Kult of Konsciousness, poetry by Kim-Anh Schreiber

Art: Picnic at Haning Rock


8A play set in a 10’ x 10’ tent on the beach.

 

CHARACTERS:

Karma (KA), The Dominatrix
Kween (KW), The Dreamer & Visionanary
Khaos (KH), The Personality, who is always challenging others…

The Stagehand, dressed in black

 

SETTING:

A kitchen. Three flowers, Karma, Kween, and Khaos, lounge and smoke cigarettes. A little drone is buzzing around recording them.

 

Scene 1

Karma enters. There’s music. Smiling and waving. Khaos sits up straight and purses lips. Kween is under a blanket. “Reality” begins.

 

Khaos            

Hey Karma.

 

Karma           

Hey Family.

 

Karma leans in to hug Khaos again and she jumps away.

 

Khaos          

Ugh mom. Why are you dressed up like a butterfly in electric shock?

 

Karma

What are you talking about Khaos? That’s rude.

 

Khaos

You just gave me a hug and rubbed foundation all over my collar. Your face is literally falling off all over the house.

 

Air kisses. They dissolve into long, awkward laughter.

 

Karma         

So I’m worried about Kween lately. I think she’s hiding out because she doesn’t like what people are saying about her body.

 

Khaos

Maybe the more she becomes invisible, the more her stock will rise –

 

Karma

Yeah but right now they’ll do anything to catch a photo of her, and she needs to develop a plan to get out of the house and have her baby.

 

Khaos

She hasn’t made a plan yet? She’s about to explode!

 

Karma

She’s organized her outfit and makeup. She says that she wants her baby’s first thought to be that she’s the most beautiful woman in the world.

 

The Stagehand brings Karma a salad, made of petals and in a huge plastic container. She shakes it vigorously.

 

Karma         

Kween, wake up. Get out of bed.

 

Kween

I’m taking an In-The-Bed Day Mom! Self-care is self-love.

 

Karma

No, Kween, that’s unprofessional. This isn’t like you.

 

Kween          

Says who?

 

Karma

Says me, your Mother. I watched you as a child, as you found out who you were, and I learned about who you were before you could even tell me about it.

 

Kween

Mom, I’m pregnant.

 

Karma

Lots of people are pregnant and work. Get over yourself. You don’t even have to do anything. You just have to sit here and be the woman you are.

 

Kween

That’s exhausting.

 

Karma

Why?

 

Kween

It’s so… litigative. All anyone wants to do is catch me in some kind of lie. Self-definition can be so limiting.

 

Karma

Kween, what an aggrandizing moment of privilege and insubordination. There are tools to the self as the self is a tool. You have all the tools you need to challenge yourself… and to escape yourself. You are so lucky. You say when, you say how… (to the drone) You are the Us of Now. Deliver us to the future, but let us frame our own memories. To be totally transparent, with the mark of good timing. One House, One Take… Productions. Amen. Kween, let’s go.

 

Kween drags herself out of the cocoon of her blanket and sits down at the table. The Stagehand yells, ‘CUT!’ Kween, Karma, and Khaos turn off their mics.


Scene 2

Kween sits at the table still wrapped in a blanket. Karma and Khaos sit to her left, their salads half-eaten.

 

Karma         

Do you like the décor changes I’ve made to the house, honey?

 

Kween

Truthfully, I don’t think they’re significant enough.

 

Karma

Significant enough?

 

Kween

To wake me up out of this crotch-drying repetition and banality.

 

Khaos

The kitchen though. (looking around) I love what you’ve done to this kitchen. The lighting is great, flat and even. Flaw-less. Literally. I think if you can have a good kitchen, it doesn’t really matter where you live. You never have to go outside.

 

Kween

Oh no. Outside? No. Why would you do that? We’re making memories.

 

Karma and Khaos turn towards Kween in unison.

 

Khaos          

Kween, what are you going to do about getting out of the house. Are you just gonna stay inside and be a boring whore all your life?

 

Kween

Khaos, staying inside is safe. I can think of nothing more disorienting than the dull roar of the unknown.

 

Khaos

That sounds like depression.

 

Kween

It’s not. I would tell you. I’m an open book. Truthfully I’m trapped in my house. I’m trapped in my body. I’m trapped in the things people say about my body. I want a new body.

 

Khaos          

You want it? You can have it. Go get it. You don’t have to lie under a fur blanket all day waiting for some other person to come suck at the teat of your poisoned apple. The revenge body – as I know – is the best body. That’s what everyone will remember, anyway.

 

Kween          

What?

 

Khaos

The latest version.

 

Karma

(crying) There’s no worse feeling for a mother than seeing her child unhappy. People are sensitive. And no one has ever understood how sensitive my children really are. Well… (looking towards the camera) May the future bring us our narrative.

 

They break character for a second and smoke a cigarette, then straighten back up when The Stagehand brings a camera for them to take a selfie.

 

Karma

Ok, so the reason I wanted us all to meet today is… I have an announcement.

 

Khaos

What? That the thirst is real?

 

Karma

I have an idea for a new business venture. I think we should start a cult. The Kult of Konsciousness.

 

Khaos

You dumb Debbie Desperado. What do you mean by Konsciousness?

 

Karma

Like what lives in the body and moves through space, that feels and remembers. We are alive in the minds of millions. We process our own issues, so others can understand theirs. We’re creating Konsciousness as we experience and transmit it – we have all of the material we need to write a religion! What would it sound like? Look like? Fabulous, I’m sure.

 

Kween

You’re already everywhere! You’re so overexposed.

 

Khaos

You’re just over. And now you want to profit off my consciousness? Whatever – it just sounds like another way to extort us. You should pay me if you want to use my face in the branding.

 

Karma

Pay you? I gave you a career!

 

Khaos

I gave you a career. Khaos and Kween. Name a pair more iconic. Go.

 

Karma         

I’m part of the brand too!

 

Kween

Brand brand brand brand brand. Every hallway is a gallery of myself and I’m lost. I’m surrounded by cameras and the content keeps coming.

 

Karma

I’m sorry – did I traumatize you?

 

Khaos

This performance echoes everywhere. I’m so bored.

 

Karma         

This is making me really sad… all I ever did was bring you to paradise.

 

Khaos lights up.

 

Khaos

Ma, I’ve got my own methods for filling the void.

 

Kween takes a contemplative bite of her salad. The Stagehand yells ‘CUT!’ and grabs a cig. Khaos, Kween, and Karma turn off their mics.


 

SCENE 3

 

Kween is sitting alone at the table. Khaos walks on set.

 

Khaos            

What are you doing?

 

Kween

Just uploading photos onto my computer to make a blog…

 

Khaos lights up.

 

Kween

Where have you been? I’ve been looking everywhere for you.

 

Khaos

Where have you been looking?

 

Kween

Your part of the house, Facebook, Instagram…

 

Khaos

—I was just outside dude.

 

Kween

You’re lying.

 

Khaos

Bible.

 

Kween

I don’t get it Khaos. You feel like a stranger to me. I know we’re busy, but we’re still family. You feel so far away.

 

Khaos

Why do I have to be a totally transparent person? Can’t I just keep a part of my life to myself?

 

Kween

Why would you want to do that?

 

Khaos

I don’t want to live under any rules?

 

Kween

Rules give me purpose, relief – like a massage.

 

Khaos

Oh my god, Kween. Have you ever come across anyone more desperate than yourself?

 

Kween

I’m not desperate at all. I’ve touched millions of people emotionally. They cry real tears. That means something.

 

Khaos

That means you need to make a plan to have your baby.

 

Kween

Yeah, I’m gonna do that tomorrow.

 

Khaos leaves the set. Karma enters.

 

Karma         

You know what Kween? You should have a house party.

 

Kween

That’s the last thing I want.

 

Karma

Why not? It’s a huge, beautiful house.

 

Kween

I just don’t want people in my space, you know? Messing it up. Looking at me and calling me a sperm whale. If I wanted people to stare at me and judge me then I would just go outside and get fro-yo. And I would, but every time I try to step outside everything becomes warped and wobbly.

 

Karma

Well, Kween, unfortunately, the world is not designed for stilettos.

 

Kween

Fuck a duck.

 

The stagehand brings them their petal salads. They shake them vigorously.

 

Kween

Where does this food even come from?

 

Karma

Lord knows. Let’s say grace.

 

A pause while they rearrange themselves and Khaos joins them. They hold hands in a circle.

 

Kween          

Long live this new flesh.

 

Khaos

Thank you for our Family. Under the light of play and pretend may we act in brand new ways.

 

Karma

Bless us and grant us a clearer reality, more deals and appearances, and the fabulous lighting we’ve installed that makes our personalities shine bright… and deliver us away from language by delivering us to things.

 

Khaos

Amen.

 

Karma

Amen.

 

Kween
Amen.

 

They begin to eat their salads. The Stagehand yells ‘CUT!’ Kween breaks character and begins to say something juicy while turning off her mic.

 

 

SCENE 4

Karma, Khaos, and Kween sit around the table smoking cigarettes. The Stagehand brings them their salads. They shake them and eat carefully.

 

Karma

You know, I’ve been thinking about this cult. And I was thinking that when I was a little girl, I came to this country with nothing. I thought that the place that had everything was the mall. That’s why the mall is such a huge part of my dreams—it’s deep in my psyche. The things that it holds have power. (looking at the audience) There is an exile in everyone. I think that the work I’m putting into this experience has to do with working out that cracked shop window. My brand of spirituality is something that needs to reach the world.

 

Khaos

How sad. A single tear cuts a clean line down my makeup.

 

Karma

That’s not funny! (crying) I didn’t realize how long I’ve been waiting to say that.

 

Kween puts her arms around Karma.

 

Kween

I’m sorry Mom. That’s a beautiful story.

 

Khaos puts her arms around Kween and Karma.

 

Karma

(sniffling) I love you girls.

 

They dissolve into laughter.

 

Karma         

(sniffling again) Why is it so dusty in here? Honestly, there’s dust everywhere. Everywhere in the world. Even on a yacht in the middle of the ocean. There’s still dust. Where does it all come from?

 

Khaos          

The moon.

 

They laugh. The Stagehand brings them their camera and they take a selfie.

 

Karma         

Oh, thank god you’re in my life! Without you girls I would be unimaginably dull and lonely.

The Stagehand yells ‘CUT!’ They turn off their mics, break character.


Kim-Anh Schreiber is a writer, director, and performer. Recent exhibitions have been at SPF15, Helmuth Projects, and A Ship in the Woods (San Diego), Fringe Projects (Miami), The Sunview (Brooklyn), and Material Art Fair (Mexico City); work has been published in Emergency Index, littletell, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, and Amor Forense. As part of the collaborative Hysterical Accuracy, she has co-written/co-directed Candy Ego, a video project to be released late 2017, and wrote and performed in the nomadic play Kult of Konsciousness. She received an MFA from UC San Diego.

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