Eviction Notice (A Play)

by Ramla Bandele, USA

We know what we think about the dangers of climate change.  But how does Mother Earth feel about Her dilemma?  This play imagines what she’d say to us….. murderers?

CAST:

Mother Earth – (ME) Also the actor, Joyce

Dr. Harrietta Billings – (HARRY) Environmental scientist and activist (also the actor Kim)

U.S. Senator Dolan – Chairman of the Environment Committee (also the actor Brian)


Mother Earth creates a human representation of herself in order to speak with “knowledgeable” people about their abuse of her.  She is annoyed and disappointed.

SETTING:  As the curtain rises, we see Mother Earth (ME) waiting for her guests to arrive, sadly strolling back and forth.  There is a conference table and a smaller table with coffee and bottled water on it.

ME:

How can I convince them that they are destroying us?  They’re just immature and unable to grasp –

(Dr. Harry Billings arrives)

ME:

  Hello, welcome to the environmental summit.  Glad you could make it.  We’ll be meeting here.  Can I get you anything?

HARRY:

 Summit?  I thought this was the prep meeting for the Save the Planet rally, Saturday. 

ME:

 Hmmm…another protest.  Why?

HARRY:

Why?!

ME:

Yes. Why? What have protests accomplished so far? If you do the same thing, you’re likely to get the same result. 

HARRY:

What?  Rallies do get results.  More people are educated AND it puts pressure on the damn politicians to step up.

ME:

They already know.  So again, why put your efforts here?

(The floor seems to quiver; they glance at each other, continue the conversation)

HARRY:

AND they have to explain to voters why they aren’t doing anything. AND we get grants for research and more supporters AND publicity.  These tactics fuel the movement!

ME:

AND meanwhile, I – the earth – keep rapidly weakening!

HARRY:

Who are you?  I don’t believe I’ve ever seen you at climate change functions – rallies or conferences.

ME:

You can call me Meadow, Dr. Billings.

HARRY:

In that case, you can call me Harry – that’s short for Harrietta.  (shakes her hand then grasps it with both hands, trying not to look surprised.)

ME:

I know.  You’re an environmental scientist, right?

HARRY:

Yes, I’m with the Climatology Institute. But I get the feeling you already know that.  I take it you’ve read my work.

ME:

 I have; you’ve come up with some interesting solutions…and that’s why you’re here.

HARRY:

Well, thanks.  I’m always ready to talk about environmental issues.

ME:

(annoyed) There’s only one issue: climate change must be reversed right now!

HARRY:

(surprised at her outburst) Well, alrighty then.  You tell me how we get that done? You gotta have power and resources to do that.

ME:

That’s why I invited a top senator to help convince –

HARRY:

Good luck with that!  Politicians don’t take climate change seriously.  They talk outta three sides of their mouth, and their logic – if you can call it that – goes in circles!  They’d rather pay for wars and give big donors contracts and such – though they won’t say that straight out.

ME:

But only politicians have the power to – 

(Senator Dolan comes in)

DOLAN

 Pardon me.  I’m Senator Dolan, here for an environmental policy meeting. Didn’t see the press or anyone outside.   Do you know if there’s a meeting here?

ME:

 Senator, you’re in the right place.  Have a seat.   This is Dr. Harry Billings.  Now then, this meeting is called to prevent my murder.

(Dr. &Senator are puzzled)

DOLAN

Excuse me?  Did you say you expect to be murdered? (beat) How… am I involved in your…uh untimely demise?

ME:

 You heard me – you all are killing me!  I’m Mother Earth. Yes, I said Mother Earth.

HARRY:

(confused but fascinated) Uh…I’m sorry…. but how can we be on you and standing here talking to you at the same time?

ME:

Honey, I can do a lot of things that you don’t understand!  I’ve been in the universe for eons.  You, on the other hand, haven’t been here long enough to understand it – let alone change it.

DOLAN

See here, Miss – I’m sorry, what’s your name?

ME:

 I said I’m Mother Earth, at least that’s what you humans call me.  But you don’t treat me as your mother.

DOLAN

 (Decides ME is an overzealous activist) OK (beat) I’m a very busy man; I was told I was to speak at a conference.  Since there doesn’t seem to be a conference, I’m probably in the wrong building – sorry to have bothered you.  Have a good day, Miss…Earth. (starts towards door)

ME:

No.  You won’t be leaving just yet.  (she twirls him around and forces him to sit)

DOLAN

(rattled) WellI suppose I can discuss your issue for a while.

HARRY:

How’d you do that?

DOLAN

Never mind.  Now, Miss Earth, what exactly do you want?

ME:

I told you what the problem is – our demise.  And that’s what baffles me: if I die, so do you!  And somehow you don’t have clue how close that is!

DOLAN

I’m listening…. explain what you think – believe – Congress can do about it.

ME:

(Annoyed) I’m sick of you prodding me, choking me with filthy air and being just plain nasty!

DOLAN

 (thinks she’s crazy; chooses his words carefully) I can see that you’re serious – I think you are a mesmerizing activist.  I’ve never heard a more convincing voice for global wa-

ME:

You think you own me but it’s the other way round.

DOLAN

Okay.  Ms. … Mother Earth, this is not the time to push this issue.  It’s still not clear what causes this pollution and what we – people – contributed.

ME:

Oh please! What else is causing it?  Do fish make plastic? Do birds cause smog – burning up my atmosphere? You even claim my elements without knowing you’re causing havoc.

HARRY:

 Interesting.  You mean the – your substance…uh like water or land?

ME:

 You can say it: MY body, MY fluids that you claim as your own – like I have no use for them!  Even fight about them! One of your little groups claims a piece of me and another disagrees.  Then you call yourself solving it by blowing holes in me to the point that my insides are infected.  And the holes are getting bigger

(Harry and Dolan look confused)

HARRY:

 I take it you mean war between nations.

ME:

 I mean I don’t belong to you and you’re about to get evicted!

DOLAN:

(impatient but diplomatic) Miss Earth…I must say you’ve given me a new perspective.  Here’s my card, call my assistant and make an appointment.  You’re very convincing. (walks toward her with card)

ME:

 (flips her hand pushing him backwards) Watch yourself!

DOLAN:

 I don’t mean to frighten you.

ME:

Frighten me?! Whew! Humans are more arrogant than I realized.  Let me tell you-

HARRY:

 Uh, pardon me, Miss Earth, some people want to work with you.  We have the same goal –I can introduce you to people who are–

DOLAN:

(whispers to Harry) Give it a rest!

HARRY:

 Ignore him, I know you think he can help.  I’m telling you he won’t! But you and I have the same goal.

ME:

 What can you do really?  You’re the best scientist I’ve observed and your staff –

HARRY:

(correcting her) My colleagues

ME:

 Whatever.  You’re smart and have demonstrated ways to stop hurting me, but you don’t have the resources to do it!  That’s why I wanted you and the Senator to work together

DOLAN:

 We’re not getting anywhere.  Don’t you understand that a great deal of legislation would have to be passed? We would have to study it in committees, and it would have to pass both Houses

(During Dolan’s monologue, ME looks quizzically toward Harry who shakes her head)

DOLAN:

Then there’s the conference.  (notices their reactions)  Well, you get my drift… And besides voters won’t accept substantial tax increases!   Plus, there are problems just as serious as…yours.

ME:

What could possibly be more serious than killing me? Just where would you move to?

DOLAN:

Of course, I don’t mean to downplay climate change…but see here, we have wars that are killing millions of people, a national debt in the trillions, immigration problems.  There are trade issues…

ME:

Ummmhmmm.  Are you listening? Where are you going to fix those problems if you don’t have a place to do it.

DOLAN:

What?  I don’t follow.  I agree your issues are serious but I’m trying to get you to understand-

ME:

It’s straightforward: people have no other place to live. Nobody else wants you! Mars keeps everything underground, so you won’t injure her.  And Saturn has put up barricades to keep you away from her.  The queen –

HARRY:

Queen?

ME:

 The sun is the Queen of what you call the solar system.  She wants to burn you all up and be done with it.  I can’t understand how you can be intelligent and stupid at the same time!

HARRY:

Exactly!  I hate to say that’s true.  We’re seeing all these dangerous weather events, extinctions.  The best thing to do…uh…Mother is to talk to wealthy people who want to make changes and they’ll handle the politicians. 

DOLAN:

I beg your pardon!

ME:

(ignores Dolan) Really?!  They can stop that plastic stuff from clogging up my veins and arteries, clear my atmosphere of nasty smoke or save my trees – I’m beginning to look bald!  And what about sucking my fluids for your travel thingys?

DOLAN:

Now hold on a minute!  We’ve started to use solar panels and recycle…things

ME:

Oh?  Doesn’t recycle mean reducing harmful things?  But you keep making the same stuff – especially that plastic!

(floor shakes harder, they give  quick glances but keep talking)

DOLAN:

Look at the time!  I have another very important meeting!  So, as I said, give my office a call and we will work with you on….appropriate legislation. I must say you’re a creative, zealous activist! (then whispering to Harry) Don’t encourage this crazy lady.  You’re a scientist for Christ sake – buying into that woman’s nonsense!

HARRY:

(lowered voice) That’s just it!  She’s not human.  When I shook her hand, it felt like wood; I checked her pulse – nada; she doesn’t blink.

DOLAN:

What?  You’re saying she’s a robot?

HARRY:

 I’ve never seen any A.I. this advanced.  And how do you explain –

ME:

You do know I can hear you, right? (flips her hand at the door)

DOLAN:

( still whispering to Harry) You’re crazy as she is!  I’m outta here!

(Dolan goes to door and opens it.  There’s literally nothing there.)

DOLAN:

OH SHIT!  (backing up)

HARRY:

What happened!  What’s wrong?  (rushes to door, looks out) What the hell?!

DOLAN:

Look, lady!  This has gone far enough!  I don’t know what you did, but all I can do is put your complaint before Congress.  Now, I need to go.  Please put the…put the…. ground back out there.  Please.

HARRY:

It may be a hologram or covering.  Look Miss…. I mean Mother Earth; I’m committed to saving you and us.

ME:

(disappointed) You know, you all were one of my favorite species.  So creative, spirited; always looking for ways to improve things.  At first, I was impressed at what you were able to accomplish.  Then about 2 decades ago – decades, or one of your words for time.  Ya’ll don’t see that time circles the Queen like the rest of us! Anyway, you started making things from my innards, like planes and the car thingy.  At first the smoke wasn’t much of a problem but over time, it affected my breathing.  I’m alive too, you know.  If I weren’t, you wouldn’t be here.  The problem is that you insist on believing that you live on me, when in fact, you live with me.  I don’t belong to you.  I am a living being and I won’t allow myself to be abused any longer.  You hear me?!  You’ve got to go!  You all were so cute, and now you’re little greedy hellions!  I shoulda stopped you long ago. 

(musing)And even with all you’ve caused and destroyed, I’ll have a hard time removing you and forgetting you.  It hurts!  I’m done.  (tearfully exits)

DOLAN:

Can you put the ground back?  Or move the hologram?  Miss Meadows? I mean Miss Earth–

(he attempts to follow her out; her body language makes him retreat)

(to Harry) Don’t you think we should follow her out anyway?  Otherwise how will we get the hell out of here?!

(floor shakes stronger, they’re nervous but continue)

HARRY:

Calm down; let’s try the door again.  She said she’s done with us, so probably the hologram or whatever she tried to scare us with is gone.  Come on.

DOLAN:

You check; I’m calling the police –

(ME returns to the room)

ME:

Alright, I’m giving you 15 days to come up with solutions.  And if you don’t, it’s over.  I just want to be convinced that I did all I could.

HARRY:

You would destroy all life on earth just to exterminate humans?

ME:

Only humans will be removed.  Don’t underestimate what I can do.  I’ve forgotten more than you’ll ever know! See that’s your problem: you’re ignorant and arrogant! They mean the same thing, don’t they? 15 days. Period.  (she exits)

DOLAN:

Fifteen days!  Lady we can’t do anything in just 15 days!  Lady!  Lady!  (to Harry) What are we going to do?

(they can hear the floor moving)

HARRY:

Slow down and think about her take on time.  Remember when she was talking about trains?  She said two decades ago, when it’s really 200 hundred years ago; so, we should be able to calculate –

DIRECTOR’S VOICE OFFSTAGE:

Alright let’s call it a day – we’ve been working 5 hours straight.  Next rehearsal is 6-9 tomorrow. I know it’s not on the schedule, but we open next weekend.    

ME: (ACTOR JOYCE)

He gets on my damned nerves!  I have plans for tomorrow night. I don’t know why I took this part anyway – it’s a silly ass play.

HARRY: (ACTOR, KIM)

You took it because there’s no other shows auditioning!  He is an ass though.  How is this “Mother Earth” going to get rid of us?  Turn off the gravity switch? (Joyce and Kim laugh)

DOLAN: (ACTOR, BRIAN)

Wait.  I know you aren’t downplaying climate change.  We see New York drowning and California burning down.  And what about Australia? Why do you think that happened?  The. Climate. Has. Changed. Drastically.

HARRY: (ACTOR, KIM)

Come on now!  Weathermen can’t do an accurate 10-day forecast!  And who knows weather better than they do?  It’ll change…it always does!

ME: (JOYCE)

You forget, Kim, that Brian has a college “edumacation”.  We common folk just can’t understand that complicated stuff !  ( Joyce and Kim laugh)

DOLAN: (BRIAN)

I’m not gonna waste time talking to you ass holes!  I’m outta here! (goes toward door)

HARRY: (KIM)

Bye, professor.  Joyce, you wanna go to Jamaica’s café?  They serve beer there.

(floor begins to shake harder. Now scared, they’re trying to keep their balance &walk)

(ME:) JOYCE

Oh shit!  What’s happening?!!

HARRY: (KIM)

They’re probably working on special effects…. Let’s go on to Jamaica’s, get that beer.

ME: (the real one)

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