I still have some issues with the show to clear up. Some tempos issues in the 3rd Act (resolved i believe) and something about the 4th Act which i’ve had a hard time putting my finger on, but which i feel i’ve identified.
I like the 4th Act. A lot. It’s well designed, i think well executed, but something has been bugging me.
The 1st Act works well because the character of Annabelle give it its depth. In Act 2 the same plays out with Edgar. The 3rd Act is a bit different. It’s broader, and Byron shares the focus more. To be honest, we simply don’;t have too much time to get that deep into him due to teh Act covering a couple things at the same time. I’m not worried about that.
So we come to Priscilla in the 4th Act. And the trouble is that she doesn’t have a significant character presence. She’s the centerpiece of the Act (although Jasper finally has more of role and of course there’s an additional subplot involving a young police recruit) and yet she is absolutely unintriguing. She’s nice. Maybe a little shy of the outside world. I believe that is all that really comes across from listening to the Act. That will not do.
So let’s explore her a bit more. The songs are written and i’m happy with the music, so there’s only so much i really want to change it (although it’s not out of the question. I’ll do anything if i believe it will improve the piece). But i have some room to maneuver in the lyrics. i could easily toss away entire patches of lyrics to incorporate stuff that conveys her character idiosyncrasies.
Tomorrow i will write up a new Character Background. I’m going to just brainstorm today and give myself some stuff to think about this evening when i try to focus on fleshing out Priscilla. (note, i am concerned at the moment with her more neurotic qualities)
What do we know about her?
– she lives in an oppressive police state.
– her father was taken away when she was young by the Authorities and never returned.
– her mother, Charlotte, kept Priscilla home more and more and grew increasingly more nervous and paranoid. Eventually Charlotte had a complete breakdown and was also taken away.
– Priscilla shuts herself up in the Manor and never leaves
– For years her only friend is the dead Doll Jasper. If Jasper would ever be discovered Priscilla would be executed on the spot and Jasper destroyed.
Sooooo….. therefore…… hmmmm…..:
– Priscilla is agoraphobic to some degree (fear of going outside)
– Priscilla is a wistful woman-child.
– from taking care of her mother, who was falling apart, she has grown accustomed to a nervous, flighty energy which can border on manic or unhinged but which Priscilla considers normal.
– Priscilla is too girl like for her age.
– Her hanging out with a dead person filled Doll from age 11 to… let’s say she’s now between 18 and 23… has caused her to live in an almost Alice In Wonderland like gilded cage of perpetual childhood. (note to self… use a play on the Wonderland thing to connect her with her great grandmother’s Numberland thing) It is not psychologically healthy and she knows it. She feels trapped and yet cannot conceive of any other way of life. She is doomed to an endless ghostlike existence, blithely haunting the empty halls of the family manor with only Jasper her Doll. This causes her despair. Going outside causes her even more despair.
– she is sexually… repressed out the wazoo. She has NO sexual experience other than self pleasure.
– thus… her built up romantic and sexual urges scream for her to find some kind of mate, SOMEone to, you know… at least rut with. The girl’s desperate to get laid. But she is terrified to leave the house. Outside world = Bad. She loves the house. She hates the house. She wants to experience sexuality. She has no options.
– Annabelle was more starved for romance and love. Priscilla is honestly, more starved for sex. This because Annabelle had a passionate outlet, her science, and no companion. Priscilla has no such passionate outlet, but she DOES though have companionship and love for and from Jasper the Doll, so it’s basically sex she’s especially missing.
– She barely remembers her father. She sees him as Hero like, an ideal man who lives only dreams, books, fantasies. She equates actual flesh and blood men with the brutal Police outside. Therefore real life men are inherently threatening. Yet she wants a romantic and sexual link so badly it vies with the threat of danger and harm she feels an actual man from outside would inevitably pose. This is a key struggle for her.
Okay let’s stop there.
I shall mull over this little stream of consciousness writing assignment and see if it congeals in my head into a focused character i can insert more of into the 4th Act.