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Drama: A Cappella Threnody

Narrative, Songs, Drama


"A Cappella Threnody"
(Unaccompanied Song of Lament)



I am the custodian of Marianna Sophoulis's powerful one-act drama "A Cappella Threnody" (Unaccompanied Song of Lament), which you will find in its entirety in Chapter 6 of
On Beautiful Days Such as This.

This, in Marianna's own words, is how it begins:

When I first emerge from my cloth cocoon, or shroud, I sit there with my heels under my backside for a few moments for two reasons: dramatically, I'm coming to terms with the fact that, like a newborn child, I have no idea what is happening or where I am; and, pragmatically, I'm giving the audience a moment to come to terms with the fact that I am, indeed, naked. 'Get over it,' I think to myself. Now let's get on with the play.

I turn onto my hands and knees, unsure of what to do, and crawl, like an infant, towards the Oracle. The Old Man, Old Woman, and Young Man - who will later act collectively as the Chorus - sit by impassively, watching the action. I reach the Oracle on my hands and knees, sit on my heels again, and see my reflection in the water that fills the disk. I reach down with my right hand, very slowly, with the intention of scooping up some water to drink. As my hand descends, drawing the audience's attention away from me and towards the water in the Oracle, it speaks!


ORACLE:

You are thrust upon this stage
with no identity to embrace:
an actress without a mask,
or is it a mask without a face?



(I start back instantly, as if I, too, have just seen the ghost of Hamlet's father; then, gathering my wits, almost affronted, I reply.)


MARIANNA: Who ... who are you to present me with such a confusing riddle when I am already riddled with confusion?


ORACLE:

I am that which knows your heart;
your past, present, and future too;
by naught but gazing into me,
I offer reflection of the truth in you.


* * *



For permision to perform, please contact: warwick@warwickfox.com

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