Shuttlecock, Whipping Top and Tick Tack Type

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A play for two actors that incorporates rhythm, music and movement. Actors take on the roles of toys. Approximately 50 minutes long. Includes educational materials, drama activities, and sheet music.

This play for children addresses the theme of “time” by telling the story of Tick-Tack-Type, someone who seeks happiness in the future, leaves the past without joy, and lives a very anguished present. When narrating the story, Shuttlecock, and Whipping Top alternately transform themselves into Pique-Pessoa, allowing this character to change its perceptions and actions and have the opportunity to be happy and make new friends.

The work focuses on the relevance of play through various handcrafted toys. With live songs and elements of carnival and gaucho culture, the performance seeks to integrate fun and reflection in an entertaining theatrical presentation committed to pressing current issues. The work premiered in 2018, directed by Viviane Juguero. The Spanish version was created in collaboration with Jorge Rein.

Playwright Bio:

Viviane Juguero is a playwright, actress, director, researcher, and educator. Her plays, songs, poems, and essays have been staged and published in Brazil and abroad in several languages. As a playwright, her works in the art for children and black dramaturgy stand out. As an educator, she has taught classes, workshops, and lectures at different Universities and institutions. She is currently on the teaching staff of the Nordic Black Theater in Norway and the Expert Advisory Board of the CAST-Center for the Arts and Social Transformation at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. She holds a Bachelor’s, Specialist, Master’s, and Doctorate in Performing Arts from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. In her Ph.D., she developed the concept of “radical dramaturgy” in research partially carried out at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States. Viviane Juguero is part of several national and international networks, such as the International Association of Theater for Children and Youth (ASSITEJ), through its academic research network (ITYARN). She is also part of the “Art as Science” project team and the Female Playwrights Group “As DramaturgAs” in Rio Grande do Sul. In addition, she collaborates with artistic and academic activities in countries such as Nigeria, Serbia, Spain, and Germany. Her work has been focused on academic studies and has received distinguished awards and acts of recognition.

Excerpt from the play:

A play for two actors, preferably black or multi-race.

CHARACTERS:

Shuttlecock: Storyteller. His agile and light gestures beside his acrobatic movements are reminiscent of the handcrafted toy that lends his name.

Whipping-top: Storyteller. Her twirling gestures and rounded movements resemble the handcrafted toy that lends her name.

Tick-tack-type: Agitated and confused person, always in a hurry. It believes in a future of complete happiness, sacrificing the opportunity to fully experience the present to work for better times. It names everyone as “type”. Sometimes it appears in a male version, played by Shuttlecock (in person or as a puppet). At other times, it assumes a female version in the person of Whipping-top. Tick-tack-type always wears a top hat, an element that identifies who is interpreting the character at that moment.

Miriam: A beautiful, black, sweet, and lively rag doll. She is played by Whipping-top or Shuttlecock, depending on the possibilities of each staging. She needs someone’s recognition so she can believe in her own existence.

The scene takes place in an indefinite place and time. The setting consists of musical instruments and a chest. The aesthetic of the costumes refers to Brazilian Carnival costumes, subtly alluding to some elements of the traditional costumes of southern Brazil.

SCENE 1

Offstage, a drum master’s whistle sounds.

Shuttlecock and Whipping-top enter, singing slowly. Shuttlecock plays the cavaquinho, and the Whipping-top carries a beautiful carnival flag, as in a carnival parade.

Whipping-top and Shuttlecock
(singing)
Yo yo yo! Shuttlecock and Whipping-top!
Yo yo yo! Come! Imagine! Do not stop!
Yo yo yo! Whipping-top and Shuttlecock!
Yo yo yo! Be prepared to play a lot!

(Pause. They speak.)

Whipping-top
Artists create stories ahead
either two or maybe a bunch

Shuttlecock
We celebrate the coloured flag
so the story we can launch

(Shuttlecock plays the cavaquinho in a Brazilian carnival rhythm. Whipping-top dances with the carnival flag, as done in this kind of Brazilian parade.)

Whipping-top and Shuttlecock
(singing)
Yo yo yo! Shuttlecock and Whipping-top!
Yo yo yo! Come! Imagine! Do not stop!
Yo yo yo! Whipping-top and Shuttlecock!
Yo yo yo! Be prepared to play a lot!

Let’s begin,
we are players on the stage
to announce, question, and say
joy, discoveries, and plots

We just bring
in our chest, secrets and thoughts.
We are real toys, of course.
Believe us: life is a mystery.

Whipping-top
(singing and twirling)
I’m already getting dizzy…

Whipping-top and Shuttlecock
(singing)
Yo yo yo! Shuttlecock and Whipping-top!
Yo yo yo! Come! Imagine! Do not stop!
Yo yo yo! Whipping-top and Shuttlecock!
Yo yo yo! Be prepared to play a lot!
(slowly)
Yo yo yo! Shuttlecock and Whipping-top!
Yo yo yo! Be prepared to play a lot!

Whipping-top
Once upon a time, in a very, very different time…

Shuttlecock
In the time of the caves! I got this one, Whipping-top! In the time of the caves!
(Imitates a primitive cave dweller.)

Whipping-top
Not at all, Shuttlecock! Today we are going to tell another story.

Shuttlecock
Speak then…

Whipping-top
Once upon a time, in a very distant time…

Shuttlecock
A long time ago? So it was in ancient Egypt, where the mighty Cleopatra reigned!
(He mimics an Egyptian dance.)

Whipping-top

(playful)

Wrong again, Shuttlecock!

Shuttlecock
Okay, Whipping-top, go on…

Whipping-top
Once upon a time, in a very distinct time…

Shuttlecock
(thinking) Distinct… Distinctive! Now I really know! It’s about a thief and a police officer! (He imitates a vehicle with an open siren.)

Whipping-top
Oh no, Shuttlecock! That’s not possible! Enough of your guesswork! I quit! Sorry, folks, but today I’m not going to tell any stories.

Shuttlecock
Tell, Whipping-top!

Whipping-top
I will not, Shuttlecock!

Shuttlecock
Tell, Whipping-top!

Whipping-top
I will not, Shuttlecock!

Shuttlecock
Tell, Whipping-top!

Whipping-top
I will not, Shuttlecock!

Shuttlecock
Do not tell, Whipping-top. No need to say anything else!

Whipping-top
Well, I will! If I want to tell a story, I do. Understood, Shuttlecock?

Shuttlecock
So tell us, Whipping-top.

Whipping-top
Once upon a time, in a completely fantastic period.

Shuttlecock
Now I got it! I do indeed know. I swear I know. I understood. Understood and guessed: once upon a time in the future!

(Shuttlecock starts to imitate a robot. Whipping-top is delighted. The two have fun until Shuttlecock realizes that Whipping-top hasn’t interrupted him and stands next to the chest. He stops, intrigued.)

Shuttlecock
Did I get it right, Whipping-top? Is it right? Is it at a time in the future?

(Whipping-top takes a crystal ball from the chest. She returns, carrying it. Shuttlecock and Whipping-top look at the ball.)

Whipping-top
More or less, Shuttlecock. It’s a story about time… about a type who looked for happiness in the future, left the past without joy, and lived a very unpleasant present.

(Whipping-top places the crystal ball on a pedestal in the lower right, and they both look at it.)

Shuttlecock
Ah hah! I know this crystal ball. Is it the same story I’m thinking?

(Shuttlecock whispers to Whipping-top. They make a deal.)

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