‘Shatter’ Excerpt

Shatter

Characters

Jasmine:  A woman struggling to regain her identity after years of denying herself and her aspirations.  30-40.

Lochran:  An aspect of Jasmine’s subconscious.  Knows that she needs an intelligent friend and companion and that she must find the answers to her questions herself.  Frequently uses dry and witty humor to make blunt points.  Male. Jasmine’s age.

Teacher:  The aspect of Jasmine’s subconscious that knows what she really wants and what she needs to do to achieve it.  A serious, but passionate, teacher and exacting taskmaster.  Male, ageless with a Japanese aesthetic.

Gate Keeper:  The aspect of Jasmine’s subconscious that recognizes her vulnerability in these explorations.  A fiercely loyal companion who speaks little, but monitors the flow of positive and negative energies around her.  Doesn’t always do what she wants.  Will challenge her with unwanted problems when necessary.  Male. 25-40 with a renaissance aesthetic.  Wears a sword.

Crying Woman:  Embodiment of Jasmine’s denied and repressed Fears.  Female. Jasmine’s age.

Mike:  Jasmine’s lover.  Wants to help, but doesn’t know how.  Fully aware that she is struggling to help herself.  Male. 30-40.

 

Setting

 

Jasmine’s and Mike’s house, a building made entirely of glass.  All surfaces should be both reflective and capable of being seen through.  All mirrors in the house must be capable of doing both at the same time.  The house is organized around a central pillar wherein the bathroom, (capable of being both transparent and opaque), is housed.  A large, full-length mirror dominates the outside of the pillar.  Parts of at least two exterior walls, one on either side of the stage, must be visible.  A large, subtly disguised screen should be hidden up and behind the pillar, possibly extending the width of the stage.  If desired, this screen may be a three dimensional space instead of an actual screen.

 

Prologue

 

(Lighting/Scene:  Lights fade up.  An unsheathed sword lies alone, glowing in a small pool of light on a black empty stage.)

 

(Silence…)

 

Enter CRYING WOMAN

 

CRYING WOMAN

(Emerges from the darkness like a ghost, slowly and ephemeral.  Stops by sword.  Considers it a moment.  Then continues forward.)

(Addressing audience.)

How do we lose ourselves?  How do we lose track of who we are so completely that not even the memory of what we’ve lost remains?  How does something like that happen?  How can it?  Happen?

(Approaches sword.)

It’s easier than you think.  It happens gradually.  So gradually, that you don’t even notice.

 

(Lighting:  Lights illustrate CRYING WOMAN’s story.)

 

CRYING WOMAN

(Telling story by stepping thru lights.)

The bright light of your dreams, all around.  Everywhere you look.  Then something gets in the way.  You can’t figure out what it is, or why it’s there.  So you step aside.  “I’ll circle back later,” you say, “figure it out then.  I don’t have time now.”  So you do.  But when you circle back, it’s still there.  Or something else is.  But it’s nice where you are, and you still have no time, and the light’s so bright.  “It’s not like I’ll lose sight of it.”  So you step aside again.  “It’s just a small detour.  I can always go back.”  And you walk, ever so slowly, into the darkness.  So slowly, you don’t even realize it’s grown dim.  So slowly… you don’t even realize you’ve forgotten what light looks like.  And then suddenly…  There’s nothing!

 

(Lighting:  Blackout.)

 

CRYING WOMAN

(Echoing as if in a massive, empty space.)

Nothing!  As far as the eye can see!  Nothing!

 

(Lighting:  After a few moments of silence, sword slowly reappears.)

 

CRYING WOMAN

And you turn to go back, but…

(Slowly emerges from the darkness.  Stops near sword.)

You don’t remember which way you came.  Or where you came from.  Or who you left behind.  What did it look like?  What did They look like?  What did it feel like?  Why were you there in the first place?  And why did you leave?!  You don’t know.  All you know is nothing.  Something’s wrong.  An emptiness.  Aloneness.  Something missing, deep inside, that you can’t even put a name to.  A darkness, eating you alive like a black hole where once your happiness grew.  But you don’t even remember what ‘Happy’ really is.  And it’s been dark for so long that none of the people around you…  They never saw your light.  They can’t help to remind you where it is.

(Approaches sword.  Picks it up.)

All you have is yourself.

 

(Lighting:  A second pool of light forms, revealing GATE KEEPER.)

 

GATE KEEPER

(Kneeling in a lonely pool of light, like the sword.)

 

CRYING WOMAN

Yourself.  Alone.  Without the light that once defined your entire existence.  Without definition.  Without even the memory of what you once had to live for…

(Presents sword to GATE KEEPER.)

 

GATE KEEPER

(Takes sword and examines it.  Then stands.)

 

CRYING WOMAN

When that happens…  There’s nothing left to do—

(Signals GATE KEEPER)

—but Break!

 

GATE KEEPER

(Slams sword point down onto stage with a hollow, reverberating crash combined with elements of a shattering mirror.)

 

(Sound/Lighting:  Stage and surroundings shatter in a surge of blinding chaos originating from GATE KEEPER’s pool and the sword’s point.  CRYING WOMAN vanishes as JASMINE’s house forms from the chaos, re-assembling like reverse-shattered glass.  The spot where GATE KEEPER stands becomes the central pillar.  GATE KEEPER vanishes, obscured by the pillar’s mirror as the set solidifies.)

(Scene shifts.)

 

Enter JASMINE

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