Friday, February 6, 2009

Play of the Week: The Butterfly

Although generally considered a children's play, The Butterfly is a wonderful allegory play too. Written by Bijan Mofid, the popular Iranian playwright, the play explores the nature of goodness against the dangers that we face in our world too.

A butterfly seeks shelter from an attacking bird in a barn and instead winds up stuck in a spider's web. The hungry spider gloats in triumph over his new meal. But she bargains with the spider and is able to secure her freedom if she brings him someone to eat in her place. The spider agrees and so begins butterfly's odyssey through the barn.

On her journey she meets several different insects all willing to help her with her plight (she makes up stories to lure them back to the spider). Moved by the kindness of each, she decided not to give them to the spider, and for their kindness gives them each something of herself so that in the end her brilliance is lost. She returns to the spider with no victim and looking homely and disheveled. He takes pity on her and releases her for her good deeds.

While the plot is very simple, there is greater meaning that can be reflected against our lives as adults. It isn't always easy to do what's right, especially when it means giving up or loosing something ourselves. This play highlights difficult choices we have to make every day. The play is available through Anchorage Press Plays - get a copy, read it, and look for the meaning beyond the children's story.

Happy Birthday: Sir Henry Irving (1838-1905)

Happy Birthday (February 7): Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

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