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31 Plays in 31 Days, #7 - "The Mirror"

In musing about things to incorporate into the Adonis sequels, it occurred to me that Aidan had probably never seen his reflection clearly, as mirrors were rare and expensive in Ancient Rome. So Aidan finally getting a chance to look in one would be a big deal, given the fact that his physical appearance has had so much effect on his life.

Aidan’s major struggle is to own his own identity and worth as a person in the face of extreme objectification. It’s difficult to maintain self-esteem, or even a strong self-image, when your personality and agency are continually disregarded. But Aidan has spent his life having other people defining what he was such that he’s never really been able to do it for himself. Having the character look at his own reflection in the mirror for the first time is a great way to depict him examining himself to try to decide who he is.

Still, figuring out his reaction in the moment is a bit tough. The question is, then, what does he think? Is he able to perceive his own beauty? Does getting to finally see it allow him to understand why everyone makes such a big deal about him? Or does he not see what all the fuss is about?

Aidan’s relationship with his appearance is necessarily fraught. He has been told all his life that he is exceptionally beautiful, but he has limited ability to see what they see. We’ve established that he hasn’t had much in the way of opportunity to really look at himself. It’s something he was born with and has never made any effort towards, which makes it weirdly mundane to him and he is therefore incredulous that it could really be all that special. Also, though in any kyriarchy the real problem is the oppressive structure, it’s hard for him to not regard his beauty as the thing that’s brought on his suffering. Naturally this has made him come to resent it somewhat. But I found the idea that he would rail against it in any outward way to be melodramatic and somewhat absurd— even given the circumstances of his life, it just seemed kind of stupid to go off on how terrible it was to be a pretty person.

What we settled on was him not really engaging with it. When it is brought up with him, he neither agrees nor disagrees. At most, he responds with a variation of “Yeah, I get it.” It has the great suggestion that he doesn’t think it matters whether he is or isn’t; they treat him a certain way, and that’s the important part.

This scene is very short, though that's appropriate for the cinema. Also it reuses a line from an earlier discarded scene, but I like the line and think it's better utilized here.


Day #7 - "The Mirror"

DIANA, formerly a Roman general, now the commander of the slave rebellion
AIDAN, formerly a slave, now the face of the rebellion
~~~

They enter the abandoned Senate chamber, tossed and ransacked but with its majesty still clear. Aidan looks around slowly. At last he turns to see the huge expanse of a polished metal mirror hung up on the wall. His eyes fall upon his own reflection, fuller and clearer than he’s ever seen it.

AIDAN: What is that?

DIANA: A mirror. The empress Vestalia commissioned it. So that the Senate would know to watch what it does.

Aidan stops before it, taking it in.

DIANA: Though in recent times they only used it to admire themselves.

Diana turns back to see him staring.

DIANA: Aidan?

AIDAN: So this is what it’s all about.

The significance dawns on her.

DIANA: Have you never seen for yourself?

AIDAN: In the water, or someone’s shield. Not like this.

DIANA: And what do you think?

Aidan backs off, casting his eyes down.

AIDAN: Does it matter? I’ve been told all my life.

DIANA: It’s not the same.

Beat.

AIDAN: It seems too much. All for an accident of birth.

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About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:



MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3


at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM

and

Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

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