October 13 & 14: Kevin Spenst

October 13 & 14: The Children Play the Pipeline

Kevin Spenst


children (32)
theater-goers (5)

The Children Play the Pipeline

B.C. children: (in unison) We have been paid to play, to place ourselves one in front of the other like a giant pipeline through the forest. Aren’t we harmless? Aren’t we cute? Our mistakes are small and nothing to fear. We have been paid to play this game on stage. Our actor parents are the trees. They smile high above with their arms akimbo. This game will be filmed and edited with footage from the forests. Soon we will be placed in various parts of the province. We will be filmed again through expensive cameras and our smiles will flash as we run between trees playing our staged pipeline, but this time in the great outdoors. See how real we are. See how happy. We have been paid to play. Who could disagree with a company that would pay children to play?

(At the corner of the stage five theater-goers watch and point at a commercial playing before a film.)

Theater-goer #1: They got that shot from a helicopter. My sister’s neighbor’s brother-in-law’s best friend was the pilot. He flew the film crew over the children fifty-five times. It’s one of the most expensive commercials ever made.

Theater-goers 1-5: (in unison) Most expensive! Most expensive commercial ever made. Deep in the depths of a pocket is the financing for one of the most expensive commercials ever made!

Theater-goer #3: One does wonder who that pocket belongs to.

Theater-goer #5: A conversation starts slowly. No one wants to be seen as a crank. A conversation –

B.C. children: (running in single file in front of the theater-goers) We have arrived to smile in the nick and Susie of time. Somewhere an ad man wondered if our smiles could be projected in 3-D. Our cute smiles will bring down the most cynical of hearts. Our smiles are here to share the fact that it’s not all about money. Our smiles transcend our paycheques. We are after all just a bunch of kids having fun. We are real. We could be your brother’s baker’s sister-in-law’s children!

Theater-goer #5: …a conversation that will take in questions, uncertainties, the reality of risk and the importance of clean air and water. A conversation that runs like a river. A conversation that plays and works at deeper understandings. A conversation that renews itself through you.

(As “children” exit they pull off masks revealing middle-aged faces. They stand up to their full adult heights.)

Theater-goers 1-5: (in unison) We are a chain based not on profits. We are your mother’s postie’s cousin’s best friend’s sunrise. We are your father’s mechanic’s uncle’s fishing buddy’s sunset. We are your hairdresser’s landlord’s cleaning woman’s grandchildren’s giggle. We have not been paid to hold together.