Keep your creativity flowing with Fishamble's #TinyPlayChallenge
In these challenging times, Fishamble - along with many of our colleagues in the wider Irish artistic community - is working hard to keep imaginations lively, communities engaged - and most of all offer people the opportunity of creative expression. We asked our audiences: Would you welcome the challenge of exploring your thoughts and feelings through drama? Do you have a dramatic story that you feel the urge to work out for yourself, and maybe share with your fellow citizens?
Below is one of the chosen plays from our weekly submissions.
JUST BECAUSE THEY’RE BIRDS
By Maria Popovic
(A room with two people. Recording equipment, computers and amplifiers are scattered around)
(From outside) BIRDS: chirp chirp chirp chirp chirp ch…
DELTA: Ok. The mic is all set. Turn it on.
DELTA: (Shouting over the birds) Ah, lovely.
ETA: Very good signal.
Delta leans over Eta’s shoulder and looks at the computer screen.
DELTA: How’s that frequency coming in?
ETA: Let’s see… A peak at 4119 Hertz. Two minor peaks at 4002 and 4223 Hertz. Repeated over a period of ten point twelve seconds. Definitely a pattern.
DELTA: Good. (Moves over to the window and stares outside)
ETA: Delta? What are you looking at?
DELTA: I don’t know.
ETA: I’m sensing you don’t feel like working today.
DELTA: Do you ever think we got it all wrong?
ETA: What do you mean?
DELTA: That there is no code and that there is no message. That the birds are not trying to say anything. That they’re just birds, and that they’re singing because they’re birds.
ETA: I think you must be mad.
DELTA: But think about it for a moment! Don’t you ever ask yourself why would they sing an incredibly complicated and absolutely indecipherable code, if they were singing for us? Why to us? Who are we to them?
ETA: Delta, I don’t know what the hell you’re going on about today.
DELTA: But you’ve thought about it.
DELTA: You’ve asked yourself if the code really exists.
ETA: Well, of course I have.
DELTA: And? Do you believe it?
ETA: Well, yes, of course I believe it. It’s my work. This is what I do. I listen to the birds and look for patterns. And they’re there, always. Patterns don’t exist for no reason. You know, we might not know yet how these millions of patterns combine with each other, we might not know what the code in them is, or what the message is. But we’re the only ones on the planet with the skills to understand it. This is for us. It must be. Everyone knows the birds sing about the end of the world.
DELTA: (Shaking her head) I don’t know if that’s true.
ETA: Listen. Remember before? The constant noise before all this?
DELTA: God, the endless traffic and the shrieking construction sites.
ETA: I will never forget the first morning I went out on the street, and it was all gone. And I could hear them singing so clearly and loudly. Hundreds of them. I could never get out of my head the idea that there was an intention behind it.
DELTA: Do you want to know what I think?
ETA: You’re going to tell me anyway.
DELTA: I think they’re not singing for us. Maybe it’s not our place to know what they’re singing about. Maybe they’re singing about the beginning of the world. Maybe we don’t belong in the new world and that’s why we don’t understand its language.
ETA: That’s awful.
DELTA: I don’t know. Maybe… Maybe it’s good. You know, for everything else but us.
ETA: Then why are you working on the code? If you really think there is none.
DELTA: I think I really wanted to believe they were talking to us.
Delta starts singing at the window.
ETA: Stop that! Jesus, you’re messing up the data!
There’s a flapping sound, then silence. The birds start singing again, much louder than before.
Maria was born in Belgrade and raised in Italy. She is currently based in Dublin in pursuit of a PhD in physics at Trinity College. Despite her scientific background, Maria has found pleasure in writing. You can find her on Twitter @mariaminuszero.
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