PLAY #119: DEAD-LINES (MARCH 31)

The top of a mountain (perhaps the same mountain as PLAY 32; RESOLUTION.)

Two ACCOUNTANTS OF TRUTH hold a large piece of tape out, as if at a race.

 

LEADER OF CHEER stands to the side, speaking to people further down on the mountain, applauding, encouraging, applauding.

 

ACCOUNTANT OF TRUTH #1

Why the applause?

 

ACCOUNTANT OF TRUTH #2

Something to do? Countries doing something?

 

ACCOUNTANT OF TRUTH #1

Yes, but what if it’s not enough? This is the deadline for countries to pledge their emissions reductions contributions and-

 

ACCOUNTANT OF TRUTH #1

There are some. The EU. Mexico. The US.

 

ACCOUNTANT OF TRUTH #1

Promises and pledges. How do we make sure they’re met? Especially when countries don’t even meet a deadline to promise something.

 

ACCOUNTANT OF TRUTH #2

There’s always October.

 

ACCOUNTANT OF TRUTH #1

But there’s always another month, another thing to be pushed back. When do we push back?

 

ACCOUNTANT OF TRUTH #2

We push. We pull. We applaud. Even when it’s not enough. Because it’s something.

 

ACCOUNTANT #1 is skeptical, especially with LEADER OF CHEER continuing, with the tape-unbroken, with the play just about to end.

PLAY #118: THE BLACK HOLE (MARCH 30)

Pithole, Pennsylvania.

Two ghosts enter, clothes from the 1860s.

They look around for signs of life: nothing.

 

GHOST #1

False alarm.

 

GHOST #2

Always the case.

 

GHOST #1

Death is not the tragedy.

 

GHOST #2

Every day.

 

GHOST #1

The real tragedy is dying somewhere with nobody to haunt.

 

GHOST #2

You say that every day.

 

GHOST #1

And true as tragedy it remains.

 

Pause.

 

GHOST #1

I was sure the surveyors would be here.

 

GHOST #2

Nothing’s been here for over a century.

 

GHOST #1

Excited about the possibilities.

 

GHOST #2

Not a dribble.

 

GHOST #1

Eager to start.

GHOST #2

Not a drop.

 

GHOST #1

Energy pulsing through the place.

 

GHOST #2

What are you on about? You know it’s all dried up. It’s never going be like it used to. No scandals to spy on, no bar brawls, no money gesyering up every which way. Pithole’s as dead as we are. Deader maybe.

 

GHOST #1

There’s gas here. All over Pennsylvania. Big fracking business.

 

GHOST #2

Here?

 

GHOST #1

Close enough.

It’ll be the life of the place again. All that energy waiting to be harnessed.

 

GHOST #2

So you want to propose to these surveyors?

 

GHOST #1

No. I want to scare the shit out of them. I want them to see the future if they don’t keep fossil fuels in the ground. I want them to know what a blip in time this rush will be, how fast the money will fade, how long the traces will remain.

 

GHOST #2 thinks about it.

 

GHOST #2

Alright so. I’m in. What do we do now?

 

GHOST #1

What we always do. Wait.

 

GHOST #2

You really think they’ll come by Pithole?

 

GHOST #1

Sure as sundown.

 

The ghosts wait as sun sets…

PLAY #117: THE BINDING (MARCH 28)

UN NEGOTIATORS bring in lots of pages of The Lima Accord.

Pages stacked together.

 

NEGOTIATOR #1

In Lima, we talked into the night, we put words to pages.

 

More UN NEGOTIATORS enter with more pages.

 

NEGOTIATOR #2

In Geneva, we stirred more words in.

 

A NEGOTIATOR enters with string, assesses the document from different angles.

A huddle with the string.

Different tentative ideas, nothing attempted.

 

NEGOTIATOR #1

What sort of knots do we need in Paris?

 

NEGOTIATOR #2

                                   Who will pay for the binding?

 

THE UN NEGOTIATORS look at the document, at the string, each other.

 

PLAY #115: TAKE THESE READY MEALS AND GOOD LUCK! (MARCH 26)

2012.

Red Hook, Brooklyn, after Sandy.

It is snowing.

 

VIOLET, an elderly black lady, stands outside her apartment building.

VIOLET holds a clutch of disposable meals in silver foil.

Too many to hold.

One falls to the snow, bursts brightly under VIOLET’s foot as she stoops to pick it up.

 

VIOLET

This damned snow is some encore to Sandy

Red Cross dump ready meals and go

Might as well be invisible as black right now.

 

VIOLET looks at the paltry meals in her hand, shakes her head, moves inside from the snow.

Snow continues to fall on the ready-meal.

 

 

 

PLAY #114: THE PORTRAIT OF DEAN DORIAN (MARCH 25)

A plush University room in the United States.

UNIVERSITY TOUR-GUIDE leads a small group of admiring onlookers.

Everybody admires the portrait of the Dean – a handsome, smiling man, the kind you would trust with your children, your money, your organs.

 

UNIVERSITY TOUR GUIDE

This University fully supports sustainable development

 

THE SABOTEUR

while funding climate chaos.

 

THE SABOTEUR jumps out from the group and leaps on top of a mahogany desk.

Gasps from all, not least the tour-guide.

From the desk, THE SABOTEUR pulls up the portrait of the smiling dean, revealing another one behind.

 

This portrait is of the same man but with grey hair, a haggard visage.

There is a strange dark tinge to his skin, a swirling oily vortex where his previously trim suit had been.

Silence.

The odd gasp.

Silence.

 

THE SABOTEUR

A relentless sun offers no refuge for shadows.

 

THE SABOTEUR sticks an orange square on the portrait, jumps into the crowd.

TOUR-GUIDE looks at crowd, unsure what to do.

 

PLAY #113: WHISTLE-WORK (MARCH 24)

A prison cell.

From under the door, oil leaks slowly out.

 

On the floor opposite it, a large stack of papers with a big label:

OBAMA’S CLIMATE RHETORIC.

 

The oil trickles across the floor, seeps into the pages.

UNION OF LEAKERS watch the situation, dispassionate.

 

UNION OF LEAKERS

Chelsea Manning’s whistle pierces BP

sounds sharp against Obama’s drone

posterity picks the winning tune.

 

The oil continues to seep across.

THE UNION OF LEAKERS hold up whistles.

They start to blow, out of synch, louder and louder.

 

GUARDS enter, put them into that cell door.

A cacophony of struggle and blowing whistles, the sounds of whistles continuing even after the lights go out.