** If you missed the play, Mahler: The Man Who was Never Born is now available in book form at www.booksurge.com
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Mahler: The Man Who Was Never Born is a play which utilizes Goethe's concept of The Faustian Bargain. It is a term that I've coined to indicate an imagined, unearned gain in exchange for one's soul - a barter where-in the recipent is the looser. It is the relinquishing of one's judgement and life and when he places himself in the power of another. One does not get a "free lunch."
The main protagonist in the play, Mahler Peri, has many choices open to him - choices that are a direct reflection of his own freedom - the freedom to choose a direction in life. The choices are not easy and the path is a difficult one. However, opportunities do not remain stagnant. They change for the better or worse, cease to exist, or to have any relevance at all. There are no guarantees, except for the use of one's own rational judgement - and this, in itself, is an acquired discipline.
Mahler: The Man Who Was Never Born is an existentialist play in that it raises the primary questions of right and wrong and the responsibility one must bear. In writing Mahler, I began it as a character study with very little plot involved. I wanted the protagonist to be the story, itself. And, in a sense, he is. But, eventually, the Romantic core of my own writing comes into play. A good -- and interesting -- character deserves a plot. In a word, he deserves a purpose for being, but that purpose must be born as a natural outflow of his circumstances and the people that exist in his sphere of influence.
Mahler makes a bargain with the Stranger and his accomplice, Anne Terrell, without knowing what that bargain is or its consequences. In his young mind, anything is better than his present, impoverished circumstance. He does not realize that the hatred he feels for his mother, Corinne, is only a temporary distraction to be outgrown. He does not see that he has the moral support of his Aunt Kit and his best friend, Francine, the baker owner. Briefly, he does feel the influence,for the good, of Magdalena Lima. Despite his intelligence, he lacks the maturity to see a situation long range. Desperation takes the place of logic and a seeming gain takes place of his own ability. He seeks a solution from without instead of from his own mind - a mind that is more than capable of being his most powerful tool and weapon. Instead, he subordinates himself to persons unknown. He places misguided faith above his own innate confidence as he enslaves himself to another's will for a time...until it is too late...until he has alienated himself from the world.
Gerard Denza, 2003
ICARUS: A philosophical play by Gerard Denza
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Pharos Productions Inc.