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“Mosaic:  An Existential Dilemma for Ensemble”


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Hull, Daphne R. (American playwright, 1969-____), “Mosaic:  An Existential Dilemma for Ensemble,”
 

a 50-minute dark comedy in English, set in multiple simple settings, alternating time,
 
2m2f;
 •  © 1999 by Daphne R. Hull;  •  script/rights available from Daphne R. Hull, 230 West Lanvale, Baltimore, Maryland 21217, U.S.A., e-mail ink@ix.netcom.com, telephone (home) 410-728-5715.  •  Cited by Daphne R. Hull, via ftp January 16, 2000; Hull says,
  §  Dramatis Personae (doubling) The Meteorologist/Subject/Learner (m or f); Quality Assurance #1/Quality Assurance #2 (m or f); Doctor/Smith R. Smith/Horatio (m); Girl in Yellow (f).
  §  Synopsis “______________________.
  §  Comment  “Simple sets with few props, including desk, typewriter, chairs, bed. ‘Mosaic’ consists of seven scenes involving different characters, times, and places. Two devices bring the scenes together. First, the character perceived as ‘good,’ or, more appropriately, innocent of malice by the author, wears yellow in each scene. Second, each scene dramatizes one or more fears present in most of us—the fear of conformity, of defying authority, of our potential uselessness and unimportance, of power, of certainty, of retribution and reprisal, of reaching out and finding no one there.  •  Existential dilemma for ensemble. Who are we? Where are we? Who will we become? Wry, Orwellian exposé of the past, present, and future. Includes a dramatic adaptation of the infamous Milgram experiments in obedience.  •  When one reads works written in the past and interprets them in the context of the present, latent and unintended prophecies are often abundant and remarkably sound. In my mind, ‘Mosaic’ is more relevant and powerful in 1999 than when the first draft was written in 1990. The past nine years bore witness to sweeping downsizing in the United States, leaving thousands without jobs and a bitter aftertaste following use of the word loyalty. Employees were told they simply did not fit any longer, implying the uselessness of either them, their jobs, or both. The widespread job insecurity created fear that swelled throughout the country. The past nine years have seen a frenetic increase in the attempt by groups who apparently believe they are seated in the Moral High Chair to dictate the rules of proper behavior to the rest of us. Organized moves to restrict material on the Internet, to prohibit (and demoralize!) same-sex unions, or, less formally, to chastise those who voice ‘politically incorrect’ ideas or words (even if chosen to convey politically correct ideas) are all examples. Viewers are left with two unattractive choices: agree and conform, or dissent and defy the self-appointed authorities enveloping them. The past nine years have seen brilliant, hopeful advances in hypotheses surrounding genetic and other research devoted to our origins. In mice, scientists found potential biological roots for highly aggressive (i.e., raping and killing) behavior. A whirlwind of study has developed around the possibility of a ‘gay gene.’ These and other advances must be loudly applauded, but also feared: when we have the power inherent in this knowledge (and we shall), what will we do with it? The fears conveyed in Visibility need no explanation. They are my own.  •  This play was revised to include the Meteorologist in early 1999, along with other changes. Horatio’s monologue was published in its entirety in The Best Stage Monologues for Men 1997, edited by Jocelyn Beard (Newbury, Vermont, U.S.A.: Smith & Kraus, Inc., 1997), ISBN 157525137X. New Visions Productions in Athens, Georgia, premiered the original version of this work.”
  §  Themes  2000, absurd, experiment, future, millennium, satire, symbolism.
See also Daphne R. Hull’s

 

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