Existentialism is a term applied to a school of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual. In existentialism, the individual’s starting point is characterized by what has been called “the existential attitude”, or a sense of disorientation and confusion in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world. Many existentialists have also regarded traditional systematic or academic philosophies, in both style and content, as too abstract and remote from concrete human experience. (Wikipedia)
The Theatre of the Absurd (Théâtre de l’Absurde) is a designation for particular plays of absurdist fiction, written by a number of primarily European playwrights in the late 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, as well as to the style of theatre which has evolved from their work. Their work expressed the belief that, in a godless universe, human existence has no meaning or purpose and therefore all communication breaks down. Logical construction and argument gives way to irrational and illogical speech and to its ultimate conclusion, silence. (Wikipedia)
A Screenplay by Kaysha
Two bodies lay, sprawled out on an empty beach, surrounded by mountains, they lay still, sloshed up by the water. Girl wakes up, and is very disoriented.
Girl: (slowly sits up, rubs eyes and looks down at her battered body and torn clothes) Oh my god, what happened?
Boy: (just coming to his senses as well a few feet away) Where are we?
Girl: I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t remember anything.
Boy: We were out on the boat, remember? Fishing, and a big storm came in.
Girl: I don’t remember any of that, I just want to know why I am here, on this deserted beach.
Boy: Well I would assume that when the boat capsized, after hitting some sharp rocks last night, or two nights ago or who the hell knows how long we’ve been laying here, we were knocked unconscious and floated ashore.
Girl: I’m hungry.
Boy: I kinda want to figure out how to get out of here
Girl: Aren’t you starving? We should find some food somewhere; did we have food with us on the boat?
Boy: Well yeah, but the likelihood of there being some floating around here is slim… I don’t even know what to begin to do, we have nothing here, and like I said, who knows how long we’ve been unconscious!
Girl: Can’t you spear a fish or something?
Boy: If I had a spear, perhaps I could.
Girl: We cant be too far from civilization can we? Lets walk around; maybe we are just on the other side of a public beach or something.
(The two set off down the beach, heading towards the setting sun.)
(A few hours later, wore out and losing hope they stop to sit on a rock)
Girl: We’ve been walking for days, I don’t see anything helpful. It’s all the same, and now it’s dark, there’s nothing on this island. If it even is an island.
Boy: You know, that rock does look familiar. Those mountains are a lot more daunting at night too. I don’t know. Think if we just sit here, someone will find us?
Girl: How could you think such a thing! We need to find food, and help. And you don’t even seem to really care.
Boy: I care, but what if we just hang out, sit here for a while. I’m pretty worn out, I can wait for food.
Girl: Well I cant!
Boy: I remember this one time when I was younger, hanging out with my father on a camping trip, he shot a rabbit. I remember it screaming; at least I think it was. He brought it over, and showed me how to skin it, and prepare it. But I kept seeing its eyes, open, dull.
Girl: Why are you telling me this?
Boy: Because I was thinking about trying to find a rabbit or something. Not that I know how to catch it, but if I did, I wouldn’t be able to kill it.
Girl: Are you kidding? You couldn’t sacrifice a rabbit for our own lives?
Boy: I don’t know, I don’t think I could. I can still hear that rabbit screaming. Or maybe it was me screaming, I wasn’t very old. Do rabbits scream?
Girl: Do you scream? Because I’m about ready to hit you over the head with this rock!
Boy: I’m sorry, maybe you should go find a rabbit and kill it yourself. Was that rock over there before? See it over there?
Girl: It’s too dark; I can’t see anything but the reflection of the moon on the ocean.
Boy: I swear there’s a rock there, and it wasn’t there before, rocks don’t move…
Girl: Well maybe on this island they do. Or maybe it’s an animal…
Boy: An animal just crouching on the beach watching us?
Girl: Yeah, who knows what kind of creepy things are living on this island. We don’t even know where in the hell we are.
Boy: I swear that thing is moving! No, it’s just a rock.
Girl: It’s probably the rabbit you’re supposed to kill.
Boy: No its not! It’s moving!
Girl: You’re going nutty, and getting really annoying.
(She throws a large rock at his head, hitting him right above the temple, and just hard enough to knock him unconscious.)
(Girl has been sitting for hours, trying to fall asleep, but the noises are keeping her awake. So she lies down next to Boy and starts talking to the open beach, towards the “rock”.)
Girl: He’s right. You do look like a rock. But then you look like a rabbit. Maybe its wishful thinking.
Rock: What if I am both?
Girl: But you cant be both, how is that possible?
Rock: Well, maybe I can be whatever you want me to be.
Girl: Then I think I want you to be a boat so you can take me away from here.
Rock: Well, I cant do that. What if you were meant to be here?
Girl: Well what if you were meant to be a rabbit so I could eat you?
Rock: Maybe I am. Maybe I’m here to rescue you
Girl: You’re a rock, and I don’t see how you could rescue me.
Rock: You are talking to me, doesn’t that say enough?
Girl: I’m not really talking to you, I’m only imagining it. What is today, how long have I been here?
Rock: I don’t know, shouldn’t you know the answer to that, I’m only a rock, after all. Maybe you’re not even here at all. Maybe I’m here because you want me to be here.
Girl: I think I would want you to be there if you were a rabbit, because I’m starving. But if you’re not really there, and only there because I want you to be there, then why would I imagine a rock. Why in God’s name would I dream up a rock?
Rock: I don’t know, maybe you like rocks, or maybe a rock will set you free. But you’re not being very nice to me, and obviously don’t need me here anyway, so I’m going to leave now.
Girl: Wait come back! I do need help!
(Rock disappears. Girl finally collapses into the sand next to the boy.)
(Boy wakes up, and is tied spread eagle between two trees. He looks down at the girl who is standing beneath him, looking at the pile of wood beneath his feet.
Boy: What are you doing?
Girl: Oh nothing, just… finally getting my dinner.
Boy: What are you talking about?
Girl: Well, I have come to realize, that if you want to live, you must make sacrifices. And you, should have killed that rabbit.
(Fire is lit beneath his bare toes, and the flames shot up and tickled his skin, the smell of burning flesh rises.)
Boy: But there was no rabbit remember, it was just a rock, I thought we decided.
Girl: Oh no, it was a rabbit alright, and you missed it. I had a lovely conversation with it while you were… sleeping
Boy: The rock? You were talking to a rock? You have really gone too far now. This place has gotten to you. Untie me; we’ll go find food together!
Girl: No no, you lost your chance. Only the strong will survive.
(Girl walks over to tree, and loosens the rope a little, so the boy sinks deeper into the flame)
Boy: How can you do this to me! I just wanted to take you on a fishing trip! OW! My feet are burning!
Girl: I know! I can smell it. Mmmmm, Finally. Don’t you wish you’d have killed that rabbit now?
Boy: It was a rock!
Girl: Ill show you rocks.
(The girl moved over to a pile of rocks she had gathered beside her, and picked a large one up. She threw it at the boy, breaking his arm first. Then with more anger started throwing more rocks, big and small ones. Brutally beating his body.)
Boy: NO! stop it what are you doing?
Girl: I’m showing you what it means to have to sacrifice another being for your own survival! Shut up!
(She grabbed a large rock and threw it at his face, striking his sensitive skull, and killing him instantly. His head fell. He slouched down into his ropes, as the flames rose higher and devoured his skin.)
Girl: Oh no! What have I done! What am I doing!
Scene V Realism.
(Enter father into a dining room with his family, a mother, son and little girl sit around the table, for breakfast. Father has newspaper in hand, reading front page)
Father: Interesting…. “Missing pair discovered on deserted island.” I think I remember reading about their belongings from their boat being found a few weeks ago.
Son: Yeah I heard about that in one of my classes. Said the bodies weren’t found, but assumed dead. Were they?
(Mother gets very quiet, and a concerned expression covers her face.)
Father: Well here it says, “Young woman was found barely alive, rabid and mentally unstable. Man was found torn to shreds, and half roasted.”
Wife: That’s… dear why are you discussing this now. Put that away
Father: Sorry dear.
(Husband stashes newspaper in sons lap next to him.)
Son: On quote, “The Island was found to be empty upon searching. The girl was rambling on about aggressive rocks, and stoning her brother. They were both around twenty years old it said, brother and sister.” That’s really horrible. Cannibalism! That’s insane. The sister was quoted with saying, “I just got really hungry, and was trying to survive.” She was charged with murder. How could someone do that? Eat their own family…
Little Girl: Some creatures will do whatever they have to do to survive. We learned about that in class yesterday, the teacher was talking about polar bears, and how they have been know to eat humans. And black widows always kill their mate after mating! Survival of the fittest, my teacher says.