Welcome to the enchanted forest between the kingdoms of Lullashire and Knottingdale where we find Flynn, a charming young man who lives with a curse. A curse that will not allow him to speak. He must remain silent until he meets his true intended who will break the spell. So Flynn does what he has to in order to survive. He becomes a jester—a jester who gestures . . . a lot.
But when he and his friend and benefactor, Prince Louis of Lullashire, travel to meet the prince’s intended bride, Princess Alexia of Knottingdale, Flynn can suddenly speak. Now he has two problems: his “true intended” must marry his friend to bring to an end the decade-long war between their two kingdoms and, worst of all, Alexia cannot stand Flynn. This is a truly romantic comedy with fascinating characters, a fantasy driven plot, and charming humor. Voiceless is definitely a show worth talking about!
From Act One, Scene 2 of Voiceless
When Princess Alexia learns that her father intends to marry her off to a stranger in order to end a war, she dresses as a beggar with a false beard and escapes her castle to the edge of the Enchanted Forest. Meanwhile Voiceless and the paige Donald have been sent into the forest by Prince Louis to catch a duck to use in Voiceless' act at the royal wedding. Our scene begins with Alexia alone and in disguise . . .
ALEXIA: Well, this is it, Alexia, the first day of your new life. A life uninhibited by guards and royal calendars and servants and lavish gowns. A life where sleeping on the ground and eating only what I can catch and kill on my own is the order of the day. Goodbye buggy rides and fancy balls. Goodbye court dinners and fine desserts. New life! New adventure! Here I come.
Alexis puts her hat and beard in place and strolls off confidently whistling a happy tune. A beat after she’s gone we hear a wolf howl. Alexia runs back on stage.
ALEXIA: Ahhhhhhh I made a mistake I made a mistake I made a mistake I made a mistake! What was I thinking? I’m a Princess, not a lumberjack. I can’t sleep on the ground. I can’t kill food. I can’t even kill house plants without crippling guilt. (Steeling up her courage) Pull yourself together, Alexia. You go back now and you’ll be wearing a wedding gown by this time tomorrow. Ohhh, surely these can’t be my only choices . . . (She thinks she hears something in the bushes.) What was that? Is someone back there? Is that you Phoebe? Hello? . . . (She quacks)
Suddenly Voiceless comes tearing in from off stage. He has a net he’s fashioned out of vines and he rushes forward toward Alexia still disguised as an old man. Alexia snaps into action. As Voicesless advances she grabs his up-stage arm and spins, flipping him over her back and onto the ground. Then Alexia lands on his chest, pinning his arms down.
ALEXIA: (Flipping Voicesless) Heeeeeyaaaaaaaaaaaaah! (After landing on him) Alright you creepy clown, who are you and who sent you?
VOICELESS: I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I thought you were a duck. Wait a minute! (He sits up with sudden strength throwing Alexia off of him and to the ground beside him.) I talked! I talked! I’m—I’m still talking! I’m still talking. I can talk. I CAN TALK! I CAN TALK!! (Voiceless jumps up. Ecstatic) I CAN TAAAAAALK!! I have so much to say . . . where do I start? I HATE BEETS AND CABBAGE!! Heavens above that felt good!!
ALEXIA: (Clamoring to her feet, still wearing the false beard and hat) What’s wrong with you?
VOICELESS: (Giddy) I’m talking! I’m talking. I’m making noises. BLAH BLAH BLAH. Hummmana Hummmana. (He does raspberries) It all works. It all works!
ALEXIA: (Furious) Why did you run at me like that, you freak?
VOICELESS: (Giddy) I’m sorry, truly. I thought you were a duck. You quacked.
ALEXIA: (Furious) So I quacked. So what?
VOICELESS: (Giddy) You’re right! So what! I don’t need a duck now. I can talk. I don’t need props, I have punchlines. What do you call a hangout for black birds? A crowbar. (He laughs) I can say the actual buttons to every joke. “Why the long face?” “Quiet, my wife will hear you.” “Fifty dollars, same as downtown.” I can do them all!
ALEXIA: (Confused) What are you talking about?
VOICELESS: (Suddenly concerned) Wait a minute, wait a minute. Why is this happening? Why am I talking? What’s different? What’s different? Think Flynn, think.
ALEXIA: You are so odd.
VOICELESS: (Looking about) I haven’t eaten anything out of the ordinary. Still wearing what I always wear. Could it be something in the breeze? (He inhales deeply)
ALEXIA: I’ll be going now. (She moves off in the wrong direction)
As she leaves, Voiceless loses his words.
VOICELESS: Let’s see, I touched that toad by the pond perhaps his skin caused—
Suddenly his voice is gone. His lips continue to move but no sound is made. This happens at exactly the same time the Princess leaves the scene. This coincidence is lost on Voiceless. Instead, he notices the sound is gone and simply starts to panic. His face contorts like he’s screaming and he grabs at his throat. Frantically he paces and continues to try to speak when Princess Alexia, still in disguise, reenters and passes by Voiceless. The moment she returns to the stage Voiceless regains his speech. She passes across stage and off on the other side. Again, as soon as she’s gone, so is Voiceless’ voice.
VOICELESS: (Speaking at the same time as Alexia) It’s gone! It’s gone! Wait a minute it’s back it’s back. How is this possible? I was totally silent. Is this some kind of cruel joke of the fates —(His voice is gone)
ALEXIA: (Speaking at the same time as Voiceless) Sorry, don’t mind me. I was going the other way when I was rudely tackled by some clown. (She is gone)
Again Voiceless goes mad. Franticly contorting his face, waving his arms and moving in a circle, Voiceless moves his lips trying to speak. After a short time, Alexia reenters and crosses the stage again. Of course the moment she returns, so does Voiceless’ voice.
VOICELESS: (Speaking at the same time as Alexia)—How is this happing? Now it’s back again. How the devil is this even remotely possible? I think I’m losing my mind! Please, someone help—(His voice is gone)
ALEXIA: (Speaking in general) Great, I left my bag in those bushes back there. I’m never getting out of this forest. (She is gone again)
Voiceless suddenly stands still and stares out over the audience. An idea is slowly dawning on him. Instead he stands perfectly still and continues to move his lips, yet we hear nothing. Nothing until Alexia reemerges to cross past Voiceless again. Once again, the moment she returns, so does Voiceless’ voice.
VOICELESS: (Speaking at the same time as Alexia) What other possibility could there be? And there it is again, right on cue. (He steps down in front of Alexia halting her in her tracks)
ALEXIA: (Speaking in general) Now then. I’m off. I’d like to say it was a pleasure meeting you, but I’m not a liar.
VOICELESS: (Certain) It’s you. You’re doing this.
ALEXIA: I beg your pardon?
VOICELESS: I’m sorry, old man. I don’t know how and I don’t know why, but somehow . . . somehow you are affecting the curse.
VOICELESS: Curse, hex, spell . . . whatever you call it, it’s plagued me for fifteen years and you, you in your hobo-esque way, you are somehow disrupting the effect that Hag had on me.
ALEXIA: Plague? Hag? Hag plague? What are you talking about?
VOICELESS: Please, just stop talking and stand there a moment I have got to figure this out! (Trying to remember) The Hag’s spell. What was Hag’s spell? Think . . . think . . . (He closes his eyes)
Boy of gab and constant speech,
I cast my spell for my relief.
Silent you are and will remain
Words will cease and quiet reign
Until you meet your true intended
Then let your infernal speech be mended.
Until you meet your true intended
Then let your infernal speech be mended.
(He opens his eyes and looks at Alexia) Oh, no . . .
ALEXIA: (Taking off her false beard and hat) What are you staring at?
VOICELESS: (Relieved) You’re a woman . . . praise be. That’s such a relief. (Then, Voiceless genuinely looks at her) That was quite alarming for me. (He stops and suddenly seems to see her for the first time) Wait, you’re not just a woman . . . you’re . . . you’re the most beautiful woman . . . I’ve ever seen.
ALEXIA: Excuse me. (She starts to try to walk past Voiceless who jumps in her way)
VOICELESS: (Panicked) Wait! Where are you going?
ALEXIA: Away from these woods and away from you.
VOICELESS: No, no . . . you can’t.
ALEXIA: I beg your pardon!
VOICELESS: It’s me. The one you’ve been waiting for. Don’t you see? It’s destiny. We’re destiny. “Until you meet your true intended, then let your infernal speech be mended.” We . . . we're intended to be together, don’t you see? It’s destiny.
ALEXIA: Oh, please— (She tries to go past)
VOICELESS: No please, you don’t understand. I’ve waited so long. Been silent for so, so long.
ALEXIA: You’re sure making up for lost time now. (She tries to pass again)
VOICELESS: Wait. You have no idea how hard it has been. Do you know what it’s like to have the perfect thing to say on many, many occasions, but never the ability to say it? Can you guess how hard it is to always mime your needs or wants, live at the mercy of other people’s understanding? And now there’s you. And in one brief moment my life has hope, has meaning again. Meaning because of you. You can’t leave. You have to stay . . . you have to stay with me.
Alexia slowly reaches out for Voiceless’ hand, suddenly grabbing his wrist, Alexia twists it, forcing Voiceless to his knee.
VOICELESS: (Pained) Ahhhhhhh---
ALEXIA: Look, I don’t know who you are or where you came from. But I’m sick of somebody else telling me who I am and who I’m supposed to be with. Now I asked you nicely to get out of the way, so now I’m telling you. Take your freaky clown show somewhere else and leave me alone. (She releases her grip and sidesteps Voiceless. In an instant she’s gone)