Сценарий "Orpheus Descending"

Разделы: Иностранные языки


Scene 1

Calliope, the Muse of epic poetry, her husband, King Oeagus, their relatives and friends, eight Muses are on the stage. King Oeagus is next to his wife while relatives and friends come and lay gifts at their feet, wishing them and their newborn child happiness. A light beautiful music starts to come through the air. It is carried closer and closer to people’s ears. Apollo walks onto the stage. He’s holding a lyre in his hands. He walks through the crowd of people up to Calliope, where he places the lyre at her feet.

Apollo: Calliope, my Muse of epic poetry, you have brought a son into this world with Oeagus, a man of Thrace. Because of your influence over the art of poetry, and because the Thracians are the most musical of people in Greece, I give your son the instrument which is closest to my heart. With it, he will be able to combine the poetry you have given him, with the music his father has given him, to create songs no other human on earth will be able to match. This is what will define your son. He will be able to go to places no other man can go because of his music. He will give men strength in times of despair, heroes will be led on in their journey because of his playing, and he will experience both love and loss, and his joy and sorrow will be heard through the sound of his lyre. And when he is taken from this earth, he and his lyre will be placed together so that all men will be able to see and remember where music and poetry combined.

Calliope opens the silk cloth protecting the child’s face and holds it up for Apollo to see. Apollo kisses its forehead and the kiss passes the power to combine music and poetry into Orpheus’ body. Beautiful magic music sounds.

Scene 2

The stage is set as a garden. Orpheus, aged 16, holding a lyre, and his father, King Oeagus, are on the stage.

Orpheus: Father, I love playing my lyre, but I feel that there is something missing from my life. There is no adventure. Every day is the same. My music comes from inside me, but it is based on the experiences I have in the world. It seems time for me to leave Thrace and see things which will make me more creative.

Oeagus: It is natural for a boy your age to feel such things, and you are right. You should go out and see more of this world. But you must wait for the opportunity to come. It will, but you must be patient!

Oeagus leaves. Orpheus stays on the stage playing his lyre (beautiful music sounds). Suddenly a centaur appears. Next to the centaur is a man dressed like a prince.

Jason: Orpheus, my name is Jason, prince and future King of Iolcus. This is Cheiron, my teacher and the greatest teacher in all Greece. He has told me that you are the greatest musician in the land and that you are a necessary part of my voyage.

Orpheus: What voyage is that?

Jason: I am going to Colchis to bring back the Golden Fleece to my people. Only the most heroic men in Greece will be invited to go, as it will be a dangerous trip and we will need every man’s strength to be successful.

Orpheus: But how can I be of help to you?

Cheiron (steppes closer; his face is serious and calm): Orpheus, your music will give men strength when they feel they have none left. It will settle quarrels, and the boat will move to its rhythm and keep a safe and steady course. Most of all, you can save the Argo from almost certain destruction. A time will come when your ability to play will be challenged. This is what will make you a hero. I’ve never heard you play. Will you do it for me, please?

Orpheus starts playing with much enthusiasm. Beautiful music sounds.

Jason (trying to stop tears from his eyes): Cheiron was right. You can do magic with that lyre of yours. Those chosen as Argonauts will no doubt be as moved as I am now.


Scene 1

There is a boat at the back of the stage. Castor and Polydeuces appear fighting. Polydeuces grabs Castor by his neck. Orpheus appears and starts playing. The men stop fighting to listen to Orpheus play. Now they seem calm and strong again. They leave the stage.

Scene 2

In the middle of the stage there is a table laid with different food. Jason, the Argonauts and Aeetes, the King of Colchis are at the table eating and laughing.

Aeetes: Why have you made this long and dangerous journey to Colchis?

Jason: I am the rightful heir to the throne of Iolcus, and King Pelias has accepted this faсt. If I am to take the throne, I must return the Golden Fleece to Iolcus. Our cousin Phrixos’s spirit lives through the fleece. With it, our people will live in peace. If you agree to give us the Fleece, we will gladly perform any service you wish. I have men with me who can fight off all of your enemies.

Aeetes: I understand that you are brave men, and it is my wish to honour you. However, in order to give you the Golden Fleece, I would need to see you accomplish something that I myself have accomplished.

Jason: Say it and it shall be done.

Aeetes: There are two wild, fire-breathing bulls that live in the fields of Ares. I once tied a plough to the necks of those bulls and ploughed those fields. In them, I planted the teeth of a dragon and an army of dragon-toothed men grew out of the land and attacked me. I was able to kill every one of them, and I expect you can do the same.

Hera (in the form of a bird), who has been listening to all of this, being in the other corner of the stage, flies to mount Olympus to tell Aphrodite everything. Aphrodite is playing with her son, Eros.

Hera: Aphrodite, I need your help. I am guiding the Argonauts in their search for the Golden Fleece and King Aeetes has asked them to do something which is impossible.

Aphrodite: And what would you like me to do?

Hera: Aeetes has a daughter, Medea. She has special powers. If you manage to make her fall in love with Jason, I am sure she could help him succeed in what her father has asked.

Aphrodite: I will ask my son, Eros, to go and visit her, as he has never failed to fill people’s hearts with love for others.

She takes a golden ball from inside her robe and holds it out to Eros.

Aphrodite: This is for you, my darling. But first I want you to find Medea, daughter to Aeetes, and fill her heart with love for Jason.

Eros smiles at his mother, takes the ball, then flaps his wings and rises into the air with his bow and arrow in his hands. He reaches Medea who is standing at her father’s side. She does not see or feel the small arrow that Eros shot into her arm. But then, when she looks at Jason, she suddenly feels that he is the most handsome man she has ever seen. She looks at him adoringly.

Scene 3

The Argonauts are aboard the Argo. They are discussing who will capture the bulls and plough the fields of Ares.

Castor: I can attach the plough to the bulls’ heads.

Jason: I doubt you can defeat the army of men that would grow out of the field behind you.

They see a boy approaching them. It’s Medea’s nephew.

The boy: I am the nephew of Medea, daughter of Aeetes. She has powers beyond all other men and women, and she can help you succeed in what her father asked you to do. If you would like her help, she has told me where she will be this night, and I may take you, Jason, to talk with her.

Jason agrees, and they leave together. Medea is waiting for them. She is wearing a black robe with a hood hiding most of her face. In her hands is a small box.

Jason: Your nephew has told me you are kind enough to help me defeat the bulls of Ares and plough the fields without harm. For this, I thank you.

Medea: (keeping her voice from shaking, as she feels drawn to him): Here is an ointment which will protect you from all that could harm you. Rub it onto your skin well, and neither the bulls’ fire nor the army’s spears will be able to break your skin. And there is some else. If the army of dragon-toothed men appears to be too great in number, throw a small stone among them and they will begin attacking each other.

Jason (takes the box from Medea, trying to see her face): May I see the face that offers such kindness to me?

She takes the hood from her head. Jason is astonished by her beauty.

Jason: Medea, I know you are doing this without your father’s knowledge, but I am also moved by how beautiful you are. If all goes well tomorrow, I would like to take you back to Iolcus and make you my wife. To thank you, and in case I never get the chance again, may I kiss you before we say goodnight? (She does not answer, and he kisses her).

Scene 4

Jason, King Aeetes and the Argonauts are on the stage. King Aeetes is furious.

Aeetes: You could not have done that by yourself. Someone helped you. I’ll never give you the Golden Fleece now.

Jason: You have made a mistake, King Aeetes. I did what you asked of me. If you will not honour the agreement, we will be forced to fight.

Aeetes: Be gone with you. I’ll listen to no more. Guards! Prepare for battle!

Jason and the Argonauts leave. Medea and Jason are on the stage.

Medea: Jason, take me to Iolcus with you. I want to be your wife. But spare my father. I can show you where the Fleece is.

Jason: I never meant to do your father harm. The Fleece is only for my people. You are the greatest treasure I could possibly return with.

There is a tree on the stage. The Fleece is hanging from the tree. Under the tree a fierce dragon is lying. Orpheus appears and sings the dragon a song. The dragon falls asleep, gradually closing his eyes. Jason takes the Golden Fleece from the tree. Orpheus and Jason leave.

The Argonauts, Orpheus, Jason and Medea are aboard the Argo. They are returning back to Iolcus.


Scene 1

Orpheus and Calliope are on the stage.

Orpheus: Something strange happened to me, Mother. Whenever I sing of Jason’s meeting Medea, I feel sad inside. This sadness prevents me from playing as well as I can, and now I lost interest in playing at all.

Calliope: You are at an age when most young men are considering marriage. Perhaps you should look for a woman to love with all your heart. Then, you will find someone who you will never get tired of playing for.

Orpheus is on the stage walking and playing his lyre. Suddenly he sees a woman picking the flowers and paying no attention to his playing. Orpheus stops playing and comes up to her.

Eurydice: Why did you stop playing?

Orpheus: Every day that I come here I see you paying no attention, regardless of the song I’m playing.

Eurydice: The music is inside me. If I stopped moving with it, I feel I would lose it.

Orpheus starts playing again, and now she listens to him with great attention.

Scene 2

The wedding ceremony is taking place. There are a lot of people on the stage. Orpheus is playing for Eurydice.

Orpheus: Only through you does my music show its true joy. I love watching you move to the way I play.

Eurydice: I never had to force myself to move to the rhythm of your singing, but do not try to keep me always in your sight. Today, of all days, I feel that I want to move all over this land and be moved as the land moves. So play, my love, and know that I am listening even if you cannot see me.

She walks among the trees, and suddenly a snake bites her. Slowly, she falls to the ground.

Eurydice: Orpheus, help me! Please, my love, help me! Orpheus my love, it’s all too soon...

Orpheus rushes to Eurydice.

Orpheus (cries out to the sky): Why have you done this to me? It’s not fair! I refuse to accept this. I will fight everyone and everything to bring her back to life. I know I can!

Scene 3

The stage is dark. Orpheus appears. He looks around and notices a light in the other corner of the stage. He comes up to it and sees a man. It’s Charon the Ferryman.

Charon: No money was put upon your lips on the day you were buried, so I will not take you across the River Styx.

Orpheus: But I did not die. I only came here to talk to Pluton and Persephone. I want to...

Charon: Stop talking! I don’t want to hear you if you do not have any money for the passage.

Orpheus begins playing his lyre. Beautiful music sounds. Charon gets into his boat and begins to push it. Orpheus quickly gets in behind him.

Charon (to the river): Do not harm us great River Styx. We only wish to get to the other side. We are not carrying the dead, but we respect your power and place. (To Orpheus): This is as far as I shall take you. I will be here when it is time to take you back.

Orpheus: How will you know when that is?

Charon does not answer and continues rowing.

Scene 4

There is a gate on the stage. In front of the gate is Cerberus. Orpheus arrives. He sees Cerberus and hides.

Cerberus: You came here believing your lyre would guide you safely to Eurydice. If you forget that, you will never see her again.

Orpheus starts playing. Beautiful music sounds. Cerberus feels sleepy. Orpheus walks past him. Cerberus dozes off. Orpheus comes up to Pluton, standing next to Persephone, wearing his magical black helmet. Orpheus stops playing.

Pluton: The dogs must look favourably upon you if they have let you enter the underground. Tell me what it is you seek here.

Orpheus: My wife, Eurydice, has recently been taken from me and she is now somewhere with you in this powerful kingdom. I fear that she has been taken too soon, that our life together was never given a chance to begin before it was ended.

Pluton: But there is no one here, as you must realize, that has been taken from your world too soon. It is their fate, and someone’s fate is something that cannot be changed.

Orpheus: I cannot argue with what you say, but I can only tell you what I feel through a song. If you listen to me, perhaps you will understand me better.

Pluton nods and Orpheus picks up his lyre. Beautiful music sounds.

Persephone: Of course we will let you see your beautiful wife again. The dogs must have sent you here as a gift, for your music is the most beautiful thing I have ever heard.

Pluton: Persephone is right. Your song has won you what no other living person has been given before. However, you must be patient still. Leave us and return to the upperworld. Eurydice will be behind you the entire way, but do not look back. Trust that this gift is being given to you because of the song you sang. If you look back to see if your wife is there before you get to the upperworld, you will lose her and she will again be ours, only this time, forever.

Orpheus nods and goes away from them. The lights go off on the stage. Eurydice starts following him. Orpheus walks past Cerberus who is still sleeping. Charon is waiting for him in his boat. When Orpheus leaves the boat and walks further to the light before him he hears a sound as if Eurydice slips and falls. He turns and reaches his hands out to grab her. There is fear in their eyes as they both know he has turned too soon. She begins to move away from him.

Eurydice: Farewell...

Orpheus falls down and bangs his fists on the ground. Then he looks up at the sky, crying out to the gods.

Orpheus: Why have you done this to me? You gave me hope and now you have decided to let me live my life in sorrow. Why?

The beautiful and very sad music sounds.