One of the major concepts of Hinduism and Buddhism is that of Māyā, or “The illusion of separateness.” This term describes the misconception common to all rational beings that they are distinct entities from the wider universe and from the other individuals that they encounter within the universe. In order to achieve enlightenment, then, one must systematically strip away of this illusion. I see this process as the central journey that the three Fates undertake in String.
The Fates, or Moirai, are one of numerous tri-form deities in the pantheon of the Ancient Greeks. Named in Hesiod’s Theogony as the daughters of Nyx (“Night”), the three function in the original myths as more of a force of nature than distinct personalities. They are, quite literally, a piece of the greater universe.
This play, however, begins by inflicting the illusion of separateness upon these goddesses. It is an illusion: their powers are not diminished by their banishment, only their perceptions of their relation to each other and the world at large have changed. Left with only a cryptic riddle, they must come to terms with the full implications of their existence in order to return to their enlightened state.
Likewise, the play’s mortal inhabitants also struggle with their own illusions of separateness. Lower class security guards keep themselves hidden from the world in their basement headquarters; middle managers find themselves unable to relate to both their subordinates and their superiors; temps and trainees struggle to integrate into a conformist system. It is only when the chaotic winds of Fate begin to blow that the characters, whether rich or poor, god or human, are able to reach a new understanding, traveling into an unknown and uncharted territory.
-Bryson David Hoff, Dramaturg