theMatter's
WITHOUT RUTH



About the production...



WITHOUT RUTH, written and performed by Peter Scott Duchon--aka Tedd--and theMatter is a touching love story revolving around an alien from a planet where no emotions are "necessary." In human form, "The Alien" has been "reconfigured" to grow up on Earth and has now been assigned to investigate Earth life before female alien warlords complete their takeover. The Alien becomes infatuated with a particular Earth female from his human high school days. It's Ruth. He becomes concerned about his desire for her after being ordered to socialize only enough to get by. No one is to really know him. By his early 20's though, he convinces his leaders that an "Arrangement" might come in handy for understanding how to best take over the humans. He moves in with Ruth. An interesting play on the title shows the "ruthlessness" in the social protocol that often comes with relationships in society --and-- at about the same time, the "ruthlessness" as it is manifested by the rampant greed of the alien's intent on controlling the planet by turning everyone into mindless zombies anyway. Daily pressures and expectations that come from his unique earth relationship with Ruth become a twisted set of circumstances stirring Ruth to doubt his love and devotion--and it drives The Alien into psychosis. An eventual return to the innocence and simplicity of "human life" is played out dramatically in the ending act.

All of these circumstances are confused by his alien race's secretly communicated orders to control him, his situation, and the planet. The Alien gets by on Earth as a mild-mannered rock star who rocks for his audience on stage at night but questions everything around him during the day. He must make a choice between his Earthly life with Ruth and his predetermined "alien" state of affairs. After a half-hearted suicide attempt, he turns his back on them, makes up with Ruth, and he "discovers his humanity." The story is told in a manner fitting of a "confidently unstable" rock star--born with no emotions--who truly needs his songwriting and his audience. It's the only function he can use to understand these very earthly feelings he's grown up with...



Song by Song...



Act I



The Alien and Ruth meet in an opening flashback to his human High School Prom. The Alien is indeed alienated by his own limited understanding of emotions, but when he meets Ruth, her charms attract him strangely to her and away from his leaders' plans and directives to not get "involved" with any earthling.

High School Prom

We Got: The Alien sings about loving Ruth before they have secured that "love" in the eyes of others...he's popular but unknown and misunderstood and she has friends that tell her how their relationship would be doomed...so they're "alone together," strong but not quite confident...and he's a hero tonight...he's ecstatic actually... and he's going against orders.

Corner of Secluded Suburban City Park

World In Place: ...three years out of high school and after brief establishing dialogue by The Alien and his leaders (they want an update) The Alien talks to his leader(s), tells them not to worry (their world's in place and nearly ready to go) and that they will conquer but he introduces his concerns and problems early about their efforts (he's the one that has had to grow up human with all the lies they perpetrated to perpetuate their plans)...but the humans are gonna use all of this up...ignoring possibilities and wasting resources that could serve the aliens...although he's upset about that, he can help save the world for the aliens if he can get his leaders to realize it...alternatively, he addresses a drunk bum who stumbles in on the meeting, also in a re-assuring manner...so he's already playing both sides not knowing what to do...afterwards, he talks them into allowing him to marry Ruth to understand the "love and marriage" thing that humans do...humans are smart, comlex, and this information could only help them to control the planet...in the interest of not overlooking anything they allow an "Arrangement."

Leaving the Park

Really: Singing to himself about Ruth (the bum has passed out--in shock and drunk)...she means so much to him...this human thing might not be so bad...he's waxing philosophic in love...she knows him...and loves him back...really.

The Apartment (pm)

Simply: Later, a playful moment with Ruth (how does she feel things the way she does?)...he really loves her...he's family, she's fun, it's challenging, and she's sexy...and she's soooo soft...hoo-wah!...they collapse in bed...

The Apartment (dream sequence to am)

My Woman Good To Me: The Alien stirs in his sleep...there's something going on here...something wrong...the onslaught begins...it's the strange mixing of matters of state, religion, commerce, love, sex, and meditation...but screw everything he says...they've got each other and she shines...

Sun Melting Ice: moreover, The Alien professes his love to Ruth for showing him many new emotions...he vows to her...she melts his coldness...she takes him higher...he's soooo in love...but it's still a strange dream within a dream...



Act II



The Alien's leaders become uncomfortable with "The Arrangement"...and the aliens are trying to culminate a long 2000 year effort to guide, study, and eventually take over the planet... so they try to make him realize their prestigious investment in him...they will convert his mind to mush along with everyone else if he doesn't cooperate...later, he tells his human audience about this new song of his they gotta hear.

On Stage

You Smell Like $$$: The Alien confronts manufactured desires...he has grown frustrated with the pressures of the relationship and from living in the human sphere...and he's grown tired of all the manipulations his alien race have perpetrated on the humans in their effort to control the earthlings' emotions and and he reacts to them and all the people who have fallen victim to the dreams of wealth and power that his leaders have encouraged...all you need is money...or you must at least smell like it...

The Apartment

Spit: A solemn private moment, after the gig, where The Alien first begins to really discover self-doubt. His human friends and their damn emotional reactions...he fights it, pleads even, but thinks of his orders and his mission in the end and remains unswayed. And Ruth walks in...

The Apartment

There Lies The Truth: The Alien is flustered with Ruth and really confused: by his career, his marriage, his past, his mission, his life. He's had a few arguments with Ruth...he's really questioning things now...he gets depressed...he's realizing the threat of being no good to anybody, including his own alien race, and not being able to fulfill all his new found romantic dreams, much less hers...he feels like giving up...but goes off to another now more frequent meeting.

Back To The Park

Into The Abyss: The Alien is rehearsing what he will say to Ruth about her unwillingness or inability to understand his logic. As his strange and unexplained behavior and absences continue, she has begun to get fed up with his craziness and his table-turning inconsequential concerns...and he doesn't know what to do with it...he's questioning her devotion to him...and his devotion to life...



Act III



The Alien is unexpectedly asked by his leaders to prepare for the Advance. He must cut all ties. They will soon physically invade the planet and turn everyone into zombies anyway. The Alien, already "upset," (which is a new one on him) will be forced to recognize the Advance for what it is and stop them or he must side with his predestiny and leave Ruth. He must make a choice--while his rational and emotional thoughts are tearing him up inside.

The Apartment

Move In 2: The Alien, talking to Ruth, who doesn't know about the battle that's going on inside him, tells him she's pregnant as he as he's trying to pack a few things and leave her--he's nearing psychotic and these are big moments. He makes mountain excuses out of old petty molehill arguments in an effort to divert her attention...but then he becomes deranged--believing his right to defend himself as something more real for him than others he becomes convinced people are bad...he's confused by it all because she's just using him like anyone would...(mockingly, "We needed you're body" to the aliens and "We want this baby" to Ruth's motherly pleadings). He scares her...and says "I'm going on tour for a while..."

On Stage...

Trippin My Triggar: He begins to transform...but he's seen too much...and he knows too much...all the imagery from Earth life has accumulated and begins to take over...and as the rock star would-be murderer-as-martyr speaks to his accuser-disciple fans, he decides no one is capable of love, including Ruth...it's all just the trippy giddy viddy...he now knows what he must do...he must conquer the division within himself, side with the Advance, and get on with it...and he takes it to the extreme on stage...the audience starts to transform into mindless zombies...

Conquer The Divide: The Alien engages in schizophrenic politico-religious dialogue while disengaging from life...while becoming all powerful and all knowing as he addresses his god audience....unfortunately, his conclusions are that he needs no one...and that no one needs him...the situation his hopeless...and he heads off stage...the audience returns back to normal and they're booing...

The Hotel Room...

Rope And/Or A Blade: his gods and his demons plague him with inconsistencies and he doesn't like it...he talks to himself as Earth friend voices talk to his Self about his choices...he decides to hang...but he cuts the rope with the blade and he "falls back to earth"... he blacks out...

The Room To Breathe...(Hotel Room converts to a surreal pastoral setting in a lazy country afternoon)

Been Thru Hell: After The Alien wakes up to Ruth's kiss, who has found him in the hotel room, he is renewed with a real sense of what he wanted out of life...just Ruth...and he denies those that would deny him...and decides he is not ruthless but just a simple man...then she is comforting him on the floor and with the next kiss, he wakes up with Ruth laying in his arms, wakes her, and suddenly realizes he's human and that he's had a very strange dream.

The End.


Song Notes by Tedd.

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