Waiting For The Man(ifesto)

Waiting For The Man(ifesto)

 

CAST OF CHARACTERS

Luigi………….late 20’s

Guido…………late 40’s

SETTING

A Theatre.

(Lights come up on two clowns, Luigi and Guido, back to back in the center of the stage. They are leaning on each other. Counterbalanced. After a longish pause Luigi leaps up, causing Guido to fall over.)

LUIGI

Let’s make some art!

 GUIDO

Where?

LUIGI

Here. Right here.

 GUIDO

When?

LUIGI

Right now.

 GUIDO

We can’t.

LUIGI

Why not?

 GUIDO

We’re missing something.

 

LUIGI

What could we be missing? We have a stage. These lights.

An eager, attentive audience hanging on our every syllable.

We have ourselves. Two ravenous seekers of the truth poised on the brink of an adventure into unknown landscapes of human expression, free from the bonds of repetition and dogma, ready to shed the trappings of the past and the petty details of the present and live only in a perpetually changing and un-categorizable future!

 

Here we are. In our prime both in physical ability and mental acuity.

We balance each other perfectly. My boundless energy and inquisitive nature and your tattered grandeur and studied insouciance.

The stage is set, the curtain drawn, let’s make art!

 GUIDO

We can’t.

LUIGI

Why not?

 GUIDO

We need something.

LUIGI

We need something?

What could we possibly need?

Text?

We don’t need text.

Words are overrated ciphers, the blunt instruments of the past. Language itself is a bygone remnant of a calcified society in love with its own reflection. The text is a crutch for stagnant minds to cling to.

Not us.

Ours will be a theatre of pure emotion. Unfettered by the restraints of specificity. We-

 GUIDO

No!

It’s not that. There is something else we need.

LUIGI

I know! MUSIC!

-But not the so called music of the past, played on antique instruments regurgitating the metered cadences of a thousand dreary symphonies.

Not the rhythmic dirges of forgotten litanies of the past exhumed to our ears to lullaby us all into a lifeless trance.

Oh no.

Ours will be a music that reflects the future before it happens.

And into this undiscovered soundscape we shall venture armed only the freedom of no preconceptions.

 

I can hear it now.

The sound of a blowfish exhaling.

The high whine of ladybugs in a blender.

A symphony of death rattles.

An etude of heart murmurs.

Eight minutes of various awkward pauses spliced together.

Nostril hair twangs.

The soft crunch of the bones of lemurs.

 

We shall create music so compelling people will blind themselves to better appreciate it. They will dance dances unknown even to themselves. People will be so consumed by this music they will deafen themselves with repeated listenings at full volume. Eventually only the sense of scent will remain as the self- blinded masses will wander in clumsy mobs sniffing for guidance in their silent world.

 

(Luigi starts acting out blind deaf people sniffing for guidance.)

 GUIDO

 

No. That is not what I’m talking about. There is something that we need. Something without which all our efforts, no matter how cacophonous, will be rendered into feeble navel gazing exercises.

 

LUIGI

Of course. Props!

What is theatre without props?

But we must be selective. Spare. Judicious in our decisions.

I suggest balloons.

 

 GUIDO

Balloons!

LUIGI

Of course. Balloons are the perfect metaphor for our theatre of the future. Limp prophylactic vessels made buoyant with our own hot air until they burst the confines of themselves and… Pop!

 GUIDO

No not balloons.

LUIGI

Buckets of confetti?

GUIDO

No.

LUIGI

A giant spoon?

 

 

GUIDO

…Maybe.

But we need something first. Before we can do anything else.

LUIGI

I know. Costumes!

We shall festoon our bodies with curlicues of felt and lace, the feathers of endangered species and the pelts of free range marmosets. We shall haberdash ourselves with fantastical headgear. Flying buttresses of the finest filigree shall adorn our craniums and we shall wear prosthetic limbs to better showcase our sartorial multi-sleeved splendor. We shall raise our hems to unheard of heights and mock the finest mock turtlenecks to multi colored shreds. It shall take five dressers and a small crane to dress us.

Upon our entrance people will rend their own garments in shame as their minds try to comprehend the magnificence of our costumes! Heretofore un-imagined color combinations shall dazzle the eye and obliterate any vestige of complacency that may remain in the audience’s minds. We shall accessorize so cleverly all the women in the first ten rows will faint in a fit of pure envy.

GUIDO

No. Not costumes.

LUIGI

No costumes? Of course. You’re right. What costumes do we need? We shall go naked upon the alter of Thespis like sacrifices to the Gods of the future.

Like freshly born babies we shall crawl upon the stage like the first arthropods climbing out of the Jurassic ooze and onto dry land. Unhindered with the delusions of the past, we shall present ourselves without the stifling context of fashion and current mores, completely exposed to both our audience and our own innocence.

GUIDO

No. Not naked. We shall wear loincloths. Our penises would be distracting.

LUIGI

Of course. That’s true, My penis would be particularly distracting.

Yours, not so much.

 

GUIDO

My penis would also be distracting.

 

 

 

 

LUIGI

You know, to be honest. It really wouldn’t. You have a very un-distracting penis.

GUIDO

My penis is just as distracting as yours.

LUIGI

Well yeah, but in a completely different way.

 

(Luigi stifles a chortle.)

 

GUIDO

You’re missing the point. What we need in order to make art is a MANIFESTO!

 

LUIGI

Of course. A Manifesto! A mission statement. An explication of our vision. A statement of intent. A line in the sand that we shall cross and cross again until all memory is obliterated, A declaration of our war on boredom.

 

GUIDO

No, not boredom. We have a more insidious enemy.

 

LUIGI

More insidious than boredom? What?

 

GUIDO

Repetition.

LUIGI

Repetition?

 

GUIDO

Yes. Repetition. Repetition is our foe. I repeat: Repetition is our foe.

It is repetition that lulls us into a sleep of re runs and retrospectives.

If we are to create art we must obliterate repetition!

 

 

LUIGI

Of Course! We must create a manifesto that outlines our crusade against repetition. The wording must be timeless and exact. How shall we begin?

 

(During the next section they find their way back to leaning, counterbalanced on one another as they were at the beginning of the piece.)

 

GUIDO

By thinking.

LUIGI

Consternating

 

GUIDO

Theorizing.

LUIGI

Mulling it over.

GUIDO

Thinking it through.

LUIGI & GUIDO

Hmmmm.

 

(There is a longish pause. Luigi suddenly jumps up, knocking Guido over. During the following dialogue the lights slowly start to fade.)

 

LUIGI

Let’s make some art!

 GUIDO

Where?

LUIGI

Here. Right here.

 GUIDO

When?

LUIGI

Right now.

 GUIDO

We can’t.

LUIGI

Why not?

 GUIDO

We’re missing something.

 

LUIGI

What?

 

GUIDO

Talent.

 

(They look at each other…

Blackout.)

 

END OF PLAY

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