- 7 Stories
"7 Stories" is a play created by Canadian
playwright Morris Panych.
The protagonist (a well dressed man) is standing on the ledge on the seventh story of a tall building, contemplating leaping to his death. As he contemplates his fate, he is interrupted by the colorful residents of the seventh story who are too caught up in their own lives to notice the man or question his being on the ledge of the building. The persons who interact with the man do so by opening or appearing at one or more of seven windows on the seventh story. For the majority of the play, the people talking with the protagonist have most dialog. The man hasn't much dialog until close to the end where he explains that his daily routine was thrown off when he had a dream the night before of his everyday mediocrity, after which he woke up and lost track of what day it was.
The play usually has a set that is quite confined for actors to work with. Actors must try and work with a set in which they must play their parts in a window.
ManThe protagonist of the play, he is a well dressed gentlemen who contemplates jumping from the Seventh story. He often holds conversations with the residents of the building, and has the least dialog during each one until the last, in where it's revealed he had a dream from before that he was conducting his daily routine, and he finally woke up with revelations of how things of everyday life are not how they appear to be. He explains his confusion on what day it was and how his daily schedule was thrown off, until he felt lost and was compelled to stand on the seventh story of the building he now stands on.
CharlotteA woman who lives in the seventh story floor with her finance Rodney. The pair have a constant disgruntled relation ship, insulting, threatening and even harming one another after a slump in their relationship. Charlotte is revealed to be a poet and free spirited idealist.
RodneyA lawyer engaged to Charlotte, who constantly bickers with, threatens and even harmed Charlotte. Rodney is often politically correct about everything that comes his way. During a slump in the pairs relationship, Rodney then attempted and succeeded in running over Charlotte with his car. After which the pair found refreshing and appears to rekindled their relationship, ablate in a rather unorthodox way.
JenniferA guest at a party being held in a room on the seventh story. She is quite air headed, talkative and uninterested in those who don't make much conversation (As shown when the man is silent after her statement of wanting to leap from the building and what a thrill it would be).
LeonardA psychiatrist who acts paranoid and provocative. He works at a local sanitarium for long hours, resulting in him being very tired, irritabule and unable to hear things clearly.
Marshall A gentleman about to be married to a rich heiress. He used to be an actor (though he claims he wasn't a particularly good one) and revealed himself to be a homosexual. He also knows of the whole situation between Charlotte and Rodney, stating it a rather tragic love story. After hurrying out a play to be onetime for a date with a sailor and in which a near incident that resulted him meting the heiress, he decided to for-fit his current life and identity for the one the woman he was to marry believed was the life he had. He states that other people, friends and fellow actors, are in on the whole charade as well.
RachelA deeply spiritual and religious woman. Rachel often plays godly roles for people on the sixth and fifth stories, dropping appliances, eviction notices and money and other things, influencing peoples life's in one way or another. She also believes people are incapable of acting on their own without influence of either god or the devil. She reveals to the man that in her past, she was given many medical illnesses and her sick mother committed suicide by drug overdose, claiming it was gods work in both cases. The man rebukes the latter claim saying the suicide is not an act of god but a human act that is of itself and defy's all predestany. On which she then challenges him, saying the devil sent him.
PercyA guest of the party that takes place on the seventh story. He constantly follows fads and main stream activity's, then try's to get out of them when everyone else dose. He also claims to have as many friends as he dose sweaters, and of which he sorts those "friends" into order of people he "likes" or "don't like".
MichaelAn artist who lives on the seventh story. He's sensitive to everyone and everything around him and is obsessed with colors and decorating to perfection. He often feels (at least when it comes to art, color and decor) that he is superbly intelligent.
JoanA woman who is seemingly a life partner of Michal's, and is constantly giving up her possessions for the sake of Michaels creative feel. She claims that Michal is so sensitive to his surroundings, that certain colors in a room make him sick. But she continues to follow his lead despite the expense and frustration.
AlThe man who is responsible for throwing the party on the seventh story. He is also the only person who even cares why the man is on the ledge in the first place. He frequents party's because he doesn't want to miss a good one, even those that don't turn out so great. He likes parties but states it's the dislike with the people who attend them that is the worst part, stating the actual event is a crushing disappointment. When he throws parties, he often try to shorten them by serving little food, playing music too loud and in extreme cases, try and start a small fire.
LillianA elderly lady who has lived a long, interesting life. She once had a Pigeon named Albert. She is also quite wise and kind. She also enjoys reflecting and talking about her life. She tells the man of a time in her life in which she was in Paris to see the Mona Lisa and met a man who was very distraught about something, and it remains unknown what upset him. He talked to her in French, happily at first, but soon depressed,until he finally climbed to the ledge of a bridge, crying as he did. At that point she then uttered the only praise of French she ever learned. The young French men responded positively and went on his way a new man as if determined to live by this philosophy. The man then reviles the what she said in French was simply " The Grapefruit is on the table". She replies saying that its not a bad philosophy to live by. She eventually succumbs to old age latter on in the play.
Nurse WilsonA nurse who cared for Lillian. She considers herself a humanitarian but is in fact anything but friendly. She is in fact quite callous and blunt. She dislikes people, though its more of individual people then people as a whole she dislikes, or so she claims. Lillian reveals that Nurse Wilson only acts callous and uncaring because of working at a job where people are sick, suffer, and die. Thus thinking she has to pretend to have no feelings.
The Four window peopleFour generic characters who watched the man from a building across from the building that the man stood on, saying they were watching the whole time. They are briefly introduced when the play takes a supernatural turn when the Man jumps from the ledge and fly's to the other building with the aid of his umbrella. They then begin to speak to each other on the meaning of the whole scenario, and what statement was trying to be made. It is believed that these four individuals would represent the audience watching the play, which would break the fourth wall in a very interesting way, but they are treated as if they were a part of the play (which of course they are). The introduction of these four make a paradox, in which Morris Panych had shown the audience members what other people in said audience could be thinking, resulting in an interesting (if at least not confusing) symbolism.
"Rodney and Charlotte fight and argue until Rodney begins to choke her"
Man: "Excuse me".
"Both stop cold and look at the man."
Charlotte to the Man: "Don't pay any attention to him. As I was saying... the reason I don't leave here is because Rodney and I are inseparable .The question of leaving, although it arises constantly, is- dare I say- moot". "To Rodney" "MOOT? Is that right Rodney?"
Charlotte: "Can I say: the question of my leaving is MOOT"?
Rodney: "You can say whatever you like."
Charlotte: "To Man" "He's not usually so generous with my word usage. He finds himself correcting just about everything I say".
Rodney: "Correcting her" "IRRELEVANT!"
Rodney: "The question of your leaving is irrelevant."
Charlotte: "Thank you." "To Man" "You see?"
Man: "Yes, I see."
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