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Considering Drama is an elective slapped together and added to the list of classes only two days before the first day; and besides Choir, is the only elective on said list, I cannot criticize too strongly the emotional voids that are the actors in 3rd period Drama.

At first I thought the students’ apprehension, blunt indifference in some cases, was going to be some kind of cultural/bilingual barrier that would have to be torn down with the passionate thespian cruelly imprisoned in each and every one them…but then, oh yeah, teenagers, and teenagers that most likely have no aspirations of theater and all that it entails but simply marked the only elective option that wasn’t Choir. Emoting? Exploring, what did you call it, my inner character? Okay, yeah, yeah, you’re all right to give me that look. If I promise to die a slow and torturous death after school, as you suggest with your combined silences and incredulous expressions, will you attempt even the slightest participation in some theater games?

November 16, 2008

The Drama class has really blossomed, or at least lightened up enough that I haven’t needed to ventilate frustrations like those contributing to the overactive glandular secretions of bile and other unpleasantly experienced fluids causing the various fits of anxiety that once shrouded the potential creativity and unexpected enjoyment that both the students and I have come to find in this theatrical collaboration.

Shared scenes were refreshing moments of personality. The monologues made apparent the aptitudes of many and upon second performances, solidified some students’ interest in the medium. We engaged in a playwriting workshop and ended up producing a play based on a Yup’ik myth. Now we are in the throes of set design and rehearsals for a final performance of said script, in which the student body and faculty will attend.

Taking a break with some freeze tag - in Alaska, a.k.a. pun tag.

Taking a break with some freeze tag - in Alaska, a.k.a. pun or redundancy tag.

The play went off with a hitch here and there but all in all, and considering this was the school’s first ever theatrical production, it was a success. And, the final performance aside, the successes worth speaking of is the students’ progress. The most quiet, shy, timid member at the onset ended up not just portraying the main character of the Shaman, but hammed it up so much we had to use a tazer to stop him from chewing the scenery.
Also remember the students were responsible for all aspects of the production, from the concept to scriptwriting, set design and performance. The class really was a success for all involved.
Below is a copy of the script for your reading experience:

The Moon’s Spear

 

ACT I

Scene i. Village, NIGHT

 

A couple sit in their house.

 

HUNTER: What do we have for dinner?

WIFE: Let me see what I can cook. (She goes to the cache and pulls out a few scraps of food). I guess this will have to do.

 

The HUNTER steps outside and takes a moment, thinking, worried. He finally returns to the house.

 

The HUNTER and WIFE eat.

 

WIFE: We should save the rest for tomorrow. (She packs up the leftovers.)

HUNTER: The hunters catch nothing, and I haven’t seen much either.

WIFE: I’ve heard this. This is the last of the meat, what will we do?

HUNTER: Tomorrow I will hunt, I’ll catch something.

 

Scene ii. Tundra, DAY

 

The HUNTER looks over the TUNDRA, disappointed and dejected. He sits and waits, sees nothing and moves on, OFF STAGE.

 

Scene iii. Village, DAY

 

The HUNTER returns, with no catch.

 

VILLAGER: Any catch at all?

 

The HUNTER looks at her and shakes his head. She slinks away and OFF STAGE.

 

WIFE: (to HUNTER) Come in and eat. (as the HUNTER meets his WIFE) I think you should see the Shaman, he must know something.

HUNTER: Yes! I’ll go see the Shaman. (He charges out.)

WIFE: (grabbing him) First eat, please. Then you can go.

 

The HUNTER begins to eat impatiently, quickly.

 

Scene iv. Shaman’s Lair

 

The HUNTER enters the SHAMAN’S LAIR. He looks around and sees no one.

 

SHAMAN: (walking in) AHH!

 

Both are startled.

 

SHAMAN: Don’t you knock?!

HUNTER: I’m sorry, I didn’t see a door.

 

The SHAMAN pauses to regain his composure.

 

SHAMAN: (eerie voice) What brings you here on this dreary eve?

HUNTER: The village is starving; the hunters catch nothing – (pause) – what must we do?

SHAMAN: Hmm, hmm. (looks to HUNTER) Oh, I don’t know…do you know?

HUNTER: NO, I’m just a hunter, with a wife…she told me to see you for advice.

SHAMAN: (normal, lighter voice) Really? Do I know…

HUNTER: My wife, Phillicia.

SHAMAN: Phillicia? Oh yes, Phillicia, smart girl, lovely singing voice.

 

(PAUSE) The HUNTER stares at the SHAMAN, waiting.

 

SHAMAN: I said I don’t know, unless, yes, hmm. I’m having a thought. (Composes, in eerie voice.) Only to you do I say this, not to any other hunter. Only once will I warn you – do not become anxious or prideful, tell no one of this gift.

HUNTER: (anxious) Yes, I swear it.

SHAMAN: (eerie voice) After the sun has shown its light, go far away from this village…go North. There you will find a lake, look deep into the lake and watch the moon’s shining reflection. There you will find the answer.

(PAUSE)

HUNTER: That’s it?!

SHAMAN: (Getting up to leave.) Well, yes – oh, say that I sent you. And say hello to Phillicia for me.

 

ACT II

Scene i. Tundra, at NIGHT.

 

It is NIGHT and the HUNTER approaches an open field and gazes into the lake.

 

HUNTER: Moon, hear my cry? Have mercy on us.

MOON: Why have you come to me?

HUNTER: My people are starving; we have no one else to turn to! Please help us.

MOON: What do you desire?

HUNTER: Whatever you may provide.

MOON: Very well, take this spear – but do not lose it.

 

The HUNTER takes the spear and studies it.

 

MOON: What you don’t like it?

HUNTER: No, I’m thankful, really, but, I have a spear.

MOON: Do you have a spear that seeks and catches all you wish?

HUNTER: (in awe) No.

MOON: Alright then, take it – but don’t lose it.

 

Scene ii. Tundra, DAY.

 

The hunters are on the TUNDRA.

 

HUNTER: Hunters, gather. The Moon has graced us with hope.

 

He holds up the spear for all to see.

 

HUNTER: Let u search for food once more, this time with the Moon’s spear.

 

All exit.

 

Scene iii. Village, DAY

 

The hunters enter the VILLAGE hauling a caribou – villagers surround them with excitement.

 

VILLAGER: The hunter’s have brought us food, a great caribou!

HUNTER: Our starvation has ended. Bless the Moon for mercy.

 

All hoist up the caribou and march off in celebration.

 

Scene iv. Village, NIGHT

 

The HUNTER and WIFE sleep peacefully in their hut.

The SKY breezes in.

 

SKY1: Look at the hunter sleep.

SKY2: And so soundly after such a good meal…all provided by that spear.

SKY3: Would be a shame if he lost it.

SKY2: But think of his burden, guarding such a special thing.

SKY3: Are you suggesting we relieve him of this burden?

SKY1: No, I’m saying we should take it!

 

The SKY giggles, takes the spear and breezes off stage.

 

ACT III

Scene i. Village, DAY

 

The HUNTER wakes in the morning, leaving his wife to sleep. He prepares to go hunting. Finally reaching for the spear…it’s gone. He looks around the outside of the hut, then back inside, only to return outside and with no spear.

The HUNTER stands, thinking and staring off into the distance.

 

VILLAGER 1: Good morning, on your way to hunt? (pause) Some feast, eh?

 

The HUNTER says nothing and VILLAGER 1 walks off.

 

VILLAGER 2: (entering) Hello there! Well you look befuddled. Eat too much last night? (pause) Going hunting today? Hey, can I see that magic spear? Just to look at it. (pause)

 

The HUNTER looks to him, raises his hand as if to say something, then doesn’t and marches off stage.

 

VILLAGER 2: Well, some other time.

 

Scene ii. Shaman’s Lair

 

HUNTER enters SHAMAN’S LAIR.

 

HUNTER: (looking around) Hello? Hello (louder), your eerie, cleverness.

 

SHAMAN enters humming and is shocked to see the HUNTER.

 

SHAMAN: Ahh! Shouldn’t you wear a bell?!

HUNTER: You could get a door.

SHAMAN: Yeah, yeah. (composes, clears throat, eerie voice) Pride got the best of you and now the spear has gone astray.

HUNTER: What? How did you…

SHAMAN: (eerie voice) Seek the wisdom of the sky, for it sees all.

 

SHAMAN rises and begins to exit.

 

HUNTER: (excited) Wow! Amazing, you knew all that and…

SHAMAN: (annoyed) Really, I’m not in the mood. Go talk to the sky and…say hello to Phillicia for me.

 

HUNTER leaves.

 

Scene iii. Tundra, DAY

 

HUNTER on the TUNDRA calling to the SKY.

 

HUNTER: (to SKY) Ever watchful sky, I seek you wisdom.

 

The SKY breezes in but says nothing, waiting for the HUNTER.

PAUSE.

 

SKY whisper to each other.

SKY 1: That’s it?

SKY 2: Shouldn’t he bow or something?

SKY 3: Yeah! Make him grovel!

SKY 1: (big voice) Grovel before the SKY!

 

HUNTER drops to one knee.

 

HUNTER: Thy great wispy and entirely…huge being of…blueness, I ask for help.

SKY 2: Huge? Did he call us fat?

SKY 3: No, no maybe he meant mighty?

SKY 1: Ask him!

SKY 2: You ask him.

SKY 3: No you!

SKY 1: (big voice) What do you mean by huge?

HUNTER: Ah, well…I guess…

SKY 3: (leading him) As in mighty?

HUNTER: (hesitant) Yeah, sure.

 

The SKY giggles.

 

SKY 2: See, I told you.

SKY 1: Yeah, what a chump.

SKY 3: He really likes us! (giggle, giggle)

SKY 1: (big voice) Yeah, ah, what do you want?

HUNTER: The blessed spear of the Moon by which I fed the village has disappeared and I ask for your advice and assistance.

SKY 3: Spear? Is that the one…

SKY 2: Yes, shh!

SKY 1: Spear, huh? I don’t remember any spear. (giggle)

SKY 3: Maybe you lost it? (giggle)

SKY 2: Or, or maybe a muskrat took it. (giggle)

SKY 1: (to 2 and 3) Yeah, that’s good. (giggle, giggle)

 

SKY giggles it’s way off stage, leaving the HUNTER.

 

 ACT IV.

 Scene i. Tundra, DAY

 

The HUNTER goes hunting on the TUNDRA. He waits quietly, patiently, and catches nothing.

 

Scene ii. Village, NIGHT

 

The HUNTER returns to the VILLAGE. It is late, the house is dark, so he goes in and right to sleep.

 

The SKY breezes in, spear in hand, to giggle at the HUNTER.

 

SKY 2: Ohh, a hunter without his spear.

The SKY collectively giggles.

 

MOON: Sky!

SKY 1: Oh no.

SKY 2: Gosh.

SKY 3: Gee golly.

MOON: You lied to the hunter.

SKY 1: What?

SKY 3: No, we helped him.

SKY 2: Yeah, we told him a muskrat took it. (they giggle)

MOON: (disbelieving) Oh, really?

SKY 1: Yeah.

MOON: What’s that in you hand?

SKY 2: It’s our spear, like, thing.

PAUSE

SKY 1: Oh alright.

 

The SKY leans the SPEAR on the side of the HUNTER’s house and begins to EXIT.

 

SKY 1: (to MOON on way out) Sorry.

SKY 2: Yeah, me too.

SKY 3: And other sad things.

 

Scene iv. Village, DAY

 

The HUNTER awakes and finds the SPEAR.

 

HUNTER: Phillicia! Everyone!

 

The HUNTER’s wife and other VILLAGERS enter.

 

HUNTER: The Moon has blessed us again! (holding up the spear)

ALL: And happiness was abundant.

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