Unseen Hand, The

Work, WORK.1969.0046

A one-act play about "the 120-year-old Blue Morphan, the last living member of a once-notorious, now-forgotten band of outlaw brothers. For the past 20 years, Blue has lived in an abandoned Chevy in the desert on the outskirts of Azusa, California, drinking too much, eating only canned food, and carrying on long discussions with people who aren't there.

"Blue is visited by Willie, a strange bald man with a black hand burnt into his pate who tells an incredible story about having traveled two galaxies in search of Blue. For the first time in decades, Blue's credulity is tested: it seems Willie belongs to a race of genetically enhanced Madrills, 'fierce baboons that were forced into human form by the magicians of Nogo.' These magicians then enslaved the evolved primates, forcing them to labor in Nogoland's diamond mines.

"Like so many other aliens, Willie has powers far beyond those of mortal men. However, his advanced mind is restrained by the ominous 'unseen hand.' Whenever Willie dares to think thoughts that transcend those of his magician masters, he feels a mind-numbing, thought-befuddling pain.

"It  happens that only Blue, with the help of his deceased brothers, Cisco and Sycamore, can lead Willie and his people in their revolt against their captors. Willie then performs a strange ritualistic chant and dance that pull first Cisco and then Sycamore back from the dead.

"Cisco is more than happy to join Willie's crusade, but Sycamore has other plans. He wants to reorganize the gang and continue the spree interrupted by their untimely deaths a century before. The plot's complications continue in this vein: the Morphans do manage to help Willie, though hardly in the manner any of them would have expected.";--http://www.sam-shepard.com/unseenhand.html;;;;