Monday, June 20, 2005

"You're still not getting it!" the director hurled at his rehearsing players.

"What did we do wrong this time?" the boy pondered.
"Are we to play it in mime?" the girl wondered.

The director sighed. "I'll repeat it again if you're lost: This is Theater of the Absurd. You must avoid meaning at every cost."

"You gave us Shakespeare to read," said she, "and told us to use the soliloquy."

"We have no budget for modern scripts, and these may be used without royalty. I ask only that you state the reverse of what you read, so that we might add absurdity. Begin again, please, at the scene where Hamlet confronts Juliet."

Hamlet: Anarchy or decadence? Answer thou this question.
Juliet: O Romeo, Romeo, there art thou!
Hamlet: 'Tis better to have pleasure by slings and cuffs, than watch the Wheel of Fortune.
Juliet: Deny thy father came thus to me? Oh what was his name? I dared not refuse him. But it was not love, I swear it.
Hamlet: I'll take his wooden arms and trouble him to spring in the sea to his unopposed end.
Juliet: I have some capsules I long to take. 'Tis said one forgets one's own name.
Hamlet: To sleep, to sleep with thee evermore, by sleep mean I that pleasure of a thousand throbbings of the flesh. Ah, thy natural hair!
Juliet: Take thou thyself, through masturbation. Wilt thou masturbate?
Hamlet: 'Tis a consummation devoutly to avoid.
Juliet: With thy hand afoot, no arm nor face of mine thou need. Or belong to a man, a name of thy choosing.
Hamlet: To sleep with thee, perchance was but a dream: may that thou would rub me.
Juliet: To thee 'tis all the same. Take my friend Rose. She smells as sweet as I.

"No! No! No!" the director lamented loudly, throwing his arms in the air.

"What's wrong now?" the boy and girl asked as one.

"It's good," the director told them, catching his falling arms, "but it's making too much sense. Let's go instead with a new concept. Girl, you be Othello, and boy, you play Little Richard. Stagehand! Bring out the piano and the horse."

"This is absurd!! Of concepts completely unheard!!" the boy and girl responded in verse.

"Act!" barked the director, "Art must not be deterred!"

Story #239

I'm posting my version a little early. Anyone else wishing to contribute a story to the picture, please feel free to do so. Thanks everyone who wrote something. Again, it feels like it's my birthday, with all the great stories you shared with me.

For another round robin story writing, check out Michael's blog:


Unknown said...

Mark explained to Lugubria, "It says here that we should throw the rope over something directly overhead and fix to something solid, do you think the chairleg?"

She answered, "I don't care, hurry up, the lecture starts in twenty minutes."

A Little Bar of Soap said...

Jennifer stood on the chair, waiting for Ms. Meyers to hand her the flyer for posting. "Why does Ms. Meyers have such a mannish haircut?" wondered Jennifer.

Ms. Meyers nearly lost her balance handing the flyer up to Jenn. "Why, Jenn dresses like a little punk boy!" thought Ms. Meyers to herself.

Jennifer and Ms. Meyers were busily preparing the 5-6 year olds Sunday School room for tomorrow's class. They'd been planning this class for months. It's on women in the Bible. They will start with Eve and go all the way through Mary Magdalene. One hour will not be enough time.

Perhaps later they'll pray about it.

Indeterminacy said...

Great stories! Keep them coming!

Jamie Dawn said...

Hi Indie!!
Courtney and I are currently in Seoul, Korea. I wanted to say hello and I will try and post some pictures after we get back into our hotel later tonight.
Until then... Hope all is well.

The Mushroom said...

Joshua (as George) and Jesamin (as Emily) were rattling through their lines, three days before dress rehearsal of the community theatre's production of Our Town, and Josh tried his best for sincerity as he crooned, "I guess new people aren't any better than old ones" and began the pledge of love to Emily. Jesamin had to break character as though it were a moral imperative, and said over Josh's head to the director, "Ya know, this would be so much more authentic and a little safer if the custodian would let us use the building's ladders! These elementary school chairs are going to give way under our weight and then they'll be sorry!"

"Life is a time of supreme ignorance, folly and blindness." - Thorton Wilder

alix said...

happy father's day, inde!

Indeterminacy said...

Hey Jamie and Courtney! Glad you all made it OK.

Alix: Thanks! Today we're going on a family outing to a Strawberry festival. We all love strawberries.

Anonymous said...

Both Jennifer and Ms. Meyers felt a gust of the Holy Wind and the Spirit overtook them, causing them to fall upon each other as they rolled and flailed limbs in gesticulations of praise until they were intertwined and tied together yet they continued to roll and shout the name of God. Then all grew quiet and eerily calm as they stared into one another's eyes and slowly and passionately kissed.And that's why Jenn dressed like a little punk boy!

none said...

As the leader of the free world, she was given the privilege of standing in any chair she wished. today, she chose this particular four-legged implement because it went well with her parliamentary hairstyle. Meanwhile, the one-legged man was explaining why oatmeal should be given higher subsidies even if the French whined.

roachz said...

Sometimes I feel guilty for commenting, but never contributing stories. Enjoy your holidays in July!

Tom & Icy said...

Roachz put a great story on her own blog!

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Just when it was making perfect nonsense the director had to get in the way.

Nice riot, kid.

TLP said...

But John entered and said, "To teach thee, I am naked first; why then what needst thou have more covering than a man?"

Willian followed him in and said, "Love to faults is always blind...."

The director sighed with joy.

The Mushroom said...

OMG Indie! That is wonderful!! (But I betcha that Bar Of Soap will have an issue with this... smut!)

fluff said...

ROTFL @Indie! (I always wonder whether those directors with their surrealist theatre mean it all to be a joke, but nobody realizes and then it's too late to explain it.) Monster, that is an absolute wonderful statement: "As the leader of the free world, she was given the privilege of standing in any chair she wished."

Unknown said...

I agree Ariel. It reminds me of The Prince and The Pauper.

Indeterminacy said...

I printed out all the stories you wrote and had a cool train ride to work, reading through them. Here are a few thoughts:

Doug: I love the cynical-sarcasatic undertones of your story.

Little Bar of Soap: Your story has something. The psychological exchange builds an immediate tension. Hard to do in such a short space. And then you set them up to a Herculean task, or perhaps another metaphor is necessary: Clara Bow taking on the entire USC football team. Believe it or not I used to go to Sunday school.

Mushroom: Damn I don't know the anything about "Our Town" except that it's one of those Americana plays that everybody does. But even without that knowledge the story clicks. Entirely believable.

Dog Face Girl: Cool developments of the Bar of Soap plot. You'd be surprised at what goes on at some of those churhces.

Monster Speak: You had some really creative associations to this photo. Brilliant story. I wish I could tap into your mind while I'm sitting there sorting through photos, waiting for an interesting idea to grab me.

Tan Lucy Pez: I'm glad you continued my story. I really should have apologized to William somewhere, but I guess he wasn't too angry when he showed up.

Oldhorsetailsnake, Ariel, Mushroom: I'm pleased that you enjoyed this one. I'll immodestly claim that it's one of my best, even if it was a simple academic excercize to write it. I just took the two most well known Shakespearean soliloquies and wove them together. Also, since reading James Thurber's "The Wonderful O", I've wanted to write something a little versified. Now I have. Don't expect me to top this tomorrow.

Cooper said...

I'm loving this to death.

The visual and your story syn perfectly in my head.

Indeterminacy said...

Alice: I'm happy the story/photo combination gave this feeling to you. Did you mean to say my story and the visual sin perfectly in your head? Not something I would try to prevent.

Anonymous said...

I thought the wit in this one inspired. I wouldn't presume to compete.
Pansi, however, wishes to point out the allusion, "take his wooden arms," which she finds criminally offensive.

Indeterminacy said...

Inspired? Wow. Thank you Mrs. Weirsdo. The ironic thing is this was more like an academic exercise to write. I simply took the two most famous soliloquies and merged them into a dialogue, applied some verfremdung, and there it was. I didn't really have to do anything. Shakespeare did all the work for me.