Future Perfect - Synopsis © 2020 Christine Steyer
PROLOGUE–Here and Now
A video is projected showing images of repeated patterns found in the micro and macro universe. As it is being shown, the cast “Crowd” comes on stage to watch. A narrator recites that sometime ago a terrible event wreaked havoc in the lands, and in the case of Properboro, power was seized by a few and a fence was built around the small city to eliminate contact with the outside world. However, for one inhabitant, Miranette, curiosity for what was beyond the fence would prove too great to contain.
ACT 1, Morning in a small city named Properboro, set in the near future
The Crowd of all ages walks in rigid formation offering generic pleasantries “Good Morning” to one another. Miranette, a silent young girl runs off and Paloma, a teenager, follows her but soon returns alone. Twelve Adults from the crowd tell of four strange occurrences that happened in recent days. The Crowd listens. Everyone agrees that three of the occurrences should be reported at once, but that the fourth one should not, as it was void of specific facts.
Youths who have broken free from the crowd meet in a cave. By venturing beyond the fence into the forbidden zone, the Youths were inadvertently responsible for the strange occurrences. Paloma enters looking for Miranette. They hear the Crowd shouting Miranette’s name and run out to see the fuss. The Crowd scolds “Miranette” for her shortcomings and for removing insignia demotions pinned to her sash—an item all youth are required to wear. Paloma tries to intervene, but the Crowd threatens to send Miranette away if she misbehaves again.
The Crowd exits and Miranette gives Paloma her journal to help explain her actions “Don’t Label Me”. Miranette then shows Paloma a string of crystals with a medallion she found but Paloma scolds her for keeping any object found beyond the fence. Miranette indicates she is ready to run away as Paloma is called back home. As Miranette sets out, she is met by the Youths who, having suspected her intention, give her a jar with chrysalises, a monkey named Jingle, seeds and a conch shell. Miranette leaves. Paloma shows up right after, undecided as of what to do.
ACT 2–Outside of Properboro, a few hours later
Miranette and Jingle come across Asintmah and Oxóssi instructing their children, Anahita and Tāne, on the power of imagination “In a World Without Limits”. As Miranette partakes in the lesson, Paloma shows up ready to take her back, but instead converts to joining Miranette. The Children are told to take Miranette, Paloma and Jingle to meet Rosetta who might know more about the Miranette’s crystals.
Rosetta, a woman with extraordinary hearing, introduces the travelers to a world of sound. With the use of an earhorn, Miranette indicates she can hear the universe, which then Rosetta describes to the group “The Universe Sings”. Miranette plays her conch. Rosetta becomes fascinated with it and Miranette trades it for a bird-whistle. Rosetta says she knows where Miranette, Paloma and Jingle can find a group of unruly artists who make things like the crystals they have. She warns, since it is far, they will need transportation.
Rosetta introduces Kai, Edeyrn and Iscovan to the group. The Men confess that though they greatly admire the chivalrous age of knights, they find that acknowledging one’s vulnerable side can also be a great source of strength “If You Take the Time to Know Me”. Jingle climbs up a tree and shakes some fruit to the ground. He sees another monkey and stays behind.
Kai, Edeyrn and Iscovan give Miranette and Paloma scooters to assist them with their journey. Rosetta warns them not to get separated. Miranette says goodbye to Anahita and Tāne.
Miranette rides but gets separated from Paloma and then lost. She blows her bird-whistle for help. The sky turns dark and it begins to rains. Miranette sits under her umbrella and unscrews the lid on the jar with the chrysalises. She eventually falls asleep.
It is morning and Two Butterflies unfold their wings in the morning sun. They fly over to Miranette and wake her. Miranette joins them in a short dance.
Baubo, wearing a Dragon head, enters unnoticed looking for the rest of her Dragon. They startle each other. Baubo tells Miranette and the Butterflies how much she loves to laugh “LMBO!”. Baubo can’t understand anything Miranette is tries to communicate about being lost. The Butterflies fly off.
Four Youths enter costumed as the Dragon body. Baubo and the Youths convince Miranette to be the Dragon’s tail “Be the Tail!” With Baubo as the head, Dragon leaves for the 113th Annual Dragon Parade.
The Dragon arrives at the library and laboratory of Baubo’s friend Leggo and his dog Chumpy. Miranette discovers a strange book in the library containing writings on that back of an old chart. Leggo shares one of the writings, “The Seraph”. Miranette gives Leggo her journal to add to his collection. Miranette notices that the old chart corresponds to the medallion on her crystal necklace.
Leggo is just about to tell everyone the meaning of the medallion, when Chumpy hears arguing in the distance and runs off. Miranette chases after her on her scooter. Chumpy and Miranette come across Juniper, Verbena and Ember arguing about what color to paint the new bridge for the solstice celebration. Another woman, Flanna, is hammering on the bridge. Juniper, Verbena and Ember try to convince Miranette that their color is the best “Blue, Purple & Yellow”. Miranette approaches Flanna to resolve the quarrel. Instead Flanna, joined by a Dancer, tells them of her troubled experience with another color “Red is a Trick”.
During Flanna’s tale, the image that Miranette has sensed for so long finally appears and she shows it to Flanna. The Four Women surround them and everyone comes to peace.
Chumpy points to the soil and Miranette plants the seeds she received from her friends. She drapes cloth of all four colors on the bridge indicating to the Women it can be painted in all the colors. Flanna notices Miranette’s necklace and confesses some time back she felt compelled to send it downstream sensing it would reach the right person. The Women let Miranette select whatever clothes she likes from a trunk. When she goes to change. Paloma arrives, relieved to find Miranette’s scooter. The Women tell Paloma that Miranette is safe.
Miranette emerges in clothes of various styles. Suddenly the light of the solstice shines on her crystal headdress creating a kaleidoscope of color. Miranette, Paloma, the Women and some Birds swirl around in the wash of color.
Miranette falls into a deep sleep. In her dream, the Plant comes to life and the Crowd from Act 1 appears and dance rigidly. The Twelve Characters from her journey join in and the dance starts to loosen. The Birds lead Anahita, Tāne, Jingle and Chumpy on a floating island as parts of the Dragon trail behind. The City Folks form a flower mandala from their umbrellas and then a strong wind, brought about by Two Butterflies flapping their wings, disperses it. Miranette emerges center and inspires the Youth and Paloma to join her in aspiring for a better world “Transcendence”. Everyone joins in.
Miranette awakens from her dream. She is surrounded by Paloma, the Women, the Animals. The eight other Characters she met on her travels arrive having been drawn to the brilliant light. Miranette finds her voice and together Everyone feels that whenever humans, like particles, interact with one another, they can never be independent from each other. And because of that quantum entanglement, change can manifest at “200 Million Cells”, the average rate of cellular regeneration per minute in each person.
EPILOGUE–Outside of Properboro, two generations later
Six Youths walk through the forest looking for the legendary Miranette who they heard about from their grandmother, Paloma. They believe they see Miranette and run into the audience to meet her. A Woman from the audience comes up on stage and invites the curious to come up.
Curtain. The End.
Costume designs for Future Perfect
from workshops with
6th & 8th graders at Kinzie Elementary.