Episode 3: Needle | Link TV
Episode 3: Needle
Vireo escapes from her room, but is caught by her mother, the doctor, and his assistant Raphael.
Vijay Gupta, violin; Bridget Kibbey, harp; Joshua Roman, cello
(Lights up, and Vireo is running along an iron fence. Mother, and the Doctor dressed as a Priest are in pursuit. All run in the stutter of shadows thrown by the bars. The Doctor carries a torch.)
Come home, Vireo. Don’t be afraid.
(Vireo is cornered; she grips the fence tightly. The doctor pulls the mother aside.)
Let me talk to her alone.
Let’s both – As you see fit.
(The Doctor approaches her carefully.)
Why are you trying to hide?
You are hurting me more than you know.
It’s all been worked out carefully. We have it all worked out. Wee wee wee, all the way home.
(Pulling her fingers from the bars.)
Resign – Why are you frightened? I’ve never been as scared as you are now. Candy Your mouth will be full of candy any shape you want it poured. Keep a peppermint under your tongue. Your mother will be right there too.
(He is working her down the fence, one bar at a time.)
I said the words. I prayed.
We have it all worked out.
Don’t explain. You lose me.
I said the name of Jesus –
Your mother will be right there. Your mother will be right there.
Your mother will be right there. Your mother will be right there too.
900 times – And here I am now.
You are home now.
(The scene repeats as a more formal song. The Doctor, Vireo, and Mother overlap.)
What can I do
What can be done
What can you do
What have you done
Put a peppermint under your tongue
Go a little further
I’ll see you when I get there
The birds are crying bloody murder
They suture empty air
Come a little further
You’re very nearly there
Your hurt is crying for a suture
You concentrate on empty air
Help me understand your impossibles
When you make the impossible
Something that can be done
You wound it. I want to know
What you’ve done
What the savor of this new language is
Delicious on your tongue
It’s all been worked out carefully
We have it all worked out
Wee wee wee all the way home
I am right here with you
I said the words
I said the name of Jesus 900 times
And here I am now
You are here now.
(The fence is gone, but Vireo stands face forward with her hands in fists, as if she were still holding on. Pernette appears, only a face.)
The bars are gone but the rigor remains.
(He loosens Vireo’s dress.)
The doctor has a long silver needle inside his jacket. When he takes it out, it sings:
To find the mark of Satan
You test her skin with needles
For a spot that feels
(There is a needle, but it isn’t literally represented. Each touch of the doctor’s fingertips is a piercing. Pernette disappears and the process of examination begins; Vireo’s speech is conditioned by the peppermint under her tongue.)
Vireo has escaped from her room and into an abandoned warehouse. She pursued by the Doctor and Mother, who are now trying to convince her to come with them for treatment. Vireo has a tentative hold on reality and she slips in and out of time. Her 16th-century religious beliefs seem to run up against the 19th-century psychoanalysis that the Doctor is proposing. Even the Doctor and Mother seem to slip in and out of time now, bringing their sense of reality into question. The Doctor eventually traps Vireo and takes her back to his office for further testing.
A young girl appears onstage as if shoved into existence. As she wanders, the world shifts around her, catapulting her through time and space to 19th-century Vienna, 20th-century Germany and 21st-century America. She collapses, hearing voices and visions.
- 1 of 3
- next ›
Clips & Segments
The eponymous heroine Vireo, played by soprano Rowen Sabala, is a fourteen-year- old girl genius entangled in the historic obsession with female visionaries, as witch-hunters, early psychiatrists, and modern artists have defined them
- 1 of 2
- next ›
- 1 of 3
- next ›
The Vireo Guide
Initially inspired by composer Lisa Bielawa's senior essay on the same subject, "Vireo" explores the history of the treatment of young women through song and symbols. Take a look at seven symbols inside "Vireo."
- 1 of 3
- next ›
In this new season, Artbound travels back to pre-industrial Los Angeles to explore one of its key and most controversial figures -- Charles Lummis. A writer and editor of the L.A. Times, avid collector and preservationist, an Indian rights activist, and founder of L.A.’s first museum -- the Southwest Museum -- Lummis’ genius and idiosyncratic personality captured the ethos of an era and a region. See what other exciting episodes this new season will offer!
The highly skilled labor of artisans migrating from Mexico and Latin America are the backbone of high-end design and retail in Los Angeles, producing some of the most exquisite furniture, textiles, and design goods. But they represent a creative force that seems invisible to the city. Artbound uncovers their stories and their role in making Los Angeles and Southern California the creative capital of the world.
Artbound explores the programming of the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, investigating new programming and curatorial approaches that are redefining what it means to be a 21st century museum. This episode features three new programs by The Underground Museum, Wolvesmouth, and Public Fiction.
USMC Sergeant Christian Ellis was a machine gunner in Iraq, whose platoon was ambushed, leaving him with a broken back and only one of a few survivors. Ellis returned home to join millions of Americans who struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder. Ellis inspired the first opera about the Iraq war with a score composed by Tobin Stokes, a libretto by Iraqi-American Heather Raffo, and produced by the Long Beach Opera. This documentary explores how the experience of war is transformed into a work of art.
Architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne partners with Artbound for an episode that looks into the future of Los Angeles. "Third L.A. with Architecture Critic Christopher Hawthorne" examines the city's architecture, urban planning, transportation and changing demographics, giving us a glimpse of Los Angeles as a model of urban reinvention for the nation and the world.