Silenus / Apollo
Voices of Confusion
Facilitators / "Stagehands"


2 BBQ pits for bonfires (or, if they're allowed, actual bonfires)
Masks for all (some plain, some decorated)
Enough gold-foil-covered chocolate coins for everybody (the bigger the better)
light for the inside stagehand(s)
candle, torches for Apollo
(some 2-way radio for converse between the inside and outside stagehands may prove useful)

Before the ritual, identify a few shills who'll be willing to make out with somebody they wouldn't normally make out with. Also before the ritual, the bonfires (or firepits) should be prepared outside.

Everybody gets a plain mask as they come in, with the information that they can, and should, when they like, trade for one of the decorated masks in the box, and if they see a mask they like on somebody else, that trading is encouraged. (Silenus doesn't change masks until later.)

The ritual begins with a fairly standard party atmosphere. Bacchanalian foods should be set out, with red wine and dark beers, lots of red meat and grapes and other such stuff. Silenus ad libs as raunchily as possible all through this, along the lines of "Eat! Drink! Fuck! More is better!" He might also quote "Exceed! Exceed! Strive ever to more! and if thou art truly mine - and doubt it not, an if thou art ever joyous! - death is the crown of all." Lots of music and light (but no candles!); dark red and black drapes on the walls. Pretty soon (say, 15 minutes) into this, the shills should be starting to pair (or multiple) up. The idea is to give everybody the idea that there's going to be an orgy. Mask-swapping should increase (prompted by the shills and the Voices of Confusion).

One Voice (#3 for later) starts making ad lib stuff along the lines of "Hey, isn't this getting a little out of hand? Shouldn't we tone it down a little bit? What if something happens?" and the other Voices should say something along the line of "Don't be ridiculous! What could happen? Bacchus is our king and party is our thing!"

At the height of the chaos and excess and fun, a stagehand inside should go over and start turning the music up. Then, suddenly (on some prearranged signal), another stagehand outside at the breaker box cuts all power to the house. Silenus slips out and changes to the Apollo mask. After a little wait, the actual scripted bits start.

Voice One
What happened?
Voice Two
I dunno. I think we blew a fuse.
Voice Three
I told you something was going to happen!
Voice One
What? So the lights went out, what's the problem with that?
Voice Three
It's a sign, an omen.
Voice Two
Don't be silly. Light's no big deal. Bacchus, our king, can make light all by himself, he's a God.
Voice One
Right! What you said!
Voices One & Two
Oh mighty Bacchus, make light for us! (Encouraging everybody to repeat.) (No response.)
Voice Three (darkly)
I told you, I told you. Didn't I warn you? Now our god has abandoned us!
Voice One
That's not possible. Why would he abandon us? We did everything he said...
Voice Two
We must just not have called loud enough. Maybe he's asleep or something. Let's try again.
Oh mighty Bacchus, make light for us! (Silence.)
Voice One
Sure is dark in here.
Voice Two
Anybody notice it getting cold?
Voice Three
It's the end. It's all over.
Voice One
Maybe he's right.
Voice Two
The hell he is! What does he know? Hey, you who do you think you are anyway?
Voice Three
Why, I'm... uh... that's a good question.
Voice Two
Voice Three
Oh yeah? So who are you, then?
Voice Two
I'm -- I'm .... (trails off uncertainly)
Voice One
He's right. Our god has abandoned us. We're all alone.
Voice Two
Did you hear something moving out there just now?
Voice Three
Whatever's out there can just get us now. We're done for. We have nobody to protect us.
Voice One
Who'll be our god now that our god is gone?
Voice Three
How do we know there are any gods at all? How do we know it was a god who led us in the first place? How do we know anything?
Voice Two
I'm afraid!

Apollo has slipped in (right before they mentioned something moving) and now strikes a match and lights a candle.

Chaos and darkness are only the parents of order, everything cycles from order to chaos and back. Now is the new order's time, and I manifest it. I come to you to bring everyone to the new gateway; life and light, liberty, love, await all who would enter. Winter's dominion is ended; come follow my beacon.

From his candle, he lights the two torches (held by stagehand, who trades them for the candle). Exeunt omnes, following Apollo with torches. Stagehand inside should make sure everyone exits. While Apollo is making his outdoor speech and dialogue, stagehand(s) inside should turn down the stereo and be swapping out foods; trade white wines for red, take the meats off and put on saffron rice and other bright solar foods, replace red and black hangings with gold and white, etc. (Solar drapes can be concealed under the bacchanal drapes, for ease of changing.)

Bacchus became old, and was Silenus.
The pendulum of time swung through his reign,
and while he waxed in pow'r, he brought you joy.
The winter feast, so redolent with cheer,
the great logs burning, fending off the night,
the holly green and living under frost,
the spirits men distill to heat the blood,
these things encouraged you in winter's depth.
But in that revelry, a seed of fear
has lain concealed for all these frenzied moons,
and lust unbalanced leads to the debauch,
and wine spilled out cannot be drunk again.
But I have come to offer you a change:
the day's strength, and the sun's warmth in your limbs,
the light of learning in your eyes and minds,
the works of peace and culture, verse and song,
and love, the link of spirits each to each.
I give you these, e'en as I give you fire. (He lights the bonfires.) (Ooohs and aaahs.)
The day reveals the truth for all to see;
unto the light, dear friends, come follow me!
Voice Three (breaking in before anybody can move)
Now just a minute! We had a god once, and he abandoned us, even after we did everything he asked us to do. Why should we follow you?
Voice One
How do we even know you're a god in the first place? You could just be some poseur, trying to take advantage of us.
Apollo (no more attempts at high toniness)
Look. It's like this. I'm the sun. I don't do anything special, I just emit light, and yet that light is life to this earth just by virtue of its being. I'm doing my Will, and encouraging you to do likewise.
Your god gave you drunkenness, and lust, and high living, and all those fun things you enjoyed; but he also gave you madness, and illness, and ultimately darkness and death. I'm offering you enlightenment, and love, and peace, and life. Bacchus gave you social diseases; Apollo gives you medicine. Is that a fair trade, or what?
Voice Two
But culture is boring! At least under Bacchus we had fun.
Did I say you shouldn't have fun? I didn't say you shouldn't have fun. I do say, "Be not animal; refine thy rapture! If thou drink, drink by the nine and ninety rules of art: if thou love, exceed by delicacy; and if thou do aught joyous, let there be subtlety therein!" I am Art. Alchemy, temperance, that's me. And remember, no alchemy, no distilling.
Voice One
Why should you lead us? What do we need a leader for?
Apollo (showing signs of exasperation)
You don't need a leader. This is about enlightenment. What's your Will? Lead you or follow you, I just give light. You want light? Let the light itself show you how to get to it.

At this point, stagehand outside puts power back on in the house. This is stagehand inside's cue to put new music on and dash to the door to be ready for the first returning people.

Voice One (pointing to the house)
Look! The light!
Voice Two
He really is a god! Long live the King! Hurray for Summer!

Cheers, etc. Following the lead of the Voices and shills, (we hope) people file between the bonfires back into the house, where they're met by stagehand inside who hands each one a chocolate coin with the words, "Welcome to the Court of the Sun!" Apollo goes through last. More party, a piacere.