EXTRAORDINARY HERO

ACT I: LEAVING

Our story begins with “our hero,” Sara, as she is before our story begins; an “ordinary” person in the “ordinary” world. We first encounter Sara not in her “real world,” but, in her “dreams,” and indeed the dream world is to be the setting for our play. This is Sara’s safe place from which she is loath to venture. Nevertheless, she feels that universal need for to find love, security, and justice in her world while at the same time feeling free to live her life as she desires. She is feeling very alone, a voice “crying in the wilderness,” as she asks, in the first song of our play, “Can Anyone Hear Me?” Much to Sara’s surprise, there is a response to her cry! “I can hear you!” It is Vox, The Herald. She is “the voice in Sara’s head,” who, along with a quartet of “dream companions,” will be the characters in Sara’s dream and adventures. Soon after meeting her dream companions, Sara hears a fanfare in the horns; it is the call to adventure!

Sara’s adventure begins when she receives the call to action, responding to real threats to her safety, way of life and the peace of the community in which she lives, disrupting the comfort of her “Ordinary World” and presenting the challenge of a lifetime, to overcome her fears and personal demons, to heroically rise from the ashes of defeat, to become more fully human able to experience the joys, the sorrows, and the fullness of life. In this song, Vox and The Allies assure Sara, “You are strong, you are brave; you are a force resilient.”

Sara considers answering the call to adventure but she has second thoughts and even deep personal doubts as to whether or not she is up to the challenge. The problems she faces seem too much to handle and the comfort of home far more attractive than the perilous road ahead. She is deeply concerned about being alone on her perilous inner journey as she expresses in Song No. 3, “I need a teacher to guide me!”

ACT II: LEARNING

At this crucial turning point where Sara desperately needs guidance, she meets Joseph, a mentor figure who helps her build self-confidence, gain insight into the dilemma she faces, offers wise advice and even practical training all of which serves to dispel Sara’s doubts and fears and gives her the strength and courage to begin her quest. Sara is, at first, doubtful but Joseph, in Song No. 4, persuades her, “Trust me, you can trust me.”

Sara is now ready to act upon her call to adventure and truly begin her quest as she finally crosses the threshold between the known world and a special world full of strangely fluid and polymorphous beings, unimaginable torments, superhuman deeds, and impossible delight as expressed in Song No. 5, “Crossing over to a new world; crossing over to the light.” With this action Sara commences her journey although still quite anxious about whatever it may have in store.

Now finally out of her comfort zone, Sara is confronted by The Boogieman and a chorus of bugaboos, beasts; specters, spooks; hobgoblins, gremlins, and assorted monsters who present Sara with an ever more difficult series of challenges that test her in a variety of ways.  She gains allies and meets enemies who will, each in their own way, help prepare her for a greater ordeal yet to come as expressed in Song No. 6: “Boogie down the road to perdition!” This is the stage where Sara’s skills and powers are tested and every obstacle that she faces helps us gain a deeper insight into her character

The inmost cave represents many things in Sara’ experience, actual real-world situations of terrible danger and, more significantly, inner conflicts which up until now she has not had to face. As Sara approaches the cave, she may once again face some of the doubts and fears that first surfaced upon his call to adventure. She needs some time to reflect upon her journey and the treacherous road ahead in order to find the courage to continue. She feels the need to do something, but does not know what to do. Joseph responds in Song No. 7: “Carry on with the mission; carry on to the light.”

This is Sara’s supreme ordeal; a deep inner crisis she must face in order to survive, and for the waking world in which she lives to continue to exist. And so, Sara must face her greatest fears, represented by most her terrifying foe, more terrible than all the bugaboos and beasts, specters and spooks, hobgoblins, gremlins, and monsters combined. Sara must draw upon all of her skills and her experiences gathered upon the path to the inmost cave in order to overcome her most difficult challenge, facing her inner-demons, her own personal Boogieman as expressed in Song No. 8: “Be afraid, the Boogieman is real!” It is here, through metaphoric  "death" that Sara can be reborn, experiencing a metaphorical resurrection granting greater power or insight necessary in order to fulfill her destiny or reach her journey's end. This is the climax of the story arch and where everything Sara holds dear is put on the line. If she fails, she will either die or life as she knows it will never be the same again.

After defeating the Boogieman, surviving death and finally overcoming her greatest personal challenge, Sara is ultimately transformed into a new state, emerging from battle as a stronger person and with a reward: greater knowledge and insight that will facilitate her return to the Ordinary World as expressed in Song No. 9: “Hear now destiny calling, stirring the hero waiting inside!”

ACT III: RETURNING

This stage in the Sara's journey represents a reverse echo of the Call to Adventure in which she had to cross the first threshold. Now Sara must return home with her reward but this time the anticipation of danger is replaced with that of hopeful optimism as expressed in Song No. 10, “Circles, guiding me home again.” But  Sara’s journey is not yet over. Still experiencing some final doubts, she opens herself up to another attack by the Boogieman and his minions. Although beaten down, she rises up once again, stronger and transformed into the “extraordinary hero” she was destined to become as expressed in Song No. 10: “Like the Phoenix I will rise up. I will spread my wings ascending.” This is the climax of our story in which Sara must have her final and most dangerous encounter with death, whom she thought she had defeated. The final battle represents something far greater than the Sara's own existence with its outcome having far-reaching consequences to her Ordinary World and the lives of those she left behind. This is he moment when Sara commits to the last stage of her journey and she must choose between her own personal objective and that of a “higher cause,” as expressed in Song No. 11: “I am all the children crying out for justice!”

This is the final stage of the Sara's journey in which she returns home to her Ordinary World a changed person. She has grown, learned many things, faced many terrible dangers and even death but now looks forward to the start of a new life. Her return brings fresh hope to those she left behind, a new perspective for everyone to consider as expressed in Song No. 12: “Participate happily if you want to live your life more joyfully!” Ultimately Sara will wake from this lucid dream and return to where she started but things will clearly never be the same again.

 

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