Alice - By Paul Schmidt

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					Alice - By Paul Schmidt                                              To go skating on your name
Taken without permission from the Yale School of Drama               And by tracing it twice
magazine, Theater V.26 #3 1996.                                      I fell through the ice
                                                                     Of Alice
 Prologue                                                            There's only Alice

An empty space. One by one, identical figures enter as               During his song, ALICE LIDDELL appears stage right behind
CHARLES DODGSON. They move in silence. Finally:                      the black cloth. We see only her head, which moves along the
                                                                     black cloth toward the camera. At the end of the song, she leaps
                                                                     into the little chair. DODGSON disappears beneath the black
CHARLES DODGSON My head hurt... My head...

ENSEMBLE (In various voices)
                                                                     Act 1
Head Heat
   Heat Beat
      Beat Boat                                                      KNEE 1. AN AFTERNOON AT CHARLES DODGSON'S
           Boat Bolt
              Bolt Molt
                                                                     DODGSON, the photographer, hidden beneath a large black
       Molt Malt
                                                                     cloth, takes pictures of ALICE. The lens of his old-fashioned
  Malt Halt
                                                                     box camera extends slowly and menacingly toward her.
      Halt Hart
 Hart Hurt
    Hurt...                                                          ALICE Stick. Stuck. Stock-still.
                                                                     Yes, I promise that I will.
DODGSON My head hurt.
                                                                     Tick. Tock. Time will tell.
                                                                     Hope of heaven, fear of hell.
one by one, the figures leave the stage. The last figure brings on
a small chair with head and arm rests, and places it downstage
 left. From downstage right a large old-fashioned box camera on      That's the way.
 a tripod moves slowly toward the chair, trailing an enormous
billow of black cloth. The camera stops beside the chair and
DODGSON emerges from beneath the cloth.                              No one in this empty house.
                                                                     Mr. Dodgson, I'm your mouse.

DODGSON (Sings.)
                                                                     Stand still. Stunned stone.
                                                                     Have no wishes of my own.
It's dreamy weather we're on
You wave your crooked wand
Along an icy pond                                                    That's the way.
With a frozen moon
A murder of silhouette crows                                         Left alone from six to seven.
I saw...                                                             All good children go to heaven.
And the tears on my face
And the skates on the pond
Spell Alice                                                          Chase the chickens, choke the child.
I'll disappear in your name                                          Touch my shoulders, wish me wild.
But you must wait for me
Somewhere beneath the sea                                            That's the way.
There's the wreck of a ship
Your hair is like meadow grass
On the tide                                                          I'm a perfect Anglo-Saxon,
And the raindrops on my window                                       Aren't you?
And the ice in my drink                                              Have you got a code of honor
Baby all I can think of                                              That will do?
Is Alice
                                                                     That will do, Mr. Dodgson,
Arithmetic, Arithmetoc,                                              That will do.
I turn the hands back on the clock                                   That will do!
How does the ocean rock the boat
How did the razor find my throat                                     DODGSON emerges from under his black cloth as the WHITE
The only strings that hold me here                                   RABBIT, and sets off a huge flash. ALICE leaps through the
Are tangled up around the pier                                       wall behind her. The WHITE RABBIT picks up his camera and
And so a secret kiss                                                 exits right.
Brings madness with the bliss
And I will think of this
When I'm dead in my grave                                            SCENE I. DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
Set me adrift and I'm lost in your hair
But I must be insane
ALICE falls down the rabbit hole; numerous objects fall past        LILY And of course you are what you smell like.
her. She sees a mirror with her name written on it. The mirror
breaks and her name is lost. The WHITE RABBIT stands by his
                                                                    ALICE Little girls shouldn't smell at all. That's it, I'm a little
camera watching her.

                                                                    DAISIES     What's your name? What's your name? What's your
...but I must be insane
To go skating on your name
                                                                    ALICE     I had a name this morning, but now it's gone.
And by tracing it twice
I fell through the ice
Of Alice                                                            DAISIES     Nameless? Shameless! Shameless!
There's only Alice
                                                                    ROSE      But of course a name means nothing.
As the song ends, ALICE comes to rest beside a little glass
table. She has landed in the WHITE RABBIT's house. The
                                                                    LILY (Sings)
WHITE RABBIT picks up his camera, goes through a door, and
disappears. ALICE attempts to go through the door, but it
shrinks to a tiny opening. ALICE stretches out on the floor and     Someday the silver moon and I
peers through. She sees a beautiful flower garden beyond, but       Will go to Dreamland
cannot reach it.                                                    I will close my eyes
                                                                    And wake up there in Dreamland
                                                                    But tell me who will put flowers
ALICE (Sings)
                                                                    On a flower's grave
                                                                    Who will say a prayer
Hell above and heaven below                                         Will I meet a China rose there
All the trees are gone                                              In Dreamland
The rain has such a lovely sound                                    Or does love lie bleeding
To those who are six feet underground                               In Dreamland
                                                                    Are these days gone forever and always
The leaves will bury every year
And no one knows I'm gone.                                          If we are to die tonight
                                                                    Is there moonlight up ahead
                                                                    And if we are to die tonight
Live me golden tell me dark
                                                                    Another rose will bloom.
Hide from graveyard John
But the moon is full here every night
And I can bathe here in his light.                                  For a faded rose
                                                                    Will I be the one that you save
                                                                    I love when it showers
The leaves will bury every year
                                                                    But no one puts flowers
And no one knows I'm gone.
                                                                    On a flower's grave

The WHITE RABBIT crosses the room and sets a bottle on the
                                                                    As one rose dies another blooms
little glass table. It says "Drink Me." After some hesitation,
                                                                    It's always been that way
ALICE does. She begins to shrink: the table grows to giant size,
                                                                    I remember the showers
and the bottle in her hand gets bigger and bigger, and the little
                                                                    But no one puts flowers
hole in the wall becomes a door again. ALICE walks into the
                                                                    On a flower's grave
flower garden.

                                                                    The song reduces the FLOWERS to tears. Suddenly we hear a
                                                                    loud chomping noise. The FLOWERS wilt and vanish. ALICE
                                                                    looks around and sees a giant mushroom.
ALICE comes upon a bed of flowers: LILY, ROSE, and two
DAISIES. They are humming to themselves, but they fall silent
                                                                    SCENE 2. ADVICE FROM A CATERPILLAR
and bend away as she approaches.

                                                                    ALICE tries to escape through a door in the mushroom, but it
ROSE Who are you?
                                                                    closes. A voice calls to her, and she discovers a
                                                                    CATERPILLAR seated upon the mushroom, smoking a pipe.
DAISIES     Who are you? Who are you? Who are you?
                                                                    CATERPILLAR         Speak, boy! Where do you come from?
ALICE     I'm... I'm... I'm afraid I'm not sure who I am.
                                                                    ALICE     But I'm a little girl... at least, I though I was...
ROSE (She leans toward ALICE) You don't smell like
                                                                    CATERPILLAR Thinking has nothing to do with it. Either
                                                                    you are or you aren't.
ALICE     I'm little. That's all I know. I want to grow.            Table-top Joe, Table-top Joe
                                                                    Now everyone knows Table-top Joe
CATERPILLAR         Up, you mean?
                                                                    The CATERPILLAR grows larger and larger. ALICE knocks
                                                                    frantically at the door in the mushroom, as the
ALICE     What other way is there?
                                                                    CATERPILLAR's body engulfs the stage.

CATERPILLAR Oh, lots. You could grow down, like roots.
                                                                    KNEE 3. FISH AND FROG
You could grow long, like me. You could grow fat, like a big
pig. Grow in, like a toenail. Grow out of your clothes, grow into
your shoes.... You could grow boring, even. Why not do as I         ALICE stands before a door and knocks repeatedly. A footman,
do? Grow grand! I spin my cocoon, and grow larger and               FISH, enters with a letter, and knocks at the door. It is opened
larger....                                                          by another footman, FROG, They pass the letter back and forth
                                                                    between them, the door is opened and closed, but ALICE can't
                                                                    manage to get through.
ALICE     And turn into a butterfly!

                                                                    FISH For the Duchess. An invitation from her Majesty to play
CATERPILLAR No, a butterfly is only an idea, an ideal.
Caterpillars are facts, hard facts, You know what happens to
people who believe in ideals? Listen!
                                                                    FROG From her Majesty. An invitation for the Duchess to
                                                                    play croquet.

                                                                    FISH An invitation. For the Duchess to play croquet form her
Table-top Joe, Table-top Joe,
Everyone knows Table-top Joe
Table-top Joe
                                                                    FROG An invitation. From her Majesty to play croquet for the
Well his mama didn't want him
On the day he was born
Born without a body                                                 FISH To play croquet. An invitation from her Majesty for the
He got nothing but scorn.                                           Duchess.

But he always loved music                                           FROG To play croquet. An invitation from her Majesty for
All he had was his hands                                            the Duchess.
And he dreamed he'd be famous
And he'd work at The Sands
                                                                    They continue this ad libitum, tearing both the invitation and the
                                                                    dialogue into ever smaller pieces. Finally FISH leaves, and the
Table-top Joe, Table-top Joe                                        door closes. FROG sits down idly.
Everyone knows Table-top Joe
                                                                    ALICE     How do I get through that door?
He had trouble with the pedals
But he had a strong left hand
                                                                    FROG That depends which side of it you're on.
And he could play Stravinsky
On a baby grand.
                                                                    ALICE     I'm on the outside, obviously.
Table-top Joe, Table-top Joe
Everyone knows Table-top Joe                                        FROG Too bad. If you were on the inside, I could let you out.

He said, I'm gonna join the circus                                  ALICE     But I want to get in!
'Cause that's where I belong
And he went to Coney Island
Singing this song.                                                  FROG What for? Everybody on the inside wants to get out.

                                                                    ALICE     Why?
And they gave him top billing
In the Dreamland Show
He had his own orchestra                                            FROG Because they're all mad inside.
Starring Table-top Joe
                                                                    ALICE     They don't seem quite sane on this side, either!
And the man without a body
Proved everyone wrong
He was rich and he was famous                                       FROG That too.
And he was where he belonged.
Singing                                                             ALICE     If a door is there, it's meant to be opened!
FROG Open it then.                                                    ALICE But I'm not all alone in the house any more. I'm all
                                                                      alone right here.
ALICE opens the door and enters.
                                                                      DUCHESS Your place is here, child, in the kitchen with us.
                                                                      Kids and kitchen, that's the rule. Here.

                                                                      She throws the baby to the COOK, who trows it back. They
ALICE finds herself in a kitchen. A CHESHIRE CAT is licking
                                                                      keep tossing it back and forth.
the dishes and a COOK is wiping them dry. The DUCHESS
sits in a throne with a baby on her lap. The baby cries, and the
COOK throws plates at the Duchess. FROG picks up the plates,          COOK Let a little girl in the kitchen, she'll make a mess. Pig!
gives them to the DUCHESS, who throws them back at the
COOK. The WHITE RABBIT sweeps up the broken plates.
                                                                      DUCHESS A girl starts making a mess, next thing you know
They all sneeze continually and loudly. ALICE tries to sneak
                                                                      she has a baby, and voila, she's a mother herself. Here.
out unnoticed.

                                                                      ALICE But I don't want to be a mother, all I want is to find a
                                                                      way out of here.

ALICE     I beg your pardon?
                                                                      COOK A way out? You just got in.

DUCHESS       I said pig! Pig! Pig!
                                                                      DUCHESS The more doors you open...

ALICE     But I'm a little girl.
                                                                      FROG ... the deeper in you get.

DUCHESS Pig, little girl, what's the difference? What's your
                                                                      The baby is thrown one last time, and ends up in ALICE's arms.
                                                                      It has turned into a piglet.

ALICE     I seem to have lost it.
                                                                      DUCHESS Take care of it, child. I must go dress, or I'll be
                                                                      late for the Queen's croquet party.
DUCHESS No name? Then you're a pig. Little girls have
names, pigs don't. Voila!
                                                                      The DUCHESS, COOK, and FROG exit. ALICE is left with the
                                                                      piglet and the CHESHIRE CAT.
COOK Your mother must have told you that many a time.
                                                                      KNEE 4. LETTERS I
ALICE     She never did.
                                                                      DODGSON writes letters to ALICE. He looks at her
COOK Then she's a bad mother.                                         photograph. The CHESHIRE CAT comes out of the kitchen,
                                                                      and smears the letters. DODGSON crumples up the ruined
                                                                      letters and throws them at the CHESHIRE CAT.
ALICE     She's a good mother!

                                                                      DODGSON (Writes)
DUCHESS A mother is like the letter M. Neither bad nor
good. It all depends on the circumstances. If a mother says
"you're mine," that's good. If a strange man says it, that's bad.     Dear Alice, last night I dreamed that I was dreaming of you.
                                                                      And from a window across the lawn I watched you undress
                                                                      wearing a sunset of purple tightly woven around your hair that
CAT True enough, if you're a little girl. For grown-up girls,
                                                                      rose in strangled ebony curls moving in a yellow bedroom light.
it's just the opposite.
                                                                      The air is wet with sound. The faraway yelping of a wounded
                                                                      dog. The ground drinking a slow faucet leak. Your house is so
DUCHESS Who asked your opinion?                                       soft and fading as it soaks the black summer heat. A yellow cat
                                                                      runs out on the stream of hall light and into the yard. A wooden
                                                                      cherry scent is faintly breathing the air. I hear our champagne
ALICE     I don't believe I've ever heard a cat with an opinion       laugh. You wear two lavender orchids, one in your hair and one
                                                                      on your hip. A string of yellow carnival lights comes on with
                                                                      the dusk, circling the lake with a slowly dipping halo and I
DUCHESS Oh, try. With practice you can believe almost                 heard a banjo tango playing a minor waltz. And you danced into
anything. For instance, you could believe you were a little girl...   the shadow of a black poplar tree and I watched you as you
                                                                      disappeared. I buried a rabbit's heart stuck with pins in the
                                                                      graveyard in hope it would break this spell of love. But it did
COOK ... or that you know better than the rest of us...               not.

DUCHESS ... when you're all alone in the house.                       The CAT plays with the crumpled letters. DODGSON leaves.
SCENE 4. ALICE ALONE                                                       The stairways in nightmares are scary and steep,
                                                                           But the fear is forgot when we wake from our sleep.
Late at night. ALICE cannot sleep. We see her as a woman in
her late forties, in an elegant gown. She has been drinking, and           We must wake all alone, get up stretch, and grow:
is talking to her cat.                                                     From the nine lives I've lived, that's all that I know
                                                                           But we can't waste the day with our rhythm and rhyme -
                                                                           A girl who must grow must find out about Time!
ALICE Move back he said, and back I moved, but it wasn't
enough. Then he said move forward and I moved forward but it
wasn't enough. And then move left and I moved left and then                ALICE     Which way should I go from here?
right; I moved right and it wasn't enough. No matter how I
moved, Kitty it wasn't enough. And then came the stillness.
                                                                           CAT Either way. East you'll find the Hatter; he's mad. West
Hold still for a few seconds he said, it won't hurt you, you're a
                                                                           you'll find the March Hare; he's equally mad.
little girl, he said, you must learn to hold still, and I held still for
ten seconds and it wasn't enough. Then he said hold still for
fifteen seconds and I held still for fifteen seconds and it wasn't         ALICE     Everyone here seems mad.
enough. And then hold still for forty-five seconds and I sat for
what seemed like hours and hours. I held so still I though I was
dead. But I never blinked. You remember that day, kitty, we had            CAT     Oh, they are, they are. I'm mad myself. Quite mad.
gone for a walk in the woods, you discovered a rabbit, a tiny
white rabbit, and it sat there and stared at you frozen with fear?         ALICE     I'm not mad.
That's how I sat, Kitty. And he was there, he was there
somewhere in a big black cloud, and his round shiny eye kept
looking and looking. That's wonderful, don't you think, Kitty?             CAT     Of course you are. If you weren't mad, you wouldn't be
How close he wanted me, and how far away he kept me. I felt                here.
the tears coming and the screams coming but I never blinked. I
looked into the little eye and there was nothing there but me.             He disappears and ALICE goes on her way.
That's wonderful, don't you think?
                                                                           SCENE 5. THE MAD TEA PARTY
Then something inside me unfolded, unlocked, and I lay back
and let the look lie down on top of me, oh, the heavy long years
of what is to be seen and what is not to be seen, what is to be            ALICE sees a long table laid with many places set out under a
shown and what is not to be shown, to be seen and unseen and is            tree. The MAD HATTER, the MARCH HARE, and the
there ever a way out of that? But that was every so sweetly my             DORMOUSE are having tea. ALICE tries to sit down.
artful Dodgson's dodge, and he stopped my clock, but it was not
where anything else stopped.                                               MARCH HARE         No room! No room!

And I know why, Kitty. He stopped me to keep me from                       MAD HATTER         No room! No room! Go back where you
shipwreck and hailstorm, from the stink of dead lilies, the odor           came from!
of sh... Shhh. But those were my dreams, Kitty. I dreamed of
burned bodies and rusting pavilions, of horses that galloped by
night so distant that dawn never found them. I was wide with               ALICE     But there's plenty of room.
my dreams, that what he hated. He wanted to keep me away
from my dreams. (ALICE pets her cat.)                                      MARCH HARE         No there isn't. It just looks like it.

KNEE 5. THE CHESHIRE CAT                                                   MAD HATTER         There's only enough for us.

An enormous cat's head appears in a tree in front of ALICE.                MARCH HARE         Oh, let her sit down. What does it matter,
CAT It's the night before morning and deep in the house A
little girls nestles in bed like a mouse. The landscape is empty           MAD HATTER         Let her sit down. What do I care, Hare?
and scoured by dreams And the only thing heard is the sound of
her screams.
                                                                           DORMOUSE What's the meat of the matter?
                                                                           The heat of the hatter?
The voice of a grown-up repeats in her ear:                                The hate of the hitter?
Just be a good girl, there is nothing to fear,                             The hire of the hare?
Nothing to frear if you hold yourself still -                              The lure of the pair?
But the fact is, we know there are kisses that kill                        The cure for the care?

It's no use pretending that help will arrive;                              MARCH HARE         Oh, shut up!
For help often finds not a soul left alive.
It's no use pretending that morning will come,
If our eyes remain shut and our tongues remain dumb.                       They change places continually. ALICE tries to get a cup of tea.

The dreams of young children stay fast in their heads                      MARCH HARE         Are you going to the Queen's croquet party?
As long as the grown-ups stay out of their beds
ALICE     I haven't been invited.                                    MAD HATTER But Time will tell. Time tells the longest tale.
                                                                     Always. Time's tale is longer than yours. He never ends.
MAD HATTER         Just show up. She'll never know the
difference.                                                          MARCH HARE But whether or not the tale gets told - that's
                                                                     another matter, Hatter.
ALICE     That didn't get me very far here.
                                                                     DORMOUSE            Time out! Time out! Time out!
DORMOUSE         You mean hare.
                                                                     ALICE     You mean we're out of time?
MAD HATTER         Raus, mouse!
                                                                     MARCH HARE            No, time is out.
DORMOUSE Natter nitter nitter natter,
Killing time with Hare and Hatter.                                   ALICE     Of what?
This isn't making sense
And if it were it wouldn't matter!
                                                                     MAD HATTER            Of joint - oh cursed spite! I swear we'll never
                                                                     get this right...
                                                                     ALICE     I haven't got all night, you know...
Hang me in a bottle like a cat
Let the crows pick me clean but for my hat
                                                                     They continue to change places.
Where the wailing of a baby
Meets the footsteps of the dead
We're all mad here                                                   ALICE     I wish I were out!

As the Devil sticks his flag into the mud                            MAD HATTER            Of what?
Mrs. Carroll has run off with Father Judd
Hell is such a lonely place
And your big expensive face                                          ALICE     Of here.
Will never last.
                                                                     DORMOUSE            You mean hare.
Have I told you all about the Eyeball Kid
He was born alone inside a Petri dish                                MAD HATTER            Shut your door, mouse!
And he was born without a body or a brow.
                                                                     ALICE     How do I find the Queen?
And you'll die with the rose still on your lips
And in time the heart-shaped bone
That was your hips                                                   MAD HATTER            Go through the forest.
And all the worms they will climb
The rugged ladder of your spine                                      ALICE     How do I find the forest?
We're all mad here.
                                                                     MAD HATTER            Go through the tree.
And my eyeballs roll this terrible terrain
We're all inside a decomposing train
And your eyes will die like fish                                     ALICE     How do I go through the tree?
And the shore of your face will turn to bone
                                                                     MAD HATTER            Through the door!
An exhausted pause.
                                                                     There is indeed a door in the tree. ALICE opens it, steps
MARCH HARE          We need a tale to while away the time.           through and disappears.

MAD HATTER         A tale! What a whale of a way to tell the         MARCH HARE We need a tale that has no time. A timeless
time!                                                                tale. I know! (To the DORMOUSE.) Tell us the tale of Father

MARCH HARE          Can't tell him anything - he won't listen, you
know.                                                                DORMOUSE But I don't know Father William.

ALICE     Who!                                                       MAD HATTER            You will once you've told us his tale.

MARCH HARE          Time.                                            DORMOUSE
"You are old, Father William, the young man said,            "I have answered three questions, and that is enough,"
And your hair has become very white;                         Said his father. "Don't give yourself airs!
And yet you incessantly stand on your head -                 Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Do you think, at your age, it is right?"                     Be off, or I'll kick you down stairs!"

KNEE 6. FATHER WILLIAM                                       SCENE 6. THE WOOD WITHOUT NAMES

FATHER WILLIAM and his SON appear, continue the song,        ALICE has wandered into a dark wood. The WHITE RABBIT
and then act it out.                                         appears among the trees, calling her name. ALICE covers her
                                                             WHITE RABBIT         Alice! Alice! Alice!
"You are old, Father William," the young man said,
"And your hair has become very white;                        ALICE That can't be me.
And yet you incessantly stand on your head -                 I am not she.
Do you think at your age it is right?"                       How can that be?
                                                             I should be me!
                                                             The WHITE RABBIT vanishes.
"In my youth," Father William replied to his son -
"I feared it might injure the brain;                         But where am I?
But now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,                 And am I I?
Why, I do it again and again."                               I cannot tell you why
                                                             Or who or what is I -
                                                             No matter how I try.

                                                             Enter a FAWN.
"You are old," said the youth, "as I mentioned before,
And you have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back somersault in at the door -            Who are you?
Pray what is the reason of that?"
                                                             FAWN     Who are you?
                                                             ALICE     I am me.
"In my youth," said the sage, as he shook his gray locks,
"I kept all my limbs very supple
                                                             FAWN     So am I. I am me.
By the use of this ointment - one shilling the box -
Allow me to sell you a couple?"
                                                             ALICE     Then we're we.
                                                             FAWN     We are?
"You are old," said the youth, "and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;                              ALICE Don't you see?
Yet you finished the goose, both the bones and the beak -    Here we are, just we two...
Pray, how did you manage to do it?"
                                                             FAWN      I am I, you are you...
                                                             ALICE But what does it mean?
"In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law,          And what should we do?
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength that it gave to my jaw
Has lasted the rest of my life."                             FAWN     How can we talk if we don't know who we are?

SON                                                          ALICE     How can we know who we are if we don't talk?

                                                             FAWN     What exactly do you mean?
"You are old," said the youth, "one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose -            ALICE     Well, I seem to be searching for something...
What made you so awfully clever?"
                                                             FAWN     Yes, I know what you mean.
ALICE     We seem to be searching together...                          The memories are short but the tales are long
                                                                       Down there on the Reeperbahn.
FAWN      Together! That's lovely, I think. Don't you?
                                                                       They called her Rosie when she went to school
                                                                       For her bright red cheeks and her strawberry curls
ALICE Oh, I do! I most certainly do!
                                                                       When she would sing the river would run
Shall we just go on searching forever?
                                                                       She said she'd be a comedian
                                                                       Oh what a pity Oh what a shame
FAWN      Together forever! That's lovely!                             When she said come calling, nobody came
                                                                       Now her bright red cheeks are painted on
                                                                       And she's laughing her head off in the
ALICE     Yes, that's what I meant...                                  Reeperbahn

They are so enchanted by their harmony that they begin to sing.
                                                                       Now little Hans was always strange
But the song has no words in it. At the end of the song the trees      Wearing women's underthings
begin to disappear, it begins to grow lighter, the forest turns to a   His father beat him but he wouldn't change
clearing. ALICE and the FAWN look at one another.
                                                                       He ran off with a man one day
                                                                       Now his lingerie is all the rage
ALICE     Why, you're a fawn!                                          In the black on every page
                                                                       His father proudly calls his name
                                                                       Down there in the Reeperbahn.
FAWN So I am! A fawn! I'm a fawn! That's what we were
searching for! And you are a - Oh my God! You're a girl!
You're a little girl! Oh my God! Monster! Monster! Get away            Now if you've lost your inheritance
from me! Leave me alone! Get away! Away! Away!                         And all you've left is common sense
                                                                       And you're not too picky about the crowd you keep
                                                                       Or the mattress where you sleep
The FAWN runs off.                                                     Behind every window, behind every door
                                                                       The apple is gone but there's always the core
ALICE I'm not a monster! And I am a little girl. That makes            The seeds will sprout up right through the floor
sense to me - and the fawn said I was, so that makes two of us.        Down there in the Reeperbahn
Yes, that must be right. I'm a little girl!                            Down there in the Reeperbahn

The DUCHESS and the MAD HATTER enter, in a mad hurry                   SCENE 7. THE TRIAL
on their way to the Queen's croquet party.
                                                                       A large croquet ground. The BLACK KING and BLACK
DUCHESS The Queen! The Queen!                                          QUEEN play croquet with a crowd of CHESSMAN. Soon the
I'll lose my head, I'll lose my head!                                  DUCHESS, the MAD HATTER, and ALICE appear. Everyone
My knick, my knack, my knock, my neck,                                 looks at ALICE.
Oh my! Goodbye! (and on and on ad lib)
                                                                       BLACK QUEEN So. You finally got here. It's taken a while,
MAD HATTER We're late! We're late!                                     I must say. But here we are at last. In front of all these people.
The Queen won't wait!                                                  What a shame. Aren't you ashamed? I would be.
Oh jiminy jiminy jiminy!
We're late! We're late!(and on and on ad lib)                          ALICE     I haven't done anything wrong!

They go off in a hurry. ALICE follows them.                            BLACK QUEEN I'll be the judge of that. (To the KING.) And
                                                                       so will you, won't you, dear? And so will all the rest of us. We'll
KNEE 7. LETTERS II                                                     all be the judge of that.

The CHESHIRE CAT walks slowly across the grass, dropping               ALICE     The judge of what?
DODGSON's letters as he goes. Several CHESSMAN, the
Queen's gardeners, enter. They find the letters and pick them up.      BLACK QUEEN You know very well what. Otherwise you
Other CHESSMAN set up wickets for a croquet game. As the               wouldn't have run away.
CHESSMAN assemble, the BLACK KING appears.

                                                                       ALICE     I was just trying to find a way out...

                                                                       BLACK QUEEN And you've just gotten yourself deeper and
Round the curve of a parrot bar                                        deeper in, haven't you? We have witnesses. And evidence.
A broken-down old movie star
Hustling an Easterner
Bringing out the beast in him                                          A CHESSMAN gives the letters to the QUEEN.
A high dive in a swimming pool
Filled with needles and with fools                                     BLACK QUEEN We have found a lot of letters
                                                                       And the sender isn't clear,
But we know who they were sent to -                              WHITE KNIGHT Here com I, a perfect gentle knight
And she's here.                                                  To open doors and fill the house with light;
                                                                 I come with hope, to put an end to night.
BLACK KING They must have come from someone,
But the letters aren't signed,                                   I am here to defend who needs to be defended
And without some sort of evidence                                For a child in need must be always befriended
I can't make up my mind.                                         As a broken toy can expect to be mended.

BLACK QUEEN The sender never signed them,                        (Sings.)
So of course our course is clear:
Arrest the girl whose name is on them -
                                                                 They bought a round for the sailor
                                                                 And they heard his tale
ALICE    A name!                                                 Of a world that was so far away
                                                                 And a song that we'd never heard
                                                                 A song of a little bird
BLACK QUEEN         ... since she's here! Off with her head!
                                                                 Who fell in love with a whale.

BLACK KING Not ye, my dear, there are a lot of witnesses to
                                                                 He said: You cannot live in the ocean
be heard first.
                                                                 And she said to him:
                                                                 You never can live in the sky
DUCHESS Aren't we going to play croquet?                         But the ocean is filled with tears
                                                                 And the sea turns into a mirror
                                                                 And there's a whale in the moon when it's clear
BLACK QUEEN First we're going to play courtroom.                 And a bird on the tide.
Question: is she a little girl, or not?

                                                                 ALICE joins in the song.
DUCHESS She wouldn't stay in the kitchen...

                                                                 Please don't cry
BLACK QUEEN Precisely! Then she's not really a little girl!
                                                                 Let me dry
Off with her head!                                               Your eyes
                                                                 So tell me that you will wait for me
DUCHESS But I haven't finished my testimony!                     Hold me in your arms
                                                                 I promise we never will part
                                                                 I'll never sail back to the time
MAD HATTER         And I haven't finished my tea!                But I'll always pretend you're mine
                                                                 Though I know that we both must part
BLACK QUEEN         You invited the accused to tea?              You can live in my heart.

MAD HATTER I didn't invite her. She came uninvited. And          The WHITE KNIGHT takes ALICE by the hand and leads her
she took a lot of time...                                        into the frame. The frame ascends. Blackout.

BLACK QUEEN Then she's a thief as well! (To ALICE.)              ACT II
Well, I think we have enough evidence now. Yes, I think we do.
(To ALICE.) Speak, boy! Do you admit your great guilt?           KNEE 8. THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

ALICE    I don't admit anything!                                 An empty space. The WHITE KNIGHT alone. He dances
BLACK KING That's important evidence! Off with her head!
                                                                 WHITE KNIGHT (Sings.)
BLACK QUEEN         Call the executioner! Off with her head!
                                                                 So tell me that you'll wait for me
EXECUTIONER (Sings.)                                             Hold me in your arms
                                                                 I promise we never will part
                                                                 I'll never sail back to the time
You've murdered the time and you must pay                        But I'll always pretend you're mine
For the things you've done                                       Though I know that we both must part
Drown him in tears I say                                         You can live in my heart.
And off with his bleeding head
Hammer him into the ground
As cold as a railroad spike.                                     ALICE approaches from the empty distance. As she does so, a
                                                                 golden frame drops slowly out of the sky. ALICE goes up to it.
                                                                 On the other side of the frame the WHITE KNIGHT gestures,
The EXECUTIONER seizes ALICE. A frame descends from              and ALICE mirrors movements. The WHITE KNIGHT stamps
the clouds, and the WHITE KNIGHT steps from it.
his foot and ALICE crashes through the mirror. She                 ALICE     What was that?
is in a dark forest.
                                                                   WHITE KNIGHT Jabberwocky is a riddle. Find out what the
ALICE Where am I?                                                  riddle means, and you find your way out of the woods.
And what is my name?
                                                                   ALICE     How can I find out what it means?
WHITE KNIGHT It doesn't make any sense to say where you
are if you don't know what your name is. To know what your
                                                                   WHITE KNIGHT How many doors did you open, coming in?
name is doesn't make sense when you can't say where you are.
                                                                   So many questions must you ask, going out.
                                                                   Find the way out
ALICE     Is there a way to get out of here having gotten in?      Within the way in.
                                                                   I come to care.
                                                                   Do not despair.
WHITE KNIGHT Any way into the woods can also become a
way out. It wouldn't be woods without a way out, and you'll find
the way out within the way in. Listen!                             Sings

SCENE 8. JABBERWOCKY I                                             Everything you can think of is true
                                                                   Before the ocean was blue
                                                                   We were lost in a flood
Eight VICTORIAN VICARS dance onstage, singing. ALICE
                                                                   Run red with your bloods
and the WHITE KNIGHT watch.
                                                                   Nigerian skeleton crew

CHORUS OF VICARS 'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
                                                                   Everything you can think of is true
Did gyre and gimbel in the wabe.
                                                                   The dish ran away with a spoon
All mimsy were the borogoves,
                                                                   Did deep in your heart for that little red glow
And the mome raths outgrabe.
                                                                   We're decomposing as we go.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun                                   Everything you can think of is true
the frumious Bandersnatch!"                                        And fishes make wishes on you
                                                                   We're fighting our way up a dreamland spine
                                                                   With black flamingos, expensive wine.
He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought.
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,                                   Everything you can think of is true
And stood awhile in thought.                                       The baby's asleep in your shoe
                                                                   Your teeth are buildings with yellow doors
                                                                   Your eyes are fish on a creamy shore.
And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,                            The WHITE KNIGHT vanishes. ALICE is alone. She sees a
And burbled as it came!                                            light shining deep in the forest.

One, two! One, two! And through and through                        SCENE 9. WOOL AND WATER
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
                                                                   A shop suddenly materializes, and ALICE finds herself inside.
He went galumphing back.
                                                                   Its thousands of shelves seem full until you look directly at them
                                                                   and realize they are empty. A large WHITE SHEEP sits knitting
"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?                               something from her own wool.
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
Oh frabjous day! Calooh! Callay!"
                                                                   SHEEP     It's dark.
He chortled in his joy.

                                                                   ALICE     Yes, it's dark.
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimbel in the wabe
All mimsy were the borogoves,                                      SHEEP Very dark.
And the mome raths outgrabe.                                       This is not a pretty picture.
                                                                   This could be a pretty picture,
                                                                   It has been a pretty picture,
The VICTORIAN VICARS dance off. ALICE and the
                                                                   But not now, no.

                                                                   ALICE     No?

                                                                   SHEEP No, not now, never.
ALICE, astonished, watches them dance off.
                                                                   Oh, pity the sheep keeper keeping the sheep.
                                                                   And pity the shop keeper keeping the shop.
But I am a sheep who is keeping a shop,                            A cloud lets go of the moon
Keeping a shop where nothing is shipped.                           My ribbons are all out of tune
                                                                   I'm skating on the ice in a glass
                                                                   And in the hands of a man
Oh, pity the shopper who shops in a shop
                                                                   That I kissed on a train
Where nothing is shipped except sheep.
                                                                   The children have all gone to town
Shipper and shopper and shepherd and sheep,
                                                                   To get candy and we are
It's almost enough to make you weep.
                                                                   Alone in the house here
                                                                   And your eyes fall down on me.
ALICE     Is nothing ever shipped to the shop?
                                                                   And I belong only to you
SHEEP Nothing. Nichts. Nada. Niente. Nichevo. Oh, there is         The water is filling my shoes
sometimes, but you have to close your eyes to see it. See?         In the wine of my heart there's a stone
                                                                   In a well made of bone
                                                                   I will bring to the pond
She points to a shelf, where goods appear and disappear.           And I'm here in your pocket
                                                                   Curled up in a dollar
ALICE    But I can't see anything.                                 And the chain from your watch
                                                                   Around my neck
                                                                   And I'll stay right here till it's time.
SHEEP Then you're not using your imagination. In this part of
the woods, imagination is a great help. (She screams.)
                                                                   The girls all knit in the shade
                                                                   Before the baby is made
ALICE     What's the matter?                                       The branches bend down to the ground
                                                                   Here to swing on
SHEEP Nothing. It's just that I'm about to prick my finger.        And I'm lost in the blond summer grass
What exactly are you interested in buying?                         And the train whistle blows
                                                                   And the carnival goes
                                                                   Till there's only the tickets and crows
ALICE     I'm trying to find out the meaning of Jabberwocky.       But the grass will all grow back
                                                                   And the branches
SHEEP We don't sell meanings, dear. We tried it for years.         Spell Alice
Threw out the old ones, invented all kinds of new ones, but it     And I belong to you.
was no use. Nobody wanted to buy them.
                                                                   As they sail, a wall appears, with a large egg sitting upon it.
ALICE But I've got to find the meaning so I can get out of the     ALICE leaps from the boat, and it sails off with the WHITE
woods!                                                             SHEEP.

SHEEP Calm down, dear. I've been lost in the woods for years       SCENE 10. HUMPTY DUMPTY
now. It isn't so bad, really. (She smiles and holds up a bloody
finger.) See? What did I tell you? Have an egg, that'll make you   A large egg-like creature, HUMPTY DUMPTY, sits on top of a
feel better.                                                       wall. ALICE approaches.

ALICE     An egg?                                                  ALICE     If you please, Sir - what's on the other side of the
SHEEP There's something very comforting about an egg: so
perfectly smooth and white and round, a sense of                   HUMPTY DUMPTY            Who wants to know?

                                                                   ALICE     I do.
ALICE     Yes, an egg. I think I would like an egg!

                                                                   HUMPTY DUMPTY            And who are you?
SHEEP There's one on that shelf - at least there was a moment
ago.... Well, no matter. We'll go find it for you.
                                                                   ALICE I'm a little girl named... named... I'm afraid I don't
                                                                   know my name any more. But I thought perhaps there might be
The SHEEP's chair turns into a boat. ALICE and the SHEEP get       a door in the wall...
in it and sail away.

                                                                   HUMPTY DUMPTY A door!! You cannot have a door in a
KNEE 10. BARCAROLLE                                                wall. You'd lose the wallness of it. If you could get through to
                                                                   the other side of a wall, what's the point of having it?
ALICE and the WHITE SHEEP sing as their boat drifts slowly
along.                                                             ALICE     What is on the other side, then?

ALICE and SHEEP (Sing.)
HUMPTY DUMPTY Nothing, when you can't see what's                   There! And that's only a beginning. Never rely on the letter M.
there - or everything, since you can imagine whatever you
please. On the other side of a wall, everything is possible, but
                                                                   ALICE    Why M?
nothing really exists.

                                                                   HUMPTY DUMPTY           Why not?
ALICE     But you can see the other side, can't you?

                                                                   ALICE Oh, you are the person I've been looking for! I'm
HUMPTY DUMPTY Of course I can, child. Someone always
                                                                   trying to find out what "Jabberwocky" means.
has to see both sides. I am the all-inclusive dialectic between
here and there. If you want to know what's on the other side,
you have to ask me.                                                HUMPTY DUMPTY Jabberwocky again! They all want to
                                                                   know what Jabberwocky means. It's a wall of words, child, a
                                                                   wall of words. My advice to you is, see if it has any meaning
ALICE     Wouldn't it be simpler just to tear down the wall?
                                                                   without the words.

HUMPTY DUMPTY Don't even think that, child! Tear down
                                                                   ALICE    But how can I do that?
the wall, what would become of me?

                                                                   HUMPTY DUMPTY           By holding still, child. Stand stock-still,
ALICE     An omelet, perhaps?
                                                                   and watch.

HUMPTY DUMPTY            What a nasty thing to say!
                                                                   The eight VICTORIAN VICARS appear in front of the wall.

ALICE     But I didn't mean
                                                                   KNEE 11. JABBERWOCKY II

HUMPTY DUMPTY Precisely. You don't mean. You're like
                                                                   The VICARS perform Jabberwocky as a pantomime. ALICE
everybody else, you say, but you don't mean. Now I, on the
                                                                   watches, trying to understand what the gestures mean. When
other hand, mean - even when I don't say. Take this, for
                                                                   they leave, she looks questioningly at HUMPTY DUMPTY; he
                                                                   falls from the wall and breaks into pieces. A curtain falls. In
                                                                   front of it appear the MAD HATTER and the DUCHESS. They
Sings.                                                             sing of a previous existence as dissolute clergymen.
Over here the ladies
All want perfume
                                                                   DUCHESS and MAD HATTER (Sing.)
But there's never a rose
The roses are frightened to bloom
So they never can grow.                                            Now he's a halter boy
                                                                   Bound up in leather and chains
                                                                   What became of old Father Brown
And over here they need wool
                                                                   I'll never forget the Sunday he left
For weaving baby's new clothes
                                                                   He gave me something special in the rectory
But nobody has any wool
                                                                   He's an Altar Boy
And the sheep are all lost
                                                                   He corrected me in the rectory
In the harbor
                                                                   And that's why I'm feeling so blue
Lost in the harbor
                                                                   'Cause I'm an Altar Boy
                                                                   What about you?
Sirens are heard.                                                  Pater noster qui es in coelis
                                                                   Sanctificetur nomen tuum
                                                                   Adveniat regnum tuum.
And over here
They want diamonds to wear
But there aren't any here                                          And I can order in Latin
And over there                                                     Make 'em au gratin, Joe
Everyone's hiding their tears.                                     'Cause I'm an old Altar Boy
                                                                   I never got the rest of the dream
                                                                   Just the ritual
And the wall won't come down
                                                                   Now I'm habitual
Till they are no longer afraid of themselves
                                                                   Majoring in crimes that are unspeakable
If you don't believe me, ask the elves
                                                                   I'm an Altar Boy
And I can come down
                                                                   That's what happened to me.
To the harbor
Down to the harbor.
                                                                   He's just an old Altar Boy
                                                                   Laying out there in the street
And then I will
                                                                   He's an Altar Boy
Back up the ocean with my tears
                                                                   Hoping he can meet
I still have a couple more years
                                                                   A woman dressed like a nun
And then I can come back
                                                                   He knows there's got to be some around here
To the harbor
                                                                   Drinking across from the church
Down to the harbor.
Just a little Father Cribari wine                                    And I thought, if only I can make time stop, she will stand there
On a Sunday morning time                                             forever.
Remembering when he was busier
Now he's getting dizzier
                                                                     Afterwards, of course, it grew darker. My head still hurt, only
Fill it up, Joe,
                                                                     not so much. And not always. Mostly I was alone in a forest. I
You know the routine, yeah,
                                                                     didn't know how I got there, but there seems to have been a
I'm an Altar Boy, oh yeah.
                                                                     path. Yes, I'm sure there was a path, you could see the white
                                                                     stones in the moonlight. Was there moonlight? Yes, there must
Out there in the bar                                                 have been moonlight, I could see the white stones. And
Making the scena                                                     everything else was stillness, a perfect unending stilllness, and
With a novena                                                        for that I was glad.
Why is he winking
At this time in his life
                                                                     KNEE 12. DOUBLETS
He never took a wife
'Cause he's an old Altar Boy
                                                                     DODGSON, dressed in the academic robes of an Oxford
                                                                     professor, poses a number of puzzles for ALICE. STUDENTS
Drinking Cribari wine
                                                                     help her to work out the answers by holding up cards with large
An Altar Boy
                                                                     letters printed on them.
Down here in his prime
What became of him
Well, he's looking up the dress                                      DODGSON        Turn HATE to LOVE.
Of Sister Marie
As you can see
He's rather depressed                                                ALICE     HATE - HARE - HIRE - WIRE - WORE - LORE -
He hasn't been to Mass                                               LOVE.
Since nineteen forty-three
'Cause he's an old Altar Boy                                         DODGSON        Make a BOY into a MAN.
He figured he got enough religion
Already in him
Now he's leafing through the dirty magazines                         ALICE     BOY - TOY - TOP - MOP - MAP - MAN.
He's an Altar Boy
What became of him                                                   DODGSON        Turn TEARS to SMILE.
He's an old Altar Boy, yeah.
                                                                     ALICE TEARS - SEARS - STARS - STARE - STALE -
SCENE 11. CHARLES DODGSON, ALONE                                     STILE - SMILE.

It is late at night. DODGSON is alone in his room and cannot         SCENE 12. DUM AND DEE
sleep. He stammers slightly on the letter "M".
                                                                     ALICE wanders further into the wood. She discovers two tiny
DODGSON My head hurt. You have to understand that,                   men, TWEEDLEDUM and TWEEDLEDEE, dressed
otherwise nothing makes any sense. It was the noise, I think.        identically, mirror images of each other.
Crash, scream, cry, clatter, clang, constantly clang clang,
everywhere that noise. It hurt my head. The clatter of dishes,
and children screaming, and the darkness was stifling, the heat      TWEEDLEDUM and TWEEDLEDEE (They sing.)
made me sweat. And the clocks! Clocks in their clocktowers,
beating the hours. There was no way to make it stop. All night,      It always rains here... It always rains here...
sitting alone, scratching on paper, trying to drown out the noise.
But it was always there.
                                                                     ALICE     Who are you?

And then she came, and the noise stopped. Oh, I know you think
this is fanciful, some sort of metaphor. No. No, I can assure you    DUM      I am Tweedledum.
of that. Nothing in my life has ever been as real as the silence
she brought me.                                                      DEE     And I am Tweedledee.

Have you ever felt what it's like when a great noise stops? Days     ALICE     Are you brothers?
and months and years of screaming and crying, the crash of
crockery, the whining of cats, and then suddenly nothing.
Silence came down over everything, and I could hear it, I could      DUM      No! Contrariwise!
hear the silence descending. That's wonderful, don't you think?
To be able to hear the silence, rolling across me, across Oxford,    DEE     Contrariwise!
across all England, like a great soft blanket of fog.

                                                                     DUM      I am I and he is he...
She stood there in the doorway, that's all, and time stopped. And
I became myself. That's wonderful, don't you think? I was
suddenly myself for the first time. I was everything I'd always      DEE     What do you take us for, a we?
wanted to be, just because that girl stood there in the doorway.
ALICE     You look identical to me.                        ALICE If you won't fight, he can't fight. And if he won't fight,
                                                           you can't fight.
DUM      We're not!
                                                           DUM      That'll never work.
DEE     Contrariwise!
                                                           ALICE     Why not?
DUM      I'm from the West, he's from the East.
                                                           DEE     If we don't fight each other...
DEE     Contrariwise! I'm East, he's West.
                                                           DUM      No one could tell us apart.
ALICE     How do you tell the difference?
                                                           They begin to duel with their umbrellas.
DUM      There isn't any.
                                                           DEE     Uh-oh! I'm soaking wet!
DEE     Quite the opposite.
                                                           DUM      Me too!
DUM      And contrariwise.
                                                           They open their umbrellas.
                                                           ALICE     But it isn't raining!
It always rains here... It always rains here....
                                                           DUM      It will be. Just wait.
ALICE     Do you know Jabberwocky?
                                                           DEE     Run for shelter!
DEE     No, but if he lives in these woods, he knows us.
                                                           There is a sudden clap of thunder, and the sky grows very dark.
DUM      Everybody in these woods knows us.
                                                           DUM      See?
ALICE     And contrariwise.
                                                           TWEEDLEDUM and TWEEDLEDEE (They sing.)
DEE     They're all afraid of us.
                                                           It always rains here... It always rains here...
DUM That's because we're fighters!
We're backwoodsmen.                                        DUM and DEE both run away and leave ALICE. The
                                                           thunderstorm begins.
DEE     Backward as they come. We live to fight!
                                                           KNEE 13. THE THUNDERSTORM
ALICE     Who do you fight?
                                                           A wild thunderstorm blows through the forest, and blows
                                                           ALICE in its path.
DUM      Each other!

                                                           SCENE 13. WHITE KNIGHT AND BLACK KNIGHT
DEE     And contrariwise!

                                                           ALICE is tossed about by the wind and rain. There is a sudden
ALICE     But why?
                                                           crash of thunder and lightning, and the BLACK KNIGHT
                                                           appears. He is dressed identically to the WHITE KNIGHT, with
DUM      Because we're both so alike.                      his visor down.

DEE     Whenever he fights, I fight too!                   BLACK KNIGHT           Ahoy! Ahoy! Ahoy! Check! You're m-m-
DUM      And whenever I fight, he fights too!
                                                           Suddenly there is another crash of thunder and lightning, and
                                                           the WHITE KNIGHT appears, with his visor down and his face
ALICE     Why not contrariwise?                            hidden.

DUM      What?                                             WHITE KNIGHT          Ahoy! Ahoy! Ahoy! Check!

DEE     What?
BLACK KNIGHT         She's m-m-m-my prisoner, you know.           They are impossible to separate
                                                                  Chained together for life.
WHITE KNIGHT         Well, we must fight for her then.
                                                                  Finally the bell tolled his doom
                                                                  He took a suite of rooms
They fight. The BLACK KNIGHT knocks the WHITE
                                                                  And hung himself and her
KNIGHT to the ground. The WHITE KNIGHT lies
                                                                  From the balcony irons
unconscious, his helmet off. The thunderstorm begins to recede.
                                                                  Some still believe he was freed from her
                                                                  But I knew her too well
ALICE     Oh, you've killed him!                                  I say she drove him to suicide
                                                                  And took Poor Edward to hell.
BLACK KNIGHT         Nonsense, I've only knocked him silly.
He's unconscious.                                                 The WHITE KNIGHT stands, and slowly turns around. On the
                                                                  back of his head there is indeed a woman's face. He exits.
ALICE Oh, the poor old man! Please, please, dear sir, wake
up, wake up! (She tries to revive him.)                           SCENE 14. THE TRIAL II

BLACK KNIGHT Be careful! He's dreaming now. And what              The croquet ground, as in scene seven. The BLACK QUEEN,
do you suppose he's dreaming about?                               BLACK KING, CHESSMAN, DUCHESS, MAD HATTER are
                                                                  all where we saw them last.
ALICE     Nobody can guess that.
                                                                  ENSEMBLE (Sings.)
BLACK KNIGHT He's dreaming about you. And if he woke
up and stopped dreaming, where do you think you'd be?             You've murdered the time and you must pay
                                                                  For the things you've done
                                                                  Drown him in tears I say
ALICE     Where I am now, of course.                              And off with his bleeding head
                                                                  Hammer him into the ground
BLACK KNIGHT You'd be nowhere! You're only a sort of              As cold as a railroad spike
thing in his dream! You'd go out like a candle. Bang! Just like
that!                                                             Take the eyes from his head
                                                                  And boil him until he's dead
ALICE     If I'm only a thing in his dream, what about you?       Choke the life from -
                                                                  As cold as the hands of time
                                                                  You're now in the hands of time
BLACK KNIGHT Ditto! Ditto! But I am a power here in
these woods, and only the answer to the riddle of Jabberwocky
can defeat m-m-me, and you have found nothing. You are            Enter the BLACK KNIGHT and ALICE as his prisoner.
m-m-my prisoner. You m-m-must come to the Queen, who will
cut off your head.                                                BLACK QUEEN So. Here we are again. And we thought we
                                                                  could get away with something, didn't we? Going off like that,
The BLACK KNIGHT leads ALICE away. The dark sky begins            with a man old enough to be your father! Guilty, I'd say.
to brighten.                                                      Definitely guilty.

KNEE 14. FISH AND BIRD                                            ALICE    But what is my guilt?

The thunderstorm has passed. The WHITE KNIGHT lies alone          BLACK QUEEN          Look at these letters! All of them scrawled
on the ground. He comes to, sits up, and sings.                   with your name!

WHITE KNIGHT (Sings.)                                             ALICE    But I didn't write them, and I don't know who did!

Did you hear the news about Edward?                               BLACK QUEEN          No matter. Off with her head!
On the back of his head
He had another face                                               Enter the WHITE KNIGHT.
Was it a woman's face
Or a young girl?
                                                                  WHITE KNIGHT         The little girl is innocent. The guilty one is
They said to remove it would kill him
So poor Edward was doomed
The face could laugh and cry                                      BLACK KING And who are you, exactly, if one may ask?
It was his Devil twin
And at night she spoke to him
                                                                  WHITE KNIGHT         I am the White Knight. I am the one who
Of things heard only in Hell
                                                                  wrote the letters.
General sensation in the court.                                    LEWIS CARROLL Oh, but of course the story isn't over yet.

BLACK QUEEN AT last! A criminal! A confessed criminal!             ALICE    (Gives a little shriek) It isn't?
Off with his head!
                                                                   LEWIS CARROLL No, first you must solve the riddle. You
ENSEMBLE       Off with his head! Off with his head!               must tell me what Jabberwocky means.

They lead the WHITE KNIGHT to the guillotine. Drum rolls,          ALICE whispers in his ear. He smiles. She whispers again. He
thunder crash, flash of camera, blackout. The WHITE                continues to smile. She whispers again. His face falls. He
KNIGHT's head falls, but he now appears as the WHITE               leaves. She smiles and starts to leave. We suddenly see her as an
RABBIT. General sensation.                                         old woman.

BLACK QUEEN          And who are you?                              ALICE

WHITE RABBIT         I am the White Rabbit. I am the one who       I went to a circus when I was a little girl, and I saw two old
wrote the letters.                                                 ladies who were joined at the hip and I asked them how they got
                                                                   along, and the dark-haired one told me they hadn't spoken
                                                                   a word to each other in thirty years "but we still get together
General sensation in the court.
                                                                   over the holidays." And Dodgson told me once when I was a
                                                                   young girl on one of three long summer afternoons that he
BLACK QUEEN Another confessed criminal! Better and                 had vanished into a dream and was still inside it and that I was
better! Off with his head!                                         in it too, for I live in his dream. He had fallen on the ice that
                                                                   time and broke his watch and he said he would never get it fixed
                                                                   and that neither of us are real and anything can happen and we
They lead the WHITE RABBIT to the guilllotine. Drum rolls,         will only wake up when we die. And he gave me a song in that
thunder crash, flash of camera, blackout. The WHITE RABBIT
                                                                   dream and I haven't sung this in years and now I get up every
loses his head, and is now CHARLES DODGSON. General                day and put on the face I face the world with.

BLACK QUEEN          And who are you?

                                                                   You haven't looked at me that way in years
DODGSON My name is Charles Dodgson. I am the one who
                                                                   You dreamed me up and left me here
wrote the letters.                                                 How long was I dreaming for
                                                                   What was it you wanted me for
General sensation in the court.                                    You haven't looked at me that way in years.

BLACK QUEEN Another criminal! This is better than                  Your watch has stopped and the pond is clear
croquet! Off with his head!                                        Someone turn the lights back off
                                                                   I'll love you till the wheels come off
                                                                   I remember you with leaves in your hair
DODGSON       Let me assist you. This time, I take my head off     But I'm still here.

He takes off his beard and wig and steps forward.

BLACK QUEEN          And who are you?

LEWIS CARROLL It is I who have written you all. (He takes
the stack of letters from the BLACK QUEEN.) I took a
photograph, and made time stand still. Now it continues its
march. You wanted a verdict? Here. I tear up what I've written,
you all disappear. The case is closed.

He burns one letter after another, and one after another the
Wonderland characters vanish. LEWIS CARROLL and ALICE
are left alone.

ALICE     Thank you.


ALICE     Now that the story is over, I think perhaps I can grow

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