Anthropomorphic; The story of a young man, Wesley, who, though the purgatory of his suicide, learns that faith can be whatever you want or need it to be and no one can take it from you. Once he discovers this, Wesley realizes that he is someone to be loved and embraces his death. This fully-orchestrated musical infuses mask and puppetry as the boy Wesley is thrust into an epic journey in a forest of anthropomorphed insects and animals. The characters and content derive from religious and historical texts and personal experiences of its author.
In the purgatory of his suicide inside a carnival fun house, having been beaten by a group of boys, running from his oppressive and overly religious mother, and carrying the heartache of a breakup, feeling unloved, the boy Wesley is thrust into a forest of anthropomorphized insects and animals. Wesley befriends the flamboyant sloth Oglesby who reluctantly agrees to help the boy human find his way out of the forest. Stepping foot into this world stirs chaos among the forest’s inhabitants. Spiders believe that God made man in His image and by partaking in the sacrament of man’s blood they would be closer to Him. Humans were killed if they had not hidden themselves under the mask of an insect to survive. When the humans disappeared the Spiders fed their lust for blood through the insects and through a great battle, were finally pushed out of the forest. There was a time, however, when the forest was at peace and three brothers; a Scorpion, a Crab, and a Spider ruled together, each one a king. Yet, with the kings either dead or missing, and against the will of the Crabs, the Scorpion leader Holcombe, assumed power.
Running through the forest Wesley and Oglesby learn that the Scorpions are aware of his existence, making it near impossible to escape. Joining the boys were Oglesby’s guardian Granath, a dragon, and the Crab warriors led by the Crab leader Podus. Hidden behind a traveling carnival using the Cricket as his front man, the Spider, Venton, secretly plots to capture this human. Before he drinks of the sacrament, he will use the boy to bring the forest into war. Wesley is eventually confronted by the Woman of the Lake. He is told that to escape the forest, he must find the crowns of the three kings and stand in the light of the newborn sun. Throughout his journey Wesley struggles to overcome the pain that brought him to this place yet with this new found hope, he begins to believe in himself.
Cricket, along with the Moth and the old praying mantis Mumbet, help with the boy’s escape. Protected by these creatures, for three days Wesley searches the forest for the three crowns confronting Scorpions, Spiders, demons and Serpents. Once he gains all three he learns that each crown is a key to opening the door to the temple. It is on top of the temple where he could stand in the light of the new born sun. As the sun rises, Venton corners the boy on the temple plateau. Venton threatens that he has taken from the boy everything, but there is yet one more thing for him to take; his life. As Venton leaps toward him, Wesley stands his ground. He was determined to never allow anyone to take from him anything more ever again. And he jumps.
Emerging from the fun house, Wesley appears. Everyone who told him that they could never love a boy like him was there. His mother, who claimed that God could never love a gay son, James, who walked away with another boy, and the boys from school who beat him senselessly with the handle of a gun were all outside when they heard the shot. Appearing around him, Wesley is surrounded by spirits who help him to embrace the fact that he is someone to be loved and no one can take from him anything more.
©2021 T E Young/Puppetry Arts New York | Charleston. AnthropomorphicTM © 2021 T E Young/Puppetry Arts New York | Charleston.
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