By Ian Mozdzen
September 2007: Audiences enter cre8ery studios (www.cre8ery.com), a multi-purpose gallery and studio space located in Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District, to witness and respond to the first performance draft of Obscene, a new experimental theatrical work by yours truly.
Me? I’m a co-founding member of out of line theatre (www.outoflinetheatre.com), a company devoted to risk, multi-disciplinary fusions, and provocation. My work tends towards the more frightening sides of human nature – incest, voyeurism, sex murder, ritual killing, witch burning – and with the creation of Obscene, things only get crazier.
Obscene tells the sordid tale of Michael, a self-castrated eunuch. Armed with dozens of eggs, liters of ketchup, and my shameless perineum, I’ve recreated his psychological landscape, mapping out his epic journey from boyhood to manhood to genital nullification. Drafted under the dramaturgy of award-winning choreographer and director Tom Stroud, known for his darkly emotional dance theatre adaptations of works by William Shakespeare and Octavio Paz, Obscene is part vision of serenity, part mythic battle, and part masturbatory fantasy.
So without further adieu, let me introduce Obscene.
A shaft of heavenly light penetrates blackness to illuminate a man singing – high, shrill, angelic. “Slash me a cunt, I am in love.” He thrusts a knife between his legs. Blood gushes from the wound and seeps through his white smock.
I am a lover of beauty. My name is Michael, professor of Classical Studies.
I am also a eunuch: testicles and penis removed from my body.
We see a home video of a horse castration. A farmer slices open the animal’s scrotum, pulls out a gleaming testicle, and then swiftly slashes the spermatic cord. The severed testicle is then tossed to the ground and devoured by a hungry dog. The farmer laughs heartily.
Castration is sensitive subject.
Michael strips. We catch a glimpse of his mutilated genitals … looking like attempted murder. He slips on a pretty, silky dress and a hideously tangled wig. After taking a swig of whiskey he obscenely applies juicy red lipstick to his lips. He looks like some sort of demented tranny clown. Blood drips down his thighs. He belches bitterly.
She reminds me of my mother … I call her Joy. Do you think she’s pretty? For a long time I thought she was the most beautiful thing … like my mother.
Michael-Joy turns around, lifts the dress above buttocks, spreads cheeks and rudely applies lipstick to her anus. We stare in uncomfortable amazement.
What? Haven’t you ever put lipstick on yer-anus? Well, I’ll put it on my cunt, too!
The bloody genitals are revealed. Michael-Joy, face twisting with pain, forcefully tucks the organs between his legs. Fingers caress the hairy mound remaining. The caress turns into a vulgar jerk-off.
Smooth. Just like a Greek statue or a store mannequin. Beautiful.
A figure emerges into the light.
Meet Randy. He’s the man.
Randy is butch. Grits his teeth. Wears jeans and a tight-fitting undershirt. He gazes at Michael-Joy, and then at the pair of eggs he is holding. Carefully, he puts the eggs into his pockets. “Natural,” he affirms. Suddenly, one of the eggs explodes and Randy buckles over in agony. Wetness seeps across his crotch like a wet dream. “Fuck,” he seethes. “I need more fuckin’ eggs, Michael” he yelps, stumbling to the ground in epileptic seizure.
I’m sorry, Randy. I haven’t any.
Heavenly music soars. An angel glides before our eyes. “Blessed be the blade,” it chimes.
A Freudian riddle, if ever there was one … but the perfect subject for a stage play, if you were to ask me. I must leave you here. My mother needs me.
A woman dressed in a crisp white nurse uniform ascends in a shower of red roses and white orchids. She holds a pair of scissors and bandages. “Come, my daughter. You are free.”
Fade to white.
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Ian Mozdzen is a writer in Montreal.