Wednesday, December 06, 2006

THE MONSTER OF KANIFLORIA (adapted from a fable by Aaron Piper: The Giant who was more than a match)
Performed in Carbondale IL on Dec. 3, 2006 with the following cast:

WISE ONE- Delia A.

GS: (chewing gum) I was about to get a PhD from the University of Kanifloria Department of Sociology, Anthropology and American Studies, but I was having trouble with my thesis advisor. He was this academic guy, big glasses. Wanted me to read blah blah blah. It kept me up all night, wondering if I'd ever get past him!
PROFESSOR: You really ought to read Motown and its impact on Race, Class, Gender, and Black Identity , you know! And here's another one! Motown, Music, Sex and Power. You shall not enter the academy in this department, unless you do the prerequisite reading!
GS: Yeah, yeah, if I have time. I really wanted to graduate in December you know!
PROFESSOR: It is most essential, that you read everything relevant in your field!
GS: (comes forward) So I said to myself, "He's a monster!" and then it hit me! When I was a kid, we used to always read this story, about the monster of Kanifloria. Nobody could get past him. Every time a cart driver came by, he couldn't get past the monster.
CART DRIVER (approaches from right).
MONSTER: You shall not pass without fighting me. Choose any weapon you like, and I will more than match you! (CART DRIVER LEAVES IN FEAR)
GS: When the president heard of this, he called for the Master of Clubs to battle the giant.
MASTER OF CLUBS (approaches from right)(to audience) I am the Master of Clubs! I can beat anyone! I use force! I use power! I am strong! I am not afraid of the monster!
MONSTER: You shall not pass without fighting me. Choose any weapon you like!
MASTER OF CLUBS: I choose clubs! (lifts club).(GIANT pulls out huge club and beats him softly until he leaves stage) Ha ha ha!
GS: The monster beat the Master of Clubs so badly that he spent five months in the Kanifloria General hospital. The president was forced to call in the Master of Swords.
MASTER OF SWORDS: (approaches from right) I am the master of swords! I can cut anyone! I slice! I cut! I shred! I am not afraid of the monster!
MONSTER: You shall not pass without fighting me! Choose any weapon you like!
MASTER OF SWORDS: I choose swords! (Pulls out his sword, but Monster pulls out larger sword and beats him softly until he leaves)
GS: Again, the monster cut up the Master of Swords so badly, that he was forced to be repaired by a seamstress. The president had to call in the Master of Fire.
MASTER OF FIRE: (approaching from right) I am the master of fire! I throw fire at everyone! Flames! E-mails! I can beat any monster!
MONSTER: You shall not pass without fighting me! Choose any weapon you like!
MASTER OF FIRE: I choose fire! I will throw this fire at you! (but monster throws fire back, and Master of Fire must leave)
GS: The monster threw huge balls of fire and just about burned down the forest! The president was at his wits' end, so he sent the cart driver to ask the Wise One to help. (LEAVES STAGE, DRESSES AS WISE ONE)

CART DRIVER: Oh Wise One, you must help us! We cannot get past the monster. He is blocking the road to the capital city!
WISE ONE: What would you like me to do?
CART DRIVER: Take my cart, and some of my cow's milk. Take what you wish!
(WISE ONE takes cart and leaves; MONSTER enters; CART DRIVER comes back, approaches MONSTER).
MONSTER: You shall not pass without fighting me! Choose any weapon you wish!
WISE ONE: (takes long sip of milk…MONSTER looks on longingly). Could it be that you are thirsty?
MONSTER: I admit that I am! For I have just destroyed three Masters!
WISE ONE: Please accept this small gift from your humble friend!
MONSTER: Aha! Now I see your trick! You seek to conquer me with kindness! But now I will more than match you! (runs off stage, returns with piles of food and lays it in the cart) (proudly) You see you cannot defeat me so easily!
WISE ONE: Yes, so I see! I should like you to know something of me. Though I make no such claim for myself, others call me the Wise One. I live in this same forest, not far from the Capital City!
MONSTER: Another of your tricks! Very well, you shall know even more of me than I know of you! I have no name, for I was born of the union of the wind and a curved mirror. And I have no power or skill but what my opponent chooses for me!
WISE ONE: I thought as much! But now the sun is nearly down, and I must reach the City of Trade before dark…May I offer you a ride to a place of rest?
MONSTER: Yet again you try to trick me! Will you never have done with it? But this time I will defeat you once and for all! (puts WISE ONE in cart, runs around room and back to stage). I hope you have learned your lesson!
WISE ONE: Oh, I have! (MONSTER LEAVES)(WISE ONE turns into GS)

GS: (to Audience) When I thought of that story, I decided that I should take a different approach to the professor.
PROFESSOR: The University of Kanifloria has certain requirements that are necessary for doctoral candidates. It must ensure that all scholars are learned in the field. Have you done any reading since I last saw you?
GS: Yes, in fact, I found this article The Queen of Soul and the Dynamics of Respect - and it turns out that you wrote it!
PROFESSOR: Yes, indeed I did! It's about Aretha Franklin!
GS: And, it's on the exact subject I was looking for!
PROFESSOR: Indeed it is! I hope it's useful to you. I'll help you use it in your paper! And I can show you some other sources too!



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