The twelve actors sweep onto the empty stage and gaze out at the audience. “When I was a boy, I wished I could fly,” says a young man at the center of the clump. Others chime in their agreement, then suddenly the only actress in the group bursts forward, adding -- to the irritation of the men surrounding her -- that she too dreamed of flying. “What?” she says to them, “Girls dream.” “Up to the stars,” the young man replies, “I like that.” “Me too,” she says, and the two of them, the actors who will soon be playing Molly and Boy, stare at each other longingly.
The moment is interrupted by further narration, and the prologue continues: each actor generally narrating the background of the character he or she is about to portray. Molly Aster is the gifted young motherless daughter of Lord Aster, “dedicated minister to the Queen” and an able leader on both land and sea. Molly’s nanny, Mrs. Bumbrake (played by a man), cares for Molly and “provide[s] her with the essentials of young