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871. CA Anna Bożena Zaniewska „The MASK” (“MASKA”)

13 października 2014,

Kanada Polska 

 

kategoria twórcza B

kategoria wiekowa dorosły

Autorka współpracuje z:
Lubuskim Stowarzyszeniem Twórców Rękodzieła Ludowego i Artystycznego
ul. Muzealna 5
66-006 Ochla
tel. +48 68 320 55 35
e-mail: br.me.zg@gmail.com
którego Prezesem jest starszy kustosz mgr Barbara Rybińska,
kierownik działu sztuki w

Muzeum Etnograficznym w Zielonej Górze z siedzibą w Ochli
(www.muzeumochla.pl)

 

 

 

Tekst ten napisany był w roku 1990 w Kanadzie.

W latach 2002-2005 fragment tekstu był częścią www.crises.info (prowadzonej przez A.B. Zaniewską)

Autorce wiadomo, że fragment tekstu był prezentowany w roku 1996 w Neapolu (Convitto Nazionale V. Emanuele, Piazza Dante) oraz opublikowany we wrześniu 1996 roku w LO STRANIERO, (1996), nr24, pp.20-22, pod tytułem “The Mask and the Stranger”.

 

Ostatnie (techniczne)poprawki tekstu - 13 październik 2014.

 

Tekst, który przesyłam to połowa, ale stanowić może odrębną całość. Jako taka, pozostaje bez odpowiedzi, a zatem otwarta jest na dowolną interpretację.

 

 

 

 „The MASK” (“MASKA”)

 

Przedstawienie w języku angielskim

 

W przedstawieniu występują:

  • KOBIETA
  • PAPUGA o imieniu Nadzieja – człowiek przebrany za Papugę  
  • TŁUM – 15-osobowa grupa tancerek i tancerzy (z których część ma na twarzach fioletowe  maski)

 

Cały tekst to dialog pomiędzy KOBIETĄ i PAPUGĄ.

PAPUGA czasami powtarza dokładnie usłyszany fragment tekstu, a czasami niby powtarza,

ale tekst powtórzony jest inny – tyle, że rymujący się z tym co usłyszała.

 

 

Streszczenie

 

Akt I

 

Odsłona 1.

  • przyjazd do nowego miejsca
  • nowe postanowienia
  • wspominanie momentu kiedy PAPUGA Nadzieja opuściła KOBIETĘ
  • wspólne odkrycie przyczyny powrotu
  • plany na przyszłość

 

Odsłona 2.

  • pierwsze (nieudane) wyjście KOBIETY do ludzi
  • chęć ucieczki

 

Odslona 3.

  • ponowna (znów nieudana) próba wyjścia do ludzi
  • wspólna analiza porażki
  • odkrycie, że ludzie w I rzędzie mają na twarzach maski

 

 

Przerwa

 

 

AktII

 

Odsłona 1.

  • trudności w nałożeniu maski
  • odrzucenie sceptycyzmu PAPUGI i ponowne wyjście do ludzi – tym razem w masce
  • pozytywna reakcja ludzi w maskach
  • werbalizacja radości z bycia akceptowaną
  • bagatelizacja rodzących się wątpliwości

 

Odsłona 2.

  • Ponowne (tym razem spontaniczne) wyjście do ludzi
  • nieoczekiwana przeszkoda – człowiek bez maski próbuje nawiązać kontakt z osobnikami w maskach
  • KOBIETA (tak jak inni w maskach) poddana zostaje próbie
  • tak jak wszyscy w maskach – odrzuca człowieka bez maski

 

Odsłona 3.

  • Powrót do PAPUGI i próba zbagatelizowania tego co się stało
  • dialog przerywa nowe wydarzenie, które pozwala odkryć, że maska staje na przeszkodzie w otwarciu listu od bliskiej osoby
  • frustracja KOBIETY i jej werbalizacja trudności w ocenie sytuacji
  • sugestia PAPUGI, że ucieczka nie jest tu rozwiązaniem

 

 

 

 

 

T H E   M A S K

 

 

a play by Anna Bozena Zaniewska

 

first written in 1990*

 

 

 

 

WOMAN - a woman

PARROT named HOPE - an individual dressed like a parrot

CROWD - Fifteen individuals (ballet or dance group members)

 

 

ACT I

 

 

 

Part 1

 

(The left half of the stage is closed.  The right half of the stage is decorated like a cosy little room, with the window on the right side and the door between  the large mirror and the wardrobe on the left.

The WOMAN, carrying her luggage - a huge suitcase, a straw hat, and a pot of pansies enters the room.

The PARROT comes just after her through the door, goes straight to the window and sits on the window sill.

The WOMAN stops in the middle of the room, looks at the PARROT, and says with uncertainty in her voice)

 

 

WOMAN: Well Hope, what do you think?

 

PARROT: You think, you think, you think...

 

WOMAN: (with anger in her voice)  I can't think any more. I don't want to. Thinking does

      not help.

      (she adds with a strong voice)  I have to do something.

 

PARROT: Do something, do something, do something... (stress on do)

 

WOMAN: Yes, but what? What can I do?

 

PARROT: Can I do? Can I do? Can I do?...

 

WOMAN: (with determination in her voice)  No Hope, not you. It has to be me this time. I

      have to do something.

 

PARROT: Do something, do something, do something... (stress on something)

 

WOMAN: Yes, I will. 

      (The WOMAN puts her luggage on the floor) Just be patient.

      (The WOMAN picks up her suitcase with both hands and carrying it towards the     

      bed  she says)  The beginning is never easy. 

     (looking towards the window the WOMAN  drops the suitcase on top of the bed

     and says)  Fortunately, I can always have with me you Hope.

 

PARROT: You hope, you hope, you hope...

 

WOMAN: I do.  Believe me, I do. 

     (Walking towards the window the WOMAN says)  I hope that this is the end of our

     journey. 

     (The WOMAN opens the window)  Look, it is beautiful here, I like it already.

 

PARROT: Ready, ready, ready...

 

WOMAN: Ready? Ready for what?

 

PARROT: For what? For what? For what?...

 

WOMAN: (looking at the PARROT she says) You know for what. 

     (she adds quieter)  And I know it too. 

     (The WOMAN whispers)  I know what I ought to do, but am I ready? 

      I don't know. 

     (Walking towards the bed the WOMAN picks up her straw hat from      

      the floor and looking back at the  PARROT she says)  I am not sure.

 

PARROT: Sure, sure, sure...

 

WOMAN: You Hope always seem so optimistic. 

(The WOMAN sits on the edge of the bed, holding her hat on her lap with both          

hands.  Melancholy reflected on her face)  But maybe you have the right to be like  that. You always kept saying "do it", and after all, you were right. But, I am not as brave as you are.

 

PARROT: You are, you are, you are...

 

WOMAN: No, I am not. I know it.

 

PARROT: I know it?, I know it?, I know it?...

 

WOMAN: No, you probably don't. I was so scared of this adventure and even now I still feel

      nervous about it. All that we left behind - all these problems, obstacles,

      difficulties...

      (The WOMAN looks at the PARROT and says with doubt in her  voice)  Do you       

      remember?

 

PARROT: (more and more quiet) Remember? Remember? Remember?...

 

WOMAN: I'm sorry Hope, I guess we both remember it very well. Especially your

disappearance Hope.

(The WOMAN lowers her head and adds quietly)  It was so frightening.

 

PARROT: Frightening, frightening, frightening…

 

WOMAN: (Holding her hat in the right hand, she supports her head with her left hand on

     her forehead, and her elbow on her left knee, and shaking her head she says)  I

     didn't know what to do. I was terrified by the possibility of loosing you forever. 

     (The WOMAN stands up, her hat falls on the floor.  While walking towards        

     the PARROT, the WOMAN starts talking with anger raising in her voice)

     How could you!?

     How could you do that to me?!

     Just disappear!

     With not a word! 

     And with no reason!

     Just leave me, when I needed you the most! 

     (The WOMAN  starts walking around  the room.  Now her voice is quiet  and very       

     sad)  Where were you? I was looking for you everywhere. I couldn't eat, sleep,

     work, nothing. You were gone... 

     (Turning towards the PARROT the WOMAN says)  Yes, you were gone...for days,  

     maybe weeks?... I don't know. I did not see the difference between day and night,

     everything seemed to be going wrong. Everything!

 

PARROT: Everything? Everything? Everything?...

 

WOMAN: (Stops in front of the PARROT and says)  Yes, everything. You were not there,

      and at the same time all these problems with Mr GiveUp.

 

PARROT: Give up, give up, give up…

 

WOMAN: (The WOMAN walks towards the table, picks up the photograph, comes back to

      her PARROT, sits on the window sill, and looking at the photograph she says in a

      tone of discovery)  Yes, I remember... Mr GiveUp... Always cheerful, confident,

      successful. I was so eager to see him and listen. His life seemed to me so

      appealing, so different from ours. Just listening to him was enough to imagine

      the infinity of joy and pleasure. And most of all security. In his presence I was

      able to forget our misery, I was so happy until...

      (The WOMAN puts the  photograph on the window sill, and says with difficulty)       

      Until that evening... I remember it so clearly. 

      (The WOMAN gets up and walks slowly towards  the  mirror)  He came with a

      mysterious smile on his face. "Leave all that and join me", he said. 

      (With an apparent enthusiasm in her voice the WOMAN continues  in front of the

      mirror)   What an opportunity! To change our mere existence into this life of joy

      and happiness, or of comfort at least. I was so very, very tired... We both, you and

      I, were tired...  We constantly struggle, and fight, and cry and worry. All that could

      be changed... 

      (Turning suddenly the WOMAN looks at the PARROT and continues standing)  I

      wanted to run back to you and tell you all about it.  (Her voice changes into the

      sound of disappointment)  But only then I have  learned, that there was no room

      for you in this offer.

      Mr GiveUp said,  (The WOMAN imitates his low irritated voice) "Darling, there is

      only one thing that I can not tolerate. It is your Hope. I can not stand this creature!

      You must get rid of  it as soon as possible. It will bring you nothing but pain. It is

       not real." 

      "Of course it is real", was my reply. 

      But he did not accept. "Listen to me" he said "Somewhere in the past, I also had

      my Hope. She was so beautiful. She was everything to me. But at the same time

      she was so demanding. I was young, not ready for sacrifices. And there were so

      many things to experience in life. Life was so exciting. Gradually I was giving her

      less and less attention, neglecting her more and more. She did not complain, nor

      cry. One day she just disappeared. And now, the more I think about all that, the

      more I believe that she was only my imagination. I had created my Hope. And I

      destroyed it too." 

      (The  WOMAN starts walking towards the PARROT) Only then I have realized,

      that all this joy and that cheerful mood of Mr GiveUp are not true. He pretends to

      be happy, but this is only his way of crying. 

      (with deep sadness in her voice) Somewhere, in the past he also had his Hope. He

      lost it. And now he does it to everybody...  Just runs around, telling that nobody

      needs Hope, that Hope does not exist...

      (The WOMAN stops in the middle of the room by the pot of pansies)  How

      very, very frightening was that discovery. I left him in a hurry. I wanted to be with

      you. But... But you... You were not there...

 

PARROT: Not there, not there, not there…

 

WOMAN: That's right. You left me when I needed you the most.

                  (walking again, the WOMAN says calmly) I did not want to believe it. It was

      impossible to accept. But, even worse seemed to be the possibility of you being

      just my imagination. Did you disappear on your own, or did I destroy you? Who

      was right – me or Mr GiveUp? Where is the truth? Did I need to know?

 

PARROT: Need to know? Need to know? Need to know?

 

WOMAN: Well, actually I didn’t care. It did not matter why, what did matter was that you

      were gone.

 

PARROT: (repeats quietly) Gone, gone, run...

 

WOMAN: Run!? Did you say run? 

      No. it's not possible. You can only repeat words. 

      But why did I hear "run"? 

 

PARROT: (with the voice getting stronger) Run, run, run...

 

WOMAN: Run? What do you mean? You did not run away.

 

PARROT: (moving its head up and down) Run away, run away, run away...

 

WOMAN: Run away! You did run away!? But… why?

      Run away from me? 

      Can you even imagine how was it like without you? 

      (The WOMAN sits on the floor by the pot of  pansies and says) I was looking for

      you everywhere. But with no luck. You left me Hope. I lost you. 

     (The WOMAN  lowers her head on her bent knees.  After a  moment of silence she

     says)  And then, one day, I found you... barely alive, lying on the grass by the huge

     field of pansies.

     (Looking at the pot of pansies the  WOMAN  repeats with amazement)  Pansies... 

     Do you know, that pansies are the symbol of friendship?  (The WOMAN lowers

     herself and touches the flowers) Yes, you do.  I told you that thousands of times.      

     (The WOMAN picks up the pot of  pansies from the floor, and holding it says with

     a  nostalgic smile)  Pansies, flowers of friendship...

 

PARROT: Friendship, friendship, friendship...

 

WOMAN: Friendship... A strange treasure... If real, one cannot buy it. But one cannot loose it

     either. And it cannot be exchanged. Even if unjustly taken away, it remains

     untouched in one's heart. This heart knows how to wait for the return of the justice

     and affection. 

     (With a look of great discovery   on her face)  Justice and affection... You and    

     pansies... Hope and Friendship... Friendship and Hope... 

     (The WOMAN walking towards the window says with surprise in her voice)  Is it  

     possible? Is that what it was? 

 

PARROT: It was, it was, it was...

 

WOMAN: (The WOMAN sits on the window sill, with the pot on her lap.  Looking at the

     flowers she says)  You say it was. So, you had to leave me, because I did not

     recognize your importance in my life. You were afraid of rejection, so you left me

     first, before I left you.

     (The WOMAN looks at the PARROT)  But I would never leave you! 

     (The WOMAN  lowers her head)  I guess, you did not know that...  (the  WOMAN

     looks towards the audience)  Maybe I did not know it either? 

     (The WOMAN looks at the PARROT again)  Now I do. Hope, I need you. Please,

     never ever leave me again. We will make it. Together this time...

 

PARROT: It's time, It's time, It's time...

 

WOMAN: It’s time, you say.

     (The WOMAN seems to be awakening  from a dream)  Time for what?  (the

     WOMAN looks around)  Oh yes, you are right, time to start unpacking. 

     (The WOMAN puts pansies on   the window sill, walks towards the bed and starts  

     unpacking her suitcase)

 

 

Part 2

 

(Both sides of the stage are open: on the right side is the room from Scene I, clean and tidy.  On the left side there are four rows of chairs.  In the first row there are ten individuals wearing purple masks and sitting still next to each other. The end-seats on both sides of the first row are empty.  Five other individuals are scattered in the remaining three rows of chairs.)

 

WOMAN:  Today is a very important day, right Hope?

 

PARROT: Might hope, might hope, might hope...

 

WOMAN: Might? Oh, no! To hope is not enough. This time it must happen. It must be real. 

      I am going to buy some flowers, and groceries, and look for the job...  All           

      that means, I am going to meet people.  Finally...

 

PARROT: Meet people finally, meet people finally, meet people finally...

 

WOMAN: Yes, finally I am going to meet people.

      (She looks at the PARROT with uncertainty and says) Do I really want to?

 

PARROT: Want to, want to, want to…

 

WOMAN: I don’t know. It is so cosy here, but only people can sell you things, give you a job,

     or just talk to you.

 

PARROT: Talk to you?, Talk to you?, Talk to you?

 

WOMAN: No offence, Hope.  (The WOMAN looks at her PARROT)  Of course you can talk. 

      But you can only say what I or somebody else taught you... You can only repeat...

 

PARROT: Only repeat?, only repeat?, only repeat?

 

WOMAN: Yes. You can only repeat words. 

      (WOMAN gets up and while walking towards the mirror, she says)  You see, with

      people it is different. With them you never know what they will say or do. People

      are so unpredictable.

 

PARROT: Unpredictable, unpredictable, unpredictable...

 

WOMAN: Very unpredictable, but also very fascinating in their peculiar ways.

 

PARROT: Peculiar ways, peculiar ways, peculiar ways…

 

WOMAN: Yes, their ways are peculiar (the WOMAN is continuing her walk towards the

      mirror and then she stops for a moment saying:) Of course, sometimes they say or

     do very sad things, but they must have reasons for being like that. They must have

     reasons…  

     (She stops in front of the mirror and  starts getting ready: puts on her make up,

      combs her hair and  tries on different  pieces of clothing. She chooses a large

      colourful piece and wraps it around her shoulders. 

     Looking at her reflection in  the mirror she says) My first outing in this

      new city. I am going to meet people.

 

PARROT: Meet people, meet people, meet people ..

 

WOMAN: Easy to say: “meet people”. But how? What do I do first? They may be busy or

      shy. Am I the one to start?

 

PARROT: You start, you start, you start...

 

WOMAN: But how? What do I do first? Just smile and acknowledge them, or say

      something?

 

PARROT: Say something, say something, say something...

 

WOMAN: But what? What must I say?

 

PARROT: Just say, just say, just say...

 

WOMAN: Yes, but what? What do you say when you meet new people?

 

PARROT: Meet new people, greet new people, greet new people...

 

WOMAN: Greet them! Oh, Hope! Of course, I must greet them. I will. I think I'm ready for

that. Wish me good luck. (The last look in the mirror and a step toward the    

     CROWD. She walks slowly, accompanied by PARROT’S words)

 

PARROT: Good luck, good luck, good luck...

 

WOMAN: (She stops in front of the CROWD, looks around, walks a few steps to the right,

      then a few steps to the left, and returns walking back and observing the CROWD.

      When  she is back by the PARROT ,in a quiet voice she remarks)  Hope, they did

      not see me.

      (She turns to the audience and says with wonder)  But I was the only person facing

      them all. (She adds in the strong voice)  They must have seen me, I'm sure.

 

PARROT: Sure?, Sure?, Sure?

 

WOMAN: (The WOMAN walks slowly toward the audience and says) Yes, I am sure. They

      must have seen me. But nobody said nothing.

 

PARROT: Nothing?, Nothing?, Nothing?

 

WOMAN: (turning her back to the CROWD, she says) No, not even a word. 

 

PARROT: Even a word?, Even a word?, Even a word?

 

WOMAN: (The WOMAN sits besides the PARROT on the window sill) No, not even a word. 

     This is peculiar. People usually talk.

 

PARROT: Talk, talk, talk… 

 

WOMAN: Yes, usually people talk a lot. And if they don’t there must be reasons.

 

(From the background comes the dramatic music with the lyrics about the reasons for everything, giving chances, being open and trying to understand. When the song ends the WOMAN looks at the PARROT and says)

 

WOMAN: Did you hear that?

 

PARROT: Hear that, hear that, hear that…

 

WOMAN: So, what do you think? Maybe I should try again?

 

PARROT: Try again, try again, try again…

 

WOMAN: I will (she says with determination and proceeds towards the CROWD singing the tunes from the song.)

 

 

Part 3

 

WOMAN: (The WOMAN proceeds towards the CROWD and smiling she says.)  Hello everybody. 

(No response.  She waits for a moment, looks back at the PARROT, and then she goes towards an empty chair at the end of the first row just beside the wall, and sits down.  All the people in the row move one seat away from her. 

The WOMAN leans her head on her hands for a moment.  Then she stands up and approaches the MASKS in the first row individually.

First she goes to Mask I, and says)  Hallo.  (No answer.  The WOMAN turns to the audience and says)  Maybe they are deaf? 

(She goes to Mask III and touches gently, but Mask III pushes her away.  At the same time Masks VI and VII steal her  purse.  The WOMAN with an expression of shock on her face turns to the audience and walking away from the MASKS she says)  It is not possible. I can not believe. That can not be right.

(WOMAN stops for a moment and the continues) - They can not be all so bad. (She stops)  Maybe I was too forceful.  I must be more gentle. 

(She goes back and tries once more to look  into the eyes of Mask III, but it grabs her and tries to kiss her.  The WOMAN screams)  NO!  (and runs away to her place crying. 

She lies down on her bed, face-down, and crying she says)  Why? What did I do?  What is wrong with me? Hope, where are you? 

(The WOMAN looks at the empty  window-sill and says with a very weak voice)  Don't leave me now. I need you. 

(The PARROT, who was standing behind,  comes to her bed and sits beside the WOMAN. 

Holding her PARROT the WOMAN says in the crying voice)  I tried, I really did.  It did not work.

 

PARROT: Not work, lot work, lot work...

 

WOMAN: Lot work?  What do you mean?  A lot of work?  Are you trying to say that a lot of work would bring a change?

 

PARROT: Change, change, change...

 

WOMAN: Do you believe that?  Do you really believe that they will change?  Maybe... But maybe not?  Maybe it is not our place yet?  Maybe we should move again?

 

PARROT: Move again?, Move again?, Move again?...

 

WOMAN: (The WOMAN frees herself from the embrace, shakes  her  head and says)  Yes. Why not? Like so many times before. They don't want us here. We are leaving immediately.  (The WOMAN opens her suitcase, and starts packing in great determination and hurry.

And then, while carrying her dresses from her  wardrobe, she passes the mirror. It reflects the purple dress placed on top of all. The look of discovery and disbelief appears on WOMAN's face.)  Purple... Purple faces!  They all have purple faces! 

(She looks at the mirror of her own face, touches it and says)  That can't be right. People do not have purple faces. What’s wrong with them? Maybe I am not the one who is wrong?  Maybe something is wrong with them?  But how can I check that?  How do I find out?  Where can I ask?

 

PARROT: I ask, ask, mask...

 

WOMAN: (turns to her PARROT and shouts) Mask! You said mask! Right Hope, they all are wearing masks.  Purple masks.  Is that possible?  (she goes to the mirror, looks at  her reflection again)

 

PARROT: Possible?, possible?, possible?...

 

WOMAN: Why not? Everything is possible. We are new here, and we do not know.  There may be reasons for that.  Maybe they have to wear them?  Maybe they have to? 

 

PARROT: They have to, they have to, they have to...

 

WOMAN: Well, that may be it.  I do not have one. I do not have a mask, So I am different.

 

PARROT: Different, different,  different...(PARROT'S voice is changing into a disappearing echo)

 

WOMAN: (in a sad voice)  Yes, I am different. A stranger.  But, is that a problem? 

Is that the reason for all my problems?  That would be rather funny.  (With a puzzled smile)  Such a small thing - a mask. 

 

PARROT: Mask, mask, mask...

 

WOMAN: (repeats with the smile)  The mask...  Where can you get one?  Where do they get these masks?  Do they buy them?  Are given them?  (With bewilderment)  Or, maybe make them?

 

PARROT: Make them, make them, make them...

 

WOMAN: Yes, that could be it.  Make them!  Make them?

 

PARROT: Make them? Make them? Make them?...

 

WOMAN: Why not?

 

PARROT: Not, not, not...

 

WOMAN: Why not?  This is not very difficult. I will start mine right now.  (She pulls out a roll of purple paper from under the bed, and starts cutting it)

 

 

 

INTERMISSION

 

 

ACT II

 

Part1

 

(Both sides of the stage open.  The WOMAN stands in front of the mirror, holding the purple mask in her hand.  The PARROT sits on the window sill)

 

WOMAN: (looking at the audience)  Well, I have the Mask.  I guess, it is time to try it on.  (She holds the mask  with both hands and looks at its reflection in the mirror)

 

PARROT: Try it on, try it on, try it on...

 

WOMAN: Yes, I will. But it seems to be easier to say then do. Do I really have to do it?  (looks at the mask, seems to be disturbed a little) 

 

PARROT: Do it, do it, do it...

 

WOMAN: (Brings the mask closer to her face  and says with uncertainty)  Do I have to wear it? 

 

PARROT:  Wear it?, wear it?, wear it?

 

WOMAN: Well, why not?  It is only a mask. (she tries it on and  off)

 

PARROT: Only a mask?, Only a mask?, Only a mask?...

 

WOMAN: (Uncovers her face and holding the mask in her hand she says)  Of course it is only a mask. Wearing it means nothing.

 

PARROT: Means nothing?, Means nothing?, Means nothing?

 

WOMAN: It means nothing to me.  And yet, (short silence) it may mean something to others.  (With the strong convinced voice she says)  It may mean a lot to them.  Look, they all are wearing masks.  So, it may even be the right thing to do here.

 

PARROT: (With pity in her voice)  My dear, my dear, my dear...

 

WOMAN: (with anger)  Don't say that. After all, my face is not that important.  (The WOMAN puts on her mask and proceeds towards the CROWD. 

Mask I - the first on the left waves to her and whispers the news to Mask II. 

Mask II and all others do the same until they all know. They all come to her, gather around, talk, smile, touch, include her in the middle.  First they all sit on the chairs, then they start their "silent dance"; first they all stand up and make a few steps forward holding hands, then turn to the left, and to the right, etc.  They move like the robots.

DANCE:

  • scratch the nose
  • touch an ear
  • cross your legs
  • stand up and sit down
  • raise your right arm
  • raise your left arm
  • turn your head right
  • turn your head left
  • shake your right wrist
  • shake your left wrist
  • bend forward
  • touch your forehead
  • touch an arm of the person on your left
  • nod to the person next to you

 They dance in silence for a few minutes and then they go back to their seats with the smiles, shaking hands, etc.

The WOMAN runs back home dancing  with Grieg's music - "The Solveiga's Song".

With big letters she writes on the mirror ”happy” and reads it loud: “Happy. I am so happy.”

 

PARROT: (with sadness)  Happy, happy, happy...

 

WOMAN: without paying attention to PARROT'S words interrupts saying with enthusiasm)

                  Yes, I am happy. I have friends, I have everything.

 

PARROT: Everything? Everything? Everything?

 

WOMAN: No, maybe not everything. But, I do not ask for more now.

I am not different any more.  (a closer look at the mirror)  I have a mask, like all of them.  So, in fact, I am the same. I belong, I have friends, I have everything.

 

PARROT: Everything? Have everything? Have everything?

 

WOMAN: Not everything. But, I do not ask for more now. I am accepted and wanted, I am not different. I do enjoy it. It makes me belong.

(She turns a few times with the music)  I belong, finally, I am the same.

 

PARROT: The same? The same? The same?...

 

WOMAN: (Stops in the middle of the room and looking at the PARROT she says)  No, maybe not the same. But I am not different. I am not a stranger. I do not ask for more now.  I feel accepted and I belong.

 

PARROT: Belong? Belong? Belong?

 

WOMAN: Well, not exactly.  I just mean that I do not feel rejected any more.  I am not a “stranger".

 

PARROT: Stranger, stranger, stranger...

 

WOMAN: No, not any more. This is the past. I can not be rejected now. I am not a stranger.

 

PARROT: Stranger, danger, danger...

 

WOMAN: What are you talking about? Danger? No. There is no danger. Now they like me, they seem to enjoy my company. They smile and talk to me. I am no different, and I enjoy it so much.  Only their dancing is funny - no music like here. They dance in silence. Like robots.  But you know what?  Believe it or not, but I miss them already.

 

PARROT: Already?, Already?, Already?...

 

WOMAN: Yes. (her voice is getting faster and faster)  I need to tell them about you, about me, about so many things. I want to know them all.  I have to go.

 

 

 

Part 2

 

(The WOMAN humming runs back towards the CROWD and stops at her doorstep. 

Nobody seems to acknowledge  her appearance, because at the same time the PERSON - one member of the CROWD from the back row, without the mask, approaches the Masks one by  one. They all push him away.  Each time there is a voice-echo saying "stranger", first very loud, and then two or three times more and more quiet,  until another rejection. The WOMAN observes it for a while.  Eventually, the PERSON comes to her.  The echo says louder and louder two words:  stranger and danger.  The WOMAN  remains  still for a moment, and then pushes him away with a great force.  The CROWD of Masks expresses a great applause by clapping hands, gathering around her, embracing, etc.   Again, as nothing happened, they repeat their "dance", and eventually they all start leaving with smiles, weaving hands, etc. 

 

 

 

Part 3

 

(With Grieg's music the WOMAN goes home saying)

Another day is gone. This time a good day.

 

PARROT: Good day?, Good day?, Good day?

 

WOMAN: (starts with a great enthusiasm in her voice, and then slower and slower she says) Yes, it was a good day. A very good day.

 

PARROT: (with doubt) Good day, good day, good day...

 

WOMAN: (slowly, with less certainty)  Yes, a very good day. Although... (Her voice slows down.  She says with apparent difficulty) Except..., except...  except one accident.

 

PARROT: Accident? Accident? Accident?...

 

WOMAN: (She stands up and goes towards her bed saying)  Yes, a very misfortunate accident. A Stranger came and tried to join us. A very misfortunate accident. 

 

PARROT: Accident? Accident? Accident?...

 

WOMAN: Was it an accident? (she seems puzzled a little) Yes, it was an accident. This stranger came…(with increasing difficulty she says) He came…he came…

(The WOMAN   tries to take off her mask, but she apparently changes her mind, and says)  First I will tell you this story.  This Stranger came...  (Her voice is changing)  He came...  and,  and...  (Her talk is interrupted by the door bell, and the letter drops through the letter box.  Dancing with the accompaniment of Grieg's music the WOMAN goes to the door and picks up the letter.  She puts it on her chest and slows down.  With slow music she just stands for a while holding the letter.  The music changes - the transition is sharp.  She says)  Something is wrong.

 

PARROT: Is wrong, is wrong, is wrong...

 

WOMAN: (turning to the PARROT she says)  Yes, something is wrong. I can not read it. (Her voice becomes louder)  I can not open it.  (With panic in her voice)  I can not open this letter.  (she starts walking around window-door-window, and after a while she starts  questioning in a voice that gradually turns into screaming)  What is wrong?  Why can't I?  What is it?  (In very uncoordinated movements, while passing the mirror, the WOMAN realizes that she is still wearing her mask.  She stops in front of the mirror, looks at her reflection and says)  Is that the problem?  Is that what is so disturbing?  It means nothing.  It is only a mask.  I know it means nothing.  Inside I am still the same.

 

PARROT: Still the same?, Still the same?, Still the same?

 

WOMAN: Of course I am still the same.  The mask just helps me here a little.  Finally I belong.  But I can take it off if I want to.  Look, I can take it off.  (she tries to take off her mask, but then she stops in the middle and says)  But why?  Why should I? 

 

PARROT: Should I?, Should I?, Should I?

 

WOMAN: No, not you.  I am the same, and I will decide whether to wear it or not.  I know that wearing that mask brings no danger.

 

PARROT: (quietly) Stranger, stranger, stranger...

 

WOMAN: (starts crying)  Don’t do that to me. Don't say that, please.  It was only an accident.  I did not mean to hurt him.

 

PARROT: You hurt him, you hurt him, you hurt him...

 

WOMAN: Don't do that to me!  Not now, please, not now...  (she starts crying)  It was so beautiful today.  My first happy day. 

 

PARROT: Happy day?  Happy day?  Happy day?

 

WOMAN: It was, initially.  So, it was rather a happy morning, but now I am in pain.  So, it was not really a happy day, I suppose.  Or was it?  Who can tell me?  Hope, maybe you know?

 

PARROT: You know, you know, you know...

 

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