The Maidenstone by Dan Keyes
This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author's PRIOR consent
CAST OF CHARACTERS
In order of appearance
ETHAN and RUBY
NOAH and AMBER
JESSE and CRYSTAL
Three young couples on a long hike
PETRADENA - a maiden
LEVANTO - A sculptor
CHALCEROS – A Knight
MALCAEDIS - A Lord
TORQUEO – His adjutant
NUNCIUS - The herald
SOLVATIS - A Blind Seer
DESIPIO - A Jester
IREA – chief of the Virodium
THE VIRODIUM - Female Warriors
THE MULSI - Seductress Cannibals
LADIES, GUARDS ETC
A garden CRYPT appears in the MOONLIGHT.
The STATUE of a MAIDEN, partially seated, adorns the alcove in front.
Apparently built long ago, the tomb is worn by time but not dilapidated. The area is beautifully kept, with plants, flowers, and shrubs. There is a variety of columns, walls, steps, and levels; also, one or two stone benches, resembling sarcophagi.
A CAPE is draped over one of them.
The statue sits in an alcove, formed by the arched opening of the doorway. Clothed in a long dress with a hood, her head is bowed down. Above her head are two inscriptions:
"AMOR MOS OSTENDO VIA"
MUSIC – “She Moved Through the Fair” - Instrumental
The statue, PETRAVIRGO, moves and stretches – AWAKENING
With flowing movement, half DANCE, and half PANTOMIME…
She enacts movements comprised of moments FROM THROUGHOUT THE PLAY
She dusts off a small stone stool next to the crypt door. She runs to the top of a step and turns as if recognizing someone behind her. She descends the steps and curtsies to an imaginary person.
She runs to take a seat, and then pretends to be caressed on her cheek. She stands and goes behind this person and embraces them.
She crosses to the CAPE on a stone bench, regarding it reverently, then picking it up, drapes herself with it. Tenderly, she lays it back in its position, kneels over it and weeps.
Finally, she crosses back to the CRYPT and FREEZES in her position as the statue.
DISTANT VOICES of three young couples ring out. They are back-packing and not sure of where they are. (The actors can come through the audience house, mimicking hiking and climbing).
NOAH: Hello! Anyone out there? Hello! Can anybody hear me - besides these rocks?!
RUBY: We can all hear you, Noah - quit yelling.
NOAH: Hello! What do you know? I can't hear myself.
AMBER: Try listening for a change.
NOAH: No, you listen - the echo is gone. Hello! See? We must be getting closer to something.
CRYSTAL: Are we going to stop and rest?
ETHAN: Yes Ruby, we're going to find a place to stop - just have to find the right one.
CRYSTAL: You don't know where you're going, do you?
JESSE: Heck yeah he does. Ethan always knows where he’s going. He just doesn't know “why” he’s going.
CRYSTAL: Quit kidding around, Jesse - we're lost. This isn't funny.
ETHAN: Hey, over here. Come this way.
AMBER: Noah! You stepped on my foot!
NOAH: Move your foot next time.
AMBER: You're such a jerk
NOAH: Well, you're a big baby.
ETHAN: Would you two shut up, already? It's bad enough out here without you two hacking at each other.
JESSE: Don't you just love being in love?
Ruby breaks into the clearing and the garden, seeing the tomb.
RUBY: Hey; hey! Over here! I found something. Oh my God.
NOAH: Whoa - look at this!
AMBER: What is it? (sees it) Oh cool - a patio!
CRYSTAL: It's like a temple or something
ETHAN: Or some sort of shrine
RUBY: What's it doing way out here?
ETHAN: I don't know. But I’ll bet somebody’s living nearby.
AMBER: I'm going to try my phone again.
NOAH: Man, who built this place? These stones are huge.
ETHAN: Yeah, and haul ‘em all the way up this mountain?
NOAH: No kidding. Maybe it was built by one of those old Indian tribes - like Aztecs.
RUBY: Can't be Aztecs; the architecture is all wrong.
JESSE: (playing with Crystal like she’s a sacrifice) And this is where they cut people's hearts out. Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Temple of Tragedy.
AMBER: Forget it. Phone doesn't work
NOAH: (Seeing the statue) Look at this. Whoa, baby - Foxy lady!
CRYSTAL: She's really pretty.
NOAH: Yeah, and she's staring right at me, too.
RUBY: You know, not every woman on earth thinks you're the hottest thing going.
NOAH: (feigning) Oh, oh! Turn my heart to stone.
JESSE: Noah takes all of his women for granite.
ETHAN: (reads inscription) What's this mean? "Amor Mos Ostendo Via" "Petravirgo"?
RUBY: I don't know, but it's probably Latin
AMBER: Noah. Stay there. Let me get a picture.
NOAH: I didn't mean it, baby (hugs statue). Don't be so hard on me.
Amber takes the picture. Noah pulls back and looks funny at the statue.
CRYSTAL: What's the matter?
NOAH: Um, nothing. It's just, the statue.... isn’t cold.
AMBER: (looking at her phone) Noah! Oh my god, look at this! Where's the statue? You were standing right next to it.
They all gather around Amber and look at her phone camera.
CRYSTAL: Ah! She's not there!
NOAH: That is really weird!
ETHAN: Get off it. Amber took the picture right as we walked in - when nobody was standing there. Take another one – you’ll see.
JESSE: Come on, give me that. (He takes a picture) Dang. She isn't there! This ain't funny, man.
CRYSTAL: This place gives me the creeps.
AMBER: Yeah, let's get out of here.
ETHAN: Will you guys knock it off and give it a rest?
CRYSTAL: Drop dead Ethan! It’s like she's like a vampire. They can't see themselves in a mirror.
ETHAN: That’s ridiculous.
CRYSTAL: Then tell me why she doesn't show up on the camera.
JESSE: Maybe she disappeared. (He finds the CAPE) Look at this. Someone's been around here.
AMBER: Come on, guys, I'm getting scared.
NOAH: Ooh, I'm getting scared.
AMBER: Ga, Noah! Why are you such a jerk!?
RUBY: There’s got to be an explanation for all this; the camera; the statue; but I don’t want to stick around and find out.
ETHAN: I think you're all overreacting. Just forget the camera.
RUBY: Ethan, come on! We really need to get out of here.
ETHAN: We need to take a break, and this is a good place for it. Maybe there’s some water around here, too.
RUBY: Get your butt up, Ethan. It's time to leave.
ETHAN: Geeshe, who made you the Queen of Spades?
RUBY: And who made you the King of Hearts? I'm leaving.
ETHAN: Go right ahead.
AMBER: Come on, Ethan. We can't stay here.
JESSE: Yeah, if we do, they won't find us until the next century: and all they'll find is our bones.
ETHAN: Just make sure you don't get lost out there.
RUBY: We're already lost.
NOAH: That's really stupid going out there.
CRYSTAL: Why, do you think we can't find our own way?
NOAH: I didn't say that. Come on, Ethan, we should stick together on this one. God, why am I so tired?
ETHAN: Forget it. I'm taking a break. If they want to take off and get into trouble, let 'em do it. No skin off my butt.
JESSE: You guys are all nuts.
NOAH: Look, don't go very far. Just explore the area. We'll be along in a few minutes.
RUBY: If we see a way out of this, we aren't coming back. You can find your way out on your own.
Huffing, the three girls trounce off into the wilderness..
ETHAN: Good grief. What's her problem?
JESSE: I know, right?. We're a hundred miles from nowhere, we don't know where we're going, we don't know how we got here and we're losing daylight. I don’t see a problem.
NOAH: We shouldn't let them go like that.
ETHAN: They'll be back in fifteen minutes; just wait.
NOAH: What if they don't?
ETHAN: Look, they aren't going anywhere - it's getting dark. We'll start a fire, and they'll find their way back here. Just give me a few minutes; I want to get some sleep.
JESSE: Yeah, what is this? I'm more tired than I thought.
MUSIC – “She Moved Through the Fair” – Instrumental with variation.
The men sit or lie down and get comfortable. The STATUE comes ALIVE. She moves to each of them, putting them completely TO SLEEP.
She returns to the alcove of the crypt, where doors open by themselves, and she passes through and disappears.
A handsome young man (AMATUS) in medieval clothes appears out of nowhere.
AMATUS: Love reveals the way.
MEN AD LIB: (waking) Huh? What? What did you say?
AMATUS: Amor Mos Ostendo Via - Love will show the way…or…
NOAH: Aah! Who are you?
AMATUS: Or reveals a path; depending upon how you translate it. "Petravirgo" means Maidenstone. It's an old legend. This place was built for the memory of it.
JESSE: Man, you scared the hell out of me
ETHAN: What did you say your name was?
AMATUS: I didn't.
NOAH: Do you live around here? Can you tell us how to… hehe, find our way back…er…out of here.
AMATUS: That depends upon where you are going. Wasn’t there someone else here with you?
ETHAN: Yeah, our girlfriends. They took off without us. We should go and find them before they get in trouble (grabs his backpack to leave). Hey, what the...? There was a path here. Where the heck did it go?
JESSE: Holy… Where did the statue go?!!!
AMATUS: Don’t worry; your lady friends won't be going very far. They are most likely asleep by now - and dreaming.
NOAH: What do you mean by that?
ETHAN: Wait, who are you and what are you doing out here? And what happened to the statue?
AMATUS: I take care of this place. It meant a great deal to the man who built it.
NOAH: What is it, some kind of temple?
AMATUS: Not really. No person is worshipped here.
JESSE: I’m telling you; this is where they cut people's hearts out!
NOAH: Don't be an idiot. You see any blood around here?
AMATUS: Yes, there is blood here. (The men exchange looks, then Amatus chuckles).
I use it as fertilizer. But you are right. There were hearts here, once upon a time.
JESSE: Sounds like a fairy tale.
NOAH: Nope - ghost story.
ETHAN: Look, how about some straight answers? Like, who are you; who was that chick…statue, and why can't we take her picture?
AMATUS: Her name is Petradena. And hers is the Legend of the Maidenstone.
A lovely young lady in peasant dress enters (PETRADENA), carrying a bucket.
NOAH: (startled) Where’d she come from?
JESSE: She looks just like the statue
AMATUS: Shall I tell you her story?
NOAH: You got my attention
AMATUS: Good. I promise you; you will never forget it. Petradena was the fairest maiden in all the land. Aren’t they always? The daughter of a humble stone cutter, she became the true love of the young and handsome Prince Amatus.
JESSE: Yep – it’s a fairy tale
AMATUS: Then allow me - for the sake of it - to play his part. (he puts on the cape – his cape - and discovers Petradena) There she is!
PETRADENA: Ah! Oh-my-soul!
AMATUS: Oh, please! Don’t be frightened.
PETRADENA: Of a truth, sir, I think you stopped my heart.
AMATUS: Forgive me for that. You should sit down. (He kneels by her bucket) I was merely going to ask you for some water.
PETRADENA: Please, take some if you wish.
AMATUS: That's very kind, but I think you should have it first. I insist. (She sits; drinks with her hands; recovers herself) Good maiden, you have water… (He reaches over and wipes away the drips, smiling)
PETRADENA: (Nervous) I must be a sight.
AMATUS: A very pretty one at that - even if you are dripping wet. You don’t recognize me, do you? (She shakes her head; they gaze at each other) What is your name?
AMATUS: Petradena. Did your father give you that name?
PETRADENA: Yes he did - when I was a baby. Oh, how silly; of course I was a baby.
AMATUS: And who is your father?
PETRADENA: Levanto. He is…a stone cutter.
AMATUS: Levanto - I know that name.
LEVANTO (O.S.) Petradena!
PETRADENA: There he is - my father. I must go!