[A Play For Television]

He did the mouth. I will do the hand.
Only the hand.

A play. A mime. A mime for television.

Act Without Words For The Hand.

Opening shot: close-up of Hand on the screen
[male or female, left or right hand, irrelevant].

Hand in bright light appears cut at the wrist. Rest of screen black.

Hand performs a series of gestures indicating various human activities. [The sequence of gestures may shape a story, if producer of play so desires. A plot can be written for the hand].

Light dims or brightens depending on the public or private nature of the action being performed by Hand.

Opening shot: As light brightens Hand appears gradually, clenched in a tight fist seen from above. [Thumb, tucked under the fingers, cannot be seen].
Hand opens slowly and spreads fingers. Palm of hand towards viewers.

Hand begins to perform the gestures. [Other gestures can be improvised by Hand as play progresses, if producer so desires].

The Gestures

1. Thumb and index finger snap sharply together as if to summon someone.

2. Hand indicates money by rubbing thumb and forefinger together.

3. Hand reaches for someone -- a body.

4. Hand caresses [or slaps] invisible body [light dims or brightens depending on which gesture is performed -- the caress or the slap].

Optional: Hand masturbates absent genitals [soft light -- gesture in accordance with gender of Hand]

5. Hand shapes into a claw and scratches at invisible body with fingernails.

6. Hand strangles invisible victim [semi-darkness].

7. Hand pitches body away with forefinger snapping off thumb.

8. Palm of Hand fully open faces invisible object to stop its progress.

9. Fingers express satisfaction by spreading apart and reuniting several times in quick happy motions.

10. Erect index finger suggests to someone to go ... himself or herself.

Audience Participation During Performance The Hand

Audience suggests other possible gestures [pious or obscene] for the hand to perform.

Audience debates if a second hand [or several other hands] should come into play. For instance, as in classical tragedies, for the sake of symmetry:

Act 2 -- 2 hands
Act 3 -- 3 hands
Act 4 -- 4 hands
Act 5 -- 5 hands

Audience could also vote to decide if, in the final act, all the hands should strangle one another, as in a Greek tragedy, or if the hands should gather together shake hands and dance together, as in a modern play of the theater of the absurd.

Examples of Gestures Television Audience Could Suggest

1. Fingers perform act of walking or running.

2. Hand takes shape of a spider or an elephant.

3. Hand pretends to play the piano or the guitar.

4. Fingers rub palm of Hand self-reflexively.

5. Hand makes a circle with two fingers suggesting a hole or zero.

6. Index finger overlaps forefinger to indicate a close relationship.

7. First two fingers form a V for Victory -- or for the Roman numeral five or Peace.

8. Three fingers indicate number three.

9. Hand counts its fingers.

10. Hand makes a fist and punches invisible face.

[Other plots are possible]

The Performance

Duration of the performance: 30 minutes. [Time of duration for each gesture may vary, depending on the plot].

When performed on commercial television THE HAND should be listed as a 30 minute play -- 20 minutes for the performance itself, the extra 10 minutes for the commercials.

Note: Whatever product or service is being advertised -- in all commercials a hand must appear to give unity to the 30 minute program.

The play could also become a CD ROM. The computer viewers could control the gestures of The Hand or even invent new gestures for The Hand to perform. The Hand could even write its own script.

The End


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