Ground Rules

Rule 1: Nothing makes sense

Rule 2: Everything is arbitrary

Rule 3: The arbitrariness must be followed

Rule 4: Everyone thinks there’s meaning

Rule 5: People explain arbitrariness in their own way

Rule 6: There is in fact a plot

Rule 7: The plot is made by the world

Rule 8: The world is unaffected by the plot

Rule 9: There is no hierarchy

Rule 10: It’s funny

Characters and their biases:

1 - Plastic - Science - Penguin

2 - Canvas- Art - Flamingo

3 - Wood- Religion - Codor

4 - Steel - Humanity - Planes

5 - Dirt - Nature - Dodo

6 - Paper - History - Emu

7 - Air- Absurdity - Albatross

The set has 7 main pieces. A rotating wall, a chute, a light, a speaker, a dressing booth, a counter, and a podium with a book. Everything has a button on it that is taken out of a nintendo boss battle. Additional things that could be on the set are some chairs,  those blocks with handles, a bed, a table, a door is also advised. The positions of the set pieces are up to the set designer as they should put together a coherent room and be practical enough so it’s not much of a hassle for the set designer. What should they look like, how should I feel looking at them? I don’t know, I’m not a set designer.

Albatross

An Arbitrary Farce

Music Plays

Wood walks in, looks around and sees the podium. They walk up to it and begin to read. Canvas walks out and stares at the light. Dirt opens up the dressing booth curtain and looks out before returning back in. Paper pops up from the counter and begins to fix themselves a drink. Plastic walks in from the audience looks around, and sticks their head up the chute. Steel walks up to the speaker and pushes the button as everyone else does as well. The rotating set pieces rotates around to reveal Air, looking too confident for someone who has just emerged out from nothing. The music turns off, the light changes, the book closes, the booth lights up on a silhouette, the chute makes a tumbling sound, the counter does nothing. Plastic brings his head out of the chute in wearing funny hat. Everyone but Air just kinda walks out, leaving everything they had set up.

Air: (Stands as if wanting to say something)

So you may be a bit confused, as am I…

Air exits

Wood Enters

Wood:

There’s plenty of questions. Why did I get here? That’s definitely my biggest worry at the moment. What is here? Who am I? What brought me here? Am I here?

Wood Exits as Paper Enters

Paper:

So I’m here right now. Something must have caused this. What was it? Is there evidence?

Paper Exits as Plastic Enters

Plastic:

There must be evidence of things. I gotta test something to get it? What do I test? What is there to test? Can I even get to the point to test if I can’t find a way to do so? Is the evidence discoverable?

Plastic Exits as Steel Enters

Steel:

There’s so much to discover. I must explore this area, I must find something to make, build. What is there? Where can I find it? What can I make from it?

Steel Exits as Dirt Enters

Dirt:

There’s a lot to make of this. Is it any good? Will it be more destructive than beneficial. At what point does it happen?

Dirt Exits as Canvas Enters

Canvas:

Right now. It’s time to observe. Without senses there’s no sense to do anything. What questions should be asked right now?

Canvas Exits as Air Enters once again

Air:

Yeah, this is going to be weird. I have questions, so am I.

The 6 other characters emerge and disappear on the rotating platform

Wood:

There’s plenty of questions. Am I here?

Paper:

So I’m here. Is there evidence?

Plast:

There must be evidence of things. Is it discoverable?

Steel:

There’s so much to discover. What can I make from it?

Dirt:

There’s a lot to make of this. At what points does it happen?

Canvas:

Right now. What questions should be asked right now?

Air goes over to the rotating platform button, clicks it to turn off.

Air:

There’s something so nice about a button.

(Clicks the button again as wood reappears)

Wood:

There’s plenty of questions. Am I here?

Paper:

So I’m here. Is there evidence?

 

Air clicks the button again

Air:

What a fantastic interface, it’s so compelling, you just want to go out and

Air Clicks the button

Plastic:

There must be evidence of things. Is it discoverable?

Steel:

There’s so much to discover. What can I make from it?

Air Clicks the button this time on the platform

Enter Wood

Wood:

Holy (a pause of epiphany)

Well that must be it, isn’t it.

Yes it must be, there’s simply no other wa…

Enter Paper

Wood:

You there, how do you think we got here?

Paper:

Who’s we?

Wood:

We.

Paper:

Am I a part of this we?

Wood:

What?

Paper:

You must be more clear, are you referring to you and someone other than myself or you and I?

Wood:

Who else would I be referring to?

Paper:

There’s plenty of people.

Wood:

But they’re not here are they?

Paper:

But they could’ve been at one point. Do you smell it?

Wood:

Smell... what?

Paper:

The past

Wood:

I’m afraid I can’t get whiffs of abstract odors.

Paper:

A shame

Wood:

Why are you here?

Paper:

Now that’s the kind of question I enjoy to ponder.

(pauses if coming up with an answer)

I guess I never thought about it before.

Ah got it, because before I was right here,

(takes a single step back)

Wood:

That’s not a reason for you being there.

Paper:

Well I wanted to make my point clearer so I decided to move from this position where I just once was, to this one where I find myself now. And that’s why I’m here.

Wood:

But before that?

Paper:

Well before that I was here (takes a step back)

And then here (takes a step back)

And so on (walks back off set)

Wood:

And now I’ve lost my answer.

Just as they’ve lost their mind.

(takes a pause)

I can’t find the answer again like this

I need a reminder

Perhaps this will do it

(pushes dressing room button. Enter Paper)

How did you get here again?

Paper:

Well I was here

And then

Wood:

Stop this.

I don’t really care how you got here.

More generally how did anything… everything get here.

Paper:

Well exactly how I got here. It started somewhere, or as something else and then it got to where it is right now.

Wood:

But that can’t explain everything.

(pushes chute button, out falls a stuffed animal)

Look. I push the button, that falls out. Where did it come from?

Paper:

(paper pushes the button, another stuffed animal falls out)

Well I guess it was closer to falling then that one.

Wood:
Again you say something occurred but you didn’t give a cause?

Paper:

Does it need a cause.

Wood:

Yes!

Everything else you’ve seen or done had a cause.

So what’s the cause of you and I being here? These buttons? These plushies? What’s the cause?

Paper:

Well I obviously don’t know yet.

But you’re right. Things probably do have a cause. Each action having a equal and opposite reaction until the world we see is here and it will continue for as long as there are actions to be had. I push this button and that begins the next actions.

(pushes the light button, lights go out but fade up as emerald green. Enter Dirt and Canvas)

Dirt:

It’s like a tree.

Canvas:

A perfect tree.

Dirt:

Looking into the future you see it’s branches separate.

Canvas:

Once something, anything occurs it spreads out as all the effects ripple through time.

Dirt:

And as the tree of time grows the branches intersect, new flowers bloom, and the branches grow at a new angle. The canopy grows dense as more and more branches grow

Canvas:

Exponentially. A smooth line plotting branches extending into infinity.

Wood:

What about looking down the tree?

Canvas:
Pardon?

Wood:

What happens to the tree if you follow it down to the ground.

Dirt:

Well it touches the ground and spreads its roots.

Wood;

And what are the roots? In metaphorical terms.

Paper:

Does it matter?

Wood:

Yeah just a bit?

Dirt:

The roots are under the the dirt. We can never see them.

Wood:

Put a shovel down there and dig it up.

Canvas:

It’s a metaphor, there isn’t a shovel.

Paper:

At a certain point you can’t see any deeper, but what does it matter when you have so much above it to explore.

Wood:

Who planted the tree?

Canvas:

That answer is lost to history… might as well appreciate the flower, for one day the tree will fruit.

Dirt:

Perhaps into a juicy peach, or a sour lemon, or whatever a durian is. But the only thing to do

Paper:

Is to sit down and smell the flowers.

Paper goes and pushes the light button again as the light fades to black, Dirt outlines a tree with his hands as the lights go out. Exit Paper and Dirt)

Wood:

Wow I’m somehow more confused

Canvas:
Well have a snack and maybe it will make sense.

(Canvas pushes the chute button as Plastic enters. An apple falls from the chute.)

Plastic goes over to the apple and starts examining its ability to fall

Plastic:

Fascinating

Wood:

Hey you, where did that apple come from?

Plastic:

Up there

Wood:

How did it get up there?

Plastic:

That’s what I’m trying to solve.

Wood:

Really, great. At least one person is also asking the important questions.

Plastic:

We all know that things fall to the ground. (Throws the apple up)

And yet this apple found it’s way up. Something had to increase its altitude to about here at some point. Using energy.

Wood:

And what do you think did that?

Plastic throws the apple at the sound button

Steel (Off-stage):

I did

Wood:

Who what where

Enter Steel

Steel:

That’s right, I put the apple up there.

Tossed it right in when the button was pushed.

Wood:

Really

Steel:

Yeah and I put a snake in there.

Wood:

A snake?

Steel:

Yeah look. (pushes the button, out pops snek)

Plastic:

A rather convincing snake at that.

Steel:

Thanks

Wood:

Wait, so you’ve been putting all the things up this chute?

Steel:

Nope, just the apple and the snake.

Wood:

Then who has?

Steel:

Someone else.

Wood:

Who else is there.

Steel:

Them

Who:

Who’s them

Steel:

They are

Wood:

Okay okay, perhaps there is a person back there putting objects in the chute and they put this (pushes chute button, a random sport ball falls out) that in there too.

But like generally where did all of this come from?

Steel:

Someone put it there, made it.

Wood:

No one is powerful enough to do that.

Steel:

You think so? From what I’m seeing all you need are some slabs of wood and a drill and a few extra hands.

Wood:

Well most people only have two hands. (Plastic puts their hands behind Wood as if adding more hands)

Steel:

More than just one person is allowed to make things. Teamwork, that’s all you need.

Wood:

I’m not actually concerned with what’s happened recently. You're misinterpreting the question. I’m more curious with like what happened at the beginning of humanity.

Plastic comes over holding the snake and apple.

Plastic:

Here hold these.

(Walks over to the book and presses the button. On a page lies a flattened fig leaf)

There’s no way of knowing that.

Wood:

But there should be.

Plastic:

Why?

Wood:

I just want to know, something. So why not that. (Looks longingly at the apple)

Plastic:

Yeah that apple’s just plastic. I wouldn’t recommend taking a bite.

Wood:

And the snake?

Plastic:

Just as plastic as I am.

Steel:

The snake’s rubber.

Wood:

And unless I’m missing something you’re not plastic.

Plastic:

You are missing something. My name.

Wood:

And that is?

Plastic:

Plastic. (shakes hand)

Wood:

Wait a second we have names now?

Steel:

Always did

Wood:

Do I have a name?

Steel:

Would you like to know?

Wood:

Yes of course

Silence

Plastic:

Wood. You like to know.

Wood:

Do you actually have something or are you two also crazy.

Plastic:

No you don’t understand.(presenting Wood the apple while holding the snake towards them) Wood (points). You like to know.

Steel:

Wood. You like to know… things.

Wood:

I would like to know my name!

Steel:

Would you?

Plastic:

Wood. You.

Wood:

This could go on for much longer but I’m going to cut the crap. You’re both telling me my name is Wood. Like the stuff that trees are made of.

Steel:
Yes and the Metropol Parasol

Enter Paper

Paper: (moving to the book and pressing the button)

Metropol Parasol is a wooden structure located at La Encarnación square, in the old quarter of Seville, Spain.

Wood:

Let me guess, your name’s paper.

Paper:

Yes it is.

Paper Exits

Wood:

Who gave us these names?

Steel:

I don’t know

Wood:

Well you seem to know the names. I’d think you would know the origin.

Steel:

We can’t go back in time and look. The answer’s lost to history

Wood:

Well a guess is better then no answer.

Plastic:

Agreed

Steel:

What’s the worth if we never know if our guess is correct?

Wood:

Well maybe we will know.

Steel:

That would require, going back to the beginning of time.

Wood:

And when do you think time began?

Plastic:

What’s the time now?

Steel:

Here let me check.

(Steel goes over and presses the speaker button. The current time is read out.)

Plastic:

Uh, time began… 15 minutes ago.

Wood:

What?

Steel:

Last thursday.

Wood:

No, it had to be at least thousands of years.

Plastic:

How’d you come up with that.

Wood:
It just feels right.

Steel:

I don’t think you can feel abstract sensations.

Wood:

Well that’s a shame.

Steel:

(Takes the apple, snake, and fig leaf)

Don’t worry yourself with it. No one’s ever been productive philosophising.

Wood:

Hey wait, what’s your name.

Steel:

Me… I never got one. Call me Steel.

Steel Exits through the dressing booth. Plastic presses the button and Air comes out wearing a lab coat.

Air:

4 billion year and a half

Plastic:

Half what?

Air:

Half a billion and half a year

Plastic:

Gotcha.

Plastic exits with the ball

Air:

GOALLLLL! SCORE! TOUCHDOWN! A HOLE IN ONE AND AND A PERFECT STRIKE!

Presses the sound button. Loud cheering is heard.

Wood:

Wait, 4 billion?

Air:

And a half

Wood:

What does that mean

Air:

That’s how long time’s been… time.

Wood:

That’s too long.

Air:

I don’t think the universe cares about its age.

Wood:

Chaos. It infects everything soon enough. After 4 billion years, it ought to have destroyed everything.

Air:

Who’s to say that this, right now, isn’t the peak of entropy?

Wood:

Well because I can add entropy.

Air:

How so?

Wood:

(Goes to the counter and smashes a bottle)

That’s how. That bottle is gone. After 4 billion years don’t you think that all bottles would have already been destroyed?

Air:

Just make a new bottle.

(Air presses the dressing booth button, out pops a disheveled Canvas holding a beer bottle)

Canvas:

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,

To the last syllable of recorded time;

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

(Canvas slaps the light button and the lights turn into a spotlight)

The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

(Light begins to fade)

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

While Canvas was reciting the speech Air took they’re bottle. Canvas exits.

Air:

Ah there we are.

Wood:

You just stole that bottle!

Air:

And you just broke that one.

Wood:

Have you no honor?

Air:

What is honor? A word. What is in that word

'honor'? What is that 'honor'? Air.

Wood:

Honor?

Air:

No air.

Wood:

Are you choking?

Air:

(gasping for a long time) I guess you still haven’t completely gotten that our names are a bit peculiar.

Wood:

You’ve already said it haven’t you?

Air:

Do you care?

Wood:

Yes!

Air:

That’s fair.

Wood:

Air!

Air:

Congratulations

Wood:

The rhymes certainly helped

Air:

Oh no not about that. No, you just made a small step in ascending from chaos. (throws bottle up the chute)

Wood:

That’s impossible

Air:

You gave meaning to something. Created order. You see entropy can be, on large scales, decreased.

Wood:

I don’t think learning your name is reversing the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

Air:

(Air goes to the book and presses the button and it opens)

“The second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy of an isolated system can never decrease over time.”

Well that’s bollocks.

Wood:

How so?

Air:

Just watch.

(presses the button again)

Paper Enters

Wood:

What did you just do?

Air: I started the plot.

Paper: “A veil of Ignorance, in which a committee of infinity reasonable beings decide on the structure of the most just society, is the ultimate goal of ethical thought.”

Steel: (off-stage) hyphen, John Rawls, The Theory of Justice

Paper: Well no, that was a crude paraphrasing of the original theory.

Steel: (off-stage) hyphen, look at your playbills for the playwright, playbill designed by hyphen [designer of your productions playbills]

Wood: I get it, this whole —

Steel: (on-stage) hyphen

Wood: dimension is the veil of ignorance. Or not. I certainly feel a veil of ignorance on me, what the fuck does that even mean?

Paper: But I’m not confused, I’m here and I’m here.

Wood: Well, what are you here for.

Paper: To be here. Isn’t that clear.

Air: Clear as air.

Wood: Here? There? You’re supposed to be there. To read the book. To give us outside information.

Air: And what am I here for oh wise oak?

Wood: To push my buttons.

Air: These are my buttons. I made them.

Steel: I crafted hem?

Paper: I wrote them.

(Canvas enters)

Canvas: I designed them.

(Dirt enters)

Dirt: I started them!

Plastic enters

Plastic: I wired them

Wood: And you push them.

Everyone pushes a button and the lights fade

OFF-STAGE VOICE: (off-stage) Humans are uniquely adept at using systems of symbolic communication (such as language and art) for self-expression and the exchange of ideas, and for organizing themselves into purposeful groups. Humans create complex social structures composed of many cooperating and competing groups, from families and kinship networks to political states. Social interactions between humans have established an extremely wide variety of values,[10] social norms, and rituals, which together form the basis of human society. Curiosity and the human desire to understand and influence the environment and to explain and manipulate phenomena (or events) has provided the foundation for developing science, philosophy, mythology, religion, anthropology, and numerous other fields of knowledge.

Steel: hyphen - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human 4th paragraph

Lights up, everyone is exactly where they were. Nothing has changed.

Air: Marverlos job everyone. Exquisite timing!

Dirt: Next time I’ll try it with a bit more (makes a meaningless sound, inspiration could be the sound of a tree falling divided by a hedgehog being awarded the nobel prize. And with that meaningless stage direction over we can get to the real reason you’re here, to make people laugh. It’s a comedy despite what act 2 will say. People might be confused if it’s a sudden screech or yell. Maybe there should be the guise of emotion, but like the play it should ultimately be arbitrary and meaningless. A postmodern sound without all the hypertext. A humanistic fuck you to theater that lasts 3 hours with the only laugh being a running maid who is slowed down in the play. Get this sound over with quick like the lines. Farces are fast paced, energetic, kinetic, the musicals of the stage. Like Sonic the Hedgehog falling in a forest while your beloved actor who wanted air because they played the MC in Cabaret but was left with a sex joke for a character name wins the Tony. Make a sound)

AIr: Yes let’s try it with that!

Lights Down

OFF-STAGE VOICE: (off-stage) People often use the process of communication. (Such as languages and art) to express ideas, to create alternatives to social exchange to groups of organizations, partners and organizations, family relationships and political families. Social cohesion Creates unique qualities [10] Use social traditions, to be a source of public interest. utilizing environmental experiences, science, ideas, beliefs and principles of understanding the characteristics and controls (or events) of management, geography and other information.

Dirt: Okay, you. (pointing towards wood) Let's say that in about 2 hours you were someone. Not just a thought experiment, but a real boy, or girl, or neither, or both. Let's say, you were an actor on broadway. Getting paid a Actor's guild check, living comfortably in Brooklyn.

Wood: Hell, yeah.

Dirt: But maybe not, maybe your still an actor, but one doing school productions in rural Kansas.

Wood: At least that seems fulfilling.

Dirt: You are a transgender women of color living in Florida. Your boyfriend's cousin gets drunk one night, alcoholism runs in his family. He bought a gun, um, from a gun show. It's tallahassee, I mean, you can get a gun. Even with a history of DUI's like he has. Your boyfriend, beats you, but at least when he's not mad he's kinda sweet. Not every guy would accept you, you don't want to lose that. Maybe you could in San Francisco, but working at popeyes wouldn't pay for you to move. The cousin breaks in and finds you. He shows his gun and says painly.

(Steel acts out the plain phrase in silence)

He doesn't know any better, didn't get a high school diploma, not because he didn't try. He couldn't. And sure, you're about to go move on to you're next entity of philosophical testing, but he will choose to move on too in a few years time. Only he will know why.

Wood starts crying.

Wood: That's our grand plan. Create a new society, where that can't happen. Where everyone can be safe, and free, and equal.

Plastic: Nah. This is mostly a game were playing.

Canvas: A larp maybe?

Plastic: Why should I care about humans? Really, I've never met one.

Canvas: The book, has this page. 7 lines. One for each of us. It is the book of knowledge and information… we get to amend it.

Plastic: Maybe if your trying to be the good guy you will add something that tries to help the people. But it's not like this matters. (Pushes the button on the wall, balls come out of the chute)

( Set up the game more)

( game philosophy goes here)

(Play a game)

(Drink time)

(Some final 4th Wall breaks)

(Confessionals)

(Farce) Art History

(More confessions)

(Wood writes it down)

(Full Farce, Lovehexagon forms)

(Air goes on stage, writes nothing, says nothing, pantomimes a funny. Farce comes back and everyone kills eachother. Act end)


ACT 2 (electric boogaloo)

(Everyone dies on stage except for Air)

(Pool gag)

(Albatros)

(Monologue)

(ʕ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʔ) Do a history

( :) )

( Air sleeps peacefully after hiding the book)

(Farce creeps in)

(Buttons are pushed, people really want to rewrite what they wrote, but won’t want others to.)

(Everyone gets a flash from Dirt, now everyone has too choose empathy or war.)

(Can’t find the book, war is chosen.)

(Air wakes up and presents the book before act 2 goes like act one.)

(Everyone realizes the rules can’t change. They ruined everything.)

All the buttons are pushed and a mess is made.

Act 3:

Characters come out in street clothes and a scene is played in their society. Not completely ours, but enough to be the same.

Tragedy strikes dirt from wood

Air walks out with the same costume , and holds a new book. Writes something down, and the lights go black. End of play.