Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Genetically modified organisms and genetically engineered seeds, plants and foods have been making their way into the very fabric of our lives since the early 1990's and continue to do so. Mainly because we just didn't know about them. This biotechnology was slipped under our radar of general awareness because a small group of people deemed that we didn't 'need' to know. That as consumers we weren't interested in knowing these things. So a few people get to decide what information is needed and what is not?
The audacity of these people to determine our level of intelligence and desire of the very sustenance of life...food has propelled me into becoming a activist. I may only be one person yet I can do some thing...some thing small or something large. I require no compensation for my work. I give it freely to be distributed to anyone and everyone who is willing to consider it's value. A short one act play written for a small or large cast of players. Easy to read and understand this play could be performed at your church or the local farmer's market. Your homeschool or traditional school group could read it out loud. College students could perform it on campuses. It has a message. It is meant to open eyes to what is happening right now to our food source. How can we change it? Do we care? Can one person make a difference?
All interesting and valid questions. Do we choose to work together for the most basic building block of life? If we use vehicles like this one act play to encourage others to work together for change. My hope is to encourage people to research and learn about these things.
So here it is...my first play: free to copy, distribute and perform
What’s Happening to Food
A Short Play in One Act
By Tricia Baehr
Here is a play I wrote...anybody is free to produce this:::pass it on! This play’s cast can be adjusted to be larger or smaller depending on how many people are performing.
Takes place in a barn in the 21st century
Cast - 12 parts-Can be adjusted to the number of players available.
■Farm Kid #1
■Farm Kid #2
■Farmer’s Neighbor #1
■Farmer’s Neighbor #2
■Farmer’s Neighbor #3
■Farmer’s Neighbor #4
■Neighbor Kid #1
■Neighbor Kid #2
■Mr. Monty Santo (Corporate Bad Guy)
■Senator Rand Upton Rheady (Government Bad Guy)
(The scene opens with Farmers and the Farm Kids talking about the growing season coming up. They are looking at a piece of paper with their plots drawn up and their plans.)
Farmer #1: (wiping his brow with a bandanna) Whew! Well I guess that’s it then, here’s our plan for this year's crops.
Farmer #2: We’ve done a great job planning and tomorrow it’s time to start working the earth.
Farm Kid #1: I’m excited about using all that rich compost we’ve been working on over the winter, our plants are going to grow great!
Farm Kid #2: I can’t wait for all the fresh organic fruits and vegetables this summer.
Farm Kid #1: My salad greens that I started from seed will be ready to set out soon now that were almost past frost season.
(In walks the 4 neighbors and the 2 neighbor kids ~ talking excitedly amongst themselves, rubbing their tummies, smiling, etc.)
Farmer’s Neighbor #1: We just wanted to come by and thank you for all the hard work you’ve been doing to get ready for this year's growing season.
Farmer’s Neighbor #2: If there’s anything you need, we’d be happy to help!
Farmer’s Neighbor #3: I love buying your fresh organic produce at the farm stand, it tastes so much better than what’s for sale at the super market.
Farmer’s Neighbor #4: You bet! And I feel good knowing my money is staying right here in our neighborhood.
Farmer #1: We are really grateful to have such good neighbors and it’s a joy growing food for such great people.
Farmer #2: (laughing) It sure does make all this farm work easier seeing all these healthy kids running around!
(The 2 Neighbor kids are running around and playing tag with the 2 Farm Kids.)
Farm Kid #1: I’m growing watermelons for this summer!
Neighbor Kid #2: (laughing) And I’m eatin’ em!
Neighbor Kid #1: I sure do love those cucumbers you all grow!
Farm Kid #2: I help with those in the garden, they make great pickles too!
(Farmers and Neighbors are all talking, shaking hands, patting each other on the back hugging etc.)
Farmer #1: Well, I’m sure glad to share our crop plans with you all. Looking forward to trying out some of those new varieties of heirloom vegetables you all suggested and my friend here (indicating Farmer #2) for sharing seeds with me.
Farmer #2: (smiling and looking kindly at Farmer #1) Isn’t that what being a community is all about? When our bean crop failed last year and you shared part of your harvest with us, it made that little problem okay.
Farm Kid #1: …And we have blackberries and you have blueberries! We love to trade AND share!
(All of the sudden a loud, ominous knock is heard on the barn door. Everyone looks around and surprised since no one around those parts knocks.)
Farmer #1: (stuttering, confused) C..C..Come…In?
Mr. Monty Santo: (authoritatively) Are you the farmer for this land?
Farmer #1: Yes, Who’s asking?
Mr. Monty Santo: I am.
Farmer #1: (nervous) And you are?
Mr. Monty Santo: I’m Mr. Monty Santo with The World Conglomerate Seed & Science Company and we took samples of your crop last year and found our patented seeds growing on your farm. We also have evidence that your neighbor (pointing at Farmer #2) saved their seed and shared it with you!
Farmer #1 (looking shocked)
Farmer #2: (indignantly) Now you wait just a pickle flippin’ second! Those seeds were handed down generation after generation from my ancestors! You have no claim to them!
Mr. Monty Santo: (laughing sinisterly) HA! Before long The World Conglomerate Seed & Science Company will own every seed on the planet. (mockingly) Ancestor’s seeds, don’t be ridiculous you foolish people. You have no idea who you are dealing with.
(All of the neighbors and kids begin whispering and look shocked at what is going on, they can’t believe their eyes or ears. About that time another official looking person walks into the barn.)
Senator Rand Upton Rheady: (putting a hand on the Corporate Bad Guy's back) Hello folks! What Mr. Santo is trying to say is we’re just here to help ya’ll. I’m Senator Rand Upton Rheady and with the help of all my colleagues in government and the help of big companies like The World Conglomerate Seed & Science Company we’re making laws and legislation so it won’t be long before we’re helping to make sure you little farmers don’t have to work so hard trying to supply your neighbors with fresh, healthy organic produce. We’re going to pave the way for new science so you can kill all those pesky bugs and weeds on that stuff your growing and the good crop plants will never die.
Farm Kid #1: But wouldn’t all those chemicals be bad for you?
Senator Rand Upton Rheady: (visibly startled that a kid is that smart ) Now, now you little children shouldn’t be worrying about things like that. We’re here to help you people! That’s what us government folks are doing up in Washington.
Farmer’s Neighbor #1: (yelling) NEVER! I’ll never buy genetically mutated produce!
Farmer’s Neighbor #2: (very upset) Me neither…we will start a consumer revolution!
Mr. Monty Santo: (smirking) Are you kidding me? People are too lazy to even prepare fresh food these days. We can mess with it, put chemicals in it, genetically alter it and no one even notices. We even put the information right on the labels and the people still buy it! Look how many kids won’t eat anything but junk food…they think a french fry is a vegetable, bwhaha ha ha ha (sinister laughing)
Senator Rand Upton Rheady: What Mr. Santo is trying to say is…we’re working on pushing laws into place that will make it where small farmers won’t need to work so hard. All the food will be grown on big corporate farms and processed in big factories to make everything easier on all the people. (nodding & thumbs up to the Corporate Bad Guy)
(The Farm Kids and Neighbor Kids are in the corner making faces at the Bad Guys.)
Farmer’s Neighbor #3: Not if we have anything to do with it! There are more people than there are governments and corporate giants!
Farmer’s Neighbor #4: We’ll start fresh food farmer’s markets and have food festivals that teach people about sustainable food sources. We’ll rally behind our local farmers.
Farmer’s Neighbor #1: We’ll teach our little children to eat organic, local, good food!
Farmer’s Neighbor #2: It may take a while but we’ll never let you win this battle!
(The Corporate Bad Guy & The Government Bad Guy walk out shaking their fingers at the farmers and laughing at the neighbors acting all pompous and like big jerks talking amongst themselves, making fun of organic and farmers)
Farmer #1: Whoa! That’s some pretty scary stuff about owning all the seeds.
Farmer #2: I know, I had heard some rumors about some shady stuff like that going on but I didn’t really believe it. I guess we have some research to do, huh?
Farmer’s Neighbor #3: I don’t suppose we’ve seen the last of them. Let’s help other communities start CSA’s Community Supported Agriculture like we have here!
Farmer’s Neighbor #4: We have to do our part by buying local and buying organic non genetically modified ingredients. If the people speak by not buying that’s the only way to get the message across.
Neighbor Kid #1: I’m going to tell all my friends at school, on my soccer team and my grandparents about all of this!
Neighbor Kid #2: Me too! It’s up to us kids to spread the word about what’s happening to food!
Neighbor Kid #1: (together) We can make the difference!
Neighbor Kid #2: (together) We can make the difference!
(The Entire Cast makes a big circle and holds hands.)
Everyone Together: (shouting joyfully) We can ALL make a DIFFERENCE!
(c) Copyright 2009 Tricia Baehr All Rights Reserved