About “Sun Street”

In August 2016 I had the chance to be in Edinburgh, for the first time, during the Fringe Festival. I loved the entire world there. The arts were living among the people and people were breathing them. It was so inspiring that a new play appeared in my mind right there, an inspiration that was probably somehow triggered by an unconscious drive – I had to do something exceptional to change life as it was at that time. I had to produce an exceptional change, that was the feeling dominating my subconscious mind. I even talked to one of the venues, asked about their technical possibilities, about all conditions. I was very excited about that new project. I knew it would cost very much, but I felt that we had to do it, we had to try our best and be there next year.

When I returned home, I wrote more than half of the 40-minute play in one day. A play for three characters, one of them being built on Ioan Gyuri Pascu’s artistic personality and his many artistic talents. At that time, our two-year-old project, Spiritual Theater, and the plays that were publicly presented – well received by the audience – were nicely growing even if there were signs of obstacles and changes that had to be done.

I remember when I called Gyuri from Edinburgh to tell him about the play that popped into my mind, about the whole plan that was revealing itself in high speed. He was excited as well, and, as always, he said it again: “if it has to be, then it will be. We will somehow manage to have the money for this, too.”  I told him he was going to compose the music, sing, play guitar and drums, and act – all together. It was a kind of musical, though it was impossible to think of more than three characters – due to the costs, of course.

The story was completely different than what it is now, though the theme remains the same. It’s different because on September 26th, 2016, Gyuri left this life behind and headed to heaven’s realm. I have changed the text and transformed it so that it would be a kind of tribute to him, but most of all because I had to keep my promise: to bring Gyuri to a foreign audience’s attention in any form I could. Three years passed by, and I still haven’t been able to manifest this.

I had some attempts to stage this text here, in Bucharest, even if I was still in shock and denial still, many months after that September. I really refused to accept he was no more. Well, I have to admit that I didn’t send this text to anyone but a few actors I hoped might want to perform, and not to theater companies.

But this is not important now. Now I am posting a part of this text, and I do this to honor Gyuri’s birthday, August 31st. As he was saying: “celebrate the day when you entered this life, not the day when you exit it because then you won’t be able to celebrate anything anymore. “ His body is not here anymore, but his spirit is alive.

SUN STREET

by DANIELA MARIN

CHARACTERS:

ACE

FAY

GEORGE

This short play is dedicated to the Romanian songwriter and actor Ioan Gyuri Pascu. Therefore, his music is an additional and mandatory character. The music will be provided upon the signing of the agreement.

CHARACTERS

FAY: around 20 years old, she’s a great dancer. Her costume contains elements from classic ballet and modern dance. She wears tap dance shoes. Her arms are wrapped in a way that suggests they are wings. She wears a smile on her face too, as part of her costume. She is dancing or moving her arms almost the entire time. She’s rarely not moving. Sometimes she looks just like a mechanical doll.

ACE: around 30 years old, he calls himself an entertainer. He’s trying to be joyful, funny as part of his job.His costume is special: the upper part shows an ace playing card on the front, while the back of the costume shows the joker card and light bulbs around the edges of the “playing card”. He guides the audience to enter the hall, talks to the people coming in, makes jokes. After everyone is seated and the doors close, he will get on stage.

GEORGE: over 40 years old. No special costume.  He looks like a gentle, kind, wise, and rather sad man. He has a guitar which he plays from time to time. Hidden under his desk there are some percussion instruments he’s playing. On the desk there are CDs and a CD-player, while speakers are set on the floor.

When the audience enters the hall, George is already seated on his little chair, in the back of the stage, positioned laterally, and he’s arranging CDs on the desk. He pushes the play button and we hear the first song.

[Ace enters the stage and leans against a wall. He’s tired. His joyous face is lost. He looks completely different. He stares at George. We hear the last minute of the song Love’s Like a Tender Hammer. After Ace’s first words, George lowers the volume.]

ACE

Gee, tough audience! I pray for my friends on stage!…  (sighs) Those people are hard to impress.

[Fay, the dancing girl, comes in, carrying a board for step dance.  She looks around, trying to figure out if she could take some of the street for herself (closer to the center of the stage).]

FAY

(to Ace) Hi! Is this place taken already? 

ACE

Of course, dear! The government takes every place.

GEORGE

Don’t mind him! The street belongs to us, the artists. The street belongs to the people.  

ACE

(sarcastically) Yeah! Artists like us, definitely. We are free to impress the street, not like the people. (scornful) I’m not part of ‘the people’. I don’t want to be ‘the people’! (takes a good look at Fay) (disinterested) Go ahead! Let’s see if you can set the world alight. Impress me!

FAY

(confidently) I will. I’m definitely going to impress all of you with my dancing!

ACE

(dismissively) Yeah, yeah, like the millions of other dancing girls!

GEORGE

Don’t mind him! Just do what you feel like doing. You don’t need to impress, but just do what you love to do. The others, those right there, (pointing to the audience) in the theaters, yes. They’re the ones who have to impress. They have to pay back the tickets.

ACE

And you have to pay for your bus tickets! (laughs) And food. And… forget it!

(Ace leaves.)

FAY

 (a bit worried) Was he upset with me?

GEORGE

Don’t mind him, he’s the grouchy type. Enjoy your art, dear!

(Fay starts moving her arms, while George plays the beginning of the song on his guitar, along with the CD – Life’s Wonderful (3:01).  After a short time, Ace returns.)

ACE

Hey, man! Hey, hey! (George lowers the volume) What are you doing here? What are you doing?

GEORGE

I am doing what I am doing.

ACE

No! What you’re doing is more than what you think you’re doing and it has multiple effects. Ripple effects. You’re making people feel sad with your song. That’s one of the effects! The most important one!

GEORGE

How do you know this?

ACE

(surprised) How do I know?  (mocking him) ‘how do I know?’ I feel it. See, if you feel, you know.

FAY

That’s true!

GEORGE

So, feeling comes first.

FAY

Control the mind, control the body, and then, you can feel. Then you can dance.

GEORGE

Isn’t it the other way around?

ACE

You can’t possibly understand. Don’t bother! (to Fay)And you, why are you dancing to such a sad song? You shouldn’t.

GEORGE

(to Fay) Don’t mind him! (to Ace) Let her be!

FAY

I was his inspiration! Sad or happy, I am a fairy! Fay, the fairy!

ACE

So that’s your name? Fay?

GEORGE

It suits you. It’s a good name.

FAY

Thank you! And what’s your name?

ACE

(to George) I don’t understand why you’re here. You don’t belong here. You don’t understand anything. People want to see something special on the street, but happy and joyful, you know? They are fed up with sadness and misery. People want entertainment. They want to feel good. This is street performance! People don’t want to hear your pathetic sad songs. They’ll run away immediately. And we (pointing to Fay and himself) need an audience. (to Fay) Ace. Well, that’s my stage name.

GEORGE

You work for this theater, right Ace? Then what do you know about street performance?

FAY

Come on, sing, man! Sing! Make me fly!

GEORGE

To your inner sky… Yes!!! Hold on! (he’s searching for another song) This one! Listen! 

[the song When. Fay is dancing. Ace is listening and watching her and George for about a verse and first refrain, then he jumps into the center of stage and activates his costume’s lights. He speaks loud until George is fading out the music. Fay stops dancing too.]

ACE

           The world is here. The Universe is born.

     Infinite sparks fly out and souls are torn.

Shadows vanish into the lights of The Light

Suns spread out into the night.

[After a few seconds, Fay starts clapping]

GEORGE

Why don’t you take off that costume? The next show starts in one hour. If you want to show yourself…

ACE

My costume? My costume? My. Costume. belongs to the people. What would I be without my costume?

FAY

Yes, I must wear a costume as well. See? It’s beautiful, isn’t it?

ACE

Yes, it is.

GEORGE

Why don’t you present yourself as yourself? What do you need a costume for?

ACE

You’re definitely crazy, man! Everyone has a costume. Look at them (pointing to the invisible people passing by the street and to the audience) See? They all wear costumes. This is a must, if you didn’t already know, at your age, if you hadn’t already learned this lesson… God, I pity you. What are you doing here?

GEORGE

I don’t have a costume. I only have my clothes. I don’t sell my clothes, I simply wear them.

FAY

I don’t perform in my own clothing. That is not art. You need a costume to perform. Maybe your guitar is your costume?

ACE

You’re crazy too! His guitar is an instrument, a tool. A prop, you know?… Listen, how can you do this? How can you dance for so long? Don’t you get tired?

FAY

I’m trained. I dance 14 hours a day, 14 weeks before this festival.

ACE

Really?!… Oh my God! That’s too much work. I wouldn’t do it. It’s insane.

FAY

Do you think I’m crazy?

GEORGE

(to Ace)

What do you do besides wearing a costume, Ace?

ACE

Really? You still want to talk about this… Fine. I entertain people. Can you understand this? That’s my instrument. Though I know how to play guitar as well.

GEORGE

(offering the guitar)

Here, show us.

ACE

No, I don’t want to. I’m not a professional.

GEORGE

What is your profession?

ACE

[after a moment of hesitation] Entertainer.

GEORGE

(humming thoughtfully) Tough job.

ACE

Oh, yes. Yes, it is, man. It’s very tough. You have no idea how tough it is. Sometimes I look at people’s faces and I know I failed when I see absolutely nothing, nothing at all. Not even a disdainful laugh. Nothing. That is terrible. Usually, after such an incident, I want to kill myself.

FAY

(suddenly, interested)

Do you try to?

GEORGE

Why don’t you try something else?

ACE

Else?

FAY

(joking) Or Elsa?… (nobody laughs, she’s embarrassed)

ACE

What do you mean by something else? I don’t know anything else.

FAY

I do! I can sing, I can act, I can step… Oh, yes, let me show you my tap dance, I love it.  (she starts to tap)

GEORGE

(applauding) You are very good, indeed.

FAY

Thank you! I’ll take a break now. Tap dancing gets me tired. I always need a break after. I’m still not good enough.

GEORGE

How come you are not good enough?… Compared to what?

ACE

(interferes mocking George-‘compared to what’- then asks Fay)

How can you dance without music?

GEORGE

Rhythm, man. And her inner music. That’s what a real dancer does.

ACE

Great piece of wisdom, man! You seem to be the wise man here, aren’t you? Don’t tell me you are a dancer, too?

GEORGE

No. I’m not.

FAY

(to Ace)

But he’s right, Ace.

GEORGE

Ace man, let’s see you now.

ACE

See me? I don’t know tap-dance. I can’t dance or sing.

GEORGE

You said you entertain people… So do what you know.

(after Ace’s first seven lines, George will start beating the drums he keeps under his desk)

ACE

I do what my talent tells me, not what I know. For example…

I could talk… about the dump.

Not that I might think of Trump,

but we see it growing bigger,

in our minds being the trigger

to the image of the tower

dominating with its power

over our senses, brother!

Don’t you think we waste too much?

Our lives clenched in a pouch

while we build mountains of garbage 

pondering on our bondage

to the nature or its laws.

Then we fear its claws,

so we close our eyes and speak:

There’s no danger, there’s no peak!

We can build higher and higher!

Don’t get lost, just be The Buyer!

FAY

(clapping) Wow! You are very good! You can rhyme on the spot, right? That’s fantastic!

GEORGE

Gooood!So, you can do it! Now take it off.  You can do the same thing without this costume.

ACE

Man, you have an obsession! Your personal issue! What in the name of the thing do you have against my costume?

GEORGE

You’re right. I do have a personal issue. It reminds me of gambling. And I’m not comfortable with this memory.

FAY

(moving like a mechanical doll) I can’t take off my costume. People would be horrified. They would instantly run fast and far away from me if they would see my wounds.

GEORGE

What wounds?

ACE

(worried) It’s only a metaphor, isn’t it?

FAY

The metaphor of my life, indeed.

ACE

Oh, my life, you sweet bright metaphor,

I have been a fool, a carnivore

sucking my own flesh to scars,

so that I could reach the stars

of the fame I wanted more,

more than any other lore.

GEORGE

What happened to you, Fay?

FAY

Why would I tell you?… You would then think of me in a certain way. You would label and cable… Ha, I caught the rhyme bug from you, Ace!

ACE

Kind of! But you know, we all have wounds, and scars…

GEORGE

And scars we are ashamed of. But we shouldn’t be ashamed. They are like tattoos we are rewarded with for experiencing life.

ACE

Oh, that’s profound, wise man!

FAY

(she does classic ballet moves, moving her arms especially) I failed the opera audition. That was the only thing I really wanted in my life. That was my life. I had no other purpose.  I was told my arms were bad. So I cut them badly. You don’t want to see them.  They’re very ugly.

ACE

But you so beautifully move your arms. And those wings…

FAY

My wings grew afterwards. My mother made them for me. She told me the story of the phoenix bird. She helped me to create this character, so that I could still dance…  (with deep sadness) on the street… But I dance! And this is all I want from life! I want to dance my life. That’s all.

GEORGE

 This reminds me of a song: Sweet little bird. Listen! (he plays the song- 4:03)

[After few verses, Fay starts dancing. Ace feels attracted and joins her at a certain moment. At the end, Fay is very happy and surprised of Ace’s skill in dancing. George is applauding them.]

FAY

But you can dance, Ace! You are very good!

GEORGE

See, this song moved you, too. You felt his music, his music lived inside you, inspired you. That’s what I call the spirit of art. It gives life to the artist inside us.

ACE

Hold on! Not every human is an artist! Not just anybody!

(He starts taking off his special costume)

GEORGE

Why?

ACE

Because some are… scientists, I don’t know, mechanics, plumbers, policemen, the rest…

GEORGE

I’m not talking about an occupation…

FAY

I know what you mean: the innate creator, the artist …

ACE

Oh, sure!

Thee shall we worship, the great creator, never too pleased,

the lord that makes our souls too eased

up in the skies and down to earth,

you bring thy life into our birth.

FAY

Ace, you are fantastic! Really!

ACE

Thank you, my goddess! You are too kind to me.

As kind as you were with the pod of the pea! (Fay laughs)

I’m honored to bring laughter to you,

Oh, goddess, I can’t help but love you, too!

GEORGE

Have you tried to write?… I mean a book. Poetry or plays…

ACE

That is already taken, my dear naïve street colleague. Billions of poems have been written already and may I remind you of the great Will?… Shakespeare?!… I’m sure you have heard of him, haven’t you?

GEORGE

Do not compare yourself with others. Each artist has its own place under the sun.

ACE

Of course! Under the sun! Here, on the street! Plenty of places!

GEORGE

Have you tried, at least?

© Daniela Marin,2016

6 thoughts on “About “Sun Street”

    1. Thank you, Gabriela. Your comment is encouraging. ❤ There are 16 more pages already written, it's kind of finished so to speak, but in case someone would be interested to stage it, I might rewrite these final pages. The best way to polish a play is to hear it spoken by actors. It could also be changed as it was originally imagined.

      Liked by 1 person

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