Saturday, December 20, 2014

Again and Again

This is Selkie, Mistress of Oper. Rutherford uses her primarily as a personification of the forces of control and power. Selkie appears as a character in multiple plays, but while she's only the protagonist in one of them Rutherford collectively titled these productions as The Selkie Cycle, or Again and Again.

Going over them, they are:

  1. The Endless Obsession: A minimalist plot-driven exploration of the simple politics of the gods. Selkie enlists a mortal to settle a conflict, only to let the pressures of power reset it all. In the end, all that has changed is more of Selkie's enemies have died.
  2. Matches in Monochrome: A shadow-play showing magnificent battles between grotesque monsters. Selkie throws Hades into the "Pit of the Lotus Eater." He must fight his way out of a realm of his own subconscious.
  3. Blood: A play of mortals with conventional drama. Selkie is used only as a symbol, not a character.
  4. Finally, I Regret: A short one-scene play. Selkie, as protagonist, gazes out her window at the streets of Oper below. No dialogue.
  5. At the Wake of the Earth-Shaker: Rutherford's final play. A god has died, and the rest hold a wake. At this wake, Selkie's past actions catch up with her.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

(1929 - 2014)

Henry Rutherford died this year. His poetry is already "classic" status, studied on numerous curricula across the nation, and his plays are only now entering the public consciousness. You, reader, no doubt recognize such poems as "Hell's Yard," "In the Garden of Desolation," or "The Last Sunset." He wrote really bleak stuff. As for his plays, I'd be surprised if many even know about The Endless Obsession, which was performed somewhat recently by a free-form theater troupe. That's the only one available on the internet, so far as I can find, though it's on such shady websites that I won't link to it here.

I will use this blog to discuss his works in greater detail. I'll probably also slip in whatever cool stuff I can find out about my college's upcoming production.

A bit of a warning in advance, though: His plays have a lot of birds in them.

AtWotES: "Infinite regress"

[ As the festivities continue, CREMATOR and LAZARUS retreat away from the group. Larks watch. ]

These characters dress up. Think he would smile at our thoughts. He was murdered. He would not smile. A wake. Wedpolkm wasn't even aware of death; what sense does it make to hold a thing like this? Maybe if we spent less time recycling stories by the pyre and more time doing what it built us for-- rotting away in a pillar of calamity...

[ CREMATOR grunts. ]

You are biased.

Alright, big guy.

[ CREMATOR walks to the cliff edge and looks below. ]

It built us for remembering.

[ LAZARUS scoffs. ]

World was long in sleep, troubled to wake. Brain shrinks with age, every night steals another memory. We are sentinels. We are memories. Fossils of another age. We came to this wake for an absent friend. Seems appropriate to me.

There's only so much time we can spend dwelling on the past. Today we'll remember Wedpolkm, tomorrow we'll remember someone else. That show never ends.

May be so.

[ Silence. LAZARUS approaches CREMATOR at cliff edge. ]

When I came back, I was furious. At her. I still can't forgive her for what she did.

You are not one to.

Yeah. She's never going to care that she killed me. It's in the past to her. But it ate me up inside, it split me into many minds. Every day became an infinite regress just trying to figure out which voice to listen to, and I'd repeat it over and over.. until I realized the solution: To forget and not forgive.

[ CREMATOR looks at LAZARUS. ]

Would you take this memory from me?