Library of Inspiration
The MIDI Player
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|Synopsis: Set against a world polarized by the gulf between technological haves and have-nots, Dreamless is a story of a poor young womans struggle to have a child and how her life is manipulated by the larger forces tearing at the world. Her name is Kata Vyachenka. She is an illiterate street kid who has been lucky enough to find employment
for a large pharmaceutical company involved in genetic engineering and biocybernetics. Kata has worked for them since she was 14, creating fetal matter for their life extension and neural implant product lines. This is a highly regarded occupation among young women, since its fringe benefits include good food and lodgings and great medical care (the constantly pregnant women must be in the best of health to provide optimum fetal tissue). She is not allowed to have a child of her own. She runs away, carrying a fetus that belongs to the Company.
She is helped by two leading characters: Her roommate, Ana; and her roommates boyfriend, Cocoon. Cocoon used to make his living hacking the spew (eavesdropping on the Net and analyzing his observations for new trends to be exploited), then ran into trouble when he developed a programming method that helped free people from unwanted corporate obligations. Living off of royalties from his hacking days, he now lives with other squatters in an abandoned Mega Mall called The Fray Zone. The roommate, Ana, is involved in a growing Third World Movement/Religion called Vocodo (based on a cross between Voodoo and Computer Technology). She gets Kata mixed up in a huge immigrant exodus that sends a billion African refugees who have been living on a massive flotilla of abandoned super tankers, sprawling rafts of floating garbage and old war vessels, drifting toward the United States. The Vocodo movement sees Katas child as a messianic figure, the person who will set themselves and their gods free to the Promised Land of the rich and advanced Western world.
As he is trying to help Kata, Cocoon discovers that the pharmaceutical company has actually been manipulating Kata all along. They have planted an illegal genetic experiment in Katas womb, induced her to run away, then planned to monitor her child from afar (thus escaping direct liability). But the companys plans are thwarted by the Vocodo gods, artificial intelligences inside the Net. Ironically, they have been manipulating the company, in turn, to create a link between the human mind and the Net, and Katas genetically altered child is that link. Through her child, the Vocodo gods hope to experience human life and thus break free of their confining
But the forces unleashed by this conflict cause surprising results. The one billion destitute refugees from the ecologically collapsing third world, referred to as Termites, begin falling prey to a virus developed by the pharmaceutical company. In an attempt to save them, Cocoon works with a Vocodo goddess and figures out how to download the mind of a human into the Net. Cocoon downloads himself, joining with the goddess in a romantic moment of electronic bliss. Fearing what would happen if the minds of countless refugees flood the Net, the Company kills Cocoon, trapping him in the Net, and destroys the downloading device. But the Wests dependency on the Net is too great, and with Cocoons and the childs help, the Vocodo gods force the West to agree to let the
surviving Termites download, in exchange for a noninterference treaty. (The West also sees this as a workable solution to a rather untenable population problem). The child wins his freedom from Vocodo interference as mother and child turn to forge new lives. For the surviving Termites, Ana and her the Vocodo gods, Cocoon and his new artificial love, and Kata and her child, it seems a triumphant ending yet, for the audience, it seems the end of human history as we know it, highlighting all sorts of fears about the trends that seem to be colliding in our present day.
Description: Dreamless is a two act musical drama set in the future. Act I follows a young womans quest to have her own child in world where that is no longer legal. Act II is set six years later and follows the mother and child as they find themselves caught in a conflict that will ultimately determine the future of humanity. Dreamless requires a hi-tech approach, incorporating virtual reality techniques, innovative lighting, music that is on the cutting edge of computer-driven synthesis, a set into which the chorus costumes integrate like building blocks (or circuitry), and a good size cast (9 adult character parts, one child part, and a variable size chorus). The Vocodo gods could be played by actors who are placed in glass sarcophagi mounted on either side of the proscenium; their movements could be monitored and their electronic characters projected on stage screens, simulating their life in the Net. When Cocoon is downloaded into the Net, he could enter the goddess sarcophagus, joining the actress in her own environment.
Dreamless speaks to our fears and hopes for the future in the same breath, commenting on the present as it portrays the consequences of trends we seem unable to control. Yet, more than social commentary, Dreamless speaks to the nature of self, the power of dreams, and the grace of human love.
|Dreamless, synopsis 2
The young womans name is Kata Vyachenko. She works for a large, family run pharmaceutical company that is involved in genetic engineering, life extension and biocybernetics. Kata has worked for them since she was 14, creating fetal matter for their life extension and neural implant product lines. This is a highly regarded occupation among young women, since its fringe benefits include good food, psychologically pleasing lodgings and great medical care (the constantly pregnant women must be in the best of health to provide optimum fetal tissue). She is not allowed to have a child of her own. She runs away, carrying a fetus that belongs to the Company.
Cocoon. Male lead. 35 to 45 years of age. A streetwise, anarchical, cynical observer who was once one a top hacker, but has fallen on rough times. He lives in an abandoned Mega Mall dubbed The Fray Zone, along with several thousand others, including a few of his old underground buddies. It isn't until he falls in love with Kata that his road to heroism begins; and it isnt until he joins with the electronic personality Marehma that he finds peace. His baritone voice should be rhythmical, with an edge, able to flip between lyricism and angered jazz.
Ana, "The Roommate." Female supporting actress. 26-30 years of age. Dulled to her job, energetic about her life outside work. Takes Kata under her wing for outwardly benevolent reasons, but actually has an ulterior motive: The roommate is one of Vocodo's devotees, a vessel of possession (especially when jacked into the matrix), and has had premonitions that the young woman will become the Holy Mother for the Termites (and bare a child that will free the gods). She is, above all, a servant of her religion. Her voice is Caribbean, alto to mezzo-soprano.
"The Child." Little boy, 6 years of age. Doesn't enter until Act 2. Is pure in spirit, intent on his love of his mother (Kata), yet a slave to his cybernetic connection. Because of the biocybernetic growths in his nervous system, his every intellectual need and mental questioning is answered and met, even on a subconscious level, by the matrix. He does not dream, nor sleep; he is the "dreamless one come to change the world. Soprano boychoir voice, vulnerable, human, simplicity incarnate, yet able to grapple with the gods (from a sense of purity & right) when the time comes.
"The Company Grandmother." Elegant, eccentric and elderly. Twenty years ago her husband was the Corporate executive responsible for the genetic experiment that resulted in infecting most of the people of central Africa, creating the Termite problem of present day. (The poor were given an E. coli bacteria that made it possible for them to digest wood. The bacteria spread, infecting the continent. The Termites ate themselves into ecological disaster.) Perhaps from the responsibility and guilt she still feels over this debacle, she supports several fringe back-to-nature and political groups that assist the Termites. She is responsible for the nutritional end of the Company and the free distribution of a nutritional paste that is fed to the Termites to keep them from mass starvation. The Grandmother provides bizarre comic relief and black humor, plus a sense of sympathetic connection to the way things used to be.. Alto.
"The Company Grandson." The story's villain. Middle twenties, dashing, ruthless. New generation Post Humanist who is willing to trade his humanity for the power of the machine. Resents the illusion of ever-present immortality the Corporate Heads represent, and, in fact, resents any and all constraints to power and will. (The Corporate Heads are the actual heads of his father, grandfather, and other former CEOs that are directly connected into the computer matrix. They are not really alive, although the artificial personalities make them appear to be alive so to manipulate Company decision making.) He wishes to steer the company to global dominance with this new secret biocybernetic human life form, represented by the child, of whom he is the genetic father. Tenor.
Gatebay. God of death and resurrection, repository of knowledge of the dead, wise above all others. Cares more for the continuity of knowledge than his own desire for freedom. The Childs greatest ally. Eventually becomes sympathetic to Cocoon and aids him in his survival. Bass.
Ogoun. God of power, primal hero, warrior. A follower of Laybah, desires only the ability to externalize his will on the world. Is defeated in the final confrontation; succeeded by the downloaded version of Cocoon. Tenor.
Marehma. Goddess of love and the dream of beauty. Is able to envision a wholly unique and radiant future for life within the matrix. Does not contemplate the human realm until the Child makes his first connections. Through the Child, she begins to understand the beauty in human dreams. Is drawn into the conflict, enthralled by the selfless heroism