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Characters

  • Blemy
  • Sting ray
  • Octopus
  • Sea anemone
  • Manta ray
  • Sealion
  • Pelican
  • Cleaner fish
  • Whale shark
  • Squid
  • Starfish
  • Ghost shrimp
  • Sailfish
  • Hammerhead shark
  • Parrot fish
  • Rainbow wrasse
  • Hermit crab
  • Scorpion fish
  • Dolphin
  • Sea slug

 

THE PRIMARY ECOLOGY CLUB PLAYS

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Sea of Cortez : The Play

by the students of the Primary Ecology Club (1993-1994)

 

Scene opens: Sea anemone is already out waving its tentacles. Blemy already on stage behind 'barnacle shell' rises

Blemy

Oh good, no rainbow wrasse around - now's my chance to eat some plankton! There's a delicious-looking morsel.

Blemy continues to dart up and down collecting plankton. Starfish move slowly onto stage from the left. Parrot fish already on stage behind "coral" moves into view sideways

Parrot fish

If the Blemy is out it must be safe for Parrot fish too. I'll just nibble away at this mound of coral.

Parrot fish continues to nibble at coral

Sea anemone

Plenty of shrimps in the plankton today - my tentacles are full of them.

Hermit crab enters from right and starts to move slowly across the stage

Starfish

It's alright for you! I can't find any mussels in the coral today and us starfish need to eat a lot. I'll have to make do with clams.

Sea anemone and starfish continue searching for food - starfish moves slowly across the stage
Ghost shrimp moves onto stage from the left

Hermit crab

Are there any octopuses around? Oh good - there aren't. Lets see what there is to eat in the coral.

Ghost shrimp

Why should a hermit crab worry about an octopus? It can hide in its shell. Its harder for us ghost shrimps to escape.

Starfish

Stop moaning and eat the plankton while the tide is coming in.

Manta ray and Whale shark enter from right

Ghost shrimp

You had better be careful, starfish, there's a manta ray and a whale shark overhead.

Starfish

Its Ok - they only eat plankton.

Whale shark

The tide always brings plenty of plankton with it. There's enough here to keep us all happy.

Manta ray

Happy? That's a joke. I am so itchy today. Blast these parasites. Where are those lazy cleaner fish?

Cleaner fish enter from right

Cleaner fish

Cleaning service! Cleaning service! Who wants to be cleaned today?

Manta ray

Oh it's you - and about time. You should have been here half an hour ago.

Cleaner fish starts to clean the manta ray

Whale shark

I need cleaning too.

Cleaner fish

OK! OK! I'll be with you in a minute. Give me a chance!

Whale shark

Well hurry up! I cannot waste time. I need to eat tons of plankton every day.

Cleaner fish finishes cleaning the manta ray and moves to the whale shark. Manta ray moves off stage

Blemy (alarmed)

Watch out everybody! Rainbow wrasse above.

Rainbow wrasse enter from right. Blemy ducks behind 'shell'. Sea anemone hides. Shrimp quickly moves behind 'coral'; where the parrot fish lives. Hermit crab moves down and keeps still.

Rainbow wrasse

I wonder what's on the menu today. Blenny perhaps, or shrimp.

Cleaner fish stops cleaning but stays on stage. Whale shark moves slowly off stage

Cleaner fish

Cleaning service! Any more fish to be cleaned today?

Rainbow wrasse

I can clean fish too - I enjoy a few tasty parasites.

Cleaner fish

This is my patch, wrasse.

Parrot fish

Watch out! I can see a sting ray coming.

Sting ray moves in from left. Cleaner fish and Rainbow wrasse stay on stage. Parrot fish moves behind 'coral'. All animals at ground level keep a low profile

Sting ray

I thought there were some anemones around here. Where are they (moves around) I wonder what is hiding under the coral. There's got to be something to eat. A blenny, perhaps, or a few shrimp.

Cleaner fish and Rainbow wrasse move off stage. Shrimp moves out from behind the 'coral'

Sting Ray

A ghost shrimp! I thought so - come here breakfast!

Shrimp is chased off stage by Sting Ray. All animals come out from their hiding places

Sea anemone

Wow! That was a close thing!

Manta ray, whale shark and cleaner fish back on stage, behind and high up

Starfish

It certainly was. That sting ray has put me right off my food.

Octopus enters from left. Rainbow wrasse return, behind and up high. Blemy moves down and out of sight

Hermit crab:

Oh help! The octopus is on the prowl. Goodbye.
(moves down in its shell)

Octopus

(approaching the hermit crab) Come out little hermit crab - I won't hurt you. There's no need to hide from me.

Sea anemone, Starfish, Blemy, Parrot fish

together (just looking out of their hiding places) Don't fall for it/ Some joke/ Rubbish
(hide again immediately)

Scorpion fish enters from behind the octopus

Octopus

Who said that!

Scorpion fish

Who said what, octopus?

Octopus

A scorpion fish! I'm out of here. I'm looking for a meal, I don't want to be one.

Octopus moves off stage quickly. Squid moves on stage from the other side.

Scorpion fish

What a shame, I am particularly fond of octopus. Such a nice flavour.

Squid

Exactly what I was going to say about you, scorpion fish.

They chase each other around the stage for a few minutes. Other animals take it in turns to look out of their hiding places. Manta Ray and Whale shark move off stage

Squid

There's no escape - I have eight tentacles to catch you with.

Scorpion fish

You have to get close enough to use them! (moves off stage)

Squid

Just watch me. (follows scorpion fish)

Rest of the animals come out from their hiding places. Blemy moves down every now and again since the rainbow wrasse are above

Sea anemone

Thank goodness! All quiet again.

Blemy

As long as those rainbow wrasse stay up there. I have to keep both eyes on them all the time.

Sea slug moves in

Hermit crab:

Hello, a sea slug. What's it looking for, I wonder.

Sea anemone

Oh disaster! A sea slug! It's me it's looking for. Oh my poor tentacles.

Anemone moves down

Sea slug

What a lovely day! And look, there's an anemone - what luck. (moves towards the anemone) This anemone tastes so good. Its stinging cells don't hurt me at all.

Rainbow wrasse and cleaner fish move down. Blemy hides

Rainbow wrasse

(agitated) Hide everyone. Here come the seals and sailfish.

Cleaner fish

There's a pelican about to dive, too.

Parrot fish

And I can see a dolphin! I'm getting out of the way.

Sailfish and sealion come on stage. Manta ray and whale shark come back behind and high. Hammer head shark moves in.

Others

/me too/hide quickly/

Sea slug

They won't bother me - I don't taste very nice. (Continues to eat the anemone)

Hammerhead shark

Where are the cleaner fish? I only come here to be cleaned.

Manta ray

They're never around when you need them.

Hammerhead shark

Cleaner fish! Come on we can't wait here all day. I am covered in parasites and they must be taken off before I return to the ocean. I have a long journey ahead of me.

Cleaner fish move towards hammerhead shark.

Sealion

It feels great to play in the water. I love chasing fish. (starts to chase wrasse)

Sailfish

Yes, it is good fun especially when there are so many fish to chase.

Dolphin

I bet I can catch more fish than either of you.

Sealion

Don't be so sure, dolphin. I can stay under water longer than you can.

Sailfish

And I don't have to go up for air at all.

Starts chasing the smaller fish

Pelican

Why waste time chasing fish when you can just dive in and catch them?

Dolphin

Because its fun to chase the fish. You are too serious, pelican.

Sealion

We always find lots to eat around the coral reefs. Fish, octopuses, crabs and shrimp.

Sailfish

I prefer the wrasse and the cleaner fish. Squid are good too.

Pelican

There is so much to choose from in the Sea of Cortez.

All animals move around and look for food. Cleaner fish also cleans larger fish. Smaller animals come out for food when they can.
Suddenly there is a loud noise - all the animals stop, as if listening. The lights go out - animals quietly leave the stage on both sides. Lights go on - nothing on the stage

Animals return to stage, facing forward and still.

Blemy

The trawl nets take everything from the coral on the sea bed.

Manta ray

The fishermen are only fishing for shrimp.

Hammerhead shark

By the time they have picked out all the shrimp, all the other animals are dead.

Sealion

The fishermen throw the dead fish back into the sea and the seagulls eat the dead bodies.

Sea slug

There is no more life in the coral.

Sting ray

No animals to eat the plankton.

Whale shark

No small animals for the large animals to eat.

Cleaner fish

The food chain is broken.

Rainbow wrasse

Life disappears from the Sea of Cortez.

 

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