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Antarctica : The Play

by the students of the Ecole Active Bilingue Jeannine Manuel Primary Ecology Club (1994-1995)

Characters

  • Narrator
  • Macaroni penguin
  • Chinstrap penguin
  • King penguin
  • Crabeater seal
  • Fur seal
  • Weddel seal
  • Krill
  • Humpback whale
  • Gentoo penguin
  • Adélie penguin
  • Skua
  • Leopard seal
  • Decomposers
  • Squid
  • Petrels
  • Albatross
  • Killer whale
  • Emperor penguin

Scene opens - only the Weddel seal is on the beach

Narrator

Springtime arrives in Antarctica. The sun comes up over the horizon and many of the animals start to return to the ice continent.

Enter the Macaroni and Chinstrap penguins

Chinstrap penguin

Macaroni penguins

   

Macaroni penguin

Good - we are the first to arrive. We can find the best places to build our nests.

Chinstrap penguin

We nested here last year - its our territory. Go find somewhere else.

Macaroni Penguin

Too bad - we were here first - you chinstrap penguins will have to go elsewhere.

Chinstraps (mumbling) move to the other side.
Enter King Penguin

King penguin

We king penguins do not need to build nests. You two should try to keep your eggs on your feet like we do - then you wouldn't have to fight over worthless pebbles.

Enter Crab eater seal

Crabeater seal

My pup will be born soon - I need to find a good place on the beach for its birth. Where are the other crabeater seals?

King Penguin

You are the first one to arrive.

Crabeater seal

Then I've got priority - I'll chose the safest part of the beach for my baby.

Enter Fur seal

Fur seal Weddel seal
   

Fur seal

Please leave us fur seals some safe ground on the beach - I'm about to have a pup too.

Weddel seal

You're not first - I am. I've been here all winter and we Weddel seals have made this breathing hole on the best part of the ice, so we're staying here.

Fur Seal

Why didn't you say something before? This beach is getting too crowded.

Narrator

I've had enough of this quarrelling! Let's see what's going on in the ocean.

Krill

Great! Lots of plankton! We hope we can feed in peace - those humpback whales were around here yesterday and ate hundreds of our brothers and sisters.

Humpback Whale (making a net of bubbles)

I've got those krill in my bubble net now - they've got no chance - I'll just open my mouth and up I go.

Whale circles up from the bottom - slightly coming out of the water.

Humpback Whale Albatross
   

Krill

We escaped this time. If it's not humpback whales, its penguins or albatross or seals. We seem to be almost everyone's main meal around here. Good job there's so many of us.

Narrator

What - more penguins arriving!

Enter Gentoo and Adélie penguins

Gentoo penguin

It's going to be hard for the gentoo penguins to find a place on this beach.

Adélie penguin

And the Adèlie penguins are in trouble too. Let's try further up the beach.

Gentoo penguin

Alright - you go to the left and we'll go to the right.

Adélie penguin

OK but we'll be far from the ocean and the krill.

Gentoo penguin

But we'll be safer up there away from the leopard seals.

Narrator

As summer approaches the animals give birth or lay their eggs. Lots of young animals are to be found on the beach.

Enter Skua

Skua Adélie Penguin

Skua

Ah Ah! Now all the penguin chicks are hatched I can pick out the weakest and have a feast.

All Penguins: General alarm cries

Watch out! Skua overhead! Hide the chicks!

Skua menaces the penguins and then flies off-stage

Chinstrap Penguin

One of us parents will have to go to the ocean to find food for the chicks.

Adélie Penguin

It's a long way to go for us.

Gentoo Penguin

Yes - its a boring walk down this beach.

King Penguin

Thank goodness there's so much krill. Enough for everyone!

Penguins go down into the water. Leopard seal arrives.

Leopard seal

Seagulls

   

Chinstrap Penguin

Watch out! There's a leopard seal around!

Much excitement. Penguins hurry out of the water. The king penguin stays in water and is chased by the leopard seal.

Weddel seal
(from beach)

The leopard seal is going to catch that king penguin.

Crab Eater Seal

Yes! Isn't it exciting!

Macaroni Penguin

Hide under my wing, children. I don't want you to watch this.

Adélie Penguin

Oh look! It's caught the penguin.

King Penguin Chicks

Mummy! Mummy!

Leopard seal

This is my lucky day - a big king penguin to eat.

Decomposers

Hey! Leave some for us decomposers.

Leopard seal

I'll eat as much as I want - if there's any left over you can help yourselves.

Decomposers

OK but there's a lot of us down here on the sea bed - remember that.

Macaroni Penguin

It's a good thing my chicks can't see this - its horrible!

Squid appears in water

Squid

Where can I find some ice fish? They are so transparent that it makes them really hard to see.

Enter Petrel and Albatross

Petrels

Oh, there's squid in the water - let's go and dive for it.

Albatross

I've flown thousands of miles in search of food.

Petrels

Maybe you have flown thousands of miles, albatross but I've got newly-hatched chicks nearby and they are all starving.

Squid

Oh Oh - While the petrel and albatross argue over me I'll just go deeper in the water, out of their reach.

Petrel

Hey! My food is getting away!

Krill

At least the quarrel isn't about us for once.

Petrel

It looks like a diet of krill today.

Krill

Oh no!

Albatross

Krill it is then - Let's dive!

Narrator

Now the temperatures are falling to well below freezing as Autumn approaches. Most animals are leaving Antarctica.

Enter Killer whale

Killer whale

Goodie! Goodie! The sea is full of penguins and seals - now its my turn to eat as much as I can.

Fur Seal

I guess I have to start my swim across the ocean.

Crab Eater Seal

We have to go too, before it gets too cold and the sea freezes over.

Weddel Seal

We're staying here for the winter. I'll have to remake my breathing hole.

Gentoo Penguin

I hope we don't meet a leopard seal on our way North.

Killer Whale

There's lots of choice but the crab eater seal seems slower than the rest.

Killer whale chases the Crab eater seal around and then off stage.

Krill

We need to migrate northwards too.

Humpback Whale

I'll follow the krill to where ever they go.

Petrel

It looks like we'll be travelling together, humpback since I follow the krill too.

Adélie Penguin

Come on - we will go to our winter home.

Chinstrap Penguin

Not such a bad idea - it's getting very cold.

Narrator

Nearly all of the animals leave the continent. Only the Weddel Seal remains on the beach - but look! Here come the Emperor penguins.

Enter Emperor penguin

Emperor penguin

Everyone has left. We Emperor penguins must walk a long way inland before we can rest.

Weddel Seal

We will have to prepare for the freezing cold of winter.

Decomposers

It will be hard to find food in the winter - the sea is already covered by ice.

Narrator

And so we leave Antarctica and the few animals who are brave enough to spend the winter there. But before we take our leave of you, I am sure you would like to meet the players.

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