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The Thing Growing: Act 3: In which the user is faced with a choice

Almost as soon as they begin dancing again the plain disappears. The Thing and the user fall helplessly into a new environment.

(In the picture on the left the Thing is now purple and yellow - a color change designed to make it stand out more.)

The new environment is red and claustrophobic dotted with strange menhirs. Four beings similar to the Thing but differently colored advance. They greet the Thing, calling him "cousin", and welcome the user.

They ask the two to come with them and promise treats, but the Thing is terrified, cowering at the user's feet.

The ideal user cautiously trusts the Thing's cousins, and goes along with them. But suddenly she is caught up into the air in a small cage.

She watches from above as the cousins round on the Thing. They accuse it of disgusting behavior that defiles all Thing-kind. It has entered a relationship with a meat object - the user!

The cousins beat the Thing severely, then throw it up into the cage and exit mouthing dark threats. The Thing is crying and hurt. It apologises to the user but then reveals it has a contigency plan. It has concealed a weapon.
The Thing pops a gun out of an orifice and instructs the user to pick it up and blast them out of the cage. As they hit the ground the four cousins reappear, and the Thing encourages the user to shoot them also.

Then comes a moment when all the cousins are dead or escaped and the Thing stands in front of the user and the gun. Suddenly it fears that the user will shoot it too!

Everything depends on the user's feelings for the Thing. And by this point the ideal user is ambivalent. In act three she and the Thing have been thrust into danger and onto the same side. They have mutually helped each other. But she can also remember the Thing's bullying ways.

The moment of decision is both the ending and begining. The piece is designed to be circular.

If the user doesn't shoot - she is returned to the welcoming Thing, who now assumes that she is ready and willing to dance the dance forever.

If she shoots, she is returned to the beginning, the voice over tells her she can go to the shed and release the Thing or remain on the plain alone, forever.

The Thing Growing is an exploration of the mis-use of power and love in relationships, and of our ability to repeat disfunctional relationships trying to "master" them.

My hope is that the virtual environment works on two levels - drawing the user into an actual emotional engagement in the melodrama; and promoting a consciousness of how ridiculous and unwinnable this relationship is, that will create the necessary distance for analysing emotional reactions.