by Todd Anderson
Jacqueline | Penny [anunluckypenny]
A princess, though certainly not the traditional, damsel-in-distress sort of princess. She's an explorer, a fighter, and a scholar, who has traveled to other kingdoms, rescued her family and kingdom from peril, and gone off adventuring. She's extremely loyal, compassionate and intelligent. She does have some shortcomings with socialization, being a bit awkward as her interactions with others her age in a casual setting have been limited. She had not considered romance in the past and therefore does not frequently notice or understand when others have an interest in her or are attempting to pursue a romantic relationship with her. She does not come from any version of Earth, but the technology in her home world is closest to the 16th century. She has been in the City for over a year, and has procured the apartment she shares with Tricia and Ziara.
Tricia | Rosella [primrosella]
A girl from the early 21st century, who lived in New York City. She was an aspiring actress who worked a series of odd jobs while auditioning for Broadway plays. She is thoroughly modern, interested in technology, and greatly appreciates art. She enjoys going to museums, reading, and writing as well as playing video games. She is well-humored, slightly sarcastic, a bit short-tempered, but ultimately good-spirited. She tends to joke around more than either Jacqueline or Ziara, and often tries to lighten the mood in a darker situation. She has only been in the City for a few months, but has adjusted rather well. She frequently attempts to modernize Jacqueline, but her efforts do not frequently succeed.
Ziara | [npc]
An extremely shy girl from the distant future. Nonhuman, lives on a cooperative space station with humans as well as other humanoid aliens. She has bonded closely with Tricia and Jacqueline over a shared appreciation of reading, and shares writing with them from her alien culture. She is quiet, soft-spoken, and often stays out of conversations when others are involved beyond her friends. Because of her shyness, she develops a fierce loyalty to those who make the effort to befriend her. She has been in the City for under a year, was befriended by Jacqueline early, and has remained her friend and roommate since. Despite the length of time she has been in the City, she still finds day-to-day life difficult as it is such a drastic change from what she is used to.
Frederick | Cain Hargreaves [misterblackbird]
In his home world, he’s the son of a wealthy family. Not particularly interested in the posturing and refinements of this social class in his time, he frequently ventured to the streets on his own, pursuing friendships with the less affluent segments of the population, with whom he is much more comfortable. He enjoys pursuing his own interests, caring little for the highly vetted tutors his family provides for him. He frequently skips out on his lessons to spend time with his friends, meet new people, and explore his city and all that it has to offer. He arrives in the City at the beginning of the play, and becomes roommates with Van and Joseph after Van invites him to stay with them.
Van | Neil [had_not_lived]
A rogue and thief from a rough home world. Technology is close to that of the 19th century on Earth. He was abandoned as a child and was making a living for himself stealing what he could and squatting wherever he could find a safe enough place. He's been in the City for a handful of months but the adjustment has been difficult for him, going from not knowing where your next meal is coming from to living in a furnished apartment with roommates and friends who look out for you regardless of whether you can offer something in return. His gentler side has begun to emerge since his arrival, but he's reluctant to show it. He has a slightly crass sense of humor, and a strongly developed sense of honor and loyalty.
Joseph | Teddy Altman [lookjustlike]
A dutiful, upper-class student from the 1930's who was turned into a vampire shortly before his arrival in the City just a couple of months prior to when the play takes place. As a vampire, he will only be seen in nighttime scenes. His adjustments to vampirism and the City are concurrent, and both make him nervous and uncertain. He tries to maintain a sense of himself despite all the changes, still behaving in a manner which those in the City view as anachronistic. He is quiet, intelligent and introspective. He does not often speak up unless to offer advice, or to react, in a typically disapproving manner, to Van's humor.
The plot structure of Todd's play is similar to one of Shakespeare's comedies - this is deliberate. The language, however, is much more modern; though there are certainly what you might call poetic turns of phrase, it is not written in verse.
Also, keep in mind that this is only the rough description of the play: in addition to the six main characters it's safe to assume there are any number of minor characters (after all, the City's a big place!) so we're flexible about the actual number of people who'll be involved in the final shebang. If you're interested in playing a minor character there's plenty of room for improvisation or assumption!
Jacqueline and Frederick begin the play on unfriendly terms due to the curse that has affected her when they meet. As he arrives, naturally by landing in the fountain, a cursed Jacqueline is rushing through the square. Affected into behaving in an obnoxiously haughty and condescending manner, she is being accompanied by Tricia, who she has taken to be her servant. His arrival splashes her, which incites her rage, and sets the tone for their early interactions.
A series of curses progressively increase their hostility towards one another, cursing one after the other with all manner of abrasive characteristics. Morality reversals, road not taken, and sin curses such as wrath play large parts in the development of their relationship. But, despite their hostility, they are forced to continually interact, as their groups of friends are close with one another. At the end of Act I, a different sort of curse affects them - one that curses them into being a married couple.
Act II opens with their reaction to the curse, avoiding each other as they separately confide in their friends about how troubling it was. Both of them found it annoying, of course, but something unsettled both of them about it very deeply that they can’t quite put their finger on. On both sides, their friends suspect that they may have some feelings for one another, and encourage them to speak to each other. Eventually, they do, and they manage to do nothing but devolve into bickering. This happens repeatedly each time they are forced to interact by their friends, though it slowly starts to become more friendly banter. At the end of the play, they are alone and confess their feelings, supposing that the City can sometimes show a glimpse of truth in its curses. It concludes with the confession of their feelings.
SUBPLOTS AND NOTES:
Van and Tricia are not a romantic item; they are close, somewhat flirtatious friends, and this is true from the very start of the play. They spend the course of the play each serving as support to Frederick and Jacqueline, respectively. They correctly recognize the feelings that each has for the other. They share this information with each other and, upon realizing that the feelings they suspect are likely mutual, they decide to cooperate and mastermind the process of forcing them to interact throughout the second act. They have several scenes in which they meet and discuss the progress of the interactions and stage the next outing, frequently planning to arrive somewhere as a group and discretely scatter, leaving Jacqueline and Frederick alone together. They are a primary source of comic relief and of exposition for the audience.
Tricia also serves as a supportive figure for both Joseph and Ziara. Van maintains a friendship with Joseph which is somewhat less emotionally supportive but based strongly on loyalty and trust regardless. Van is not particularly successful in reaching out to Ziara due to his nature being too callous to be really compatible with hers, which is far more reserved. They do not dislike each other - rather, they’re just not certain of how to approach each other individually, but they do have friendly interactions within the group.
Joseph is lose acquaintances with Ziara early on; since both are shy, neither has initiated a one-on-one conversation between the two. It is Tricia who pushes them into talking and, upon doing so, they find a great deal of support in one another. Though they are both from very different worlds, each one removed by time in the opposite direction, they can relate strongly to the fact that both of their backgrounds differ so greatly from the City, and that neither of them are human as are the majority of individuals that they interact with. They have a series of conversations about how their own worlds differ from the City, Joseph’s adjustment to being removed from humanity, and the way that people react to them. Joseph is not used to being nonhuman; Ziara is not used to humans who think she’s particularly unusual. By the end of the play, they have both become more comfortable in their setting and, though they still have progress to make, it is clear that they are both opening up and becoming more confident in themselves.
As a new arrival, Frederick is extremely startled by both Joseph and Ziara at first; each of them are so unlike anyone he has met before. It is immediately apparent that Ziara is not human, and thus he is startled by her on appearance alone. Joseph, on the other hand, he does not learn is a vampire until Van mentions it to him after introducing them. Frederick is somewhat fearful of both Joseph and Ziara but, through the course of the play, gets to know them as individuals rather than as humans or non-humans. He becomes very good friends with Joseph and is fond of the literature Ziara shares from her own culture.