Shadow Play

“…sisters in mind, reasons found for motion…”

A mother and father in silhouette reach after a boy in britches, also silhouetted, while a girl with a bow in her hair, a shadow of a daughter once present, walks seemingly unnoticed in the opposite direction. Incidental sounds include the mechanics of a man working rods and levers and, as if plywood ever has a say in anything, a miniature proscenium arch painted mustard yellow. How abruptly the man’s voice re-frames the silence as a feat of speechless ventriloquism. He hopes this makes sense. Does it? If we listen to the shadows while he animates them, he insists, we will hear their voices. We will see and hear his putting on of a sad autobiography in the movements of puppets. What is it though? What is it really? Call it an abandoned coming-of-age story. Call it confessional. Call it what we want. Would we mind if he started over again, now that we understand his vision a little better?