top of page

The Compassion
of Mundanity

This video is unlisted for a reason. I ask that nobody shares this link, as I do not have permission from Denison University's Theatre Department to share this willy-nilly. Enjoy the video here and only here, as it represents part of my portfolio. I will take it down if I see anybody sharing this video. Anyways, read-along with the script while you watch the play. You'll find slight deviances in my work, but altogether an execution of the contents of the script.

The Compassion of Mundanity

Written by: Echo Cain



    This play is uniquely made for this moment; this one existence that we are all a part of right now. You will be asked to do things as an actor that put you in vulnerable places ALONE onstage. This is the nature of a theatre production in this time. To do this differently would be untrue to the solitudinous and confusing moment we find ourselves at the centre of.


    I start this play with a direct statement to you, the players. The people who will be playing with what it means to be a human being. what it means to be an instrument of capitalism. what it means to be a political actor. what it means to be online. what it means to see but not be seen. what it means to be seen but not see. what it means to not be at all.


    More central questions will be arrived at via the directing process and my own editing, but these initial concepts ground us. We will be forming definitions and ideas about these concepts that can be divulged to an audience via theatre, movement, and mantric chanting.


Actors will be costuming themselves from their own wardrobe. You are not playing yourself, you are embodying the aesthetic existence of the current year in this work.  


    Dialogue is consistent/occasional in this play and often coming from offstage. Many of t\he stage directions are motion-based or repetitive in design. This means that though this document may not seem altogether long, the finished piece will appear longer. A mantra is denoted in this script via a bold effect on the script. The words should be repeated until the director decides to cut the chanting. However, I will stipulate that the chanting sections should be slow and deliberately performed with a capital "P".


    COVID-19 concerns are accommodated with specific stage directions in the play, but all guidelines will be followed both onstage and backstage.



Lights up onstage.

Nobody is there.

The stage is sparse, with a few pieces of

garbage at the edges of the visible space.

Perhaps a chair or bench or stool or box is sitting off-centre stage.

The silence pervades the space, the director will allow this moment to be for as long as it needs.

Phenex begins murmuring words.

This murmuring slowly becomes a verbal mantra

that can be heard reverberating through the space.


The voice of Phenex is accomplished via three voices chanting and speaking in unison at differing pitches and timbres.


I am rising.

I am flying.


Am I not the most alive out of all of you?

I singeth many sweet notes when you see me.

Am I not the most alive out of all of you?


I cannot see my face.


As this chant begins to settle into a rhythm, a single figure appears.

They are dressed casually with a rough, wooden mask covering their whole face. They walk gently around the edge of the space, picking up the garbage that has lain forsaken by its previous owner(s).


Once the garbage is collected, the figure continues to walk the same path, placing the garbage back into its proper place.


This process of picking up and replacing the garbage occurs for at least four more evenly-tempoed cycles.



Oh, where was I? I think I was meant to have read the forgotten works of my own hand before the feeling of mugwort passed over my head and into my feet…


Oh, where was I? I may have been a horrific parasite hurtling to Earth on some lonely asteroid.


Oh, where was I? I may have been a piece of this reality before there was birth and death and suffering.


I cannot see my face.


Phenex's voice begins to break into its individual parts as the mantra continues: Shedim, Tanninim, and Ose.

The actors should try to complete this transition slowly and smoothly by the final cycle of the figure's garbage collection.


The figure makes their way over to the sitting implement (SI).

This movement is confused, uncertain.

The figure indirectly circles the SI.

They look at it, maybe touch it briefly, then retract their hand.

Any touching of the SI should result in a motion from the body.

(Interpret away on this).

The mantra ceases.



I don't care.



Do you feel underneath, in the deep below, how crouched I am inside you?



I'll hand you this land deed, sir. Yes, take it without prejudice.


The figure has now sat down on the SI.

They are filled with a movement and energy that is all-consuming.

They may choose to shake or grip themselves.

They may choose to rock back and forth.

This SI is lonely and scary.

It is also familiar.


The figure reaches up towards the mask,

realizing its existence for the first time.

They are unbothered by its presence, wrapped up in the silence of the mantra

(this is not a literal silence but a metaphorical one).

The mantra ceases abruptly.



You are all so pathetic. Picking sides and choosing who your allies and enemies are. I'm different, I pick nothing! Nothing, I say! If there are diverse concepts I shall spurn them with my long finger.     


A hand reaches out of the darkness, is lit by spotlight, and points nowhere.



You all have such urges… Such desires… So, so, so… So lovely to reach down and sip from your unknown soul.


The figure takes out a reusable water bottle and pours it into another on-stage bottle until there is nothing left in the original bottle.



You all want that one thing. Power...oh, you little children playing with your toy tanks and planes. You see power and you SEE power.

I see power and I see my own name. 


The sound of gunfire and artillery plays.

The figure gets up unceremoniously, looks at their watch or phone, appears to be late for something, and runs in a circle around the SI for four cycles, collects the garbage one final time, and exits stage left.


Shedim, Tanninim, and Ose begin to laugh heartily.

This revelry slowly morphs into the voice of Phenex.



Your GOD is a vending machine.

How long were you in the freezer last night? Were you searching for the last dregs of sugar encrusted to the light above the salmonella chicken?

Were you on a sacred journey into your own mind's eye?

(A beat)

Oh! My friend! We are one and the same, you needn't separate we from us and they from them.

We're all right here.


The mantra diminishes over the course of a minute into silence.





There is nothing on the stage other than the SI.

The director may choose to use instrumental music for the duration of part two.

I suggest using my composition, The Compassion of Mundanity.

Click the above link to access the music.


Two people, Galaxia and Saccharon, enter from opposite sides of the stage.

They wear masks upon their faces.

Galaxia has a backpack as well.


These two people are tied together by an inseparable bond,

yet they have been separated.

Galaxia is making reaching movements both towards and away from Saccharon. Saccharon is attempting to interact with Galaxia via small arm movements, even from afar.


Neither character speaks during as they wander the edges of the stage, never getting very close to each other, but covering some of the same ground.


Both Galaxia and Saccharon begin dancing slowly. The dancing style is modern with elements of the actors' natural motion. The goal is not to make a beautiful dance, but rather to capture the feeling of communicating via motion over a modality of distance.


Once this dance has become fast enough that the actors are close to, but not yet, breathing heavily (~8-10 minutes), Galaxia slows and opens their backpack to reveal a laptop. Galaxia opens this laptop and begins to direct their dance towards the screen using only their hands.


Saccharon looks on and attempts to communicatively dance with Galaxia again.

There is a beat as Saccharon realizes that they will not dance with them.


Saccharon begins to clap occasionally, trying to get the attention of Galaxia; this does not work. This gradually morphs into a beating of the ground with hands and feet. They arhythmically continue this behavior.


Galaxia continues to alternatively type on the laptop or dance at the screen.



Oh, how sweet, how sweet. They see each other before they are not seen.

They see each other only when they cannot be each other.

Two people does not make one person. One person makes one person.

Your individuality is showing.


You is closer to zero than five is closer to three.

I can feel your breath from time to time when I close YOUR eyes, constructing hopes and inspired aspirations. They yield as much as they give.

Pull the lever.


Galaxia begins pulling a non-existent lever in the air. This motion is deliberate and has weight to it. Pulling a lever is a difficult task when completed many times. Show this via the effort of Galaxia's motion.

The mantra ceases after a number of lever pulls.



You are alone. Completely free-floating in the midst of your abyss.

Do you smell the burning? Do you eat of the embers? Do you crush the rocks before stuffing them into your skin pores? Do you grovel abstractly when the sirens roar in your ears? Do you crimp my edges into origami for your ugly child within? Do you parade the beers and liquors of yesteryear through your stomachs and livers? Do you exacerbate your pain with ignorance? Do you lose your eyes every Wednesday after yet another mundane thwapping of a ball against a racket?

You are pathetic.


Phenex's voice begins to break into its individual parts as the mantra continues: Shedim, Tanninim, and Ose. Galaxia moves slowly to the SI during this transition and unceremoniously sits.

The mantra ceases.



I don't care about my body. I want to forget my arms. I want to forget my legs.

I want to forget my feet. I want to forget my spleen.

I want to forget my ankles and my humerus and my pelvis.

I want to forget my intestines. I want to forget my head.

I want to forget myself.



I love these shadows in the corners. I can hide unwanted in these holes, scratching my fingernails on the plaster before it all falls apart into a never-ever decay. I am the grunts under your tongue, dripping saliva into the mouths of those that hold no morals. I am the growls of your endocrine system.

Come to bed with me. I will keep you under wraps and mollify your aches and pains.

I am no healer. 



I love the Sun on my face, brilliantly embroidering my painted world with embossed gold and the florets of tulips, roses, and narcissus. Above all narcissus! What power these ignorant flowers hold for the young Machiavelli. And my offspring will be more golden than even my carpet. Is there something worth more? No. Gold is the standard! The true reality! Even diamonds hold nothing against gold! Gold has a history, a weight indescribable!

Gold and flowers are mandatory.


Galaxia has not reacted very much to these voices.

They continue to sit and type on their laptop obliviously.


Saccharon has continued to clap arrhythmically, but ceases now and curls into a fetal position on the ground. The actor may choose to cry, rock back and forth, or cover themselves in some way. Saccharon is utterly alone, the line is cut connecting them to Galaxia.




Am I not the most alive out of all of you?

I singeth many sweet notes when you see me.

Am I not the most alive out of all of you?


I cannot see my face.


If music has been playing, now is the moment where a crescendo should occur, encompassing the words of Phenex without smothering them. This musical or tonal shift is felt by Galaxia and Saccharon in a visceral, internal way. Their positions have become uncomfortable and they are filled with anxious energy.


Galaxia begins typing more furiously.

The mantra becomes louder.


Saccharon begins beating the ground with their feet and hands in no particular rhythm. Growls and roars and moans and screams are heard from both Galaxia and Saccharon as the tone sharpens into a blade, whistling down towards the scene's end.


The mantra becomes louder.









The movements and growls from Galaxia and Saccharon become unbearable and peter out with a painful grinding.

The mantra slows.



I cannot see my face.





The mantra ceases.


Galaxia and Saccharon look at each other from afar.

Galaxia reaches out one final time and allows their hand to fall.

Saccharon just looks on.


They both forget each other and exit on opposite sides of the stage.



Oh, what seeds we sow inside the ground.

From dusk to dawn the roots do pound

Through soil, rock, and dusty dirt.

With unfeeling movement our Earth is hurt

By hands unfettered and released from pain.

They scamper forth and call the name

Of Death, of Death, of Death, of Death.

This horror, this terror lies on their breath.

From gilded cages their souls can't sing

With jewel-encrusted, subtle rings;


Hidden from our normal views

The killers and dragons in Bezos Blue.

Sweaters, laughs, and smok'ed meats

This overclass cares just for sweets

And instant, pre-bought, moulded cakes

That seem to scream before they bake!

How they delight from murder pie,

A delicacy most haven't tried.

Their human soul does lie condemned.

'Twas just replaced by us and them.

They war, they profit, they war, they fall

Thus is the fate of a well-lit cabal.

But heed my words before you play

Their game has not yet ended today.


Tiferet enters from centrestage.

Artillery and gunfire is heard again.



You sicken me with your poems.

Such ugly words.

I singeth only sweet notes!

Am I not the most beautiful out of all of you?


You are less than me.

Tiferet walks deliberately over to the SI. They stare at it.


A throne for kings.

A throne for fools.

Your folly broke, yes, every rule.

You found the loopholes, killed yourself

Reversed your aging, made your wealth

But did you gain a single drop

Of love before your life did stop?



You speak of love?

You speak of LOVE?!?!

What a stupid idiot, creating words that mean nothing and have never meant anything and that can't mean anything and that mean nothing and that lost their meaning a long, long time ago!

You are NOT me!

A sickened shade of all the things I've said today!


Silence for a moment.

Tiferet kneels to the side of the SI.



Well, a pedestal of pain you've made

From hate and fear, from regret and shame.

Desire is the name for all

In your little world, we all feel small.

But look about, really see!

You're below the clouds, here with me.

A place more beautiful than anyone,

The stars, the moon, the sky, the Sun.

You may singeth these sweet notes

But saccharin your throat does croak

Upon the sugar, just-derived

From slavery and people's cries.


Tiferet begins to playfully tip the SI back and forth.



You ugly, ugly, ugly little thing. We are not the same. You have an agenda. You have been orchestrating all of...this...behind the scenes. YOU'VE been the one making all of these people feel bad with your hollow promises and careless hope. You utopian dreamer, you all have the same opportunities!

No need to change, no need to change, no need to change, no need to change!



Oh, but this small change, a tiny thing,

The dream we have, it needs no strings

To make anew the life of us.

We are mundane.

We have the stuff

To really shift away from this

Consumption with no bells or twists.

We have the chance.

We have the moment.

We will construct a better scent

Than garbage lands and rotting fish.

From compassion, we form our wish

To blow away what was before.

We open the windows; we open the doors

To ideas diverse and full of life.

A world we'll join with no known strife!


Tiferet knocks over the SI.

A loud explosion reverberates through the space.

Phenex is garbled. Speaking without meaning.

Each voice separates from the composite and their motivations become clear.



I want you to be alone. I want you to only care for yourself. I want you to forget about your importance. I want you to give in to the zombie drugs and the gears. I want you to yield to my apathy.

I want to infest your soul.



I want you to believe that you are only good. You have no bad traits that you can discern. You have no depth. No depth at all. I am deep in you where you cannot see me. I am shadow. I am Hitler. I want you to yield to my influence.


I want to infest your soul.



I want you to want power. I desire your basest urges to swell at all times, so that I might coerce you to murder. I want you to forget that you did not always clothe yourself in golden flowers. I want you to forget about the bench and replace it with a throne. I replaced it first in your home and hearth; I was so close to your heart.


I want to infest your soul.


The voices of Phenex become more and more dispersed as the mantra continues.

This mantra is sickly, doddering, close to death.

It has no direction and diminishes away into nothing.


I love you Phenex.

I miss you, even if you hurt me.

I care for you, even if you pain me.

I make a home for you, even if you kill me.

I know I shouldn't.


I do though.

I act only out of my compassion.


Love is an option.

Love is poetry.

Love is music.

Love is in the body.

Love is emotional.

Love is mindful.

Love is spiritual.

Love is dance.

Love is art.

Love is nature.

Love is truth.

Love is hope.

Love is theatre.

Love is speaking.

Love is running.

Love is swimming.

Love is losing.

Love is winning.

Love is government.

Love is social justice. 

Love is harm refracted.


Love is you.

Love is me.

Love is everything in between.


I singeth many bitter notes, but some feel sweet.

I am not the most beautiful or the most successful, but I feel alive.

I singeth many bitter notes, but some feel sweet.

I see my face.

The mantra transitions.


I hear my words.

I feel my body.

I know my mind.

I love my emotions.

I sense my soul.

I am.

I am.

I am.


...And I'm okay with that.


Tiferet glances at the SI, moves towards it, thinks better of it, and slowly meanders around the space. They don't exit directly, but slowly as a single tone plays from nowhere and everywhere.

Sigil final.png
bottom of page