Monday, October 10, 2011

In Search of Pirandello

I’m posting this here, because it doesn’t seem to fit into my other blog, , but it doesn’t really fit into a knitting blog, either.

In my teens, when I first timidly thought about wanting to be a writer, I encountered a reference to something called Six Characters In Search of an Author.

Somehow, I was encouraged. Somewhere out there were characters in search of an author. If only these characters would find me, I would be an author.

That didn’t happen right away. Through the years the phrase would rarely come to my attention again, and I would be intrigued, but I did not pursue it any further.

Until Chicago.

In the Chicago Tribune I learned that an acting company would be performing the play, Six Characters in Search of an Author, on a certain Sunday afternoon.

I found the venue, deserted, shabby, untidy. Why didn’t I turn back? Alone, I found the elevator. Got out on the designated floor. Had I not found a hand-lettered sign announcing the performance I surely would have abandoned the premises. I advanced to the rear of the floor to find a rough set of empty wooden bleachers which faced an empty stage. It was a perfect introduction to what was to follow.

Shortly, another confused individual came through the doorway from the elevators and took a seat on the bleachers, not too close to be uncomfortable, but near enough to occasionally engage in conversation.

“When does it start?” he asked.

“I have no idea.”

A couple of people walked onto the stage from the wings and began trying to bring some kind of order to an odd conglomeration of furniture on the stage.

Suddenly, from the left, appeared another man, who called to the people on the stage, in an apparent discussion of what they were trying to do. He carried an armload of garments; one might suppose he was bringing costumes.

Clearly, although the clock had reached the time when the play was supposed to begin, the actors were scarcely prepared.

Thus began Six Characters in Search of an Audience. Luigi Pirandello’s masterpiece.

And I’m still struggling to become a writer, still looking for characters who are looking for me.

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