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Educational Children's Theater Scripts:
~Space Exploration~
Fairy Tales on the Mars Frontier

by Jeannette Jaquish (c) 2000, (c) 2003

CONTACT the AUTHOR. Using FREE SCRIPTS information.
Tech Notes for script: stage set, costumes, props..
Casting Variations for 11 to 35 actors. Rock Song for more actors.
Study Guide Quiz, for actors to understand the script.
Mars Society: Building simulated Mars Stations on Earth.
FunAntics www.theaterfunscripts HOME PAGE
Poster Art - You can also pass them out as coloring pages.

by Jeannette Jaquish
(c) 2000, (c) 2003 Jeannette Jaquish
Script offered for royalty free performances if and only if, author is notified and her name and website are printed in program, posted or announced.
Please click on "Using Free Scripts" at page bottom. Study guide link below.
Upon request, the author will email you a script and/or study guide. This Microsoft Word document is easily formatted to your needs and you print it off.
Contact:, 1423 Louisedale Dr. / Fort Wayne, IN 46808 USA, (260) 484-5946.

CAST (11 to 35 actors, children or adults)
Actors may play one part in each of the three stories, plus commune pigs may also play tech parts in Three Pigs story. See "Casting Variations".

Three Pigs Story:
Pig 1, Pig 2, Pig 3, Ma Pig, Commune Pig 1, Commune Pig 2, Commune Pig 3, Wolf (can also play Ma Pig), Tech A, Tech B, Tech G (Tech parts may be played by Commune Pigs)

Pied Piper Story:
Piper, Purple Fungus (can also play Piper), Mayor, Councilman, Councilwoman, Farmer, Scientist, Child, optional additional children

Rock Song:
Tech A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H

Actors always on stage:
Callisto: small child, Tethys: medium child, Grandma Story

Final Scene: Mother & Father (can play earlier parts)

Setting: Callisto, Tethys live on Mars 150 or more years in the future. It is still the frontier where people work hard using muscle and science to create an atmosphere and grow food. A storm rages outside as the children listen to stories.

Notes: Techies, named A, B, C, etc., perform actions such as rivers flowing and boulders flying. They do not try to hide themselves. Explained in Tech Notes. "Regolith" means dirt. Science research notes are at end of script.

(GRANDMA’S chair is front corner of the stage. It is pointed diagonally, facing center of audience. Grandma will read the stories from her book (the script) and kids watch the actors act the stories. Lights focus on Grandma to begin and between stories, lights up on action during stories and Mother and Father’s scene.
Flicker the lights and sound FX during storms.
TETHYS and CALLISTO ENTER running across stage to GRANDMA asleep.)

TETHYS: Grandma Story!
CALLISTO: I get to tell her!
TETHYS: I get to pick the first story!
CALLISTO (pats her hand): Wake up, Grandma! Mommy said we could listen to stories until bedtime.

GRANDMA: How wonderful. Climb up here Callisto and Tethys. Are you comfortable?
CALLISTO: Yes, Grandma.
GRANDMA: Now what story shall I begin with?
TETHYS: Ummm, The Three Pigs!
CALLISTO: And the Weather Wolf!
TETHYS: Rowwwrrr!
GRANDMA: Ah, the Three Pigs and the Weather Wolf. That story is one of my favorites.
CALLISTO: Then you pick the stories, Grandma.
GRANDMA: Thank you, Callisto. Do you want to read along with me?

GRANDMA & KIDS: The Three Pigs and the Weather Wolf!

GRANDMA: Once upon a time, in the first terrestrial cycle,
(GRANDMA gestures: lights up on stage:
THREE PIGS ENTER to downstage, and wipe noses, scratch rumps, whisper gross jokes to each other.)

there were three pigs. They lived in an animal commune
(Commune pigs enter raking, sweeping area all around Three Pigs who smirk at their work.)
on the sunniest, warmest, inner side of a large crater,
on the northern hemisphere of Mars,
where the sun shone the longest,
(C Pig 1 raises faces to warmth)
the soil was the most fertile,
(C Pig 2 picks up dirt, smells it with pleasure)
and the humidity was above average.
(C Pig 3 holds out hand looking up for rain)
Their mother was a good mother who always tried to bring them up right,

(Ma Pig ENTERS to side/downstage, removing work gloves, wearing utility apron, wiping sweat from her brow. COMMUNE PIGS work their way upstage as she enters.)

MA PIG: Little Piiiiiigs! Please put away your crater bikes, get busy scraping those dirty ol’ carbon filters and then come in for some delicious algae waffles!

(THREE PIGS react to “put away”, “scraping”, and “algae”, then head upstage, away from Ma, but will be herded back down stage by Commune Pigs.)

GRANDMA: And their commune pig brothers and sisters always set good examples and guided them in the path of planetary harmony.

(Commune pigs stride forward arms spread, bringing along Three Pigs. The Three Pigs pretend to join in the song but soon dance/sneak away upstage and secretively make fun of Commune Pigs.)

COMMUNE PIGS (stand C Pigs 1,2,3 stage right to left,
Pigs sing with enthusiasm, but have moments of self doubt in second verse, going from big smile to frown of thought, back to even bigger smiles. )

(One pig bangs rake three times to start song):
(to the tune of Old MacDonald)

We are equals on this farm. Oh-Oh I.O.U
We work hard and do no harm. Oh-Oh I.O.U
With a dig dig here, and a rake rake there,
(C Pig 1 “clips”) Here a clip,
(C Pig 2 wipes drip in eye) There a drip,
(C Pig 3 points all over) Everywhere a weather strip;
We are equals on this farm. Oh-Oh I.O.U

(Too happy) We are happy in this place. Oh-Oh I.O.U
(Misery, then fake smile) Sweat and love on every face. Oh-Oh I.O.U
(check mark) With a vote vote here,
(wag finger) And a rule rule there,
(thumbs down) Profits dip,
(point to foreheads) Microchip,
(C Pig 1:hands over eyes, C Pig 2: hands over ears, C Pig 3: hands over mouth, mumbles)
Democratic censorship……
(Song dwindles as C Pigs realize their lives are miserable… see each other’s faces…
– rake bangs three times! Big Smiles! )

We are happy on this farm Oh-Oh I.O.U

(3 pigs laugh & roll on the floor. Ma scolds them, wagging her finger. C Pigs, scowl, go back to raking.)

GRANDMA: But those 3 pigs were very lazy. While their commune brothers and sisters raked and weeded, they hid when there was work to be done,
(THREE PIGS hide behind scenery or EXIT)
but still wanted their full rations of food and oxygen.
C PIGS EXIT, and leave their tools offstage.

PIG 1: Ha-ha!
PIG 2: Losers!
PIG 3: I’m hungry.

(COMMUNE PIGS ENTER from different directions and go DS, each entering on his/her line. )

C PIG 1: The spinach is eaten, there isn’t a leaf!
C PIG 2: The biscuits are nibbled. Someone’s a thief!
C PIG 3: The fruit wasn’t picked! Now it’s all spoiled!
The tractor is broken. The gears weren’t oiled!
C PIG 2: Our bellies are empty, we work all day,
C PIG 1 (point towards 3 pigs): While they stuff their faces and sing and play!

(C PIGS stride towards 3 PIGS upstage. 3 PIGS run EXIT.)
(C PIGS look at each other, fold arms, then turn backs to audience and bend down forming couch.)

GRANDMA: All that those three pigs wanted to do was sit on the couch, and eat up the farm’s export product, “Comrade Napoleon’s Barbecued Algae Chips”.

(3 pigs RE-ENTER, Pig 1 with bag of chips, and sit on couch facing audience and imaginary TV.)

TETHYS: Those are good.
CALLISTO: Mmm-hmm.
GRANDMA: Ask your parents to buy some.
TETHYS: Grandma…
CALLISTO: The story?

GRANDMA: And watch Earth re-runs on tv.

PIG 1: Ha-ha! Gilligan fell out of his hammock again!
PIG 2: (sigh) Skipper has dreamboat eyes!
PIG 3: Hey! Quit hogging the bag! (grabs bag from Pig 1)

GRANDMA: Finally their mother had enough.

(Ma enters with broom, stands in front of “TV”, back to audience.)

MA (sweetly): It is time for a serious talk, my children. You are all grown up. It is time you made a place for yourselves in the world.

PIG 1 (yelling): Move, Mom!
PIG 2 (waving her aside): You’re blocking the tv!
PIG 3 (swinging head left and right): I can’t see!!!

MA: I’ve had enough of you lazy pigs! Get off my couch! And out of my house!
(lifts end of “couch” (couch actors rise) and pigs fall off.)

PIG 1 & 2: (rolling around) Oink oink oink oink!

PIG 3: (diving) Save the chips!!!

MA: (chases them around, whacking them with broom)
And don’t come back until you can take care of yourselves!

( 3 Pigs EXIT. Commune pigs, face front, arms folded, noses in the air very superior. Ma Pig EXITS.)

C PIG 3: Of course… it takes a village to raise a child….
C PIG 2: Maybe if we had nurtured their spirits, positively channeled their… divergent motivations…
C PIG 1: I’ll reassign them to your work teams immediately! (EXIT)
C PIG 2 & 3 (chasing) No no no no no no no no no……. (EXIT)

GRANDMA: So. Mom booted them out of the house, and the Council voted them off the farm.
The 3 Little Pigs were very upset and confused!
(3 Pigs ENTER, go Down Stage.)

PIG 1: They’ve locked the door and slammed the gate. And haven’t told us why!

PIG 2: We’re helpless and hopeless, shoe-less and clue-less. Are they going to let us die??

PIG 3: Oh, quit your whining! We’re losers! We’re goofs!
We’re on our own now, and we’ll build our own roofs!

PIG 1 (shocked!!!): Do you mean the way to get our own digs... we’ll have to become...

PIG 2: (slowly)....Capitalist???...

PIG 1: Pigs????

PIG 3: Yup! It’s every pig for himself! (EXITS)

PIG 1: I’ve got first dibs on the crater near the ice field! (EXITS)

PIG 2: Whoopee! I always hated sharing! (EXITS)

GRANDMA: So off the three pigs went into the big world. But how would they live? What would they eat? And how would they protect themselves from the Big Bad Weather Wolf?

CALLISTO & WOLF—(WOLF Leaping onto stage): Rowwrr!!!

WOLF: The wind carries a new aroma, mmmm what is it? Delicate, yet full bodied, warm, young and juicy... It smells like... pigs! Yum! But where are they?

(As wolf goes off on his journey through the audience, the 3 Pigs re-Enter behind him on stage. Each Pig gets or brings his home and pretends to build it. Pig 1 front, near Grandma, Pig 2 opposite front, and Pig 3 back center.)

GRANDMA: The wolf belched out a raging storm
(Tech-A: storm. Tech-A runs pulling storm cloth, Wolf runs alongside, perhaps hanging on.)
and rode it swirling over the foggy, dry ice mountains of the south pole…

WOLF (pausing, pinching upper nose): Whoo! I got carbon dioxide ub by dose (up my nose).
(continue running around audience, at end of Pig 1 line be at front of audience.)

GRANDMA: Across the ancient cold lava fields, sniffing the air all the way.

PIG 1: Ha! The guys at the salvage yard laughed, and teased me with their manly quips,
When I traded my violin, for cracked panels and bent aluminum strips,
But I’ll build a mighty stronghold, that will leave their jaws agape,
What’s my secret? You’d like to know. That miracle fix-it: (holds high in the air) Duct Tape!!!!
(Dramatically peels off strip of duct tape! Then gets all tangled up trying to tear it off…..)

GRANDMA: The Weather Wolf rode a sliding ice floe
(Tech-D: ice floe cloth. Runs from backstage, joining Wolf at front of audience, Wolf runs alongside.)
from the north pole, until it melted into a raging river in the deepest canyon.

PIG 2: (setting up dome house, reading instructions):
Align vertical flange with upper hinge assembly lever???
Seal all seams with silicone? Ohhhh! Whatever!
I’ll never buy a used dome kit from eBay again – Never!

(sarcastic) Yeah, right. I was lucky to find anyone with no objection,
To trade for my plush, pet rock collection.

Oh, this nail is messed up! It looks like a spiral macaroni!
I guess this “X” on top means defective. Hey, they’re all like that! What baloney!
(tries to hammer a screw using a wrench, hits her thumb.) Ow!

GRANDMA: The Weather Wolf rode an updraft up, up, over 16 miles high to the top of Olympus Mons (G: mountain), the tallest volcano in the solar system, to gaze in all directions, searching…. and salivating…..

(PIG 1 & 2 finish their homes and do outdoor recreation, like sunning or listening to headphones.)

PIG 3 (happy, tired sigh): Whew! I camped for days in the architecture library,
Comparing blueprints, hydroponics, and everything planetary,
I bought tools, bolts and brackets, all the best stuff!
I’m in debt for a decade, but that’s wasn’t enough,
Weeks of digging, firing, cutting and welding -- Finally I’m through!
(looks around satisfied)
Hey! Who’s building that house over there?…. It’s spoiling my view!!!!!
(glares at other imaginary new house, then yawns and falls asleep with head on arm on dome.)

GRANDMA: The Weather Wolf was so high he could smell, but not see, the delicious pigs.
In a fury, he plucked out his eyes and hurled them into orbit.
(Wolf pretends to pluck out eyes, eyes closed he “throws” eyes into air)
(Tech-A: steps out swinging long stick with fake eyes on short strings.)

The Weather Wolf’s eyes arced over the horizon and swung around the planet looking, looking.
Finally he saw the three plump pink piggies and their three little homes.
(Tech-A dangles eyes over each pig home.)

The wolf was so happy and hungry that he howled at the moons which trembled in their orbits,
(After howl, Tech-A bounces eyes on Wolf’s head, then drops eyeballs behind Wolf who turns and pretends to stick them back in his head. He turns to audience, eyes open. Tech-A & stick EXIT.)
Far away the three pigs paused, and a shiver went all the way down their spines to their little curly tails.
(Pigs jump, startled, hide inside their domes.)
The first pig home that the wolf came to was the youngest pig. She had spent little time building her house, for she would rather go crater sledding with her new friends. Her dome was fragile and almost shattered with the wolf’s first knock.

(NOTE: Pigs inside homes speak with heads looking out windows. No doors, just walk in behind.)

CALLISTO, TETHYS & WOLF: Little pig, little pig, open your airlock.

PIG 1: Not by the insulating hair on my bio-jeered chin!

GRANDMA: The Wolf chuckled at such insolence.
(WOLF walks around Pig 1’s home, inspecting it.)

TETHYS: “Bio-jeered” is baby talk for “bio-engineered”.

CALLISTO: It’s not baby talk!

GRANDMA: Use of the word “Bio-jeered” for the adjective “Bio-engineered” began as a simplification for children’s speech, but is now in common use even among adults.

(GRANDMA sits, waiting.)
TETHYS: Please continue, Grandma.

GRANDMA: Thank you, Tethys. The Pig’s sassy talk made the Weather Wolf very mad!

CALLISTO, TETHYS & WOLF: Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your dome in!

GRANDMA: The wolf drew in a breath full of sand and blew it out. The panels on the pig’s dome ripped away and fluttered down like leaves.
(Pig tosses home in the air, panics, spinning, then crouches covering her head with her arms)
The little pig was left crying in the dust, her little curly tail pointing up in the air.

PIG 1: Oink oink oink oink!

GRANDMA: The wolf opened his jaws to swallow her, but the dust made him sneeze!

WOLF: Aaachoo! Aaachoo!

PIG 1: Ha-ha!

WOLF: Rowrrrr!

PIG 1: Eeeeek!

(WOLF chases PIG 1 around but WOLF keeps sneezing and rubbing eyes and stumbling.)

GRANDMA: That little delay gave her time to run, run for all she was worth, run to the next little pig’s home.

PIG 1(knocking on dome): Help me! Help me, Sister Dear! The Weather Wolf is very near!

PIG 2: Come inside! No need to hide! The wolf can never get you here.

PIG 1: Is your home strong?? Mine blew in!
PIG 2: (bragging) My dome sits low, below the wind,
Tucked warm and tight inside this crater,
Aluminum cover, like a baked potater,

PIG 1: (still scared) The Wolf sent sand, blowing hard. My walls flew out into the yard!

PIG 2: My windows are melted silicate (sil-ih-cate). Your fears you may alleviate (uh-lee-vee-ate).
Within the frames, they are bolted tight. Let the sand blow – they’ll be alright!

GRANDMA: The Weather Wolf slid into the Second Pig’s yard full of fury and hunger after his long run. He walked around, inspecting the little house.

WOLF: Hmmm, this home is much better made, for a pig. I will have to work a little harder this time, but I will feast on two pigs instead of one.

CALLISTO, TETHYS & WOLF: Little pig, little pig, open the airlock.

PIGS 1 & 2: Not by the air in our bio-jeered lungs!

CALLISTO, TETHYS & WOLF: Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your dome away!

GRANDMA: The Weather Wolf took in a bigger breath, inhaling a lung full of rocks.
(Tech-D, long stick with short strings and small “rocks”. Bounce them to upstage of Wolf’s head, then lift up as high as possible, spin them until they FALL, bounce rocks on dome until it falls.)
And he blew those rocks up so high they almost escaped the pull of gravity. They paused and then... FELL! Their speed accelerated! The atmospheric friction made them glow red hot. That meteor shower CRASHED into the second little pig’s house and shattered every panel. The meteorites burned through the pigs’ bio-engineered fur and sizzled on their soft pink skin.
(PIG 1 & 2 roll on ground in pain, oinking.)

WOLF: (sniffing) I smell bacon!!

GRANDMA: The Weather Wolf leaped upon them to gobble them up but two tiny glowing pebbles popped into his eyes and he fell back, screaming in agony.

PIG 1: Ha-ha-Aaaack! (PIG 2 jerks her away. They run as Wolf stumbles after.)

GRANDMA: It was the delay the pigs needed and they ran, ran for all they were worth to the third little pig’s house.

WOLF: Ouch! Ouch! Curse those pigs. My eyes are volcanoes of tears but I can follow those pigs by their tasty barbecue smell. Mmmmm, here I come, my little porky bits.

PIG 2: The Weather Wolf is at our heels!

PIG 1: He wants us for his next two meals!

PIG 2: He hit us with a meteor downfall!

PIG 3: (stepping outside, gesturing to dome) Forget that big, wet, stinky hairball!
I worked hard to build this home
Double panels form the dome,
Using fiery heat like an ol’ blacksmith,
I formed the walls from regolith,
That Mars dirt shields out radiation,
Stops that Weather Wolf’s predation.
Windows never face the sky,
Or meteors falling from on high.

(PIGS 1, 2 & 3 enter home.)

PIG 1 (poking head out window): So many rooms, and all air tight.

PIG 2 (poking head out window): If one pops a hole, we’ll be all right!

GRANDMA: The Wolf leaped onto the site, growling and slobbering! He paused in amazement when he saw the well made dome, and cursed himself for not catching the first two pigs when the job was so much easier. But he was not one to give up. A Weather Wolf has all the time in the world. He bared his claws and roared:

CALLISTO, TETHYS & WOLF: Little pigs, little pigs, open the airlock!

PIGS: Not by the hide on our bio-jeered thighs!

(GRANDMA reads lines continuously; the Tech action takes place during her lines.)

GRANDMA: The Weather Wolf didn’t even bother to answer. He was sucking in the biggest breath he ever had. Boulders rolled uphill and he gulped them down his throat.
(Techs-A,D,G each have sticks with short strings with rocks. They bounce them across the room to behind and around Wolf. The rocks cannot go inside the Wolf, of course, but they all become “one” bouncing up and down with the Wolf’s breath and movements. Keep the sticks apart or they become tangled – the longer the stick and shorter the strings the less the tangling. If strings become tangled during performance, don’t untangle, just hand both sticks to one person to continue action.)
The clouds swirled down into his mouth. His eyes bulged and his chest swelled until even the shadow of Deimos, the larger of the two moons of Mars, could not have covered him.
(Wolf spins as Techs stand in a triangle around wolf, front tech kneeling, each spin rocks above wolf .)

And then when the pigs thought he must explode... Roar! The sand, rocks and wind ripped out of his throat twisting up into a huge tornado.
(Techs run together handing all sticks to tallest Tech-G who spins them high, traveling to over dome.)

The sky darkened like night as the black funnel spread across the sky and slowly lowered its tail over the pigs’ dome. When the tornado touched down, the land shook.
(Tech-G bounces sticks of rocks on dome.)
The pigs’ dome twisted and shook but stayed rooted to the ground.
When a panel fractured, the pigs were right there to slap in a replacement and latch it down.

The wolf breathed out solar flares, heat and drought that baked the home but could not penetrate its layers of insulation to get at the soft pigs and the delicate electronics inside.
(Tech-D shakes orange fire cloth over dome, PIGS sweat.)

The heat melted the icy poles of Mars bringing flash floods but the melted regolith foundation beneath the home did not wash away or let go of the structure.
(Tech-A runs past dome pulling blue/white water cloth, washing it against dome, like waves. PIGS rock dome as if hit by waves),

The wolf breathed out cold that entered every seam of the dome and froze the moisture into ice that crystallized, expanding. But the seams did not split.
(Tech-D uses ice floe cloth, lays it over dome and slowly pulls it off, PIGS shiver.)

For hours the tornado raged (G), with the Weather Wolf heaving breath after breath, but when the wolf fell exhausted to the ground, the pigs dome home still stood, a little dented, but all in one piece!

(WOLF collapses. PIGS come out of dome home, inspect it, and celebrate.)

WOLF(shakily getting up, going DS side opposite Grandma): How can that house still stand? My throat is raw and my belly aches from heaving rocks and lightning and ice. They have defeated my best weather. But I know their weakness. They will dance and cheer. They will puff up in pride saying:

PIG 1: We conquered the Weather Wolf!

PIG 2: We are wise and hardy!

PIG 3: We have battled long! We deserve a party!

WOLF: They will forget the sweat it took to defeat me and just remember their victory. But now, I will send them (hypnotic) gentle winds, and soft rains, warm sunshine and rich oxygen. They will become plump and lazy again. After all, they are just pigs. And then I will strike! Wha ha ha ha!
(WOLF EXITS, PIGS EXIT dancing and taking their dome homes with them.)

TETHYS: (complaining) Mom and Dad are ALWAYS outside working on the house.

CALLISTO: To keep out the Big Bad Weather Wolf!

TETHYS: I know. I just wish they would take a break and come inside. And play with us.

CALLISTO: That’s why Grandma reads us so many stories! Read us another one, Grandma!

GRANDMA: Please?

TETHYS and CALLISTO: Please, Grandma?

GRANDMA: Of course. Would you like a story about children?


GRANDMA: About how children should be obedient, or about how children need to have fun?

TETHYS and CALLISTO: Have fun!

GRANDMA: Hmmm… This one seems appropriate: The Pied Piper of Promises
Once upon a time in the 2nd industrial cycle, there was a town, which believed in hard work. They had great ore mines and ice fields, solar heaters, factories and agricultural pods, all humming and productive through hard work.

(Townspeople march out pantomiming their work: digging, sweeping, inspecting, washing, etc.)

TOWN: Hard work!
FARMER: Tending the Greenhouse! (raking)
TOWN: Hard work!
COUNCIL MAN: Digging the ore! (digging)
TOWN: Hard work!
SCIENTIST: From big man to wee mouse, (holds test tube or clipboard)
MAYOR, C. LADY: In building our town, everyone has a chore!

GRANDMA: Every day, every person old enough to talk and walk labored long hours to build a mighty town that could withstand any attack from man or nature, no matter how large. But in their defense against the big, they overlooked the small.

(PURPLE FUNGUS creeps, dances, or skitters around the stage, scattering purple crumpled napkins or strings, or fabric pieces, as purple light fills stage.)

GRANDMA: From where did the microscopic invaders come? A laboratory accident? A natural mutation? A military chemical weapons leak? A poorly inspected incoming shipment? No one knew where the oxygen-eating purple infestation came from, but by the time children and old people began to faint, and strong workers fell sick at their labors, it was almost too late.

(Townies have such a strong work ethic that they struggle to continue working, although they are sick.)

COUNCIL LADY (painting): Oh, dear! I’m out of breath. My attitude must be poor.

COUNCIL MAN (digging): I feel a little nauseous. I’d better dig some more.

FARMER (raking): When I stand up too quickly, everything goes black, (lying down)
I think I could do my job better lying on my back. (continues raking on his back)

CHILD: (running to center w/schoolbooks) I’m seeing things all blurry, but I’m ready to begin, ....(faints)

SCIENTIST: (running on) A fungus is among us! Eating all our oxygen! (faints)

(Mayor hands out imaginary scrub brushes and mops. They help up fallen people and all scrub weakly. Purple light grows stronger, white light fades. People wheeze, gasping for breath.)

GRANDMA: The technicians hooked up all the solar collectors to make electricity for the oxygen extractors, and ran them night and day, but still there wasn’t enough oxygen and the people gasped for breath. The fungus invaded the soil, the walls, and reservoirs and spread farther each day. The people could scrub some of it away but without enough oxygen to breathe they could not labor long. First the factories and mines were abandoned, then the crops were neglected as the townspeople fought the purple crud. Soon even the light was purple as the pressure dome’s inner walls became coated with the fungus. A town meeting was called to decide how to save their lives:

(Leave leaf rake, shovel, tools and schoolbooks on floor. Townies stumble to front of stage, gasping.)

COUNCIL LADY: We can’t survive much longer. We can barely take a breath.
COUNCIL MAN: We must flee this poisoned city before it brings us death.

MAYOR: But all we’ve built and worked for? To abandon it instead??
SCIENTIST: After lots of math I now conclude.... We must escape or we’ll be dead!

CHILD (stepping center front): Maybe some other scientist on Venus, Mars or Earth.
Has the cure to save us. What would that be worth?

MAYOR: That’s it! Good child! (pats child on head) A broadcast! Offering a reward!
What good is money if we’re dead? We’ll give the entire hoard!

FARMER: Yes! Offer everything we have! What’s important is to live!
Whoever stops this deadly plague, gets all we have to give!
(Child EXITS, if child plays Visiting Scientist.)

GRANDMA: So the notice was broadcast across the planet, and across space.
(Visiting Scientist enters Stage Right.)
Many came with diagrams...., devices......, chemicals........, even mystical rituals,
(Scientist shows City Council diagram, devices, bottle, and meditates walking off EXITS Stage Left.)

.... but none of them worked.

(Visiting Scientist RE-Enters from Stage Left, mad, throws stuff down, stomps off EXITING Stage Right. The floor is really full of stuff now. City Council shakes heads sadly. All Townies stumble slowly, sadly, towards airlock at rear of audience, coughing, stumbling, then crawling.)

GRANDMA: There was no way to save their town. With the last of their will to live, the people abandoned their tools and gathered their children, but as they stumbled towards the airlock of the city, a ship appeared in the sky, buzzed the dome and skidded to a landing.

(Pied Piper ENTERs from rear of audience holding ship up around her like an innertube. She leaps over crawling Townies, lands the ship on the stage and jumps out, kicks stuff out of her way and cartwheels across the stage. Struts and performs acrobatics or dance. Townies will crawl back and around her to stand along rear of stage watching her pitifully. )

It was an Earthwoman, still rippling with the muscles from her triple gravity home planet. But even though her muscles were big, her lungs were small, and she used her oxygen tank even inside the pressure dome of the town. She stood up straight and tall:

GRANDMA & PIED PIPER: I am the Pied Piper.

GRANDMA: Said the strange person.

CALLISTO: How come the Pied Piper doesn’t bring any pie??
GRANDMA: Hmmmmmmm...

TETHYS: Grandma, what does “Pied” mean in Pied Piper?

GRANDMA: Pied means clothes covered in patches of two or more colors. Do you want me to continue the story?

CHILDREN: Yes, please.

GRANDMA & PIPER: I am the Pied Piper!!

GRANDMA: Said the strange person.

(Piper will dance and stride through these lines until she is downstage at side.)
PIPER: Gather ‘round my friends,
Though you think you’re at your ends
Your survival now depends,
On my technology!

I’m a Jack of all trades
I’ve been thrown a few parades
(to audience) Been inside a few stockades.
I’m the best you’ll ever see!

(Townies run to stand downstage at the level of Piper, in this order: Farmer, Mayor, Child, Scientist, Council Man, Council Lady, Piper)

COUNCIL LADY: Can you stop the purple plague??
PIPER: Stand back and be amazed!

COUNCIL MAN: I don’t know about this piper..

SCIENTIST: She is weird
CHILD: And very hyper!

MAYOR: Council folk, what do we know? (crossing below townies to stand between them and Piper)
About this gaudy snake oil Joe?

FARMER: Great Zubrin! (Zoo-brin) What is there to lose??
There’s purple slime inside our shoes!

MAYOR: Take the job, please cleanse our town.

PIPER: Not so quick , I’ve been around.
The mark of a successful entrepreneur,
Is deals in writing with a signature!

(Council Man & Lady and MAYOR whisper.)
MAYOR: Here is the contract with official seal.
If you kill the plague, here’s the deal:
All the money in the coffer,

COUNCIL MAN: That’s all we have.....

COUNCIL LADY: Will you take our offer?

PIPER: (inspects contract) Agreed! (Marches across stage causing Townies to jump out of her way.) Now elbow room so I can start. (sniffs air)
Phewww!!! This place smells like a stinky ol’ ..(Council Lady clears her throat) ... liverwurst tart.

FARMER: We dare not get our hopes up, to have them dashed once more.
SCIENTIST: If something happens, tell me. I’ll be thinking on the floor.

(PIPER faces audience at front of stage and pantomimes adjusting dials on a wall and on her body equipment. Sound FX.)

GRANDMA: The Pied Piper calibrated her pipes so that they would remotely control the life support functions all around the town. And then she began.

(Piper skips in big circles, people try to follow but gasp for breath at first, then gain their breath.
Sound FX gradually changes from discord to harmony.)

GRANDMA: The Pied Piper skipped down the streets and through the parks, into the greenhouses and through each and every home. Her music triggered the heaters and coolers, the vacuum and pressure pumps, the humidifiers and dryers, and the carbon dioxide and oxygen levels in just the right sequence to disrupt the life cycle of the fungus. The purple infestation died, dried up and powdered away! The people rejoiced!

MAYOR: The air is fresh, fill up your noses!

COUNCIL LADY: The children can run, their cheeks are like roses!

COUNCIL MAN: I can breathe! I can breathe! Never again,
Will I forget how precious is oxygen!

(People rejoice and pick up stuff on stage, “putting it away” into offstage box or at edge of stage. They toss the stuff joyfully to each other or form hand to hand brigades. Sweep up purple fungus litter, dump into trash can, laughing. Piper taps foot impatiently, looks at watch.)

GRANDMA: The people breathed in life and vigor for the first time in months.

CHILD: Daddy swing me! It’s sunny and breezing!
FARMER: The flowers are blooming. Bumper crop next season!

SCIENTIST: Just a random event, an environmental hiccup!
COUNCIL LADY: I knew we’d succeed if we never gave up!

The celebration went on. The Piper packed up her equipment as she waited for the party to settle down, but even after loading all her gear onto her ship, and checking the oil, no one had approached her to make payment.

(Piper grabs Mayor’s arm and pantomimes asking for money. Mayor tags Townies and they assemble at front of stage.)

GRANDMA: Finally she found the mayor and asked for what was promised. The mayor gathered the council in a secret meeting.

MAYOR: This eccentric piping Earthling did cure our dying town,
And we did promise her all our money, even wrote it down.

SCIENTIST: But what she did was so simple, we could have done it on our own,
If we had just had the air to think, the concepts are well known.

COUNCIL LADY: If we give our entire budget, how will we run the town?
Fund the library? Buy new seed? Beam the satellite down?

COUNCIL MAN: For just a few minutes labor, should she get so much in pay?
We won’t be re-elected, if we give it all away!

SCIENTIST: And if the plague does come back, we now know what to do.
We don’t need that Piper any more. Just give her the shoe. (pantomime kicking)

GRANDMA: So the mayor summoned the Piper.... handed her a check and read a proclamation.

MAYOR: We’ve chosen the highest union scale, and multiplied it by one fifth of an hour.

COUNCIL MAN: We are proud to name after you, our town’s official flower.

COUNCIL LADY: Here’s a key to the city. Please take it as you go.
The children sing of you in poetry, I thought you’d like to know.

PIPER: (crumpling check) This contract says that I’m to get ALL the town’s wealth.
For destroying the deadly fungus, and saving the town’s health!
A promise is a promise! A deal is a deal!

MAYOR: What can you do about it? You’d better accept what’s real.

SCIENTIST: We’ve recalibrated our environmental inputs, so,
Your pipes cannot control them. Take your cardboard key and go!

GRANDMA: But the Pied Piper said nothing but smiled sadly and knowingly. She set her pipe to play a haunting tune and she began to sing. Her voice carried all through the city and her words were words of yearning and pleasure. She sang of Earth, warm, Sun blessed Earth:

Song: “Earth, Earth” ( to the tune of “Scarborough Fair”)

PIPER: Earth, Earth, so warm and so bright
Gentle breeze through your window at night,
No dome for protection, sky filled with air
Breath so sweet! We’ll run everywhere!

Oceans, forests, jungles so vast,
Tigers, monkeys, zebras giraffes,
All colors of peoples, languages too,
Billions of friends all welcoming you.

(The music or “la-la’s” continue as the Piper dances, luring the children to follow her.
The adults standing in a line at the stage front, will turn their backs on the Piper but the child(ren) watch, fascinated and begin to dance and follow her. When the parents turn around, they reach and gesture towards their children but do not move their feet until they leave the stage at the end.)

GRANDMA: The adults hardened their hearts to the song, but the children, dulled by constant chores were charmed by the promises. They danced after the piper, enchanted. Their parents grabbed at them but the children wiggled laughing away.

(Piper and children are in audience, using dance motions rather than pantomime to act out.)

The piper danced out the air lock of the city and the children followed her up into her ship. The hatch slammed closed and the engines roared. The parents screamed in horror and loss as the ship trembled. But suddenly, the hatch opened and the children reappeared in the doorway. The people cheered for their children to come back, but the children only smiled, waved and flung out their air suits, for they wouldn’t be needing them again.
The hatch slammed shut, and the ship blasted away. ( Children and Piper run EXIT.)

(Adults turn and slowly, sadly EXIT the stage.)
The parents mourned for years for their lost children, lured away by the promises of Earthly pleasures. And as more children were born the parents no longer worked them all day but saw to it that games and theater, carnivals and stories were there to fulfill their children outside of school and chores.

(Only Grandma and Tethys and Callisto are on stage.)
And the children that went on that long journey to Earth. Did they get all that was promised?
Not quite. As the ship landed on Earth, the triple gravity pressed upon the boys and girls and they screamed in terror and pain. Many did not survive the landing, and those that did lived many years weighted down by the unfamiliar gravity. The air was abundant, but not clean, the people were many and varied, but not interested in caring for these planetary orphans. A few managed to earn the money to return to Mars and their elderly parents, years later when they were grown. And all learned the importance of keeping a promise.

CALLISTO: I wouldn’t fly off to stinky old Earth. It’s all heavy and crowded.

TETHYS: Didn’t the children know that Mars would have trees and air by the next terrestrial cycle?

GRANDMA: The next terrestrial cycle wouldn’t happen for another 75 years, Tethys. Those early pioneers began the cycles of atmosphere, heat, water and plants that we enjoy now, but they never got to enjoy them.

CALLISTO: They never got to go swimming in the river?

TETHYS: Or go outside without their air suit?

CALLISTO: Or feel the wind?

TETHYS: Well at least those early pioneers didn’t have all the storms that we do!

CALLISTO: We haven’t been able to go out and play for 3 whole days.

GRANDMA: With the increase in atmosphere, moisture and warmth, Mars does have more active weather. But you will always be safe. Hmmm, it is almost bed time. We have time for just one more story... or a rhyme! How about ...The Rock...

CALLISTO AND TETHYS: That lay on the surface of Red Mars!

(ALPHA-TECHIES, carrying props, run to rear of stage and stand grinning ready to start. Each carries a green plastic plant hidden in pocket. As song describes the action, each will bring their prop to front stage, add it to the display and perform it, and perform it again when the song mentions it, and also gesture toward whatever the song is referring to. Techies waiting their turn, wait at rear of stage, dancing along, gesturing toward topic. A,B,C letters below show techies onstage at the end of the stanza.)

(Grandma says poem. Alpha-techies bring forward props and do actions. At “regolith squeeze” actors do little wiggle dance. Techies sing along as they can, and dance and gesture towards the topic.)
The Rock That Lay on the Surface of Red Mars (A-H, for 8 actors)

AB (hold up rocks and place at front of stage)
GRANDMA: This is the rock that lay on the surface of Red Mars. AB

C (striding forward, making muscles) This is the man who crushed the rock
that lay on the surface of Red Mars. ABC

D (placing dome) This is the dome, resistant to shock,
built by the man who crushed the rock,
that lay on the surface of Red Mars. CD (AB leave)

E (placing furnace) This is the furnace, spewing CFC’s
D (turning dome to show inside) fed by the factory doing the regolith squeeze
inside the dome, resistant to shock, built by the man who crushed the rock
that lay on the surface of Red Mars. CDE

F (heat costume) This is the heat warming the granite
G (atmosphere costume) trapped by the atmosphere, hugging the planet
that poured from the furnace, spewing CFC’s
fed by the factory doing the regolith squeeze
inside the dome, resistant to shock, built by the man who crushed the rock
that lay on the surface of Red Mars. CFG (DE leave)

H These microorganisms fertilize the soils (H: lab coat, magnifying glass, stick with dangling bugs)
AB damp with the water that flowed from the poles (A & B cross from opposite sides, run with blue streamers.)
melted by the heat warming the granite,
trapped by the atmosphere, hugging the planet
that poured from the furnace, spewing CFC’s
fed by the factory doing the regolith squeeze
inside the dome, resistant to shock, built by the man who crushed the rock
that lay on the surface of Red Mars. CFGH (A& B leave)

DE (carrying plants, wearing settler’s hats)
This greenhouse cycle, ever increasing,
Nurtures the plants, oxygen releasing, (Everyone inhales!)
for the settlers that toil in the fertilized soil,
damp with the water that flowed from the poles,
melted by the heat, warming the granite,
trapped by the atmosphere, hugging the planet (A & B stand ready behind D & E)
that poured from the furnace, spewing CFC’s
fed by the factory doing the regolith squeeze
inside the dome, resistant to shock, built by the man who crushed the rock
that lay on the surface of Red Mars. ABCDEFGH
(All techies lift up green plant or flower)
AB (step forward and reciting, Grandma is silent.)
Now is the Green Mars, home to us child-er-ens,
born to the settlers who tamed the wilderness
who honor that man, who first crushed the rock,
ALL HOLLER: that lay on the surface of Red Mars!
(Techies grab props, run EXIT.)

GRANDMA: Wasn’t that nice. And now, Callisto and Tethys, the clock says it is time for sleep. Aren't you tired? I am.
(GRANDMA’s head droops in sleep.)
TETHYS: (unhappily) Ooooh, she’s asleep.
CALLISTO: (hollering) Momma! Grandma Story is asleep. Momma!
TETHYS: She’s outside with Dad. Hit the intercom button.

CALLISTO: (hops off grandma’s lap and pantomimes pressing intercom button)
Mom! Mom! Grandma Story is asleep! Mom! Mom!
MOTHER’s voice on intercom: I’m coming! (Mother runs in out of breath, disheveled, wearing work clothes, realizes she is carrying shovel, sets it out of sight of kids, removes helmet and goggles.)
Grandma asleep? Must be bedtime!

TETHYS: Mom.. restart Grandma, please? We want more stories.
MOTHER: (lovingly) No, Tethys sweetie, you know that grandma’s bed time is your bed time.
CALLISTO: Mom, I’m scared. I wanna sleep in your bed.

MOTHER: Scared, Callisto, kitten? (reaches behind Grandma. Click. Lifts up computer disk.)
Now who put this scary adventures disk into Grandma’s random selection?
Tethys? You know that Callisto can’t sleep when she hears these stories.
(STORM NOISE! MOTHER looks up, startled, listening to storm)

TETHYS: Sorry, Mom.
CALLISTO: (watching mother) Mommy, why do you have a worried face?
MOTHER: (reassuring, petting) I’m just tired sweetheart. Your daddy and I have been fixing the windows on the greenhouse.
TETHYS: Is the storm coming inside, Mom?
MOTHER: (hustling them off) No. It’s just making a big mess and we’re trying to stop it. Now go brush your teeth and hop into bed. I’ll be right there to tuck you in.
CALLISTO: ( pausing at the door) Momma??
MOTHER: Yes, Callisto, you can sleep in our bed.
CALLISTO: Thanks, Momma. (running EXIT) Tethys! We can sleep in Mom and Dad’s bed!
(Mother’s sweet face becomes suddenly fatigued, distraught, she exhales and wipes tears.
Father runs in frantically pantomiming grabbing supplies.)

FATHER: We need more bags, the shielding is popping rivets! Honey, are you crying?
(still filling his arms) Don’t be afraid.
MOTHER: It’s not fear. I’m ashamed. If this is our last time together, their last stories should have been read to them by their mother, not a grandma machine.

FATHER: (shifts supplies to one arm, grips her arm with his other hand) Darling! If you had been here reading them stories, the wall would have ripped and we’d all be dead now. We need you outside. We’re going to hold that wall. And we’re going to live!
(CREAK! They look up horrified.)

FATHER: (grabbing supplies) The south wall! Hurry. Grab that stack.
MOTHER: I have to kiss them goodnight.
FATHER: There’s no time! (He starts to run out, stops, they look at each other ) Kiss them for me.
(Storm noise! Optional: parents run together, quick kiss, run apart.)
Don’t forget your shovel! (Hollering as he running EXITS.)
(MOTHER EXITS after children. Wind sounds up as CURTAIN CLOSES )

See Tech Notes for Costumes, Props and Scenery

This story takes place on Mars in the future when humans have established a toehold in a wild frontier.

Because of its small size, Mars has little atmosphere. Having no atmosphere it cannot hold the Sun’s heat. Generations of settlers before Tethys and Callisto’s family have worked to release the gases in the soil to create an atmosphere, warming the planet and melting the ice and dry ice at the poles. When dry ice and regular ice melt they become carbon dioxide and water. The carbon dioxide and water vapor hold in the Sun’s heat, warming up the planet, causing more melting, causing more atmosphere, holding more heat, and so on, creating a greenhouse cycle that is good, not bad like it is on Earth.

Increased heat, atmosphere and water affect the weather and that is why the children are left alone with their grandmother for long periods of time, peacefully listening to stories as their parents fight the raging storm outside. The parents have decided to not let their children know of the danger, both so the kids will be happier, and so the kids will not be crying and hanging on their parents preventing them from fighting the storm.
In designing your costumes and set, try to come up with new fashions for the pigs, Mars townsfolk, children's pajamas and room furnishings. This would convey to the audience that this is on Mars before they get confused by the dialogue. Overall, there may be high tech aspects of this future but it is still, rough, dangerous and dependent on hard work for survival.

If actors are playing multiple parts their props and costumes should be right offstage or behind the mountain scenery. I gave each a laundry basket for their stuff.

The techies acting out the weather should not try to hide their bodies – it is distracting. Rather they should have fun operating their boulders and winds, be part of the “dance” or pretend they are invisible.

The Rock Song should be recited by the grandmother at a quick clip, the actors rushing to keep up, otherwise it drags. It is quite fun with the techies running around to perform each action.

The parents’ scene needs to be done seriously. Father and Mother have been outside the dome-home in the storm filling sandbags and stacking them against the dome to keep the wind from ripping panels off. Mars has an atmosphere but not enough oxygen for a person to breathe at the time of this story. If the panels rip off, the air inside the dome will escape and the family will suffocate.

The parents should wear work clothes: coveralls or jeans and a jacket, maybe spattered with orange/red paint to look like Mars dust. They would wear goggles, a protective cap or helmet, and an oxygen tank (a spray painted water bottle with a tube) on their back or chest. If the helmet has a visor the oxygen tube could be attached to it. The goggles, helmet, and tank are not necessary for the scene – the parents might have taken them off before coming in the house—but it is better with them.

If the Mother and Father actors do not want to kiss, the Father can blow the kiss then run out or skip the kiss altogether. The kiss is not smoochy. From the moment they hear the south wall ripping, the action is very panicked and fast; the kiss is like two pool balls hitting each other and bouncing apart. Both parents exit on the run.

The Mars Society ( ) has lots of information on terraforming Mars and are operating simulated Mars research stations.

Directors should carefully read this script and its stage directions before starting rehearsals.


For more information on terraforming Mars, try these websites:

Here is a paragraph from the source that I got most of my information from, the Millennium Mars Calendar by James M. Graham and Kandis Elliot:

-------------------------------------- Mars has a rotation rate similar to Earth's, and a surface gravity 38% that of Earth, which should be adequate for terrestrial organisms. Although sunlight is about 43% of Earth's, it should be sufficient for photosynthesis. The real problems are low temperature and a thin atmosphere.
The average surface temperature of Earth is +15 degrees C (59 degrees F), but that of Mars is only -60 degrees C (-76 degrees F). The atmospheric pressure averages around 8 mbar, compared to Earth's 1,013 mbar. Since a habitable planet needs liquid water on its surface, the average surface temperature must be between 0 and 30 degrees C (32 to 86 degrees F). To return Mars to a maritime climate, the average surface temperature and atmospheric pressure must be raised considerably.
The average surface temperature of Mars could be raised by producing greenhouse gases (chloro-fluoro-carbons, or CFCs) out of minerals available in the regolith (dirt). If sufficient CFCs were released to raise average surface temperature by 25 C (45 F), carbon dioxide frozen in the polar caps and regolith would thaw to a gas and enter the atmosphere triggering a runaway greenhouse effect. As carbon dioxide entered the atmosphere, pressure would rise and more of the sun’s heat would be captured, thawing even more of the gas. Current estimates suggest enough carbon dioxide may be present to increase atmospheric pressure to 2,000 mbar, and raise average surface temperature above freezing. Should this happen, water vapor would make a significant contribution to the greenhouse effect and establish an active hydrological cycle.

Jeannette’s Note: Still it would take hundreds, if not a thousand years for plants to produce enough oxygen for humans to comfortably breathe the atmosphere. However humans could be bio-engineered to have larger, more efficient lungs, for instance introducing some of the genes of the inhabitants of the mountain tops of Peru. Humans can also be conditioned. Basketball teams in the higher elevation town of Flagstaff, Arizona enjoy an advantage when visiting teams play them, because the visiting teams are not used to the diminished air pressure. Or humans outdoors could wear a breathing mask similar to that worn by people with respiratory impairments.

(OPTIONAL SCRIPT: The Rock That Lay on the Surface of Red Mars A- N for 14 actors)
(Grandma says poem quickly. Alpha-techies bring forth props and do actions. At “regolith squeeze” actors do little wiggle dance. Techies sing along as they can, dance and gesture towards the topic. A,B,C letters below show techies onstage at the end of the stanza.)

AB (hold up rocks and place at front of stage)
GRANDMA: This is the rock that lay on the surface of Red Mars. AB

C (striding forward, making muscles) This is the man who crushed the rock
that lay on the surface of Red Mars. ABC

D (placing dome) This is the dome, resistant to shock,
built by the man who crushed the rock,
that lay on the surface of Red Mars. ABCD

E (placing furnace) This is the furnace, spewing CFC’s
D (turning dome to show inside) fed by the factory doing the regolith squeeze
inside the dome, resistant to shock, built by the man who crushed the rock
that lay on the surface of Red Mars. CDE

F (heat costume) This is the heat warming the granite
G (atmosphere costume) trapped by the atmosphere, hugging the planet
that poured from the furnace, spewing CFC’s
fed by the factory doing the regolith squeeze
inside the dome, resistant to shock, built by the man who crushed the rock
that lay on the surface of Red Mars. CDEFG

H These microorganisms fertilize the soils (H: lab coat, magnifying glass, stick with dangling bugs)
IJ> damp with the water that flowed from the poles (I&J cross from opposite sides, run with blue streamers.)
melted by the heat warming the granite,
trapped by the atmosphere, hugging the planet
that poured from the furnace, spewing CFC’s
fed by the factory doing the regolith squeeze
inside the dome, resistant to shock, built by the man who crushed the rock
that lay on the surface of Red Mars. ABCDEFGHIJ

KL (carrying plants, wearing settler’s hats)
This greenhouse cycle, ever increasing,
Nurtures the plants, oxygen releasing, (Everyone inhales!)
for the settlers that toil in the fertilized soil,
damp with the water that flowed from the poles,
melted by the heat, warming the granite,
trapped by the atmosphere, hugging the planet (M & N stand ready behind K& L)
that poured from the furnace, spewing CFC’s
fed by the factory doing the regolith squeeze
inside the dome, resistant to shock, built by the man who crushed the rock
that lay on the surface of Red Mars. ABCDEFGHIJKL
(All techies lift up green branch or plant or flower)
MN (step forward and reciting, Grandma is silent.)
Now is the Green Mars, home to us child-er-ens,
born to the settlers who tamed the wilderness
who honor that man, who first crushed the rock, ABCDEFGHIJKLMN
ALL HOLLER: that lay on the surface of Red Mars! (Techies grab props, run EXIT.)