole Earth is my treasure; my beautiful package.

Clan Is Raw Herd
Oh, She is Pandora!!!

Master Panotti:
Pandora, someday human eyes will move far enough away from the earth in order to turn and see it whole, and not just in their minds eye, but really examining it from a loftier point of view.

Mr. Sciapod:
But for now we are bound to its territorial surface, be it land or water, and must move in incremental earthbound steps.

Clan Is Raw Herd:
Always, what is yet to be discovered has to be accounted for. That is why, in maps, territory is often described through its theological, political or economic ideology, through stories of the bible, through fables, through example.

How kind of them to condescend to portray the world in nice stories so that it can be comprehended even by us..

Master Clan-Is-Raw-Herd:
But those who make maps must divide the world into empirical zones in order to find their way around in it.

Mr. Blemye.

No. Those who make maps divide the world into empirical zones in order to achieve their position in it.

Master Clan-Is-Raw-Herd:
That's interesting (making note of it) - perhaps what is unknown must be rendered idiosyncratically in order to fill in the blanks. A geography of difference. And in that flat wide world, all of YOU are the "others".

Mr. Blemye:
Thats certainly puts US in our place.

Master Clan-Is-Raw-Herd:
You three sons of Soleenus should not take offense at the peripheral territory you are delegated at the edge.

[as flirty as possible, even lascivious]

And I, Kind Sir, daughter of Prometheus, shall you delegate a territory to me?

Mr. Blemye:
[said to the Others]

Tis completely foolish, for if there are more men like our perpetual recorder here, whose eyes are not central in their chests close to their hearts as God intended, then why not designate THEM as mythological and monstrous and put THEM at the EDGE. For to me (he leers at Master Clan-Is-Raw-Herd) they are strange beyond endurance.

Master Sciapod:
All I know is that I am the only one of you who is rendered safe and dry in rain and snow by my own physiology.

{shows off his foot]
If evolution is indeed everything our bearded friend here says it is then certainly my ancestors-who have engineered the most ingenious and useful adaptation of all, deserve placement as the centerpiece of the world.

If inside the edge and outside the edge do not mean completely different things, then why dont YOU [pointing to Darwin] give the inside up to the ones you have designated outsiders.

Who, in their right mind, would give up the inside position, even for the sake of epistemology?

It doesn't rain or snow everywhere on earth, Master Sciapod-.....

Master Sciapod:
[Looks around blankly]

How does he know my name?

...there are parts of the world that do not know precipitation or strong currents of air or water in any form whatsoever, some that have such heavy canopies of vegetation they need no other protection from the bounties of the heavens.

Mister Panotti:
[Walks up to Darwin and holds his ear to Darwins mouth] I can hear very clearly why he has come. [slyly] He has come here in search of the perfect pun in all languages.

Ah..... I am glad of good company at last. Its amazing how he is interested in everything equally. Yes, his curiousity is completely generic and I find that very curious. [To Darwin, flirting] I have not been deprived entirely of generic curiousity and I find your conversation of great interest.

Master Sciapod:
Generic curiousity? This creature is compartmentalizing curiousity? Chasing subtext with a honed and sharpened flint on a stick?

Master Clan-Is-Raw-Herd:
All those who are genuinely curious finally surrender to a fiction of ideology, mostly to save face and find closure. My society for instance encourages us to lose our minds to a fixed idea, whatever it is.

Mr. Panotti:
That explains your lament of ............ 1872.

Master Clan-Is-Raw-Herd:
My lament?

Mr. Panotti: [holds his ear up to Darwin's mouth OR picks up a book to read the quote]
And I quote: "My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws or lare collections of act, but why this should have raised the atrophy of that part of the brain alone on which higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the ____ character, by enfeebling the emotion part of our nature."

I was born to remedy that very source of irritation. I arrived with locked stock and barrel. Few understand whether it is blessing or transgression on the part of humans to release my treasures. Do not fault me for the false paradigms they project on my wares that blind our ability to see, but fault the perpetrators who violate the lock and then assign hierarchical values to the contents.

Mr. Blemye:
We know more about evolution than you can possibly imagine...

Master Clan-Is-Raw-Herd:
I dont doubt THAT!

Mr. Blemye:
.......evolution.. [warming up to move]

We are nothing. We are nothing but. We are nothing but the literary conventions of Solinus, the 6th century cartographer who identified the characteristics of creatures of unknown worlds: the gargoyles, demons, monsters, sinners, unformed and deformed inhabitants of the edge of the flat disc that was the world. He, like you, was an observer, and he conjured us up and marginalizedus and put us in our place at the very edge.

He sourced us in Africa along the Nile. We are mythical paradigms of strangeness for what he could not actually see or understand. But here we are, with our own adaptations, our own evolution. [Panotti slips offstage]

Everyone cheered like mad
when women's veils became old hat!
we all went home
carrying the burden of fashion

textures change...
armour subverts amour...
with a new show of arms

but the inner stuff facades are made of
Sugar and spice

poor nuns in their heavy habits.
poor us in ours.

[Sea Sounds come up, light goes down on old place..

Lights go up but to soft only on Davinci/Kiru talking to Mr Panotti -- they are braced against an imaginary wind. Davinci/Kiru is trying to hide behind one of Mr. Panotti's ears for shelter.]

This is my cup of tea, Panotti. This is a state between night and day. Perhaps it is also exactly the same as the state between cold and hot, black and white, up and down, left and right, all those bipolar states which lead to interpretation.

For that is where the link is, the intersection, where the difference is allowed, the bipolar abyss between night and day, the center and the edge, the edge and thereafter, earth and water, that is where all the danger and excitement and all possibilities lie.

Master Panotti (pulls his ears over his head, lifts one to say, as a sarcastic aside to the audience):

Right, give me shelter.

[Sciapod passes through the spot of light his spot of dialogue below...]

Bi-polarity tells the story of imagination for centuries; for how could we know our bearings unless we considered them in relationship to something else... We juxtapose, therefore we are!

Master Sciapod (aside to Master Blemye):
...another off-the-rack paradigm for our epistemological stew...

In my work as the Librarian of Juxtapositions In All Their Degrees I alone am responsible for archiving the etymology of extremes. I was not born to it; but became the obvious choice because of my ability to withstand the stresses of contradiction.

Master Sciapod [from offstage]:
Albeit that it does not occur to him that speech as he knows it is not necessarily the true indicator of cognitive powers. He seems unaware of history, the long story of visual grammar, word pictures, mnemonic tiers, rhizomatic leaps and trope scopes.

Centuries, like equators and borders, do not really exist; but are of use to our minds as markers.

Mr. Panotti (sarcastically)
Thanks to you, humans can now bear a glimpse of God's face in the abyss of links.

The Pandora's Box is open, and all the world is staking claim.

Wasnt I the first who said that words and images will one day be broken down into their smallest common denominators and sent in a stream over long distances from city to city, from realm to realm.

Blemye [wandering in with Pandora on his arm]:
.....more fitting for process than product.

I and I alone am responsible for the discovery of the space of cyber.

Mr. Panotti:
You will surely grind its potential down to the smallest common denominator so it becomes digestible and subject to simplistic understanding and control. And you will do this in every way you can wont you?

[paying absolutely no attention to Mr. Panotti]

It grieves me, my friends, that my discovery may have been somehow faultily constructed at its base. I may have not accounted for its degradation in the course of time.

Master Panotti:
Well, at least you are consistent.

The space of cyber is a petrie dish for virtual trade routes, political factions, religious and spiritual forums, town criers disseminating information. It is an anarchical and chameleon-like resource.

Everyone who occupies a new land strives to develop a mental map of it. If what you say is true, that the linear paradigm of bipolar bearings is over, the quest for locking in a pre-existing credo and dispensing with the key remains very much alive.

Panotti, you speak my mind! How do you do that?

Master Sciapod enters

Mr. Panotti:
In any system, including the solar system, an inside and an outside to the system is assumed, akin to a beginning and an end in a linear system. The focus on nodes and synapses still clouds the issue of borders and territories; where something ends and where it should begin; the substance of the center and the edge. Surely, everything can happen simultaneously, and synaesthesia can reign.

Master Sciapod:
Synaesthesia! ...too rich for my blood!

Clan Is Raw Herd:
[analytically] There remains a tendency for all systems to have relationships of weight and scale and color, for the link lengths to be measurable so they may be perceived as objects. The desire to perceive everything as object, vessel, system, is one to which I suppose we remain thoroughly addicted.

Oh, really. Everyone just wants fast and abundant phantasmagorical news!

Master Sciapod:
What's the difference if the world is a sphere or an ever-changing disc to our eyes. Maybe its really just a simulation-a cinematic texture map moving across a convex disc?

[they all look at him, and then decide to ignore that]

Clan Is Raw Herd (asks this as question, thoughtfully)
Perhaps we should surrender the notions of beginning and end, center and edge, left and right, right and wrong, and live inside the links.

I wonder if ould we resist treating the links like borders, markers and separators, as signifiers, and allow them to remain the lively synapses, the festering cocoons, they are? Would we allow ourselves to be visible in that condition?

Yes, and our maps should be the ever-evolving natural trails of process, discovery and rediscovery, experimentation and drive seen from the eyes of journey makers, with records created from the inside out. Only then will our knowledge include all of the memories of the future.

Master Clan-Is-Raw-Herd:
Knowledge devoid of juxtaposition and morality?

Master Sciapod:
All porpoise and no purpose?

Mr. Panotti:
Yes, you are saying, and wisely so, that we should not lose our mind's heart to a fixed idea or deny any longer that solutions are none of our business.

Rather, we should move like porpoises through the nooks and crannies, the elements and substance of known and unknown worlds for the purpose of keeping them enduring, thriving with imagination, adventure, and prosperity.

This then must be our true business, and none other.

Lightening storm - video comes up with windup toys


The group watches the video screen:

Clan is Raw Herd:
Look look, we are witness to a new species being born.

DaVinci/Kiru: ...interesting...

[Mr. Panotti shows repulsion towards the images]
[Mr. Blemye dances to the images]
[Mr. Sciapod runs away in fear]

Closing Siren's Song, words by AW, music /voice by Clilly Castiglia

The earth, impaled on its axis,
spins like a wounded organism
raging against the forces
that hold it in check
...and we, in our frail biological houses,
strive to see
the true primary colors of the spectrum,
invisible to the stone age workings of our eyes.
You know how it is,
an education in the true nature of gravity:
.......force without mercy.

songs to still go in: Great, Great, Great, Grandfather

The Sayonara Diorama Company