This club play was written as a group collaboration between the participants and the group leader.
December 11, 2010
THE NEELA DE LORENA
Magee Cal the Magical, an alchemist (Jack)
Neela de Lorena, a statue (Molly)
Omarto, the apprentice (Finn)
Biano, a sculptor (Evan)
I. The alchemist sits in his favorite chair talking to his "pets", (a green felt hand puppet and a golden duck on the top of a wooden cane). He discusses his new procedure for bringing life to still images. His apprentice Omarto brings him some milk and with the first sip Magee Cal surmises his spell is ready. He first brings consciousness to a portrait of a man, wife and child. The man states flatly "I love my family." The child cries "Wahhhhh!" and the wife says tersely, "I have to pee, let me out of here." Silencing them, the alchemist nary takes time to relish in the triumph of a successful experiment. Instead, his mind begins to run in circles... he turns to Omarto with an inspired look on his face. "Omarto! What if I could use this magic on a statue?! Yes! Omarto! Fetch Bianco the sculptor at once!" Omarto leaves and Magee Cal stops a second portrait. His aunt asks, "Magee Cal, do you want Monkey Jamees for Christmas this year?"
II. Omarto returns accompanied by Bianco. Magee Cal does not divulge his intentions for the statue, he merely offers a handsome commission to Bianco to make him a human likeness. Bianco does not need much direction... "I already have her in my minds eye. The Neela de Lorena!" He paces, "In order to make her, I will need a sword made from the hardest material in the world." Magee Cal, being very skilled in metallurgy honors this request as a fair trade. He immediately sets to work on conditioning the blade. Within minutes he presents the sword to Bianco with a formal ritual. Bianco is so eager to try his new tool that he requests to begin work immediately. Omarto brings forth a cart carrying a hunk of raw marble. Bianco wields the sword in a whirling motion, like a dance, slicing off pieces of stone as if it were soft as butter. When the dance is done we are left in awe of the revealed form of The Neela De Lorena. Biano, Magee Cal and Omarto are stunned by her beauty. "I will be back in two weeks time to put on the finishing touches. I must contemplate her perfection,..." Bianco mutters as he is leaving.
III. Magee Cal launches straight into the application of his magic. "She will come to life every evening between 8:07-9:39 pm, Omarto. What for? Hmmm... She will help you clean up the work room!" The procedure is quick and effective. "She lives!" Exclaims Omarto. At first, Neela experiments with movement. She then begins to silently move about the room, her eyes darting every which way. "Another success," sighs Magee Cal tiredly. "Well, Omarto, I am done working for the day. Please tend to the statue and teach her how to clean." Omarto is honored by the responsibility of being the statue's keeper. And so, night after night, Omarto and Neela cleaned the work room together as Omarto schooled the statue on the nature of living. Most unfortunately, it seemed as though Neela would always turn back into stone just as the conversation was deepening. The next day it was always as if the moment was lost. Omarto was growing frustrated by the limitations of their friendship.
IV. After 2 weeks had passed, Bianco returned to put the finishing touches on The Neela De Lorena. After asking to be alone with the statue, Bianco was horrified to find that Neela was standing in a different position than he had sculpted her. Confused, he decided not to alter the statue, but to come back that evening to watch her, to understand what could possibly change what was set in stone. Pretending as though he needed more time, he told Omarto he would be back in a few days. That evening he returned to watch the statue through the window. He was beside himself when at 8:07 pm she became a living woman. Omarto was furious that Magee Cal was tampering with the integrity of his art form. He stomped away, configuring his plan for confronting Magee Cal.
V. The next morning Bianco came calling. He let himself into Magee Cal's workroom. "What gives you the right to alter my master work?" Yelled Bianco. Magee Cal was stunned. "I gave you the blade in exchange for the statue. She is mine." Bianco was unflappable, "She is my art for you to look at, to admire, but not to tamper with!" Magee Cal calmly cleared his throat, raised his wand and said, "My magic is far more powerful than your 'art'." And with that he beamed magic from the wand at Bianco. Bianco blocked the spell with his hardened blade and the two began warring. Omarto came running down into the work room trying to get the men to stop, but the fighting was so intense that the room was a fog of lightning bolts, piercing light orbs, flying blades and plaster of paris. Because they could no longer see, the men stopped. When the dust cleared The Neela de Lorena was completely obliterated. Her stone had crumbled to pieces. "You have destroyed my art." Bianco quibbled. "You have ruined my magic." Magee Cal squabbled. Omarto stepped forward, "Both of you have ended the life of my friend." Omarto wept. Bianco and Magee Cal were struck with deep remorse. Magee Cal sighed, "There is only one thing that can be done."
Epilogue. Months later Bianco sits in the work room smoking a cigar. Magee Cal is attending to the cleaning. Neela and Omarto enter the work room, she will parasol in hand. "We've just returned from the beach!" Exclaimed Neela. Omarto appeared full of gratitude, "Yes, I showed Neela what seashells are."