Theater 33.2 (2003) 65-91
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A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings
Adapted from the Short Story by Gabriel García Márquez
AFAR the very old man with enormous wings
MOMO a twelve-year-old boy
FEFÉ an eleven-year-old girl, Momó's sister
ELISENDA mother and wife of Pelayo, late thirties
PELAYO the father, early forties
JUSTINA the neighbor, a woman in her thirties
JUAN JOSE Justina's husband, a man in his midforties
CIRILO a policeman in his thirties
LA LUNA a woman in her late thirties
THE GIRL WITH A BOX OF PRAYERS a woman in her late twenties
Other characters played by JUSTINA, JUAN JOSE, CIRILO, LA LUNA, andTHE GIRL WITH A BOX OF PRAYERS:
JUSTINA playsWORKER 3, WOMAN WHO'S BEEN CRYING, MOUNTAIN WOMAN 1
CIRILO playsWORKER 1, SELIM AL DIN, MOUNTAIN MAN, FLYING ANGEL, SHOWMAN
JUAN JOSE playsMAN WITH A PANAMA HAT, WORKER 2, AGRACELIO, TAILOR
LA LUNA plays BONAFACIA, SPIDER WOMAN, MOUNTAIN WOMAN 2
THE GIRL WITH A BOX OF PRAYERS plays AVIATOR, PEDDLER, MOUNTAIN WOMAN [End Page 65]
Time and Place
A town that was forgotten in time.
Somewhere close to the Caribbean Sea.
Sound of wind.
Spotlight on a man wearing a Panama hat, dressed in white linen. He carries a small house on his shoulder.
MAN WITH A PANAMA HAT Back in the time that got lost in a hundred years, it rained for forty days in a small town close to the Caribbean Sea. From all the rain the grass and the trees grew so much that carpets and walls of green leaves, roots, and flowers covered all the roads that led to this town. The whole place drowned in an endless jungle and nobody could find his way in or out of the little town. It is precisely in this isolated area where we are setting our play.
He places the house on the ground.
In this forgotten place, where people started celebrating the lunar eclipse. The moon was the only one that had managed to make her way down from the sky on her blue bicycle and visit the town.
Gypsy music plays. LA LUNA rides a blue bicycle. A parasol attached to the bicycle chair protects her from the sun. She wears a typical white dress from Bahia and a white turban around her head. A caravan of people is following THE MOON around the stage. They are wearing masks and traditional clothing representing the people from the town. They enter singing.
MAN WITH A PANAMA HAT Because of the moon's iridescent glow and the magnetism of her presence, not only mariners, vagabonds, and gypsies started to find their way to this corner of the earth, but also lost winds, hurricanes, clouds of miracles, and unanswered prayers. But to be more precise, a very old man with enormous wings found his way into this town one day.
A flash of white light.
A cacophony of angelic voices singing.
A square of light on aVERY OLD MAN WITH ENORMOUS WINGS, kneeling on the floor. A dust of white feathers surrounds his body. The fallen old man is trying to get up and is reaching out to a young boy named MOMO and his sisterFEFÉ. MOMO is about to extend his hand.
FEFÉ Don't touch him!
All sounds subside.FEFÉ pullsMOMO away. [End Page 66]
MOMO He needs help.
FEFÉ Mamá says never talk to strangers.
MOMO What do you know about strangers? He's not a stranger.
FEFÉ He fell from the sky. That makes him a stranger, a foreigner from afar.
(To the fallen man.) I'm sorry, señor, but we can't help you.
MOMO Don't tell him that! Can't you see that he's bleeding?
FEFÉ Ask him who he is. Would you tell us who you are? (No response.) He's not answering.
MOMO Señor ... Señor ...
FEFÉ Call him Mister. If you call...