Intro music plays and the scene opens up with all characters on stage, frozen. When overture is finished Katie and Kristie unfreeze and begin. Diana, Katie and Sharilyn (mother nature) watch them with interest.

Katie: Mom and Dad are gone.

Kristie: Dad said he never would be.

Katie: Mom said she'd always be with Dad.

Kristie: I guess that's why they're both gone.

Katie: The farm is still here.

Kristie: What's left of it.

Katie: We tried. We just couldn't get everything to pull together.

Kristie: It's a lot like baking isn't it? Everything has to be just right.

Katie: I was never good at baking. I could never get everything balanced.

Kristie: The farm was hard enough to balance when we were young and everything was good.

Katie: It took teamwork and determination, and it took love. Love for your family and love for the land.

Kristie: When everything goes against you the land always came through.

Katie: But what happens when the land is unable to come through?

Kristie: What happens when the rain taints the soil and the sun doesn't relent?

Katie: You have to make sacrifices. Little by little you see it all slip away.

Kristie: First it's the farm hands.

Katie: Can't live off good intentions.

Kristie: Then it's the land.

Katie: Just couldn't hold out.

Kristie: You get scared when experts throw around terms like "climate change" and "global warming".

Katie: Every season it got hotter. Every season the winds grew stronger. Every season there was less to hold on to.

Kristie: Until finally there was nothing. Until your home wasn't your home anymore and you have to give up all you know.

Katie: It's going to be hard to sell. (Step back, freeze)

Diana: (Taking seeds from Katie and giving them to Sharilyn) There goes another one.

Katie M: Soon there won't be any left.

Justin: I built my business up from the ground and now the ground is taking it back. I like machines. I like the way they work. I like the way they work the land. I sell farm equipment, a simple job, but it's what I do. But it's kind of hard when there's nobody to buy it. I'm well known around these parts. I'll give you a good deal and a good product. But it doesn't matter how good the equipment is when nothing will grow for you. Nothing more to say really. I'm going to lose my business, my employees will lose their jobs; the whole community's drying up. Shame really, I wanted something to leave my boys.

Katie: (takes toy train from Justin, puts in on Sharilyn) We all want something to pass onto the future.

Diana: Too bad for them when there's nothing left to give.

[ Ashley D. and Kevin step forward on opposite sides of the stage. Ashley speaks and Kevin is frozen.]

Ashley: Do you know how much money this company made last year? A lot. And do you know how much more we could have made if it wasn't for environmental regulations on our factories? Millions! Crunch the numbers people, was a 20% financial loss to our company worth saving Flipper?! Come on, one company doesn't make a difference in this world. We're not out to make a difference, we're out to make money.

[Freeze. Kevin steps forward.]

Kevin: My company's fossil fuel emissions went up 3% last year despite campaigning for stricter regulations. I know that doesn't seem like a whole lot but trust me, that's a big deal for a company our size. I tried to explain to the other partners the effect we're having, but they don't care. They can only see money signs, not warning signs.


Ashley: We make money and that means we make jobs. And jobs are what our society needs the most. So we trample a little grass along the way, but would you rather we didn't? You don't seem to mind having heat in your homes, gas in your car or food on your shelves. We do all that, but if you think you can live without, well you can't. So don't blame me for destroying the planet, you're the reason I'm here.

[Goes back to position, shoving Sharilyn along the way]

Kevin: Why don't people realize how serious a situation is until it can't be helped? The ozone, the rainforests, the climate; everyone knows these are problems. It seems everyone has a voice but they're not willing to speak. When does the line between profit and progress blur? Hell, there are many who don't even recognize the line.


Jaeson: [Steps forward with authority] The line stops here! People don't appreciate the pressures at the top, the decisions you have to make, the people you have to please. I'm sorry but I don't have time to worry about the environment, it's enough to worry about me. There are certain goals a man such as myself sets in his life and saving the planet isn't one of them. I do my part. I follow regulations and if people want more it's going to cost them. And I don't think anyone's willing to pay. At least I'm not.

Katie M: Will anyone pay?

Diana: [Places briefcase on Mother Nature and indicates to her] She will.

Katie M: Will anyone speak for her?

Diana: Everyone has a voice, they just have to use it.

[Sheri, Shane and Jill unfreeze and sit in the center of the stage in a circle. They roll a ball between them, they don't speak unless they have the ball, when they're done they roll it away.]

Jill: My Dad told me things used to be different. That people didn't always live like us.

Shane: How was it different?

Sheri: How else could you live?

Jill: Well, they lived on the surface.

Shane: You can't live on the surface. The air's too toxic.

Sheri: The water's too polluted.

Jill: And the sun's too dangerous, I know. But that's what he said.

Shane: It's probably just a story he heard.

Sheri: Or something he told you to shut you up.

Jill: Probably.

Shane: Besides, you can't even get to the surface.

Sheri: [Slightly hesitant] I've been to the surface.

Jill: Liar.

Shane: You can't live on the surface.

Sheri: I didn't live there, I just visited. It was a present for my sixth birthday but we couldn't stay long.

Jill: What did you see?

Shane: Was everything black and dark like down here?

Sheri: No, it wasn't like here at all. I even saw the sun.

Jill: Wow. What was it like?

Shane: Did it burn your skin?

Sheri: No, but we couldn't stay long or it would have. The sun was beautiful; it's not like anything we have down here.

Jill: There's nothing wrong with what we have down here.

Shane: Yeah, it's not like the sun can reach us here and hurt us, and we don't have to wear masks to breath.

Sheri: I know, but it was really pretty on the surface. I bet Earth has even prettier things too.

Jill: Well you'll never see them. Not much point in thinking about them.

Shane: We'll never be able to live on the surface; my Dad said so.

Sheri: I wish we could, I'd love to see the sun set a few more times.

Jill: What else was there?

Shane: Was there any trees left?

Sheri: No, no trees. But I could tell where they used to be, there were stumps everywhere. I really wanted to see some animals, but there weren't any left.

Jill: Would have been neat if you did. We'd know if they were real and not just in pictures.

Shane: I have to go, it's almost supper time.

Sheri: What's your hurry?

Jill: It's just the same meal everyday.

Shane: Not today, my Dad saved up for a few months. Tonight we're having fresh vegetables. I've never had them before. [Leaves]

Sheri: I never had real vegetables either.

Jill: Bet they taste the same as the fake ones.

Sheri: Maybe. [Stares off for a minute] The sun really was pretty.

Jill: Hope I get to see it someday.

Sheri: If people really did live on the surface before, then they would have been able to see the sun everyday. They could see it set and rise. Why would they give that up to live here?

Jill: They couldn't have wanted to live here. They must have done something that made everyone move down below.

Sheri: How could they hurt something so beautiful? How could they take that for granted?

Diana: Sometimes children are the wisest of us all. They appreciate what they have.

Katie M: Some people don't see what they have until they've lost it.

Diana: Lost not just to them, but to the future as well. [Future kids exit]

Matthew: It wasn't supposed to be like this. They told me that it could never happen. Or maybe they had said it had never happened before. I don't even know what went wrong. I was on deck when it happened, but I had just checked the oil tanks and they were fine; everything said they were fine. Then the ship rocked and there was a sound like an explosion, but it wasn't. It was the oil tanks on the ship bursting and spilling out into the sea. There was so much of it. The oil came spilling out and I just watched as the clear water began to blacken and die. Nothing survives an oil spill.

I still haven't found out what happened. Maybe we hit a rock or ran ashore, I don't know. But the point is this wasn't supposed to happen. The wreck happened right in the middle of a fishing community too. The fish won't be back here though. Not for ... probably not forever. I can't even think about the destruction this will cause. Those people will all lose their jobs, maybe their homes, the fish will die, and the birds are probably gone forever. This whole community's ruined. And it's my fault. But I know I checked the valves on the oil tanks right; I just don't know what happened. Maybe it was my fault, and maybe seeing this is my punishment.

Katie M: [Takes his helmet and gives it to Sharilyn after he freezes] Does the punishment fit the crime?

Diana: Could there ever be a punishment to fit this crime?

Colleen: I just took the boat out yesterday. I never thought that would be its last voyage.

Heather: We all saw the oil tanker crash. At first we were worried about the crew, but then we saw the oil coming and we worried about ourselves and our community.

Colleen: Ninety percent of the people here fish for a living. Now we can't even take the boats out.

Heather: Today was the first day my husband ever got up and didn't know what to do with himself. He couldn't go out on his boat, he couldn't go on anyone else's, he couldn't even go down to the market to look at the other ships' catches. I think that's when it really hit him that this is the end of our little community.

Colleen: We're not a big city or anything, there's only eight or nine hundred people but this is our home. We're happy here. But there's not much you can for a fishing community with black water and dead fish.

Heather: There's no way to make a living here now. I've already seen my neighbours packing their stuff, getting ready to move on.

Colleen: This happened to another little place a few days up the coast, we never thought it could happen here. Everything was so perfect here.

Heather: Maybe it was too good to be true? We lived here so long we didn't appreciate what we had until it was gone.

Colleen: Some of us did. We knew we were lucky. We were some of the luckiest people alive until the day that ship passed by here.

Heather: I don't know who it'll be hardest on; the children or the adults. The grown ups will survive I guess, find the same job in a different community, until that one dries up too. But the children won't take it well, they won't understand.

Colleen: They'll have to get used to it I suppose, the whole world's falling apart.

[Diana and Katie are up stage trying to fix a broken puzzle]

Katie M.: Can you put things back together when they fall apart? [Her pieces fit together]

Diana: [Diana's pieces do not fit together] Can you reassemble an egg after it's been broken?

Lindsay: My classroom's already getting smaller. The families can't stay if there's no fish and I know soon I'll have to move too.

Reba: The oil spill was devastating. No one saw it coming. Those tankers pass by all the time, we never thought something could go wrong.

Lindsay: Everyday more children leave, all heading in different directions. They tell each other they'll keep in touch but these kids will probably never see their friends again.

Reba: My husband's gone into depression. He says he won't leave. His family's lived here, fished here for over seventy years and he refuses to break that tradition.

Lindsay: The government has promised to help clean up the oil, try to save the community. But they've also admitted that it will take years of cleaning. And in years everyone here will have new lives and new homes. It would be even harder to move back.

Reba: Almost everyone's gone and he won't even start packing. I think he's waiting for a miracle or maybe even the government, but I've already told him it'll take time. I've tried to convince him that we'll come back when it's cleaned up, we won't break his family's tradition, but he still won't move.

Lindsay: It's sad to look at my school and see it so empty. There's no one here now and I have to leave too. I'll miss this place, it was so quiet and peaceful. I'm going to the city, I've never lived there before. Maybe it'll be just as nice, in a different way, but I doubt it.

Reba: I had to pack all his stuff for him but I finally got him to move. We're leaving tomorrow, and I think we're the last ones. It's so dead and dark here now. This place was beautiful once. It all went away so fast.

Katie M: [Takes notebook from Lindsay] Will this place ever be beautiful again?

Diana: Someday, in a long, long time if anyone is willing to help.

Katie M: And if no one helps?

Diana: Then it spreads.

[In a coffee shop]

Jill L: It's gonna be a long day at work.

Meghan B: It's gonna be a long week at work.

Jon Ann: You got that right. You decided how you're going to vote?

Allison: If one more person asks me how I'm going to vote .

Meghan B: Well you can understand why people are talking about it. It's a big decision.

Jill L: Not to me!

Jon Ann: You know how you're going to vote then?

Jill L: Wasn't much of a choice. They're not getting my money to fix their company.

Allison: Well they do need new equipment, so it isn't just for the company. [Drink] It's about waste or something.

Jill: Yeah, wasting my money!

Anne: You'll be saving money in the long run. With the new programs they're setting up everyone stands to get a little extra in the end.

Jill: But I gotta give up my money now. I don't see that as much of a trade. They didn't take precautions to clean up their mess, so why should I pay to clean up the river they messed up?

Meghan: Good point. Why should we pay? Why should the workers pay to clean up the administrator's problem? If they hadn't made the mess we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Allison: But we are having this conversation because the problem is still there, whether you like it or not. We're not talking about blame; we're talking about making a difference. It's our river, we should work to keep it clean. It's everybody's problem.

Anne: That's right. No matter how much we complain it's not our fault and no matter how much we shut our eyes the problem will still be there.

Allison: And that means if we don't do something someone will have to clean up after us.

Jon Ann: I don't know guys, it just seems like too big a mess.

Diana: [As they speak Diana and Katie collect the coffee cups of the workers and place them on Sharilyn, weighing her down further.] If you're not helping, you're hurting. Nothing will ever get done if they are constantly divided.

Katie: And then who do you blame?

Diana: Who cares?

Katie: Exactly! (Seems to be referring to the problem.)

Diana: I meant about the blame.

Katie: So did I.

Jodie: I'm a teacher. I teach elementary school so I see kids, your kids, on a daily basis. It really makes you eager to get up in the morning and go to work when you know that their small, round, chubby faces will be waiting for you and shining simply because smiling is more fun. And it breaks your heart to see them coughing on the playground because the day's air pollution factor was up a few points. To say that they can't go outside and play today because the air is too dirty makes you feel cold and empty inside. Great world we've created for our kids, when seven year olds can't go outdoors.

[Diana takes a box of crayons from her and places them on Sharilyn]

Ashley L: I joined the force to help people, just like in those paperback police novels. I used to read those by the dozens when I was a kid and hope that I'd be a good cop some day. I walk my beat everyday and keep my district. It gives you a feeling of accomplishment when the citizens feel safe when they leave their homes. And it makes you feel powerless when you know that there are some things from which you can't keep them safe. For every moment they spend outdoors they inhale that much more of what companies have labelled 'minor pollutants.' I joined to keep people safe. Now I get to stand by and watch people get sick just by breathing. I guess the truth is stranger than fiction.

[Katie takes her badge and adds it to Sharilyn's pile]

Megan T: What I love about running is there are no distractions. It's just you, your shoes to carry you and the road. No tricks. Simple. Precise. You can lose yourself easily in the rhythm of your legs, your lungs, your heart and just take in nature. [Thinks, pause] I ran in the Olympics last year. I didn't win but the second I finished I knew that I'd be back, back to win. It was the most exhilarating feeling I've ever known. But I guess that won't happen now. I was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. The doctors said it . it was due to lengthy exposure to air pollutants. I guess nature wasn't the only thing I was taking in. Suddenly things aren't so simple.

[Diana takes her towel and places it on Sharilyn]

Cara C: Sometimes I'm not sure I really exist. If nobody sees you, you're invisible right? If you're invisible how do you know you're real? People gaze in my direction and look right through me. That's okay though, I can understand it. It's easier for them to sleep at night if they don't think about people like me. I know, I used to be one of them. It's funny how your standards fall when you're desperate, when you're hungry. Nobody cares, because nobody sees you, because you don't exist. So when you cough people walk faster, or talk louder; anything to convince themselves they didn't hear it.

On the streets you only have yourself. It seems we're coughing more and more these days. I see other homeless people hacking and sputtering more lately; mostly on hot days with no wind when the air smells funny. Many go to sleep and don't wake up, they've been coughing on the city air so long. Someone else who gets to sleep easier. [Cough] It's okay though, we don't exist so people won't miss us. And people can go on sleeping easy. [Cough] I'm one of those people who cough more on the hot days. On the smoggy days. I shiver at night but not from the cold from the fear of what I'm breathing in. [Hacking cough] Well, it isn't my problem. Not anymore. [Cough]

Katie: She never existed.

Diana: She was alone.

Katie: She might as well have never existed.

Diana: She never existed, so it wasn't her problem.

Katie: Well, whose problem is it?

Diana: Whose problem isn't it?

Katie: Do you think they'll ever realize?

Diana: Maybe, one day. And then they'll see every voice counts. Every efforts helps.

Katie: Do you think they'll ever change?

Sharilyn: [Looks up] I hope so. [She falls. Cast helps her up, takes away her burden as they sing closing song.]


1st (Climate Change) - Katie & Kristie

2nd (Oil Spill) - Matthew

3rd (Who's to blame? Coffee shop) - Anne/Jill L./Jon Ann/Allison M./Meghan B.

4th (Future kids) - Sheri/Shane/Jillian

5th (Corporation) - Ashley D./Kevin/Jaeson

6th (Air Pollutants) - Jodie
Ashley L.
Megan T.


"Our World"

Cast (In order of appearance)

Katie Hay Kristie Hay Diana McCallum Katie MacDonald Justin Godfrey Matthew Mott Colleen McCarthy Heather Duplessie Lindsay Reid Reba Carrol Jill Layton Meghan Bremner Jon Ann Bechard Allison Mullin Anne Lobban Jillian Theriault Shane Gorman Shari Robichaud Ashley Dutcher Kevin Connell Jaeson Waygood Jodie Gillis Ashley Losier Megan Tucker Cara Connors Sharilyn Doyle

Directed by

Matthew Mott
Diana McCallum
Katie MacDonald

Written by

Matthew Mott
Diana McCallum

Filmed by

Kevin Blair and students at the New Brunswick Community College, Miramichi

"Our World" composed by

Katie MacDonald
Jim MacDonald
Karen MacDonald

Song recorded on March 26, 2003 in Packin' Shed Sound Studio

"Our World" sung by Katie MacDonald, accompanied by cast.

Instruments played by Don LeBlanc & Larry Aube

This has been an environmental enrichment project by the English class of Mrs. Paula Trueman from James M. Hill Memorial High School, Miramichi NB.
Copyright 2003.