For most of us, our lives are filled with routine. It usually involves getting up at about the same time every day, going to work, coming home and eating dinner, unwinding after a busy day and going to sleep.
This routine is repeated and repeated day in and day out. We try to find things to do that we enjoy, but how many of us really try to fulfill our dreams? There are a select few that break the routine and live life for the joy of it. Tess Light does this, and joy shines in her play Tower of Magic.
Tower of Magic is about a girl who strives to fit in with the world. She calls herself Sue. She’s a professor of civil engineering and is engaged to be married. Sue now has to tell her family that she is engaged, but her family doesn’t even know she has a boyfriend.
When Sue is gone longer than expected, her fiancé Felix surprises her by showing up at her family home. There are a lot of things about Sue that she doesn’t want Felix to know. Her real name is Solstitia. Her family consists of an obsessive ornithologist, a compulsive mezzo soprano who sings instead of speaks, a murderous chef, an occasionally-mute savant and a linguist. As Felix learns about each of the members of Solstitia’s family, he realizes that she should do nothing more than be herself, live life in joy, and always try to spread joy to others.
Through Tower of Magic, Light wants to share her joy with others. She got the idea to write the play during a work meeting at Los Alamos National laboratory. The meeting space was filled with pictures of birds, and there were bird feeders that could be seen outside from the big picture windows.
Impressed with this decorator’s freedom to express his or her love of birds, Tess thought, “what people would be like if they were free to express themselves completely in terms of their interests?” Thus the characters in Tower of Magic were born, each expressing themselves freely and completely according to what they love.
Tower of Magic is a winner of the Theatre Conspiracy’s New Play Contest, as well as second place in the seventh annual Southwest Playwriting Competition. Los Alamos Little Theatre has made a tremendous effort to bring this wonderful piece to life. The magic of this play comes with the set, including a chair propped in a tree, a garden with flowers that bloom over the course of two days, and a forest where characters fully realize their interests. The play is visually stunning, and comes of life for three weekends in September.
Tower of Magic opens at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 5 at Los Alamos Little Theatre, 1670 Nectar St. It continues at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. 20 with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m., Sept. 14. Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the door, at CB FOX or online at lalt.org.