Artistic Discoveries in European Schoolyards

Petr Vodicka (Czechia)


Text Extract

The setting is a child’s room. Adam rides in on a tricycle, followed by Eve. They have big heads in relation to their bodies. Two men in suits walk behind them. They have beards and clown noses. As they speak, the children play in the background.

CARL GUSTAV Good evening, honourable audience!
SIGMUND Allow me to introduce us. I’m Sigmund, and this is Carl Gustav.
CARL GUSTAV We’re your guides for today’s performance.
SIGMUND So what are you going to see today? It’s a tragicomedy with dancing in five scenes, entitled:
BOTH The Book of Pubertosis, or The Expulsion from Childhood
CARL GUSTAV The play is about two children from the neighbourhood. Here they are. This little boy is called Adam.
SIGMUND And this little girl is Eve.
CARL GUSTAV For now, they are still playing innocently, because they have no idea what Mother Nature has in store for them.
SIGMUND We would like to warn the honourable audience that at certain points there will be witty appearances by a puppet theatre…
BOTH Junge Freude…
CARL GUSTAV … with short plays of a highly educational content.
SIGMUND Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin.
Adam and Eve are playing, hitting each other now and again with soft toys, building with bricks and being quite good at it.
ADAM Oh, that’s lovely.
EVE It’s lovely being a child.
Sigmund walks past with a sign saying EVENING. The children clean their teeth and get into bed. They talk.
EVE I wonder what it’s like being grown up. And how will we know when we are?
ADAM I don’t know. But I think that when it happens, someone will tell us.
EVE OK. Good night then.
ADAM Good night.
Carl Gustav enters, dressed as Mother Nature. Behind him is Sigmund with a sign saying MOTHER NATURE. Carl Gustav has a long pole, with an apple tied to the end. He tries to wake up Adam with the apple, but to no avail. Then he wakes Eve.
EVE Ooh, an apple! (she takes a bite) Yuck, it’s got some sort of chemical in it. Adam, do you want an apple?
ADAM (takes the apple and has a bite) Yuck. (he throws it away)
Carl Gustav and Sigmund high-five and run off. Night falls. Carl Gustav and Sigmund enter dressed as Hormones.
SIGMUND Ladies and gentlemen, there will now be a dance.
CARL GUSTAV It is a dance between the Hormones and the secondary sexual characteristics.
SIGMUND At the end of it, Adam and Eve will have completely new bodies.
CARL GUSTAV In case it’s not clear, Sigmund and I represent the Hormones.
BOTH Let’s dance!
Ballet music starts to play, and the Hormones run about with secondary sexual characteristics, fixing them to the children. They get it a little wrong at first, but everything comes right in the end. When the music finishes, Adam and Eve are in bed, so we can’t see them.

It grows light. Adam and Eve throw off the duvets. They have normal heads, and normal male and female bodies, but dressed in children’s clothes. They are utterly alarmed.
EVE Adam! I’ve got… I haven’t got… I’ve got a different sort of body!
ADAM Me too! Sort of big… and hairy!
EVE What’s happened?
ADAM I don’t know.
They climb out of bed and behave like puppets, staggering about, banging into everything, falling down. They don’t know how to use their new bodies.
ADAM Ooh, look, you’ve got breasts! That’s funny!
EVE What are we going to do?
ADAM I don’t know!
EVE We have to ask someone.
ADAM All right, we won’t go to school, we’ll go into town and ask why we’ve got these new bodies.
Adam and Eve stagger off. Sigmund and Carl Gustav enter.
SIGMUND So that’s the first scene over.
CARL GUSTAV The children have gone into town to discover the purpose of all this… tumultuous change.
SIGMUND And now it’s time for a performance by the educational puppet theatre
BOTH Junge Freude!
CARL GUSTAV … with its first story, How Red Riding Hood Passed Through A Hormonal Storm.

Sigmund and Carl Gustav perform a cheeky puppet show in which they revel in nonsense. The greater the nonsense, the greater their mischievous joy.

How Red Riding Hood Passed Through A Hormonal Storm
One day Mother called Red Riding Hood, gave her a little basket and sent her to see her grandmother, who lived on the other side of the wood. As Red Riding Hood walked through the wood, she found herself caught up in a hormonal storm. Each time the lightning struck her, she changed into something else. She was a flesh-eating plant, a bag full of brawn, a Chinese vase, before ending up as a giraffe. So they took her to the zoo, where Robbie Williams was giving a concert. He told her everyone could be what they wanted to be, but Red Riding Hood wanted to be Robbie Williams’ boxer shorts, and that’s what she turned into. And the zoo keepers called: Don’t feed the boxer shorts, and the wind blew and carried Red Riding Hood up into the sky. There she met a bird, and the bird said boxers didn’t fly, and that Red Riding Hood was a balloon, and suddenly she was indeed a balloon. But then she suddenly felt empty, and so she fell down and met a mushroom picker who said that’s a funny mushroom, and lo, Red Riding Hood was a mushroom. Then a hunter or a woodcutter or someone went by, and because he knew Red Riding Hood, he said hello, and then Red Riding Hood looked like Red Riding Hood again, but about 30cm bigger. And she reached her grandmother’s house and her grandmother said “How you’ve grown!” and “Where are your basket and hood?” “I don’t know,” said Little Red Riding Hood. “Come in then.” And so it all ended well.

CARL GUSTAV That was the first educational story, and now we’re going to see what our two young people are doing.
SIGMUND They seem to be wandering through the town with no idea what to do with their new bodies.



Short play written for the PLATFORM 11+ Final Production FACE ME Time of Transition



FACE ME Time of Transition
P11+ premiere Pilsen / CZ, June 18, 2012

M: 3
F: 1