“My name is not actually Tara. It’s Lucy. Don’t you love Professor Dun? He loves me at least because he gave me the main female role in the school play.”
“Alright everybody. Up, up, up!” said Professor Dun as he slid a chair across the scratched, brown stage. Every time someone drags a chair or a table, a new scratch appears. Everyone just sat slumped in their seat, minds blank. “What’s the matta with ya folks?” he asked.
No one moved.
“We still have to block act 2, scene 7! This scene is where Jason and Tara kiss!” Professor Dun had to drag all the squirrels onto the stage of Westchester Elementary. “Okay. Everybody except Jason and Tara get off the stage. If I so see the tip of your tail touch this thing, I will call Principal Tuxie. Now, let’s do a rough run through the scene. Do not, I say do not actually kiss. For all I know, you guys don’t know how to anyway.”
“You can’t leave me now!” cried Tara.
“Oh, but sweetie I have to. It’s two minutes past my curfew,” said Jason.
“No but — ” said Tara.
“I must go,” Jason said.
“You can’t leave because you haven’t returned my sacred picnic basket from your gentle hands,” exclaimed Tara
“Oh crap. Sorry,” mumbled Jason.
“CUT!” yelled Professor Dun. “Man we have a lot to work on. I can’t even take anymore of this. Be back tomorrow at 3:02 sharp!”
Section Two: Lucy
My name is not actually Tara. It’s Lucy. Don’t you love Professor Dun? He loves me at least because he gave me the main female role in the school play. Anyhow, I live in NYC. I never go hungry because there’s millions of food trucks that drop hot dogs, bananas, opened Gatorade, nuts from a Nuts4Nuts truck, and many other things that you humans find disgusting. But let me get this straight. All humans have this idea that every single squirrel likes nuts. They always crave nuts. They will do anything to eat nuts. That is totally not true because I hate them. I hate the crunch that you hear when you chew on them. My teeth are very precious to me, and I don’t want them to break because of an ugly, miserable nut.
Now, if humans found out that we could talk, they would go berserk. It would be on the front page of The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Reporters from CNN, NBC, and Fox News would report on it. So, when we talk, all it sounds like to humans is, “kakakakakakaka.”
Section Three: Liam
My name is not actually Jason. It’s Liam. I am definitely not a theater dork. My friend Casey signed me up without asking me. He sent in an audio of me singing the song “Come Alive.” I don’t know how he obtained that audio. He most likely hacked into my computer. I made that audio three and a half years ago. Now, I’m stuck every day in a four hour rehearsal in a hot, sweaty theater that’s the size of the human thumb. The worst part is, I have to kiss a random girl. I swear I’m going to kill Casey. I want my first kiss to be with someone that I like. Not a fake, energetic squirrel that thinks she’s the best. I also don’t want my first kiss to be in front of 12,000 squirrels. So far, I’ve been to three rehearsals. How can I get out of it? I can’t pretend to like someone and to like theatre. I feel awful. God, get me out of this.
Section Four: Lucy
Liam can be so negative at times. Does he even want to be in theater? I try to cheer him up, but it’s no use. How did he get the role? Anyhow, in show biz, you have to be able to work with anybody. So, in order to be a good role model, I’m going to have to just cope with him. But it seems as if he hates theater, so why is he still here?
“Alright, everybody, time’s a wastin!” yelled Professor Dun. Everyone always wondered how he was raised because he was always overly enthusiastic.
“Liam, I know that you may not love this show. But when I heard that audio — your voice is so elegant and graceful. You should really take advantage of that. So, why don’t you try. Maybe if you try hard enough, you’ll learn to like it.”
The words that Professor Dun said stuck to everyone’s head. Liam just stood there silent.
“Okay, so let’s go from the top. Next Tuesday is our first show!”
They ran through the whole show, but Liam was still acting the same. He didn’t project his voice and stood slumped like an old man.
Section Six: Liam
That’s it. I need to find a a way to get out of this. I only kept going to see my friend Casey because I hardly ever see him during the day. I do want to kill him, but he’s my friend, so I can’t. I need to make a plan. How can I get the show to be canceled? That way, my mom won’t make me go to any more rehearsals or cast parties or any shows! Hmmmm. I saw the set design builders screw the background to the back of the stage. Maybe if I unscrew the screw, the set will go crashing. They said we don’t have enough money to get any other sets so, without a set, there’s no show! I’m a genius.
Section Seven: Lucy
Liam had been acting unusually happy lately. Did he listen to what Professor Dun said?
A little later…
O-M-G! I just found out that in the show, I have to eat a nut. I’m so scared because the last time I ate a nut was seven years ago, and I broke my tooth. I think I’m having a panic attack right now. Oh jeez. What am I going to do?
Section Eight: Liam
We’re having a 10 minute break right now. This is the perfect time to complete my plan. Thank God there’s no security cameras in the theater. I brought a screwdriver from home and now, I’m less than ten feet away from the set backstage. There’s five screws. I’ll have to make this quick. I just unscrewed four. Man, I’m good at this. There. Whew! Now all I have to do is a slight push.
“STEP BACK, YOU NASTY CREATURE!!”
“What the heck, Lucy,” said Liam.
“I saw what you were doing,” answered Lucy.
“What?” asked Liam.
“Don’t play dumb with me. I know you were trying to sabotage the show.”
“Wow you are smart,” said Liam slyly.
“You can try and cancel the show, but the power of show biz is too strong. It will put a magnetic force against you and blow you millions of planets away!” shouted Lucy.
“I’m terrible at science, but I do know that’s scientifically incorrect for many reasons.”
“Maybe you should take up science instead,” said Lucy. “Why are you here anyway?”
“I’m only here to see Casey. He’s been my best friend for a long time. I kept going to see him. I never see him during the school day,” answered Liam.
“I have a question. Why do you hate theater?” asked Lucy.
“Because-be-be-be-because, it’s scary!” yelled Liam.
“What?” said Lucy.
“You have to pretend to be someone you’re not, and while doing that in front of billions of squirrels. How do you call that fun?” asked Liam.
“It’s called acting. That’s the only time you act like someone you’re not. You bring a character from a script alive. While some squirrels enjoy being in front of other squirrels, others don’t. That’s called stage fright. It’s when you’re scared of being seen on a stage. That can make some squirrels not like theater, but if they get over that fear, they’ll learn to like it. So, here is the oldest trick in the book. Picture all of the squirrels in the audience chewing nuts and spitting them at you. It’s the weirdest thing, but it worked for every single squirrel that ever had stage fright. So why don’t you try it.”
Liam just sat there trying to take it all in. What he was about to say stunned everyone, and it went down in history for Westchester Elementary.
“I’ll give it a shot,” said Liam.
My problem is solved!!! I talked to Professor Dun, and he said I could eat a brown jelly bean in the play instead of a peanut. I was able to talk myself out of it. Not only that, but I got Liam to give theater a chance!!! I’m so good at convincing squirrels, it’s pretty ridiculous. The show is tomorrow, and I’m having another panic attack. Actually, it’s more like an excitement attack. Thankfully, I screwed the set back together, so it didn’t collapse.
Act 2, Scene 7
“Don’t leave me now!” cried Tara.
“Oh, but sweetie I have to. It’s two minutes past my curfew!” cried Jason. (Before, Liam was saying it like he didn’t care, but this time he acted like he meant it.)
“No but — ” said Tara.
“I must go,” Jason said sternly.
“You can’t leave because you haven’t returned my sacred basket from your gentle hands,” exclaimed Tara.
“Oh crap, sorry,” said Jason as he handed her the basket.
They kissed. Everyone clapped and threw flowers. Everyone left.
When the squirrels started leaving the theater, they were surrounded by a group of human reporters.
“How are you guys able to talk?” said one.
“This is going on the front page of the newspaper!” said another.
“My grandma would love this!” said one.
All of the reporters were shocked. Liam simply answered, “There is so much to be seen in the world. So much to explore and figure out. Don’t assume something is impossible unless there’s evidence to prove it. Just because no one has seen something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Just because something hasn’t been done before, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Just because something hasn’t been explored before, doesn’t mean it can’t be explored. And finally, just because something is very, very difficult, doesn’t mean it’s impossible.”
Liam then just walked away with Lucy, feeling more confident than before. Theater really can change you.