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Nature Plays

  The Whale Masquerade - for stage

  The Whale Masquerade - for radio  

  Duck Fanciers - for stage or radio  

 

 

The Whale Masquerade

 An Ecoplay Play for the Stage

   by Paul Aird

The Characters    

Zeus:  The Supreme God of All Heavens and Earths Therein.

Artemis:  Goddess of the Moon and of All Wild Things; Daughter of Zeus.

Aquarium Directors:  one female, one male.

The Setting 

In the House of Zeus on Mount Olympus in Greece.  At curtain rise, Zeus is dressed in an elegant robe and seated on a throne.  Artemis stands beside him, clothed in a plain white gown, with a white hood over her head.  

    Voice:  [A lyre is strummed.]  Zeus, the Supreme God of All Heavens and Earths Therein, will now address the assembly.

    Zeus:  [Remains seated and raises his arms to command absolute silence.  Then he turns his head left and right, nodding his head to acknowledge the gods unseen by the audience.]  The immortal gods are assembled to resolve a conflict between the whales and the humans on earth. [Pause.]  Some humans have trapped three young beluga whales and placed them in a public aquarium, to entertain other humans for a fee.  The whales claim they are being treated cruelly.  My daughter Artemis, Goddess of the Moon and of All Wild Things, will speak for the whales.

    Artemis:  It is proper for whales to entertain themselves.  It is proper for humans to entertain themselves, too.  But is it morally right for one species to imprison another, merely to entertain its members?  [Pause.]  As goddess of the animals, I now place a whale mask over my head and appear before two aquarium directors as a beluga whale.  [Fade in the sound of ocean waves.]  Watch the directors as they approach me, dripping with dignity, oozing with kindness.

    Directors:  [The Aquarium Directors enter, each dressed in business clothes and wearing a striped tie.  They speak alternate sentences, as Artemis "swims" about.]  Look.  A lovely beluga.  A beautiful beluga.  Whales fascinate people.  Our aquarium needs another one.  We'll teach her to do tricks.  It's show time!  Come - see the wondrous whale!  We need your money!  [Laughter, as hands rise to muffle the words.]  Feel the water she swims in.  It's icy cold.  Nature is so cruel.  She'll love our heated pool.  And soft lights instead of a burning sun.  She's coming close.  Closer.  Closer.  [The directors loosen their ties and pounce on Artemis.  Splashing noises.  She fights to resist them, using her arms like whale flippers, but becomes ensnared in the circle formed by their outstretched arms.]  I've got her.  Hold her.  She's slipping.  I've got ... her tail.  We've got her.  What a prize!

    Artemis:  Trapped!  I'm trapped!  They're so cruel!

    Zeus:  No.  They were careful not to hurt you.

    Artemis:  [Fade out ocean waves.]  Then watch, as they take me to their vile aquarium.  They are tearing me away from you.  I will never see you again, father!  [Her captors force her to the front of the stage.  They form an arc to confine her between themselves and the audience.]  You will never see me!

    Zeus:  I see everything from Mount Olympus!

    Artemis:  Then you see me trapped in this tiny concrete jail surrounded by artificial rocks, plastic plants, heated water and fluorescent lights  [She sweeps her flippers to embrace the audience.]  Tormentors!  Look at the brutes, lining up to leer at me through a glass window.  Just staring, staring, staring.  There's no privacy.

    Zeus:  You have privacy at night, and they feed you well.  What more can a whale want?

    Artemis:  The sun!  The waves!  Freedom!  Freedom to swim -- and dive!  [She dives under the arms of her captors.  A water pump starts throbbing and she covers her ears with her flippers.]  Hell is a screaming water pump! 

    Zeus:  [Leaps up.]  I've heard enough!  Is there a verdict, from the gods on my left?

    Enraged Voices from the Left Wing:  Bring in the Furies.

    Zeus:  The gods on my right?

    Enraged Voices from the Right Wing:  With lightning and thunder.

    Zeus:  [Salutes the sky as lightning strikes, thunder sounds, the theatre lights flicker and the water pump stops throbbing.  Then Zeus speaks firmly to the aquarium directors, cowering in front of him.]  The gods have spoken.  The pump is broken.  Now the hideous snake-haired Furies will torment you with rain, rising floods and indignation, day after day, [the theatre lights flicker] till all whales in jail swim free.

    Artemis:  [As the aquarium directors sneak away, Artemis "swims" to join her father.  She turns, unrolls a scroll and reads from it.]  There's an epilogue to this divine masquerade:

only the Gods can explain

why the whales have the largest brain

why the humans are inhumane

why the oceans rely on rain

lightning

[lightning strikes]

 and thun...

[thunder sounds]

 

Curtain Falls

Note:  In this ecoplay, other animals could be substituted instead of whales, such as wolves or bears imprisoned in a zoo, or birds caged in a restaurant.

Estimated play time: 5 minutes.

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______

 

The Whale Masquerade

 An Ecoplay for Radio

    by Paul Aird

 

The Characters

Zeus:  The Supreme God of All Heavens and Earths Therein.

Artemis:  Goddess of the Moon and of All Wild Things; Daughter of Zeus.

Aquarium Directors:  one female, one male.

The Setting 

In the House of Zeus on Mount Olympus:

    Voice:  [A lyre is strummed.]  Zeus, the Supreme God of All Heavens and Earths Therein, will now address the assembly.

    Zeus: The immortal gods are assembled to resolve a conflict between the whales and the humans on earth. [Pause.]  Some humans have trapped three young beluga whales and placed them in a public aquarium, to entertain other humans for a fee.  The whales claim they are being treated cruelly.  My daughter Artemis, Goddess of the Moon and of All Wild Things, will speak for the whales.  

    Artemis: It is proper for whales to entertain themselves.  It is proper for humans to entertain themselves, too.  But is it morally right for one species to imprison another, merely to entertain its members?  [Pause.]  As goddess of the animals, I now place a whale mask over my head and appear before two aquarium directors as a beluga whale.  [Fade in the sound of ocean waves.]  Watch the directors as they approach me, dripping with dignity, oozing with kindness.

    Directors:  [They speak alternate sentences.]  Look.  A lovely beluga.  A beautiful beluga.  Whales fascinate people.  Our aquarium needs another one.  We'll teach her to do tricks.  It's show time!  Come - see the wondrous whale!  We need your money!  [Laughter.]  Feel the water she swims in.  It's icy cold.  Nature is so cruel.  She'll love our heated pool.  And soft lights instead of a burning sun.  She's coming close.  Closer.  Closer.  [Splashing noises.]  I've got her.  Hold her.  She's slipping.  I've got ... her tail.  We've got her.  What a prize!

    Artemis:  Trapped!  I'm trapped!  They're so cruel!

    Zeus:  No, Artemis, they were careful not to hurt you.

    Artemis:  Then watch, as they take me to their vile aquarium.  They are tearing me away from you.  I will never see you again, father!  You will never see me! [Fade out ocean waves.]

    Zeus:  I see everything from my throne on Mount Olympus!

    Artemis:  Then you see me trapped in this tiny concrete jail surrounded by artificial rocks, plastic plants, heated water and fluorescent lights.  Tormentors!  Look at the brutes, lining up to leer at me through a glass window.  Just staring, staring, staring.  There's no privacy.

    Zeus:  You have privacy at night, and they feed you well.  What more can a whale want?

    Artemis:  The sun!  The waves!  Freedom!  Freedom to swim -- and dive!  [A water pump starts throbbing.]  Hell is a screaming water pump!   

    Zeus:  I've heard enough!  Is there a verdict, from the gods on my left?

    Enraged Voices:  Bring in the Furies.

    Zeus:  The gods on my right?

    Enraged Voices:  With lightning and thunder.

    Zeus:  [The water pump stops throbbing, thunder sounds, followed by a brief period of silence.  Zeus speaks firmly.]  The gods have spoken.  The pump is broken.  Now the hideous snake-haired Furies will torment aquarium directors with rain, rising floods and indignation, day after day, till all whales in concrete prisons swim free.

    Artemis: There's an epilogue to this divine masquerade:

only the Gods can explain

why the whales have the largest brain

why the humans are inhumane

why the oceans rely on rain

lightning

and thun...

 [thunder sounds]

 

Play Ends

Note:  In this ecoplay, other animals could be substituted instead of whales, such as wolves or bears imprisoned in a zoo, or birds caged in a restaurant.

Estimated play time: 5 minutes.  

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Duck Fanciers

 

A Playlet for Five Actors

 

I fly where I please

I am wild and free

 

it swims on my pond

it belongs to me

 

I will shoot it first

then it's mine to see

 

it belongs to all

there's a hunting fee

 

it belongs to none

please let it be free

 

they are all confused

I belong to me

 

 

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Copyright 2009 Paul Aird, Inglewood, Ontario.  All rights reserved.