The Alien Play, as posted here, is a placeholder name for this working draft of a full-length stage play that functions as part-science-fiction adventure, part-spiritual-parable. As the process of playwriting is a complex array of research, outlining, drafting, revising and editing, the play is preceded by a craft essay detailing the playwright's inspiration, research, and narrative design. In order to complete this project, the playwright conducted research in the field of religious studies, focusing specifically on the phenomena of paranormal experiences through the lenses of psychology, sociology, and philosophy, asking questions such as: How and why do new religions arise? In what ways (narrative, content, structure, etc.) do these new religions reflect the spiritualist mythologies or religious institutions of the past? What do these similarities or differences say about the social, economic, or political atmospheres that give rise to such movements?
More specifically, this play works within the cross-section of religion/spirituality, mental illness, and UFO and other extra-terrestrial related anomalies to ask such questions as: What does it mean to be Human? What does it mean to be "alien" or Other? How do we internally and externally construct a binary between Humanness and Otherness, between Self and Other? How do we construct reality? In what ways does this anthropomorphize our conceptions of the Human or the Other? In what ways, specifically, may this affect our understanding or manifestation of mental illness, in ourself and others?
The play you see here is a final draft for the thesis, but is still in development elsewhere. Here is a brief log line (i.e. a short description of the general plot and conflict of a script) for the piece: Four sisters from a broken home must deal with the sudden discovery of their late father's communication with an extra-terrestrial race bearing a message of Love-and-Peace. When they, too, begin to communicate with the E.T.'s, they must juggle issues of mental illness, memory, and trauma all while outrunning a shadow government that will stop at nothing to uncover their secret.
- The Alien Play: A Full-Length Play on Mental Illness, Spirituality, and Extra-Terrestrials