TWIMFINA

The World Is My Family - I'm Not Afraid

 

Small Twimfina Cover

Edition 31

This webpage contains links to the latest script and scores to the musical play "Twimfina". If you prefer to hold the actual 252-page book in your hands, you can purchase it here: [perfect-bound paperback], [spiral-bound paperback], [digital]. If you have an older book that has an "Edition Number" which does not match the number displayed above, you may want to take note of recent changes made.

This musical play is organized into 20 segments, plus an "Afterword". Clicking on the following list will help you navigate through this large website:

Illustrated Synopsis of the Play

Cast of Characters and Singers

Setting

Score to the optional "Enemia Theme"
(and a demo recording)

Segment 1: Guru’s Situation (9 min)
(Includes the score to: "Out Of This Mud")

Segment 2: Twimfina’s Situation (4 min 30 sec)
(Includes the score to: "Go Where I Wanna Go")

Segment 3: School Gets Built (5 min 15 sec)
(Includes the score to: "Brick After Brick"
and its optional accompaniment)

Segment 4: Guru’s First Student (5 min 45 sec)
(Includes the score to: "Do What We Do")

Segment 5: Laundry Room (3 min 30 sec)
(Includes the score to: "Keep Us Open, Keep Us Free")

Segment 6: Commissioner Visit #1 (3 min 15 sec)
(Includes the score to: "My Garden, It Doesn't Have Weeds")

Segment 7: Twimfina in San Francisco (9 min)
(Includes the score to: "One World, One Song" [Peace Machine]
and the score to: "Stranger In The Ocean")

Segment 8: Mail Call (7 min 15 sec)
(Includes the score to: "Live, Let Live")

Segment 9: Animals (4 min 45 sec)
(Includes the score to: "Animals of the Planet Earth"
and its optional accompaniment)

Segment 10: Crossing the Border (4 min 45 sec)
(Includes the score to: "The World is My Family, I'm Not Afraid")

Segment 11: Word Arrives in Ko-Lat Village (8 min 15 sec)
(Includes the score to: "This Happening Must Happen")

Segment 12: Twimfina Meets Baba (8 min)
(Includes the score to: "Stay With Me"
and the score to the "Exit Reprise")

Segment 13: Twimfina Meets Guru (5 min 15 sec)
(Includes the score to: "I am a Scientist")

Segment 14: Nationalists Pay a Visit (8 min)
(Includes the score to: "Good Guys With Guns")

Segment 15: Yes and No (10 min)
(Includes the score to: "Yes and No"
and the score to: "Come Live With Me")

Segment 16: Disgunsemble (6 min)
(Includes the score to: "Nonviolence Takes a Long, Long Time"
and its countermelody: "One by One Destroy Each Gun")

Segment 17: Language Heroes (6 min 30 sec)
(Includes the score to: "Peace to You from Language #2")

Segment 18: Commissioner Visit #2 (2 min 45 sec)
(Includes the score to: "Our Garden, It Doesn't Have Weeds")

Segment 19: They’re Coming! (8 min)
(Includes the score to: "Keep Us Open, Keep Us Free",
the "Three Melodies" that Twimfina sings,
and the "instrumental closing" for the scene)

Segment 20: Jeeno Casino (15 min 15 sec)
(Includes the score to: "Jeeno Casino",
and the score to the "Student Concert",
and the score to: "Good Guys with Guns [Toolie's solo],
and the score to: "We are the Fountains",
and the score to the "Audience Sing-Along" and its "Piano Accompaniment")

Afterword: (1 min 30 sec)
(Includes the score to: "Come Live With Us")

 


Recent Changes Made

New in Edition 31:

New in Edition 30:

New in Edition 29:

New in Edition 28:

New in Edition 27:

 

 


 

Cast of Characters

TWIMFINA: (18 years old) From the age of 4, Twimfina had been raised among a community of teachers. She grows up among educated, enlightened adults who understand that there is ultimately no free will. Consequently, she never hears words like “evil”. She’s never introduced to concepts such as “good people” or “bad people”. In Twimfina’s world, everybody is equal. And she takes this understanding with her as she embarks on a journey to Enemia to visit her pen-pal Guru.

GURU: (20 years old) From the age of 6, Guru has been a paraplegic. He has great mobility problems, especially in rural Enemia which has no paved roads. He lives in a scrap-yard with his father (Baba). In spite of his destitute childhood, Guru received an excellent education. He later studied to be a teacher, but was unable to find employment because no school wanted to engage him (because of his disability). Guru fell into despair. But then two big things happened:
(1.) His father built him a schoolhouse on the garden plot next to their shack.
(2.) A young woman named Twimfina read his posting in a pen-pal magazine.

BABA: (50 years old) Guru’s father is a supportive, hard-working, educated man who lives in a scrap-yard and does odd welding jobs to eke out a living for himself and Guru. Fourteen years earlier, Baba’s wife and daughter were killed in an American air strike which also paralyzed his son Guru. Baba naturally harbors a hatred towards the United States, but after meeting Twimfina his old wounds of the heart begin to heal.

TOOLIE: (80 years old) The wise, elderly peddler who pulls his cart of tools from place to place. He enables others to do what they do.

GARDEN SCHOOL STUDENTS: six poor rural students (all about 10 years old) whom Guru teaches in the school that his father built. In Enemia, each student must pass an entrance exam in order to get into the public middle school. All of these children had failed their exam and so had no place to go. The Commissioner sent them to Garden School to keep them out of trouble.
- ACE: A very cheerful little boy - the first to join the class; Twimfina and Guru later adopt him.
- SCOUT: A self-confident girl that nobody can push around (like Scout in “To Kill a Mockingbird”)
- WALTER: A shy boy who is being raised in extreme poverty by a widowed mother;
- EDDIE: A bit of a conniving flatterer (like Eddie Haskell in “Leave-It-To-Beaver”)
- AKEELAH: A good student (like the student in “Akeelah and the Bee”)
- POCA: A level-headed leader (like the Disney character named Pocahontas)

MENDEL SCIENCE HIGH STUDENTS: At least a dozen older high school students should appear in the play. Please note that the choral score requires some of them to sing the bass line. (Most of the student music is written in 2-part harmony. Since the younger Garden School students will all be singing the upper melody part, a good number of high school basses will be needed to sing the lower harmony.)
Two students (both friends of Twimfina and both a year behind her) have names and special roles (in Segment 2):
- MAPLE: (16 years old) Twimfina’s friend who spends her summers in Canada;
- JO PUMA: (16 years old) Twimfina’s friend who spends his summers singing in a band;

COMMISSIONER: a stern Ko-Lat Village official of whom the Garden School children are understandably fearful;

M.C: the somewhat over-the-top Master of Ceremonies from the Jeeno Casino who manages to handle the Nationalists incident (in the final scene) rather smoothly.

BORDER GUARD: the young man who lets Twimfina cross the border; (she later runs back and kisses him);

TEACHERS’ COMMUNITY: At least a dozen teachers should appear in the play. This Community was formed some 14 or 15 years earlier when several of them were classmates together in an Evolutionary Psychology class that went horribly wrong (as told in Secretary Michael’s book “Aren’t We the Lucky Ones”). The teachers now live communally in an old 6-story building (a former hotel) in downtown St. Louis. They live on the upper 4 floors of the building while the high school in which many of them teach (Mendel Science High) occupies the bottom 2 floors. Several members have individual roles:
- UNA: Twimfina’s adoptive mother, teachers Art and Biology; leader of the Teachers’ Community;
- ZERO: Twimfina’s adoptive father; school counselor; teachers Psychology
- SECRETARY MICHAEL: teaches Music and English; secretary of the Teachers’ Community;
- SISTER CLARE: Chemistry teacher; a calm, clear-thinker;
- B.B. BRICE: treasurer of the Community and helps fund it with his Beans & Rice business;
- COACH: Principal of Mendel Science High; good-natured joker; teaches Physics, P.E. and Dance.

BRICK CHORUS: At least a dozen singers are needed to divide into 2 groups: VILLAGE TEACHERS (men) and GARMENT-FACTORY WORKERS (women). Together they help Baba build the schoolhouse. (Segment 3). For musical reasons, the VILLAGE TEACHERS must be the larger group because they sing the lower 2 voices of the 3-part harmony.

SAN FRANCISCO YOUTH HOSTEL: At least a dozen diverse college-age singers are needed for the “Sofa Group”. Their song (“One World, One Song”) is written in six parts (3 treble, 3 bass). So to have 2 singers per part, there must be 12 in the group. To have 3 singers per part, there must be 18 in the group.

ANIMALS: At least a couple dozen singers are needed to represent chickens, chicks, pigs, donkeys, sheep, cows, birds, bees, and a duck. It’s a night scene, so all available voices can join in singing the rousing “Animals of the Planet Earth” without a need for costumes; (Segment 9)

TRAVELING FARM FAMILIES: 6 actors, more or less; As Twimfina tries to persuade the guard to let her cross the Enemian border, some farm families approach pulling their carts. They are traveling in the same direction as Twimfina and invite her to accompany them.

BAMBINOS: A dozen employees of the Jeeno Casino who are dressed as babies and do a silly dance as they sing an odd (but meaningful) little promotional ditty.

NATIONALISTS: The GGG (Good Guys with Guns) are represented by 3 men (Tweedle, Deedle, and Dum) with guns; they appear in Segment 14 and then again in the final concert scene; they are menacing buffoons.

CHORUS NOTE: The cast size can be greatly reduced if the singers assume multiple roles. The 80 singers that would otherwise be required by the different singing groups can be reduced by more than half. Here is a list of singers needed:
- the Teachers’ Community (at least a dozen adults)
- the Garden School Students (six 10-year-olds)
- the Mendel Science High Students (at least a dozen high-schoolers, including strong bass singers)
- the Brick Chorus (at least a dozen adults, with 2/3 being male singers)
- the San Francisco Youth Hostel Group (preferably 12 or 18 college-aged, mixed voices)
- the Animals (as many singers as possible; will probably be behind curtain, so no costumes are needed)
- the Bobbing Bambinos (a dozen adults, mixed voices)



Setting

With several exceptions, the location of the story alternates between America and Enemia. The American scenes mostly take place inside an old 6-story hotel building in downtown St. Louis that has been converted into a high school (lower floors) and a Teachers’ Community (upper floors). The Enemian scenes mostly take place in and around Ko-Lat Village.

MENDEL SCIENCE HIGH BUILDING is an old 6-story brick building in downtown St. Louis that used to be an opulent hotel. After falling into dilapidation, it was gutted and refurbished. At the time of the play, it is a spartan but clean and healthful place in which to live. The Community lives on the upper 4 floors. The bottom 2 floors are used as a high school (Mendel Science High) where many Community members teach.

ENEMIA is a poor country in an unidentified part of the world. KO-LAT VILLAGE is the poorest part of this poor country. It’s a rural, hardscrabble place where people try to eke out an existence. Guru and his father live in a dirt-floored metal shack (quonset style) in a scrap metal yard. Guru’s father is a welder who collects and sells used metal. Next to the shack stands a well-built one-room brick schoolhouse. Guru’s father built this schoolhouse for his son using sun-dried bricks made from the clay soil. The schoolhouse and the metal shack form two perpendicular sides of a dusty, barren schoolyard where students play before school and during recess. In front of all this is a dirt road that leads to Jeeno. When the curtain first rises in Segment 1, we’re in the yard in front of the metal shack (the school has not yet been built). The final scene takes place not in Ko-Lat Village, but in JEENO - a much larger, more prosperous city in Enemia. It even has a casino. It is in the downstairs auditorium of this casino that our play comes to a happy ending.

TIME: The time-frame of the play spans about a year (a summer plus a couple semesters). The year in which the story begins is not specified. But since Twimfina and Guru meet through a pen-pal magazine, and since all distant communication is by letter, the year would have to predate the internet and the cell phone. 1981 seems as good a year as any.

PERFORMANCE NOTES: The musical “Twimfina” is meant to be a community play. Please feel free to substitute any names that relate to St. Louis with your own local names. We appreciate any "Twimfina" performance videos that you post on YouTube or elsewhere. (At your request we might link to the best ones as reference performances.)