Author: Peter Wood
Draft date: 13-08-01
On one side of the stage, the BOY sits on a rock, a small knapsack next to him. He is reading a book from Ursula K. LeGuin’s Earthsea series. The video backdrop is of a forest. There are sounds of a summer afternoon in the background: birds, insects, a light wind, etc.
He reads. He turns the page slowly.
The lights dim on his section of the stage and the sound becomes a series of broken radio and tv voices.
First contact / Demands / Long grey ships / Insectile appearence / Come in peace / Translations / Hibernating for over 2000 year
As these voices continue, the GIRL enters from the back of the house. The video backdrop begins to mirror or movements through the woods. As the Various Voices continue, she makes her way to the Boy. A sound of running footsteps along a wooded path. As she gets closer and closer to the boy, the Various Voices fade.
The President of the United States / Religious violence and riots in the streets / Fear and panic / Joy and excitement / Cures for Cancer / Suggests that military response may become necessary but that we should not expect to succeed, still the human race will never lie down and let themselves / Streep Sget N’ah’ala, the alien Ambassador / Focus on the future / The Chinese Paramount Leader suggests that / We do not understand / Black, ant-like bodies / They’d best not tread on me / The South will not tolerate / Indian and Pakistani relations took a turn for the worst / Nuclear / Peace / Alien / Mandibles sharp / Warrior caste and a scholar caste but an individual alien may switch back and forth a number of / Wikileaks has just posted documents revealing that our governments knew
Throughout this, the Girl has been running through the forest. The video backdrop reflecting her motion. As she arrives at the rock, the Various Voices have faded altogether, leaving only the sound of the woods.
He reads. She catches her breath.
Have you heard! Aliens! Real live aliens. Here. Spaceships and everything. They look a little like ants but I don’t think as much as people say. Sorta like a cross between an ant and a badger. Kinda ugly. I wish they were prettier. But their spaceships are awesome and I am totally going to get on one and go to space and become a famous scientist of the galaxy but a scientist that also is a pilot and an interstellar detective.
He turns the page.
He doesn’t sound impressed.
Why are you here? I knew you would be. Here. Reading. But aren’t you excited why aren’t you home and watching the aliens it’s a “whole new world” my dad says, “history in the making,” he says, “you’ll tell your grandchildren about this moment and they won’t believe you” he says. My mom just looks sad and has spent the whole day in her garden. Everybody is talking about it!
The Boy puts a bookmark into the book, closes it slowly and deliberately and looks at the Girl.
Magic is cooler.
Silence but for the sounds of the woods. The Girl sits next to the rock, wrapping her arms around her legs and looking very serious.
Yeah. I see what you mean. But, magic isn’t real!
That’s what they said about aliens.
The two sit. A long pause. The lights slowly, slowly fade. The sound of the woods.