PLAY #199: MISADVENTURES IN TRAMPOLINING (JUNE 29)

UN DELEGATES hold a trampoline type stretchy fabric.

On the fabric, lots of text from different UN Climate Treaties, patchwork quilt style.

 

DELEGATES are bouncing a plastic inflatable globe in the air, in exaggerated slow motion, the globe attached to strings from a grid above, moving around the stage in wrecking ball fashion.

 

Globe descends.

Voices shout from different edges of the fabric, everybody attempting to catch the globe.

 

UN DELEGATES

This way!

No, this way!

There’s a hole here!

US?

Canada?

Doesn’t matter, we got this!

 

Ball bounces upwards.

UN delegates switch fabric for another piece.

 

UN DELEGATES

Okay, so much for Kyoto I.

Kyoto II isn’t any better.

It isn’t going to hold.

It will!

There’s another hole here.

Just pull it this way.

There!

 

Ball descends, bounces upwards, out of view.

UN delegates drop the piece of fabric, rummage through a box.

 

UN DELEGATES

Copenhagen?

Don’t bother.

Bali Plan for Action?

Durban?

We could use the Lima Accord.

Not strong enough.

Paris?

It’s not finished.

We don’t know if it’s going to be good enough.

There’s a huge hole here…

The US: Supreme Court just rejected EPA’s regulations on coal plants.

Just move it this way!

We don’t have commitments from India yet.

Nothing’s bound yet.

This isn’t going to work.

It will.

It has to.

 

UN DELEGATES look up, waiting for the ball to fall.

 

UN DELEGATES

How do you know?

It has to.

 

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PLAY #198: AS ENTROPHY TO THE EARTH, SO RUST TO LEGACIES (JUNE 26)

New York, outside the Rockerfeller Center.

The bronze statue of ATLAS, holding the Heavens, triumphant.

 

MOURNERS enter, each carrying a plastic inflatable globe that has been doused in oil.

MOURNERS place the globes at ATLAS’ feet.

 

JUST DOING MY JOBS, Cops with traffic cones as megaphones enter.

They have barricades on their backs, the better to take them off and barricade things.

 

JUST DOING MY JOBS

Cease and disperse.

 

MOURNERS

Why are you protecting a statue?

Why can’t you protect the ground?

Why will you barricade the bull of Wall St

but not the land its horns plunder?

 

JUST DOING MY JOBS

Now now

You know the drill

Can’t deviate from the drill

You know the drill

Move along before this gets ugly.

 

MOURNERS

when we have burnt the world to the brink

when we have tapped every last fossil fuel

when we have clouded carbon across the air

when skyscrapers are rubble

when there is no-one left to write statutes

when the last limbs of statues have crashed to the ground

what will you barricade then?

 

JUST DOING MY JOBS

has enough time passed?

can we cuff them yet?

 

A nod from a JUST DOING MY JOB in charge.

Very accelerated – JUST DOING MY JOBS arrest the MOURNERS, clear them off the stage, take the globes away.

 

JUST DOING MY JOBS put up barricades around the statue of ATLAS, exit.

 

PLAY #197: TASTES LIKE HEAVEN (JUNE 26)

SPIN POP FIZZ and ATLAS.

SPIN POP FIZZ – a slick PR executive.

ATLAS – a young model.

The two of them are lovers.

The same characters from PLAY 197, but a different, happier, time.

 

ATLAS is posing for an imaginary camera, naked apart from y-fronts.

He holds a plastic inflatable globe in front of his crotch, smiles coyly.

SPIN POP FIZZ turns over in bed, laughs.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

We’ve already got the shots.

 

ATLAS

I know.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ grabs his phone from the side of bed, holds it up.

ATLAS poses, camp-coy.

 

ATLAS

Making a calendar of your own?

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

Yeah. X-rated’s where the real money is.

 

ATLAS

I hope I get a cut.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

How about I kiss that globe, we call it even?

 

ATLAS

Dirty bastard.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

You’re talking.

 

ATLAS throws the globe at SPIN POP FIZZ, jumps into bed beside him.

A kiss for a moment, energy sparking.

SPIN POP FIZZ throws the globe out of the bed.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

Pretty weighty, that world.

 

ATLAS

You know Atlas doesn’t actually hold the world in the myth.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

Huh?

 

ATLAS

It’s the Heavens he’s holding. At least in the original. The image of him holding the globe is more of an early modern invention. Hubris rises with humanism, I guess.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

You been listening to TED Talks on your break?

 

ATLAS

I’m a classics student, actually. Modeling pays for college.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

Wow. You never said.

 

ATLAS

No. We haven’t…

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

Talked much?

 

ATLAS

Yeah.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

Can’t imagine why.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ leans in for a kiss, ATLAS gets up, picks up the globe, tosses it up and down.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

You think we should redo the calendar?

 

ATLAS

You just want to see me pose more.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

Maybe.

 

ATLAS

I think it’s okay. Probably a small amount of classicists buying the calendar.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

Could be true.

 

ATLAS

Who buys these things anyway?

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

Who cares?

 

ATLAS gets back into bed, holding the globe.

 

ATLAS

Does it ever bother you?

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

What?

 

ATLAS

What you do?

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

I love my job.

 

ATLAS

Right. But do you ever think about what it’s for.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

A portion of the calendar’s profits goes to charity.

 

ATLAS

Yeah, but it’s also good PR for the oil industry.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

PR isn’t a dirty word, you know. At least not in that way. If we’re talking about your dirty calendar-

 

ATLAS

It doesn’t ever bother you?

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

What?

 

ATLAS

Who you work for.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

I don’t get to pick my clients.

 

Pause.

ATLAS throws the globe up and down.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

Does it bother you?

 

ATLAS

What?

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

The people banking your way through college.

 

ATLAS

Sometimes.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

A conscience. That’s cute.

 

ATLAS

It’s not an accessory.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

You could probably do something with it. Sign yourself up for ethical campaigns. Fair trade stuff, some of those wacky NGO stunts-

 

ATLAS

I should get going.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

Wait. Maybe we shouldn’t have talked too much. Disrupts the equilibrium.

 

ATLAS

Right.

 

Little pause.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

You’re really worried about this?

 

ATLAS

No.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

We can pull the picture if you want. Get another model.

 

ATLAS

No.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

It’s all just a bit of fun.

 

ATLAS

Right.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

Who knows who buys these things anyway? They’ll be hung up in offices, hair salons. Just a laugh. I bet nobody even looks at the logo.

 

ATLAS

Right.

(beat.)

I guess I feel like there’s some sort of calculus. Of how to be a good person. Like there’s all these ways in which some of these corporations have their fingers on different actions, and even if something seems innocuous, inane, it’s hard to measure its impact, in terms of normalizing something, say fossil fuel extraction, which actually shouldn’t be normal, shouldn’t be a bit of a laugh, because it’s the thing that is causing so much destruction, so much devastation, and so it feels like there’s this invisible web around the world, and whichever way you move you’re somehow touching this, this influence, but it does feel like there should be some way of measuring how to minimize your impact.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

The equation of how to be good?

 

ATLAS

Right. You know what I mean?

 

Pause.

ATLAS tosses globe up, holds it.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

It was a punishment, wasn’t it?

 

ATLAS

What?

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

What happened to Atlas. Holding the world, the Heavens, whatever.

 

ATLAS

Yeah.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

What happens when you piss off Zeus.

(beat.)

There was a fight. Atlas was on the wrong side. Ended up with a big-ass burden on those fabulous shoulders.

(beat.)

The way I look at it, there’s always going to be conflict. Tensions. You just got to make sure you’re backing the right side. You want the guy with the lightning bolt to be backing your ass.

(beat.)

So I don’t feel bad about what I do. I don’t feel bad about supporting my clients. Because whatever happens, I’d rather have them on my side than not. You know what I mean?

 

ATLAS doesn’t, throws the globe up and down a couple of times.

They sit side by side in bed, both wishing they could just kiss, fuck, something to change the mood, but the energy’s all wrong now.

PLAY #196: SHOOT FOR THE STAR (JUNE 25)

A garden, grass too green to be real.

Lots of plastic inflatable globes scattered on the lawn.

SPIN POP FIZZ, a young PR executive, loads a plastic inflatable globe into a catapult, an air of manic dishevelment about him.

ATLAS, a young model, stands beside SPIN POP FIZZ holding up a globe above his head.

 

ATLAS

You sure you want to?

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

Yes.

 

ATLAS

It’s just-

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

Shut up.

Your job is to look pretty and strong.

We know what we’re doing.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ releases the catapult: globe flies into the air.

SPIN POP FIZZ addresses a camera.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

Easy as anything!

Order your sun-shield today for just $79.99!

Why should some dead old star compromise our way of life?

Order your sun-shield today – together, we can block the sun.

Because

When life gives you ice melt, make iced coffee!

 

A globe drops from the sky and lands in the garden.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

Did that get on camera?

 

ATLAS

What do you think?

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

Maybe we can cut it out.

No.

Best to do it again.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ loads another globe into the catapult.

 

ATLAS

Are you sure-

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

Yes.

 

Another globe lands in the garden.

SPIN POP FIZZ ignores it.

ATLAS starts to lower his globe.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

Don’t tell me your arms are getting tired?

 

ATLAS

Not my arms, no.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

In times of crisis, it’s important to project a message of control.

Companies who know what they’re doing.

Humans with the world in their hands.

 

ATLAS

Blocking the sun, it’s-

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

All we have left.

 

Pause.

ATLAS raises globe high, smiles for the camera.

SPIN POP FIZZ goes to catapult, releases the globe.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

Easy as anything!

Order your sun-shield today for just $79.99!

Why should some dead old star compromise our way of life?

Order your sun-shield today – together, we can block the sun.

Because

When life gives you ice melt, make iced coffee!

 

A globe falls from the sky into the lawn.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

We can cut that out. There was enough of a pause.

 

ATLAS

Yeah.

 

SPIN POP FIZZ

We got it!

 

ATLAS

Yeah.

 

ATLAS and SPIN POP FIZZ remain where they are, because what else is there to do?

Another globe falls from the sky.

PLAY #195: REGENERATION GAP (JUNE 24)

MOTHER lies curled up on a gurney.

She has just given birth to a plastic inflatable globe.

This is both incredibly sad and something that all three people in the room expected.

 

DOCTOR cleans up, NURSE holds onto the ball.

 

MOTHER

There’s no sound?

 

DOCTOR

No.

 

NURSE

There never is.

 

MOTHER

Can I see…?

 

NURSE

Best not to.

 

MOTHER

I suppose.

 

NURSE

Best to lie back down. Forget.

 

MOTHER

After nine months? You think that’s possible.

 

DOCTOR

What I had to do.

 

Pause.

NURSE looks at DOCTOR.

DOCTOR continues to work.

MOTHER lies down.

 

NURSE

I’ll take this for testing?

 

DOCTOR

Yes.

 

NURSE

Don’t worry. We’ll find out why…this is happening.

 

MOTHER

Has anybody…?

 

NURSE

No.

 

NURSE exits.

Pause.

 

MOTHER

Makes a maternity ward quieter, I suppose.

 

DOCTOR

Yes.

 

MOTHER

You must like that a little.

 

DOCTOR

You should rest. We need the bed soon.

 

Pause.

 

MOTHER

Did you see yours again?

 

DOCTOR

Best not to.

 

MOTHER

Did you?

 

DOCTOR

Yes.

(beat.)

They’re all kept in a room. Lots of them.

 

MOTHER

I heard there were hundreds.

 

DOCTOR

More now. Impossible to imagine.

 

MOTHER

Did you know which one was yours?

 

DOCTOR

Who can be sure?

 

MOTHER

But you knew.

 

DOCTOR

Yes.

 

Pause.

 

DOCTOR

You should rest.

 

MOTHER

You’ll need the bed soon.

 

DOCTOR

Yes.

 

MOTHER

You’ll figure all of this out.

 

DOCTOR continues to work, doesn’t respond.

MOTHER lies down.

PLAY #194: AS LIGHT AS ANYTHING (JUNE 23)

ATLAS stands holding a plastic inflatable globe above his head.

He is young, goes to the gym, only wearing shorts.

He looks ahead, stoic.

 

TOURISTS 1 + 2 enter, take photos.

ATLAS does not react.

 

TOURIST 1

Like the guards?

 

TOURIST 2

??

 

TOURIST 1

At Buckingham Palace.

 

TOURIST 2

Yeah!

 

TOURIST 1

Couldn’t get them to crack a smile if you paid them.

 

TOURIST 2

Or showed them your OK Cupid Profile, now that’s a joke!

 

TOURIST 1

Ha!

 

TOURIST 2

What about this?

 

TOURIST 2 takes a feather duster out of bag, tries to tickle ATLAS.

ATLAS does not budge.

 

 

TOURIST 1

Ha!

 

TOURIST 2

Well.

 

TOURISTS stare at ATLAS.

 

TOURIST 1

It’s getting warmer.

 

TOURIST 2

Finally.

 

TOURIST 1

No. Starting to steam. Look. His hands.

 

TOURIST 2 looks.

It does appear that the globe is getting quite hot for ATLAS to hold, ATLAS flexing his hands.

 

TOURIST 2

Oh. Yes.

 

ATLAS stares ahead, looking increasingly uncomfortable.

 

TOURIST 2

Look at that!

 

TOURIST 1

Must be getting really hot.

 

TOURIST 2

White hot. That’s what they say, isn’t it?

 

TOURIST 1

It is.

 

ATLAS bites lip, flexes hands, stares ahead.

 

TOURIST 2

You got what you need?

 

TOURIST 1

Yeah.

 

TOURIST 2

Let’s boogie?

 

TOURIST 1

Let’s.

 

TOURISTS leave.

ATLAS stares ahead, in incredible physical pain, face contorted in an incredible attempt not to acknowledge that pain.

PLAY #193: DUDE, WHERE’S MY PLANET? (JUNE 22)

A garden in California.

Two DUDE-BROS play by a swimming pool, throwing an inflatable plastic globe back and forth.

Back and forth, back and forth, until DUDE-BRO 1 sends the ball over the wall into the next garden.

 

DUDE-BRO 2

Dude!

 

DUDE-BRO 1

Bro!

(beat.)

No worries, we got more.

 

DUDE-BRO 1 goes to the corner, fetches another plastic globe.

DUDE-BRO 1 blows up the globe.

Once it is inflated & sealed, DUDE-BRO 1 poses with the globe in his hands, a la Atlas.

 

DUDE-BRO 2

Sweet.

 

DUDE-BRO 1 throws the ball to DUDE-BRO 2.

It passes back and forth, as light as anything.