Two figures, silhouetted in black, stand on top of a hill covered in debris. They look off into the distance, which is filled with a bright yellow sun. Swimming up to the sun are gigantic red jellyfish, luscious green fronds swaying around and between the jellyfish.

The Law of Gravity

Olivier Sylvestre

Translated by Bobby Theodore

Playwrights Canada Press

Toronto

Copyright

A stylized, illustrated blue tree sits to the left of the words 'Canada Council for the Arts / Counseil des arts du Canada.'' The word Canada is written out with a Canadian flag—a red maple leaf flanked by two vertical red stripes—situated above the final A. An orange O is bisected by a green and purple C, situated to the left of the words 'Ontario Creates | Ontario Créatif.'' A large red A is bisected by an angled blue C, with a green O balanced between the two letters on the left. To the right of the OAC logo are the words 'Ontario Arts Council / Counseil des arts de l'Ontario' over a red line with the words 'An Ontario Government Agency / un organisme du gouvernement de l'Ontario' below the line.

Dedication

For my friend Max D, the spark that brought Dom and Fred to life.

Production History

La loi de la gravité was first produced by Youtheatre at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, Montreal, on January 9, 2017, followed by a school tour. It featured the following cast and creative team:

Actors: Aisha Jarvis and Laurent McCuaig-Pitre

Director: Frédéric Sasseville-Painchaud

Lighting Design: Martin Sirois

Sound Design: Maxime Corbeil-Perron

Costume Design: Cynthia St-Gelais

Stage Manager: Frédérique Folly

The play was later produced in French by Compagnie La Nuit te soupire and le Festival des francophonies en Limousin on February 28, 2017, at Théâtre La Loge, Paris, with the following cast and creative team:

Actors: Alison Valence and Quentin Laugier

Director: Anthony Thibault

Artistic Collaboration: Louise Dudek

Sound Design: Elisa Monteil

Video Design: Boris Carré

Characters

Dom: Baseball cap, buzz cut, overalls, and a sweatshirt. The hardened look of someone who’s already been through a lot.

Fred: Long hair, black clothes, leather jacket, gloomy look. Someone who seems like they’re trying to disappear.

Epigraph

This is the story of Dom and Fred.

And the famous Letters, the big white Letters, on the hillside next to the bridge, towering like a monument.

Garbage, empty beer cases . . . it’s a perfect spot.

The Letters spell out the words: Not-The-City.

It’s pretty ugly.

But there’s something welcoming . . . it’s a hiding place, a refuge of sorts.

This also the story of the cliff, right beside The Letters, that plunges into the river.

And of the rows of houses, thousands of them, just behind.

And of The City, right over there, on the other side of the river.

And of the birds, watching constantly from up above.

And of the bridge, a guard dog, deciding who gets to cross or not.

Dom and Fred, yeah, this is them.

They’re fourteen years old.

They’re beautiful.

Prologue

Dom takes a step forward, alone, facing the emptiness, ball cap pulled down, at the entrance to the bridge.

Dom

Here I am, all alone, about to cross the bridge.

Worst night of my life since learning the alphabet.

Everything hurts, everywhere, under my skin.

I gotta get the fuck out of here.

I’m all set. Ready as I’ll ever get.

I’m shaking, freezing cold, and soaking wet.

The City’s calling from the other side—come here, come here.

And the bridge is up there, watching me.

What are you looking at, Bridge?

I’ll cross you if I want to, okay!

So why haven’t I?

Just watch me!

I take a step forward.

The City lights twinkle faintly, far away.

There’s a low rumbling noise, like a big dog growling.

All of a sudden everything starts to shake.

And there’s this growling, like, like—a big dog!

You don’t scare me, Bridge!

I move forward.

I move forward.

I don’t go back.

But with every step, The City is a bit further away.

And then . . .

The growling gets louder and spotlights blind Dom.

Dom screams.

We no longer see anything.