There was some debate about this:
We’ve got this opening scene for the play, where the little creature is born from the big crazy creation ritual, which gives us a main character to whom things could happen. We tended to think that a narrator coming in just at the most crazy moment of screaming and pounding on a drum and waving arms around and so on, the narrator coming in at that moment would really give us one of those rite-of-passage laughs that we might want. At that moment, the cave-people would shed their barbaric skins and bones and things and reveal themselves to be gentle puppeteers dressed in tighty-whiteys, endearingly vulnerable, at which point the narrator could continue along blithely about the nature of modern humans, which they could represent through interpretive dance and things. That was one direction.
Then there’s the direction where we just keep plugging with the little fellow made of twigs and bones, and see en encounter the world and fight to survive and try to make babies and then die or something.
But then we realized this: whether we take the opportunity to alienate the audience for comedic or intellectual effect after the twig-person is born or not, we’d still want to pursue the creature’s story to its end — either by going straight from there or by coming back to it every now and then after our narrator has taken us on some different and contrasting journey (aesthetic, mood) for a bit.
So that leaves us with the task of building a journey for our twig-creature. I believe my own father explained the fundamental story structure thusly: a hero wants something more than anything else in the world. The hero tries to get that thing, and fails; e tries again and fails; and then e tries one more time and either succeeds, or fails, depending on how you want the audience to feel (hopeful/hopeless).
So: if you were a twig-creature — what would you want more than anything in the world?
(Part of the cathartic effect of theatre is, I think, being in the company of someone who knows what e wants more than anything in the world for a couple hours.)
Love? Freedom? Children? Immortality? Dominance? The tribe? Solitude?
Notice I’m trying out urvater’s gender neutral pronoun. I’m probably getting it wrong, but I’m trying.