[Narrator] The Bed Box Theatre
[Maria] Presents...
[Narrator] With your host Redbird, a Cuckoo Bird who is not bound to her biological clock, fastidiously watching the time on the hour. She moves freely, with her own voice.

[Narrator] There was once a little girl who visited other worlds in her dreams. Often while she dreamt, she would be pulled from slumber by noises and shadows.

One night, she inched herself down to the edge of the bed. It moved under her weight and she saw that she was resting on box springs. When she lifted the structure so that it stood tall, she found many nooks for noises and shadows to hide in its spiral structure.

When she began to strip off the bedding, she found a puppet theatre nestled in the box springs. She ran around the Bed Box Theatre excitedly and plopped herself down at the foot of the bed waiting for the performance to begin.

She waited.
And waited.
And waited.
And waited.
Yet nothing happened.

Years passed and she was no longer a child. She hardly fit in her single bed. And still … she waited.

Finally, she grew tired of sitting quietly, waiting for the Bed Box Theatre to entertain her.

She began to perform all that she had dreamt and imagined over the years.

At night, instead of sleeping on top of the bed, she began to sleep within its spiral skeleton.

The next morning, she would open the front cabinet, and inside the various compartments, to her delight, fear and curiosity, she would find her daydreams, imaginings and the dreams and nightmares of sleep.
[Narrator] The Reading Room
Lady Winchilsea writes:
They tell us we mistake our sex & way;
Good breeding, fashion, dancing, dressing, play,
Are the accomplishments we should desire;
To write, or read, or think, or to enquire, (…)
[Virginia] Would cloud our beauty and exhaust our time,
And interrupt the conquests of our prime,
While the dull manage of a servile house
Is held by some our utmost art and use.
[Narrator] Maria was reading, deep in her thoughts. She came back to her body only when she felt the light brush of feather and saw the shadow of wing fall on her page.
[Gabriel] My name is Gabriel, I have come with news Heaven sent. It is the Lord’s wish, that you be the Mother of his Son.
[Maria] But what of my studies? My writing?
[Gabriel] Mental exertion and intellectual activity is known to sap maternal energy.
[Maria] Do I have a choice?
[Gabriel] No, you have been chosen. You will be venerated for your virtue for all time eternal and avoid Man’s ultimate fate. Heavenly wings will carry you to the sky above.
[Maria] Wings?! What kind of wings?
[Gabriel] Well any kind of wings I suppose. The point is you will live forever. [echo]
[Narrator] Maria went for a walk to think. She told a rooster what Gabriel said and he encouraged her to go consult the Cuckoo in the forest. She came to a Winding Staircase in a clearing. A Cuckoo Bird emerged from within it and introduced herself as Virginia. Maria told her what Gabriel said.
[Virginia] What are you going to do?
[Maria] I don’t know. I’ve always dreamt of having wings and being able to fly. But I really want to write too. Besides, I haven’t even thought of being a mother.
[Narrator] Virginia told her about Cuckoo Birds. These birds layed their eggs in other birds' nests for them to raise as their own. Society saw Cuckoo Birds as parasites, and labeled them as wayward, monstrous, criminal and frivolous. Virginia said:
[Virginia] But these are just words to hinder freedom. My Winding Staircase allows me to travel far off the narrow path of virtue.
[Narrator] When Maria said she would like her own Staircase, Virginia replied:
[Virginia] The Staircase may be your own, but it is still bare.
It has to be furnished;
it has to be decorated;
it has to be shared.
How are you going to furnish it?
How are you going to decorate it?
With whom are you going to share it and upon what terms?
[Narrator] When Gabriel came to ask Maria if she was ready for the Conception, she answered yes, and so he bathed her in light. His face beamed until Maria asked for her wings; Cuckoo Bird wings to be exact.
[Gabriel] Cuckoo Bird wings?!
[Narrator] Hours passed. A day and then a night, and then several days and nights as Gabriel waited impatiently. Finally, Maria emerged from the Winding Staircase as a Cuckoo Bird. A wind caught her in a turbulent swirl, and she flew off into the forest.

Some time later, Maria met Gabriel at the Staircase. Within it, he found a single egg, brightly decorated. Maria told Gabriel that he could do what he wanted with the egg for she had fulfilled her end of the bargain.
[Gabriel] Why did you not choose angel wings and join me in Heaven?
[Maria] These particular wings will afford me the most freedom. I want a hand in my immortality. And, I’d rather choose my own flight path.
[Narrator] And with those words, she handed him a book. On the cover, was inscribed, Bird’s Eye View, with her name, Maria Palabra.

Gabriel nodded gravely and flew off with the egg.

Maria returned to the Winding Staircase where she went on to visit many worlds through words, dreams and time- travel.
[All voices] The egg …

hatched …

a girl.
[Music] Roll Credits
[Narrator] Melinda Spooner & Julie Lapalme
[Maria Palabra]
Zaharenia Fatouros
[Gabriel Ange] Andreas Guibert
[Virginia Bird] Rita McKeough

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