| ||Alcira: What It's All About|
I've been mentioning the new play I've begun working on. I've been talking about it, but not really explaining what it's all about. That's because it's still in the process of forming. I have a general idea. Actually lots of general ideas and a few specific ones. So I thought today I'd share all I have (well, most of what I have).
Alcira is the third play in my grimm Latino fairy tale cycle. It's the only one of the three set in contemporary time (well, if you call 1999 contemporary) and takes place here in San Francisco three months before the last millennium ends.
Inspiration came while I was reading Hunting and Gathering, a book I read annually. A character mentioned an opera called Alcina which involved a sorceress who changed her ex-lovers into all sorts of things: flora, fauna, mineral...you get the idea. Reading this got my muse's attention because the other two fairy tale plays I have include shapeshifters. So I decided that a sorceress who transforms men into animals, and then stone would be my shapeshifting element in Alcira.
Who's Alcira? She's a sorceress who lives in San Francisco's Mission District. She's been around since the time of the Aztec and preys on men--sucking their lifeforce out to sustain her vitality and beauty. As she takes life from men she transform them into animals which get smaller, the final animal stage is a hummingbird (which she does to pay tribute to the Aztec God Huitzilopochtli--more on that in a bit), and after the hummingbird she turns them into a stone animal. And she has a garden full of them.
But what was that bit about Huitzilopochtli?
Huitzilopochtli's name means Hummingbird of the South. His sister and rival was Malinalxochitl, a beautiful sorceress. Alcira was one of Malinalxochitl's servants and while she learned her witchcraft from her mistress, she must pay tribute to Huitzilopochtli by turning her victims into Hummingbirds.
If you can't tell already, Hummingbirds are becoming a central image to the play. And they're connected to the protagonist and her family. Each generation of the Flores family has had a healer who passes her powers down to a daughter (usually), but in the case of Carmelita she passed her powers down to Fidelia. Where did they get their powers? Family legend has it they were a gift from the Aztec god Huitzilopochtli himself. And can you guess the family's totem animal? That's right, the hummingbird which seems to appear whenever they're outside.
Carmelita runs a cafe called La Chuparosa in San Francisco's Mission District and her niece Fidelia comes to live with her. Alcira is bent on acquiring Fidelia's dormant powers as they'd give her another millennium of life and beauty.
And yes, I think the chess metaphor will be included. Having Fidelia pick up chess again with the help of Sotero is a plot point I'm going to try and include.
And that's all I'll say.
| ||Posted 6/27/2012 2:28 PM - 125 Views - 0 eProps - 0 comments|
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