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Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • Genre:DRAMA
  • SubGenre:General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:153
  • eBook ISBN:9781626750845

Meet The Fractals

A Comedy of Bad Manners

by Derek Strahan

Book Image Not Available
Overview
“MEET THE FRACTALS” A play that follows the trials and confusions of a racially mixed group that chance throws together, in circumstances that prompt them to start exploring the benefits and hazards of polyamory. As statics reveal, fifty per cent of all marriages fail! The union lasts only “until divorce do us part”. Each individual in this group has decided, each for different reasons, that monogamy is an outmoded custom because it is more honoured in the breach than in the observance. In “Meet The Fractals” you will meet ten people, five of each gender, who decide to apply the theories of quantum physics to living. They commit to a group marriage: an extreme form of polyamory. In doing so they accept that human sexuality is in essence, chaotic, and this chaos is better managed by accepting it than resisting it. There have been many utopian attempts to create alternative societies, but our group plans to avoid conflict by minimising the rules that cause it. How they will achieve this is unknown, since the play covers only the first 48 hours of their first meeting and their deliberations. During this period they have to ward off the wrath of society as represented by an ambitious politician and a puritanical minister of the church. “Meet The Fractals” is an ensemble piece. It is dialogue-based. Its characters are represented as having several traits in common that together enable them to navigate disagreement and engage in debate with words rather than with savage acts and emotional hysteria. They are outsiders. They have a keen sense of irony about the absurdity of human existence. They have a sense of humor. This Preface explores the topics, issues and paradoxes that engage them during their 48-hour odyssey. You could say that, because total honesty is achieved, the naked truth is achieved as regards what each thinks on these topics. There is also some incidental nakedness on stage, not in the declamatory manner of “Hair”, but rather in the cause of honesty.
Description
I wrote the preface to this play before writing the play. The Preface is available as a separate volume somewhat unsurprisingly titled: PREFACE TO “MEET THE FRACTALS”. My need to begin work by writing the preface to an as yet unwritten play arose from the need to bring some order to the chaos of issues that arises from the play’s central proposition: that the human race would benefit from a less dogmatic attitude to the formation of domestic units in which personal bonding and procreation are interwoven through socio-biological cause and effect and embedded in law and common morality. Fortunately (for the actors) no character in the play is required to utter the above sentence. However, the dialogue does feature open discussion about all topics related to marriage, relationships, love, sex, dress and children. You could say that, because total honesty is achieved among the characters, the naked truth is achieved as regards what each thinks on these topics. There is also some incidental nakedness on stage, not in the declamatory manner of “Hair”, but rather in the cause of honesty, within the group, in the way that they propose to relate to each other. This occurs in the context of a final celebration party that has been much delayed by a succession of personal crises – which, in themselves, have prompted the group to debate an alternative way of living. To sum it up - “MEET THE FRACTALS” is a play that follows the trials and confusions of a racially mixed group that chance throws together, in circumstances that prompt them to start exploring the benefits and hazards of polyamory. As statics reveal, fifty per cent of all marriages fail! The union lasts only “until divorce do us part”. Each individual in this group has decided, each for different reasons, that monogamy is an outmoded custom because it is more honoured in the breach than in the observance. In “Meet The Fractals” you will meet ten people, five of each gender, who decide to apply the theories of quantum physics to living. They commit to a group marriage: an extreme form of polyamory. In doing so they accept that human sexuality is in essence, chaotic, and this chaos is better managed by accepting it than resisting it. There have been many utopian attempts to create alternative societies, but our group plans to avoid conflict by minimising the rules that cause it. How they will achieve this is unknown, since the play covers only the first 48 hours of their first meeting and their subsequent deliberations. During this period they have to ward off the wrath of society as represented by an ambitious politician and a puritanical minister of the church. Because of its duration, probably around two and a half hours (not counting intervals) I think I have to describe this comedy as an “event” play. It will certainly give value for money and would, given the right publicity, attract money! Dialogue is evenly divided among all characters, and each has scenes or situations in which he or she is the chief protagonist. “Meet The Fractals” is an ensemble piece. It is dialogue-based. Its characters are represented as having several traits in common that together enable them to navigate disagreement and engage in debate with words rather than with savage acts and emotional hysteria. They are outsiders. They have a keen sense of irony about the absurdity of human existence. They have a sense of humor. They suppose that a slight change of moral outlook could become the fractal that changes the entire geometry of the future. What has all this to do with quantum physics and fractals? Please read the play find out.
About the author
Derek Strahan was born in Penang, Malaysia on May 28th 1935, and spent his early childhood in colonial Malaysia. He was evacuated with his mother and sister to Perth, W.A. when Singapore fell to the Japanese in February 1942. In 1946 the Strahans settled in Northern Ireland and Derek completed his schooling in Belfast. In 1952 he attended Cambridge University on a scholarship studying for an arts degree in modern languages. (French and Spanish). He also further developed his interest in theatre cinema and music, and acted in a number of university productions. He graduated in 1954 and worked in London for the next six years as relief teacher, actor, singer-songwriter and assistant film director making commercials. In 1961 Strahan returned to Australia and settled in Sydney for 2 years. He then worked in TV in NZ from 1964 to 1966 writing and directed documentaries. The year 1967 was spent in the UK, visiting family and teaching. He then returned to Sydney and has remained here. A period of teaching for the NSW Department of Education in Sydney (1968–70) was combined with writing music for numerous wild life documentaries and writing songs for live performance and on TV. He has remained in Sydney where he functions in several aligned capacities as opportunities arise: writer, composer of film and concert music, film director, film and record producer and actor. As a writer Strahan worked for 3 years (1964-66) scripting and directing documentary film features for New Zealand television including a 6-part series on Sir Edmund Hilary’s aid work in the Himalayas. He then worked for 5 years as contract scriptwriter for the TV serial “Number 96” (1970-75). He also wrote episodes for “Cop Shop”, “Glenview High”, “Chopper Squad”, “Carrots!” (a children’s’ program on Channel 7), and “Flying Start” in 1986 (ABC program on small business). He also scripted corporate videos for Broadcom. Three feature films have been produced from his scripts “Leonora” (1985), released on video, cable in US & Europe, and shown on Channel 9 in 1996; “Fantasy” (1990), Columbia Tri-Star video, and “Inspector Shanahan Mysteries – Cult of Diana”(1992), shown on Channel 9 in 1996. He directed “Leonora” and co-directed “Fantasy” with Geoffrey Brown for Combridge International, and also wrote music for these three features. His 1-Act play “Triple Six” was staged as a drama student qualifying production at Newcastle University in the early 1990s. In between scriptwriting projects he has written a conserable body of music for film and concert performance much of which has been released on CD and is frequently broadcast. Four theater plays are posted at BookBaby: “Eden In Atlantis” “Takeover” “Bullet-Proof Pyjamas” “Sodom and Tomorrow” “Preface to Meet The Fractals” “Meet The Fractals”. As lecturer and assessor in scriptwriting, Strahan has previously worked (1982 to 84) for the AFTRS as script assessor, and has given 8 and 16 week courses in scriptwriting for the (then) NSW Institute of Technology and for the Australian Film and TV School in Bathurst Street, Sydney. From 2004 he has worked for the Australian Writers Guild having assessed over 150 scripts.
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