15 March 2008

Final synopsis for Four Faces of Carles

After struggling with too much verbosity in my synopsis, I finally wrote one that I really like. We'll see, of course, how well the judges like it in the PNWA competition. We'll see.


Time: October 1969-June 1970
Place: Indianapolis, Indiana and Keswick, England

Twenty-year-old WAYNE Hamel is the student technical director for the Indianapolis City University Players, counting on a career in professional theatre. With his talent for organizing crews and complex productions along with his undeniable skill at fabricating realistic and functional props, he stands a good chance of fulfilling his dream – if he can stay in school and avoid the draft. Near the peak of the Viet Nam War, that could prove difficult if he keeps falling asleep in Dr. REBECCA Allen’s Cultural Anthropology class. But the research project he agrees to in order to keep his full-time student status will plunge WAYNE headlong into a power struggle within one of the world’s oldest and most powerful covens.

WAYNE’s girlfriend – JUDITH Harmon – engages in a test of wills and ritual magic with REBECCA to capitalize on the oblivious WAYNE’s prodigious skills as a toolmaker. But when WAYNE’s recluse Uncle BERT gets into the act – initiating WAYNE into his own secret society and endowing him with an ancient knife reputed to be one of the sacred relics of a forgotten cult – WAYNE is confused, bemused, and ready to laugh it all off as an elaborate hoax. It is not until WAYNE confides in LISSA, the donut lady, that she becomes his guide and exposes the very real possibility that he has both the skill and the power to heal the soul of Coven Carles. Gradually WAYNE learns to embrace his heritage and use his devotion to the three women to rescue the coven from a final lapse into degradation.

As WAYNE prepares a production of Hamlet for a tour of England’s Lakes District, he deals with the tensions between his love for JUDITH and his growing infatuation with REBECCA. Both subtly instruct WAYNE in the craft without knowing that LISSA is manipulating him behind the scenes. But is LISSA friend or foe? Is it she or BAN, the power-hungry high priest of Coven Carles, who is responsible for the repeated break-ins of the theatre scene shop and apparent sabotage of the tour?

When the show finally gets to England, WAYNE is constantly thrown into trance memories implanted by LISSA, causing him to relive the story of the first Vagabond Priest of Coven Carles. These memory trances become so disruptive and frightening that WAYNE flees from the stabilizing influence of REBECCA and JUDITH, narrowly escaping entrapment by BAN. While wandering the moors near Keswick, WAYNE falls into a river where LISSA awaits to complete his initiation and send him on the last leg of his journey to save the coven.

The great stone circle, Carles Castlerigg, is lit by fire when WAYNE arrives during the Midsummer Eve ritual. His first sight is of REBECCA, locked in combat with the renegade high priest BAN. He charges the circle, brandishing the knife that his uncle gave him, burning a hole in the protective charms around the ritual. Only as he stands ready to strike down the high priest do REBECCA and JUDITH realize he is wielding the atham̩, the sacred knife of the coven Рthe Fourth Face of Carles.

At last WAYNE is ready to reconcile the two halves of his life – theatre and magic – and take his place as a Vagabond Priest and guardian of the Four Faces of Carles.