PLAY #89: DE BAIT (FEB 27)

CLIMATE sits on a chair.

An old soul.

Time passes.

 

DENIER enters.

 

DENIER

oh no

don’t give me that look!

I know you’re a figment of a craven left

I know you’re not changing at all

Or if you are

It’s on you

Not me.

 

ALARMIST enters, shouts at DENIER.

 

ALARMIST

I can’t believe you!

Can’t you see what’s happening in front of your eyes?

If we don’t do anything

We’ll be underwater this time in a decade

A year or two even

Do you really want to applaud the apocalypse as it approaches?

 

SCEPTIC enters.

 

SCEPTIC

How do we even know what we’re arguing about?

We’re not scientists

And if we were

Isn’t skepticism the basis of all good science?

Shouldn’t we wait for more evidence?

 

They start to argue, making the same points on loop, voices raising.

CLIMATE sits in the centre as the argument rages, silent.

CLIMATE holds up a series of signs:

 

CLIMATE

Sometimes

I feel

as if

nobody

sees me at all.

 

The argument rages on, everybody talking over and around CLIMATE.

 

 

 

 

PLAY #88: AFTER EIFFEL (FEB 26)

[Best to Read this as a PDF as the formatting is all wrong otherwise: PLAY 88]

 

Ladders, building blocks, whatever is necessary.

A CHORUS stand in the shape of The Eiffel Tower.

Different voices speak, calling out from their shape in the tower.

 

CHORUS

 

oui

we

are

                                           always

more than

happy to be

representing

what I consider

the icon of human

splendor   and progress

such is the               lot of a human

calligram so            we joy in this

discomfort because we are the shape

of luminescence and effervescence and

the sublime I suppose the thing that soars                                                     that puts the Babel in babble the yes in success

but nonetheless there       are some doubts to be

acknowledged there is           some murk in the twinkle

we see the work in the                         fireworks and in the fizzle

it takes energy to keep                              this whole shebang aloft

and that can stretch                               and that can strain us

when the thing that                                    might be our imprint

our way of being                                              ambered in memory

is not our grand tip                                                 but our carbon foot.

 

 

CHORUS start to break free of their Eiffel Tower Shape.

 

CHORUS

So

when we heard about the new wind turbines

powering our beloved tower

we thought it might be time

beyond time?

to shake it up

 

 

CHORUS assemble themselves into a circle.

On the ground or vertically, whatever is feasible.

 

CHORUS

 

now

we worry

that               these

turbines            may well

be just                         some sort

of PR stunt                              that they

will only power                                   one floor of

the tower so what                                       sort of symbol

is that really                                                      especially when

the shape of                                                       the tower soars

when maybe                                                              it should stop and

our complicity                                                     as calligrams seems

clear if perhaps                                                    also inconsequential

but nonetheless                                              movement must start

somewhere and we                                have some hope that

the whirring of wind                          on our bright baby

might spin in some                  fresh energy to this

plunge to the top           that sees us reach

to the ground and            when we reimagine

what our shape is well

can’t there be

hope.

PLAY #87: THE UMBRELLA STAND (FEB 25)

An umbrella strand on a street.

UMBRELLA-SELLA with a stall of large paper umbrellas.

On each paper umbrella, text from the EU Paris Protocol.

On a sign beside the umbrellas: EU PLEDGES TO CUT EMISSIONS BY 40% BY 2030.

EUROPEAN PASSERS BY pass by, collect umbrellas from UMBRELLA-SELLA who is distributing them enthusiastically.

 

OH, THIS WORLD stops, looks at UMBRELLA-SELLA.

Eventually, she can’t help herself.

 

OH, THIS WORLD

Really?

 

UMBRELLA-SELLA

Real as steel.

 

OH, THIS WORLD

And strong as straw?

 

UMBRELLA-SELLA

Strong like King Kong.

 

PASSER BY walks by, collects umbrella.

A moment and then:

 

OH, THIS WORLD

Can I have one?

 

UMBRELLA-SELLA

Papers?

 

OH, THIS WORLD

Why do you suddenly need ID?

 

UMBRELLA-SELLA

Where’s home when you’re not on the roam?

 

OH, THIS WORLD

The Philippines. Manila.

 

UMBRELLA-SELLA

Ah.

 

OH, THIS WORLD

Ah?

 

UMBRELLA-SELLA

Ah like nah.

No loss no damage on these babies.

Text like vexed

Deliberations like annihilations

Still, that’s the way the world furls.

 

OH, THIS WORLD

So, this, I can’t even have this?

 

UMBRELLA-SELLA shakes head.

 

OH, THIS WORLD

I see.

 

OH, THIS WORLD walks off.

UMBRELLA-SELLA shrugs and smiles.

PASSERS BY collect umbrellas.

 

Rain.

PLAY #86: HOW MANY WAYS TO SAY NO (FEB 24)

A large pipe.

A couple of RADICAL KNITTERS knit across its opening.

 

Meanwhile, a large CHORUS trickles in.

One by one they say ‘no’ to the pipe.

 

‘Nos’ in whispers.

‘Nos’ in shouts.

‘Nos’ in gestures.

‘Nos’ in other languages.

No, no, no, no, no…

 

After a time, the RADICAL KNITTERS are finished.

Wool covers the mouth of the pipe.

& the CHORUS, all at once, in their different styles, say ‘no.’

PLAY #85: IT’S THE SUN, I TELL YOU, THE SUN (FEB 23)

A field.

Signs poke up with the names of different fossil fuel companies & foundations: EXXON MOBIL, THE AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE; THE KOCH BROTHERS.

SCIENTISTS test ground with different implements.

Every now and then a SCIENTIST cries out:

 

SCIENTIST

Bonanza!

 

SCIENTIST collects money, talks to imagined reporter.

 

SCIENTIST

Yes, it’s true that my research questions that climate change is anthropogenic.

Yes, it’s true that some of my funding comes from the fossil fuel industry.

 

SCIENTIST gathers all the money, continues to prospect somewhere else.

SCIENTISTS prospect until there is another bonanza.

And on…

PLAY #84: YOU CAN ALWAYS KNOW EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME, EVERYWHERE (FEB 22)

NYC, the subway.

THE ADVERTISEMENTS enter, all happy-clappy.

 

THE ADVERTISEMENTS

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee-feeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Give me a wi-five!

Due to popular demand

We’re rolling out more wi-fi in stations

Fares may be rising

But so is the quality of your subway experience

Soon there’ll be less poor people here

More smartphones

We’re clamping down on show-time

Because who wants real people to block these messages from our sponsors?

And with wi-fi wi-fi wi-fi

you’ll be able to know everything

all the time

everywhere

weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

PLAY #83: TO MARS AND BEYOND (FEB 21)

Many video-screens with different people talking: many languages and nationalities represented if possible…

Sound comes on in different screens as appropriate.

 

ASPIRING ASTRONAUT #1

I’m the ideal candidate to be the first person to Mars

better to send somebody young

with their life ahead of them

it’s no sacrifice to me

not with the fame that will follow.

 

ASPIRING ASTRONAUT #2

I’ve already been to Mars in my dreams

so I’ve practically already won this

right?

 

ASPIRING ASTRONAUT #3

I’ve been practicing this since I was a fetus

I’m used to living in cramped conditions

Thrive under pressure.

I’ve been practicing living under Martian conditions

for the past two months.

 

ASPIRING ASTRONAUT #4

so

I’ve already applied to lots of reality tv shows

and my YouTube channel is really taking off

ha

so

I really think I’ve got the right brand for this.

 

 

ASPIRING ASTRONAUT #5

You should pick me

because I understand why you’re doing this

because we all know earth is fucked

and not coming back to this soon-to-be dead planet

is the ultimate jackpot

I won’t mind if we only survive up there for a few years or hours

or if we end up gnawing on each others’ heads

because the Martian lettuce doesn’t work out after all.

I don’t mind if the rocket explodes in mid-air.

because I see what we’re doing here

and I know that the only sane thing

is to get the fuck out.

 

Sounds goes out, lots and lots of people talking about how they want to go to Mars and never come back.