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The Patron Saint of Superheroes

Chris Gavaler Explores the Multiverse of Comics, Pop Culture, and Politics

Captain Equilibrium-016 (1)

Text: Jeff Fiske with Joan Gavaler

Movement: Joan Gavaler

Dramaturgy: Chris Gavaler

Movement/Vocal Coach: Elizabeth Wiley

Click here for a video of the October 20, 2015 dress rehearsal for “Captain Equilibrium” at William and Mary University.

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(Coat rack DL. Run across. Stride in. Run off. Return with some sign of tiredness.)

I am – Captain Equilibrium.

(power lunge)

I fix imbalances in society.

Crime.

Accidents.

Impending disasters.

Wherever life is out of balance …

I restore balance.

Neighborhood arguments.

Returning lost toys to small children.

Even the occasional cat stuck in a tree.

Wherever you find imbalance, you’ll find me.

(run in a box to solve problems.)

Which means I work all the time.

(More and more tired.)

There is always some mugging to prevent.

Some fire to put out.

Some falling person to catch.

It becomes almost impossible to stop.

I used to have a life, a whole other identity.

Captain Equilibrium used to be my secret identity, and now it’s my only identity.

(remove mask.)

I don’t even know why I bother with this thing.

You know, Superman never wears a mask.

He hangs out with the same people in both of his identities, but do they ever notice that Superman and — the other guy — are the same?

His own friends never notice that the guy in the glasses is Superman because they never expect much from him.

They don’t really look at him, even though they see him every day.

We can’t see a hero if we’re not looking.

Folks talk to Captain Equilibrium face to face,

(put on mask)

and an hour later talk to me, and never make the connection.

Nobody believes that I could be Captain Equilibrium.

They don’t see it as a 2 possibility, and now I don’t see it as a possibility either.

(remove mask.)

So I spend all my time as the Captain.

(hang up mask.)

People’s expectations — lack of expectations — is all the mask I need.

Besides, that mask gets really hot.

Sweat pours into my eyes.

It blocks my vision.

I get rashes along here…

(Run reverse path in a box to solve problems. Tangle in cape.)

I want to keep restoring balance, but it seems my abilities have been fading.

For many, losing strength and resilience is an inconvenience.

But for me, this is endangering my livelihood; endangering my LIFE!

I am Captain Equilibrium!

I was afraid of losing my superhero status, so I became a member of the Justice Union.

East Coast Branch.

I was so excited.

I thought that working with other superheroes would give us all greater opportunities to do greater good.

I thought that being part of an elite team, I could be a top superhero again.

You know what happened?

I have been given the job of managing the budgets.

You know, “Let Captain Equilibrium balance the books.”

My most challenging foes aren’t bank robbers or natural disasters or even supervillains.

My greatest foes are

(remove cape. Hang up.)

tax audits, missing receipts, computer glitches.

(playful arc of movement.)

You laugh, but you know what’s really funny?

I am an accountant!

That’s the work I do in my real identity.

And, I’m really, really good at it.

I love helping people correct their financial missteps.

Help them get their lives in order.

Balance their dreams and realities.

You have to be honest with them, take off the kid gloves.

(Push down gauntlets.)

Help them see things clearly.

No blinders.

No cover-ups.

(Pull one gauntlet back up.)

They don’t need Captain Equilibrium for that.

(Power lunge. Tired.)

It’s been so long since I’ve stretched out on the hammock.

Read a good book.

Taken a trip.

Even just a walk around the neighborhood.

Brushed the cat.

Or had a real talk with a friend, face to face.

(pull other gauntlet halfway up. Pause. Remove gauntlets.)

I’m saying goodbye to the Captain for a while.

(hang up gauntlets.)

I’m going to let my real identity be … real.

Unmasked.

Even super.

(circular path.)

That is our equilibrium.

(sway.)

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