The Sum of Winter: Fractional Theater
by Diane Glancy
An integer is a whole number. But I read calls for one acts. Twenty minute plays. Ten minute plays. Two page plays. One page. There are fragments of voices in the wings, on the wing, still incoming, not yet arrived. Fractions of voices. 1/4. 1/2. 1/4. The sum of them together make a complete collection. Standing or circling their corral. Speaking separately yet speaking a continuing story. They are the parts of their sum (these broken, interrupted, shunted playlets). They are fractional theater. It is winter on the landscape. A cold climate has broken theater into smaller increments. There is a hunt for the new world and a theater. It is winter on the landscape. A cold climate has broken theater into smaller increments. There is a hunt for the new world and a place therein. Sometimes the plays are a jet trail in the sky; a red tail light in the distance. It is what we hold: these parts of the whole.
The eight plays in this collection range in length from 3 to 24 pages. They are about a rodeo, a woman with the burden of family, a man and woman on a motorcycle trip, two girls remember their mother who stole books from the library, a brother and sister grieving their brother’s death, stamp collecting, placing the northern lights in the sky, stepping over the horizon of the world.
The plays move from south to north, back and forth, Texas to Minnesota, Oklahoma to the North Pole, changing in waves like the northern lights that, during solar storms, can be seen from as far away as El Paso. Each play is about the character using these broken pieces to find their way.
The plays can be presented in various combinations for an evening’s performance.
Introduction: I think about the Elements of Drama while Driving in Texas
The Men Who Loved Horse Trailers
The Conversion of Inversion
The Words of My Roaring
The Distant Cry of Betelgeuse
The Collector of a Three-Cornered Stamp
Wolf Trot on the Tundra
The Sum of Winter
Synopsis written by the author.