Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Synopsis and Characters of “REFLECTIONS”

Here's a synopsis and character list for my new play "Reflections." What do you think? Sound like anything you might want to see? I would love to get together with a musician and choreographer to add music and specific dance elements to this play and make it more like opera and ballet.


“Reflections” is a verse romance in five acts. The first act introduces Adam, the protagonist, who is in love with his friend Lily, and the mirror world they enter. In the second and third act, Adam descends through the mirror world. In the fourth and fifth act, Adam ascends through the mirror world and back into the real world, where he emerges as a poet.

In Act I, Adam is making dinner for Lily. She is admiring an antique mirror he bought. As she is looking through it, her mirror image drags her through the mirror. Adam follows her through to rescue her. On the other side he meets three women called the Norns, who tell him in riddles why he is there.

In Act II, Adam meets a series of creatures that represent stages within Adam himself. First he meets the Fairies, who introduce him to Peter, his occasional guide. Peter takes him to the Gnome, who bought Lily and sold her to a Troll as a slave. They pay the Gnome to take them to the Troll, but along the way they meet The Lamed Wufnik, a holy man, three Angels, and three Knights. The Lamed Wufnik tells Adam he’s destined to be a prophet, then gives Adam a sword. The Angels give him a shield and the Knights accompany Adam to confront the Troll. They find Lily locked up in a cage, and have to fight several Trolls to free her. When they leave, they enter into a spirit forest. The spirits there inform Adam that he’s the one who was promised..

In Act III, Adam and Lily, alone, encounter a group of Satyrs. They try to seduce Lily and, in trying to do so, inform Adam of her long list of sex partners. Adam’s illusions of Lily are shattered, and this is the beginning of the end of their friendship. When Adam and Lily encounter their Doubles, Lily leaves Adam for Adam’s Double, leaving Adam alone. He gets on a boat and rows away. On the sea he encounters Sea Nymphs, who try to seduce him into the sea to drown. He then lands on an island, where he has to fight a Basilisk and, when they become flesh again, the men the monster had turned to stone. Adam finally encounters a Dragon, who purifies him with painful torture.

In Act IV, the Dragon sends Adam off. Adam lands on an island ruled by a demon lord, and he is further tortured by him and his Salamanders to rid him of his arrogance. Set to sea again, Adam is tempted by Air Nymphs. He lands to encounter the Satyrs again, who first cower from him, but then turn friendly when Adam thanks them for exposing Lily for who she really was. They celebrate and the Satyrs introduce him to Eva, who becomes his companion. They leave the Satyrs and encounter a group of Corybantes, who make them dance in celebration of life. The Norns come on and introduce Adam to Marie, who is to become his best friend.

In Act V, Adam, Eva, and Marie enter the spirit forest, where they celebrate Adam’s return. Peter rejoins Adam. Next the foursome enter the Trolls’ country, where they have to fight some Trolls. One kills Marie, and Adam sacrifices himself to bring Marie back to life. The Trolls, impressed, let them leave. They bring Adam to the Borak who, accompanied by the three Angels and the three Knights, bring Adam back to life. They divest Adam of his sword and shield and send him on to see the Gnome, who has a gift for Adam. After visiting the Gnome, they continue on to see the Fairies, who also have a gift for Adam. Leaving everyone behind, Adam finds himself alone with the Norns, who tell him he is finished with his transformation and must now go back to the real world, transformed into a poet. In the final scene, we see Adam talking about poetry with a contemporary poet, where it becomes clear his work is really just starting. Finally, Marie comes in to introduce Adam to her new boyfriend. Adam is left alone to prepare for his new struggles as an artist.

“Reflections” is a play about Adam who, due to his unrequited love for his friend Lily, undergoes a radical transformation tat turns him into a poet. This transformation is reflected in his entering into a mirror world from which he must successfully rescue Lily. He slowly discovers that he is on a more important quest: one that will help him get over Lily, discover who he is, change who he is, and cause him to emerge as a poet. He descends first through psychological stages, then through levels of reality, then ascends again. Those he meets are actually reflections of himself. When he returns from the mirror world, he returns an artist – where he now has to face new challenges that are only just beginning for him as a formalist poet.


Bard – iambic hexameter – introduces each act and concludes the play

Adam – style changes – a young man in love with Lily. Adam follows Lily into a parallel world representing his descent into and ascent from the underworld

Lily – prose, then iambic tetrameter – Adam’s friend, who does not love Adam as he loves her

Harpy/Lily’s Dbl– silent – kidnaps Lily though the mirror in Adam’s apartment

Norns – iambic tetrameter – the Fates and Time incarnate. These wise women are Past, Present, and Future and provide guidance to Adam

Todd – rubliw – a Fox, acting as gadfly to Adam

Fairies – prose – a collective of ultraindividualists sympathetic to Adam

Peter – blank verse – Proteus, a shape-shifter who acts as Adam’s guide and teacher

Gnome – iambic – a mine owner/businessman who buys Lily from the Harpies who captured her and sells her to a Troll. He helps Adam find Lily to free her.

Dwarves – iambic – a cook and some miners employed by the Gnome

Lamed Wufnik – ghazal – a holy man who justifies man to God. He gives Adam a sword as defense in the mirror world

Angels (3) – sonnets – give Adam a shield as protection

Knights (3) – heroic couplets – go with Adam to protect him as he rescues Lily

Trolls – alcaics – territorial and militant. One buys Lily from the Gnome. They are impressed by heroic sacrifice

Dryad – ballade – king of the nature spirits

Rock Sprites – rime royal – spirits of the rocks

Tree Sprites – rime couee – spirits of the trees

Satyrs – dithyrambs – half-man, half-goat; lusty, cowardly drunks

Animals – choriambics – Deer, Cougar, Wolf, Bison all representing Adam’s animal nature

Adam’s Double – Adam’s style – the mirror image of Adam

Lily’s Double – iambic tetrameter – the mirror image of Lily

Sea Nymphs – anapestic – spirits of the sea

Basilisk – u/uu//uu/u – giant reptile that turns living things to stone with its glance

Stone Men – blank verse – turned back to flesh and blood when the Basilisk is turned to stone. They attack Adam, and he has to kill each one

Earth Nymphs – headless iambic – clear their island of the dead

Dragon – elegic couplet – purifies Adam at his lowest point and sends Adam back up into life as a poet

Keteh Meriri – headless iambic – demon lord of hot summers and midday. He further purifies Adam

Salamanders – limerick – fire elementals and followers of Keteh Meriri

Sylphs – headless anapestic – air nymphs who try to seduce Adam to stay with them

Eva – dithyrambs – Adam’s lover on his ascent

Women – dithyrambs – Adam’s lovers on his ascent

Corybantes – hendecasyllabics – half demon, half divine dancing attendants to the Mother of God(s)

Marie – Sapphic verse – Adam’s identical opposite; his spiritual soul mate and best friend

Borak – Ruba’i – winged horse with the head of a man and the tail of a peacock who took Muhammad to heaven. He brings Adam back to life

Roland – prose – a contemporary, anti-formalist poet
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