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The Original US 1983 US-Soviet Study Guide Script

SCRIPT by David Woollcombe

Music  &  Lyrics by  David Gordon

Story adapted from “The Peace Book” by Bernard  Benson

©  May 1983  – The Peace  Child Foundation

A C T       I

S C E N E         O N E

Prologue and Opening Number

Music. Futuristic, ethereal – the Lighting Preset changes, fades to BLACK OUT. Bring up bluish pre-dawn light as offstage, we hear a voice singing:
                                I was a child who ran full of laughter
                               I was a child who lived for a day My eyes full of sunshine
                               My heart full of smiles
                               I was a child for a day – !
The voice comes on stage in the person of a teen-ager made up to look about sixty years old.(The child may be of either sex – it makes no difference. This child becomes the Story-teller/narrator of the show, and also the ‘Raggedy Man’ or ‘Wise Old Woman’ of Scene Eight. For the purposes of simplicity only, I have referred to this character as masculine, but note that to date, only females – Jane Alexander and Susannah York – have played this role.)
The Child yawns and stretches, looking at the sunrise:
Child               It’s going to be a beautiful day! (he turns to. the audience) Peace Day! – Children’s Day! – they call it different things in different parts of the world….   My Day – ! (He laughs and kicks away an imaginary stone) ‘Course, there was no such thing when I was a child. Back in the nineteen eighties, the big problem was that we didn’t have peace. We still have big problems – over-computerisation, de-humanisation, de-foliation, over-population….   But it’s a better world in my opinion – certainly a safer world.  Anyway, It’s Peace Day! – today there’ll be dancing in the streets, songs, stories – lots of different things commemorating that Day all those years ago when Peace broke out across the planet. There’ll be some kind of Celebration here I expect.(noises off) – Listen, I think I hear them coming –
The doors at the back(or side) of the auditorium are thrown open and two older chorus members(OCMs) come in, lit by spotlights, singing:
Come into my Joy! Come into my Pain!
Come you be a friend of mine – I’ll be the same.
The Child watches with pleasure as the two singers process down the aisles singing·; a small unseen backing group joins them in the choruses:
As I go through my years with many thousand tears I’ve never seen my guiding light
The clouds in front of me won’t ever let me see I’ve grown so weary of the night
I’ve tried so many times to read between the lines But the words keep turning round
And a thousand fears are ringing in my ears And I’m so weary of the sound –
So give me Peace enough – Peace Enough Peace enough I !
So give me peace enough for peace of mind Everything coming up sunshine!
So many different ways arid now forgotten days When I’ve been searching through my mind,
When will my head be clear, when will I feel the air, When will the world begin to shine    ?
I’ve tried so many times to read between the lines But the words keep turning round
And a thousand fears are r1ngimg in my ears And I’m so weary <!if the sound –
So give me peace enough – Peace Enough!   Peace Enough !
So give me peace enough for peace of mind Everything coming up sunshine !!
Come into my joy,
Come into my pain,
Come you be a friend of mine,
I’ll be the same!            (Repeat)
The lights fade centre stage; the two Older Chorus Members (OCMs) walk to either side as a brilliant sunrise glow rises up the back of the stage. The music slows, lights come up on the older chorus members, downstage left and right, as they raise their arms to greet the children of the Large Chorus who now appear in all the entry points of the auditorium, singing:
ALL (Majestically)  PEACE  DAY,  PEACE  DAY, WE  ALL SAY!!
The music whips back into fast tempo, and the children dance with simple movements in the aisles, showering the audience with streamers, flowers, and symbols of celebration. On stage, trained dancers do a choreographed piece, vigorously evoking, the j;oy of the new Peace Day. Led by the small backing group of singers, the children sing:
Peace Day Peace Day we all say
Happy world, holiday,
Wear a leaf and show the way Celebrating this peace day.
Peace Day Peace Day – sing and dance
It will be a big romance People of the world as one Peace day peace day has begtm
Celebrations, jubilations – Laughter, shouting – lots of ftm!
Singing dancing, – take your partner, Celebrations have begtm!
Celebrations, jubilations –
Laughter shouting, lots of fun
Smiling dancing – take your partner,
Happiness for everyone.
Peace enough for all mankind
Healthy body, happy mind,
Faith and love – the world as one,
Peace Day, peace day has begtm!
Come into my joy, Come into my pain,
Come you be a friend of mine
I’11 be the same…         (repeated x 3)
The song rises to a magnificent climax as the children, divided into four groups, ascend the stage to join the dancers, one group to each repeat of the chorus. Flailing ribbons, they kneel to the audience, as a rainbow unfolds down the backwall of the stage. –
Tableau for a moment. Then the children break it, leaping up, hugging and kissing each other, wishing everyone, “Happy Peace Day!” exchanging presents as though it was everybody’s birthday.


S C E N E         T  W  O

Setting the Scene for the ‘Peace Child’ Story

The cast slowly sort themselves out, the older chorus members (OCMs) gravitating towards the back of stage, the younger chorus members (YCMs) circling the Storyteller. As the noise dies down, a little voice pipes up:
YCM 1      Who’s going to be the Peace Child??
OCM 1     Well –
OCM 2     We wondered if you might like to learn a new story this year…??
OCM 3     We do Peace Child every year….
OCM 4     We think it’s time we did something new!
OCM 5     W – something different!
YCM 2     (amid general groans of disappointment from the YCMs) But it’s Peace Day!!
OCM 1    Peace is really not the major problem any  more
OCM 2    We’ve got a ton of other problems we need to look at….
OCM 3    It’s been a really long time since any of us had to worry about nuclear weapons!
OCM 4     – or the Arms Race!
OCM 5    This new story is about the challenge of fresh water, the colonisation of outer space, green energy
OCM 6    The Future!!

The young chorus members are not impressed. A Trio walk downstage, disconsolate:

YCM 2    I wanted to do Peace Child so much!
YCM 3    So did I –
YCM 4    It wouldn’t be Peace Day without it….
YCM 1    It’s not fair!!
ST           (His/her mind changing)  How many of you know the children’s parts?

Children  (a forest of hands shoot up, and excited voices clamour) – Me, me – I know them all (etc.)

OCM 1   All of you?!
Children  Yes!! Yes!! (severally) Please let me be the boy!  Can I be the Girl??  I know all the songs… etc.
YCM 2      We’ve got the costumes and stuff all ready –
YCM 1     (pulling on a trunk)  Right here!
OCM 2     (asking the Story Teller)  What do you think?
ST          I think….  I think we should let the kids do what the kids want to do….
Children Hoo-RAY!!
OCM 3    Question is: do we remember the parts??
OCM 2    I remember the US President’s part – I think?!
OCM 1    I can do the Russian
OCM 4    Will you help us if we forget any of it??
Children  Yes!!  Yess – of course we will!
YCM 1    Oh thank you!!!

There can be some business here with the children pulling a bearskin out of the trunk – a cowboy hat, and a Ronald Reagan mask etc. The Older Chorus Members pass them round – growling at the younger kids. One of them pulls out the Big Peace Child Story-book and hands it to the Story-teller.

S T         So – do you remember how it begins?

OCM 1    “9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 – remember”  (They all nod)

S T         Of course!   Off you go, then – and we’ll find ourselves a couple of children….

OCM       In the Old way, right (music starts)

OCM 3    – that’s right: In a circle….  They Exit

The Younger Children and Chorus Members gather round the Story-teller and kneel down as s/he instructs
S T         Eyes closed, minds at peace.  Silence!!  Let the Peace Child be chosen…

Ethereal music begins as one of the young chorus members hands the Story-teller a basket of different shaped silvery flakes.  The Children kneel as they sing – and reach up their hands as the flakes are scattered over them, grasping at them – and hoping to catch the golden leaf that will identify them as this year’s Peace Children – the Boy and the Girl. The whole chorus sing softly:

Now if you close your eyes, you can be what you want,

And if you close your mind, you can feel what you need –

Don’t you see, it’s your destiny –

Can’t you see, it was meant to be –

It’s happening everywhere!

People waking up!

Together facing a great new dawn –

Reaching out for Love!

Do you believe in miracles?   – have faith in things unseen?

Take a good look around you now – no, no! It’s not a dream.

As the Storyteller scatters the leaves, the band plays a short interlude. Quickly, two children stand up – they are the chosen ones for this year’s Peace Child – and they struggle to conceal their excitement. They are congratulated by the other Younger Chorus Members who withdraw to their places downstage right where they will sit, listening to the Storyteller. The Storyteller blesses the two chosen children who come forward, bow to the Storyteller, and to each other  and the to the full chorus, before running offstage. The chorus come forward singing:

So open up your eyes – and fly beyond the sky!

And open up your mind – you can feel beyond your dreams!

Now open up your hands – you can touch the Universe!

Then put your hands in mine and behold: – a brand new world!

Quick Black-out – apart from a Spotlight which picks out the storyteller, who moves down stage right to start reading the story.

S C E N E         T H R E E

The  Story  Begins

The storyteller stands in a pool of light – a group of smaller children around his/her feet. They listen intently as the story begins:

ST              Once upon a Time, a long time ago –

When our Universe was young

Our world was a paradise made of love

According to a heavenly plan

Soon there came a light from the universe

As bright as bright could be –

Making Man out of dust and earth

And leaving him to Destiny.

A pattern soon emerged of things to come,

And problems Man would face:

Tribes of men – not quite the same –

Would compete for food

And the best bit of land

Starting off the game called “War”

Music.  The sinister introduction to “Fireball.”   The dancers come forward, miming to the meaning of the words, and taking up their positions for the start of the song:

S T       It began with a stone, then came a stick

Soon there was an axe and a spear

Then came a club, then an arrow – then a gun! –

And bullets were flying everywhere!

Conflict raged all over the world

Hatred and envy in every land!

Tribe against tribe, man against man!

Nobody seemed to care!                                              

With each generation passing by

Men found new skills of war

Empires rose and Empires fell
And the death toll started to soar,
So we come to a time not so long ago
When it reached an unbelievable peak.
The weapons that we had could kill a thousand worlds
And one of them was about to explode……..
Crash in the music with instant lighting change.  The thumping beat of the Fireball song fills the stage as the Dancers, in dark leotards covered with strips of vermilion, ochre rags, scarlet cellophane gymnastically express the agony, death and annihilation of nuclear war. Smoke machines and Strobe lights can be used if available. The Chorus sings:

Nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one –

Push that button, let it be done –

Look out!! Here it comes!


Fireball, burning in the sky

Building ever brighter – are we going to die?

Fireball – rising from the ground

Growing ever brighter, why is there no sound?



Where’s my child,

Where’s my home

Where’s the street I used to know

How can it be?

How can a city disappear?


Fireball!  Fireball! Fireball!!


Will I be the only survivor

Lost in this world – a sea of burning of fire!

Will I be the only one – ?

Oh dear God, what have we done?!

Nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one –

Let it go!  Let it be done –

Look out!! Here it comes!


Fireball! – glowing and alive

Pushing out its poison, nothing will survive!

Fireball! – bursting into flames

My body is on fire  –  But I feel no pain – !

Fireball!            Fireball!            Fireball!

The BIG Explosion!  Smoke and flame effects engulf the dancers as they flail in death agonies, and then flee the stage. As the smoke clears and the roar of the explosion fades, the Story-teller and the small group of children come forward and stand in the smouldering light, watching the dancers go. A child asks a question:

Ch 5    Did you ever fight in a war – ?
ST       No – but my father did.
Ch 2    Was it very horrible ?
ST      Very, very horrible
Ch 5    Wasn’t it just a little bit exciting too?
ST      The idea of war has always excited people.  The reality is death, and pain, and loss….
Ch 5    What was the bomb that could blow up a thousand worlds?
ST      There wasn’t just one – there were thousands of  them. Fifty thousand at one time.  We only used them once – at Hiroshima and Nagasaki – you learned about that, right?

Children    Yes!

ST      Well – people carried on making them for forty years after Hiroshima – bigger and better bombs until they had one that was a thousand times the power of the one that devastated Hiroshima.
Ch 5     What did they look like?
S.T.     They weren’t very big: a bomb this size could wipe· out a whole city – ! (holding out his/her arm at shoulder-level)
The children gasp, and smile nervously at each other.
Ch 6     We’d have been all right, – we live in the (suburbs) -(name a well-known suburb local to your town)
S.T.     Oh no you wouldn’t. You· see there was radiation. When a nuclear bomb drops, it throw-s up a cloud of poisonous dust which blows all over a wide area, and when you breathe it into your body, you die –
Children  Urrghh – !
Ch 7     Why would anyone want to make something like that?
S.T.     Well you may ask! – pride, fear, stupidity perhaps, greed – Ch 3   But it was a madness – !
S.T.     Yes.
Ch 1     Didn’t everybody see that?
S.T.     Most didn’t know how bad it was, and those that did – well, grown-ups have a habit of turning their backs on things they don’t want to know about.
Ch 3     I wouldn’t –
Ch 7      – neither would I – !
S.T.     But you’re a child! – you’re children. It took the mind of a child to see beyond the madness of the grown-ups….
Ch 8     The Peace Child?
S.T.     Yes – the Peace Child.
Ch 5     Who was the Peace Child?
Music. The introduction to ‘Child for a Day’.  The lights fade on the Story-teller’s group. The girl emerges upstage right, the boy downstage left. They drift towards each other as the lighting moves into a garden atmosphere. Both children carry drinks.

Discussion Notes

S C E N E         F  O  U  R

The  Children  Meet

G             Hallo
B             Hi!
G            Is this your garden
B            No – I just came from the terrace up there. My parents are with a load of other people – drinking!
G            Cocktail Party?
B            Reception –
G            Same thing. My parents are at one too. Over there…
B           Kinda boring, aren’t they? What do they give you to drink?
G            Champagne cocktails ( – moving upstage, talking)
B           Champagne!  All we get is lousy orange juice!
ST     (to the audience)   We’re in Washington DC in the mid-nineteen eighties.  All the nations of that time had things called Embassies where different people could meet and try to be friends. In summer evenings, there used to be several such “meetings” down Embassy Row.  While their parents sipped drinks on the terraces, the children would slip away and talk amongs themselves……..
B           (coming forward, pointing)  Hey Look!  See there! – ??
G            Where?
B           There!  See – a black squirrel. That’s unusual
G            Oh yes!  He’s pretty!  We have big fluffy red ones in our country.
B           Yeah?  There used to be some of those here. They all died out.  So where are you from?
G            (Hesitantly)  I’m – I’m from the Soviet Union…
B           (horrified)  Russia!!!!???   Are you a COMMUNIST??!!
G            Yes I suppose – whatever that means.
B           Oh my Lord!  You a communist!!  This could be dangerous…
G            Why?  Do I look dangerous??  You are an American, yes?!
B                     Sure
G                   So – I could call you a wicked Imperialist!
B                     (not registering) – but communist! Communists are the pits. They send people to Siberia, bury them in salt mines, and it’s cold and awful –
G                   – and the men drink Vodka and slap their thighs, and the women are fat and ugly – ?
B                     Yeah!
G                   Yes?! (smiling at him – she is not unattractive)
B                   (laughing) Well I guess they made that bit up….   So – what does a “vicked Impeeriallist” look like?
G                   He’s a big man with a bushy beard, a stripey hat, and dollar signs all over his coat….                                  ! (They Laugh)
B                   Hey look, I’m sorry I called you a communist – It’s OK. I get it all the time from Americans …
G                   So – what do you really think is a communist?
B                   (thinking a moment) – Everyone my dad doesn’t like
G                   What does your father do?
B                   Works at the Pentagon.
G                   Oh –
B                   What’s your’s?
G                   Military attache ….
B                   At the Russian Embassy???!!   (he whistles) Oh Boy! (going) well it’s been good talking to you, but I’d better get back up there now….
G                   Don’t go – !
B                   Come on, you know how it is!  If we were caught together, this could be the start of world war three!
G                   You think I’m a spy?  (going after him)
B                   You could be!
G                   KGB ? !
B                   Probably –
G                   (Changing the subject) Do you think there’s going to be a war between us?
B                      A  what – ? (stopping, turning)
G                     A war. My father thinks there will be a war soon.
B                     Between us ? !
G                     Yes.  Don’t you ever think about it?  –
B                     War? – not much.
G                     This next war will kill every living thing on this planet – doesn’t that worry you?
B                      Ah! (understanding) – the nuclear!  I never really thought about it.
G                     But it’s our lives at stake – our future!  We must think about it!!
B                     Why? – my Dad’s an expert on all that, – keeping the balance and stuff. Leave it to them – !
G                     Them!! – they are just piling up more and more weapons. What use is that? – you know what worries me the most: there are so many of these weapons now, on ships, in planes
– even out in space!  One day, one of them is bound to go off by accident!                Our whole world could die because of a stupid mistake – by a computer or something….
B                     Well – we’ve got a nuclear shelter….
G                     Nuclear shelter?! – nuclear shelter!! Ha! – do you believe in those things? – no, when a nuclear war comes, everything will die: we will kill our world.
B                      (marveling at her concern) It really gets to you, doesn’t it?
G                     I don’t want to die.  I want to live – I want to grow up, have a full life, a job, family, children of my own –
B                      Yes – !
G                       – I’d like to be old,_ like my grand-mother, and tell my grand-children stories…    I’d like to travel, make friends, meet   people –  I want, – I want to live!
B                      Everybody wants to live.  I wonder why we let our leaders build these weapons that could kill everything – ?
G                     It is because we are afraid –
B                      I’m not frightened of you.
I am frightened. of dying in a nuclear war. Do they tell you what it would be like?
Music starts
G                     No – but I saw the photographs, – children with burnt faces.
B                      There was a forest fire once, in Idaho. Animals were running everywhere, and there was this deer came out right near me, and her fur was all on fire, and she was screaming and squealing and howling, rolling about trying to put the flames out. It was horrible – and then a ranger came up and shot her – and she was all right then when she was dead.
Isn’t that what a nuclear war would be like – for millions and millions of people – ?
G                       – and animals – Yes.
B                     And there’d be no rangers to shoot them, –
G                     I don’t want to die like that.
B                      Neither do I
  I want to live, I want to live
  The right to live my life
I want to search far and wide
Have the chance to wonder why
I want to learn all the secrets
The world has to give
The chance to see it all
I want to live – I want to live –
I want to feel that I am real
To find a reason for who I am
I want to know that I belong
To learn what’s right and wrong
I want to glide through the air
Like a bird in the sky
I want the chance to show the world
What I am before I die –
I want to be, I want to see
A world that’s good and free
I want a home, someone to love
To share their life with me,
I want to have and to hold
A child of my own,
I want to live, I want to love,
The right to grow old –
I want to live, I want to live
The right to live my life
I want to search far and wide
To know the reasons why –
I want to glide through the air
Like a bird in the sky
I want the chance to show the world
What I am before I die….
I want to – Live.
Girl (coming out of her reverie)  It mustn’t happen. We must stop it. Boy   Us? – what can we do?
G        I don’t know. There must be something –
B        It’s crazy, isn’t it: in all our story-books, war is made out to be so exciting –
G        There’s nothing exciting about killing people… B  Yet all our great heroes killed thousands
G       Our’s too.  My grand-father was a great general –
B       Oh yeah? What did he do?
G       You see, you are interested!  War is exciting!  To die is exciting!  Peace is boring
B       No – !
G       It is late, I must go back –
B       You never told me your name –
G       You never asked: Katya –
B       Katya! what a beautiful name. I’m Bobby. So – what you doing for the rest of the evening?
G       Nothing – but….
B       Why don’t we go out to a movie or something?
G       It’s difficult for me. I go home to Russia tomorrow –
B       Tomorrow!   When do you come back?
G       I don’t know. Maybe I go to school in Moscow now….
B       So I may never see you again – ?
G       Maybe not.
B       That’s a pity ‘cos – ….  You see I think you and I could do something to stop this stupid nuclear thing.
G        Us  — ?!                                                                                                                   I
B          Well – if you and I can be friends, why can’t our presidents be friends, ‘cos if they were friends, they wouldn’t need to waste all this money preparing to blow each other up!
G       Yes ! !
B                      But how do we get to tell the Presidents to be friends?
K                      That’s difficult. (thinking hard)
B                     (joking) I suppose we could just drop by the White House anp. say “Hi l Mr President – we want you to be friends with that· Russian guy – how about you send him some flowers?”!!
K                     (serious) Flowers – that’s good. · (her face lights up)  I know! – we get on TV!!     The evening news: the president must watch the ·evening news – !
B                      Which channel?
K                      All channels!!  We will tell· everyone that Russia and America can·be friends.  It will be the best news the world has ever heard!
B                   Don’t be ridiculous. News is about people being murdered, strikes, the economy and stuff –
K                     This is more important than any of that –
B                      They may not think so.
K              So what do.. you want to do?  Go to a  movie!? – wouldn’t it be more exciting to save the world?!
B              OK – !! I’m happy to try anything. (He starts to go to her) Kind of a crazy way to spend your last evening in America!
K                      Ahgl – what about our parents ?!
B                     They’ll be OK!  When they see us on TV, they’ll know where   we are.
K                      Yes. I hope we have time – (moving to go)
B                     (stopping her) Of course we have time!!  – i we’ve got the rest of our lives!!
They exit quickly. Cross fade to next scene.


S C E N E                      F I V E

The Media

The pool of light comes up around the story-teller as the children exit. He reads:
S T         The children were to find that it wasn’t that easy to get into a TV Studio. The guard at the gate thought they were, mad and told them to run along.  But Bobby, and Katya were not ones to give up. They found a way in through the kitchens, and started to search down the corridors for the newsroom….
As this is being read, the stage is being set up for a TV talk show. Two or three large easy chair are set, a low plastic coffee table, glasses of water. If possible, a real video camera is wheeled on with a tripod; operators and floor managers with headphones start moving about busily.                    ,     ·
An older chorus member wears a white tuxedo, and a black bow tie with sequins. One of the younger chorus members applies make up on his face liberally. Another is dressed in fishnet stockings and leotard, holding an applause card. A sound man with a boom completes the crew.
The Talk Show Host(TSH) is holding an interview with a shy and beautiful starlet and her gross, pot-bellied film director/Svengali. The lights on them are muted as the spotlight picks out the two children scuttling down the aisle.
Bobby          Down here, I think – !
Katya         There’s a red light up there –
B         Ssssh! There’s somebody coming – (They cower nervously) It’s nobody. (out loud) What do we do when we get there? Ssssssshh!!
K        We go straight up and talk to the camera, yes – ?
B         Right –
K        You get frightened now, – ?
B         No! – but we’ve got to be careful, Katya. We’re only going to get one shot at this thing….
K         You be terrific, Bobby!  Look – here comes someone: I’m going to  ask them?
The “Personality” walks down the aisle towards the children.(This may be the story-teller doubling as a well-known personality, or another older chorus member/local celebrity who is known to support the cause of Peace). Bobby hangs back to see what happens:
K       Excuse me, do you know where is the studio – Live News?
Personality    You mean ‘Friday Night Live’? – certainly, I’m going there myself…. Follow me.
B        You mean – now?!
Pers.   Yes – come on, I’m late.. .
The Personality leads them out – Bobby following somewhat bewildered but Katya well-pleased with her initiative.
Lights go up brightly on the centre stage area, as a studio interview draws to a close. The Talk Show Host (TSH) talks to a glamorous starlet and a fat, gross Director who is called Mickey
TSH          But the gorilla put you down before the end of the picnic?
Mickey      (silencing the starlet)  I think if your viewers want the answer to that question, they’ll have to buy a ticket and see the movie….
TSH (Ignoring him)  Tell me, darling, what do you want to do  –  now you have finished Mickey’s bizarre epic?
Mickey      (cutting in) Gayla’s future plans are undecided at this present time, but you may be sure you’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the future in most revealing parts which will do credit to her great talent. I assure you, Charlie, we are talking about a star of world class here, and I want you to know something else, we.are both great fans of your show, Charlie: I didn’t want her to do talk shows at all, but we both love       your show so much, we decided we’d just do this one. (beaming broadly)        I knew she would be in safe hands….
TSH      (turning to him, charmed by the flattery) Did you, did you really? – well that’s a mighty fine thing for you to say, Harold, thank you. Why don’t you stick around to meet my next guest – you might know her? – Albert Etnstein’s last wife? (an example of the kind of “Personality” to have)
Mickey     Oh I knew Albert back in the forties; great actor;I worked on some of his best movies…… Which wife? I knew them all,
TSH      (standing up) Ladies and gentlemen, my next guest was not just the wife of a great man, she is also a great personality in her own right. Would you give a big “Friday Night Live” welcome to – Sacheverall Einstein!!  ·
The girl in the fishnet stockings leaps up and down waving her “Applause” cue card, as the personality we have· met in the aisle comes on stage, not tremendously enthused with the prospect of being there.
Mickey   (Upstaging TSH and embracing the personality first) Sacheverall darling, it’s been years…..
TSH      (cutting in) Thank you, thank you – it’s great to have you on the show –
Personality:  It’s great to be here. Fine audience you’ve got here tonight – !
TSH      They are good,  aren’t they! Let’s have a round of applause for the audience – (gesturing to the applause girl) – all right!! Thank you! – thank you very much.    (sitting the personality down)   Now – I know there’s a question that everybody’s longing to hear the answer to, I must ask you this – I know you won’t mind – Ladies and gentlemen, Sashy and I have been friends for so long – we went to school together! Do you remember…?? – but I digress. The question on the tip of everybody’s tongue is – “Did Albert wear black underwear in the bath?” Did he? (He waits anxiously for an answer)
Pers.     Well – ….
TSH    Another question, another question!! The last thing I want to do is embarrass you! Is it true that your husband was having an affair with the Marquis de Sade’s grand-daughter the week before he died???!!!
Pers.    I really don’t know, but listen, you’re always open to new ideas, aren’t you Charlie – ?
TSH      New ideas!!! – OF COURSE!!  That’s what this show is all about!
Pers.    Well, while I was waiting back there, I had a fascinating conversation with a couple of children. I’d like you to meet them……
TSH     Children!!  How beautiful. We were only saying a moment ago about how we must look to the young for the new ideas of the future, weren’t we Josh, – bring ’em on, Please!
The children are brought on by a Floor Manager, looking extremely nervous. The personality introduces them…..
Pers.     This is Bobby
TSH      Good to see you, Bobby – where are you from
B        Washington DC
TSH      Washington DC !! – the Nation’s Capital, very good! (applause for Bobby)
B      – and this is Katya!
TSH      Katya, Katya – what a beautiful name! Where are you from… ?
K        The Soviet Union.
TSH      (stunned silence – intense concern; then he clicks his fingers seeing how to make a virtue out of it) – A little communist on my show! All the way from Russia, Hey! I bet you Merv and Johnny haven’t done that yet! Come on kids, what have you got to say… ?
Pers.    Tell the people what you just told me –
TSH      – only thirty million of them watching!!
K        (battling nerves) Well – you see -(gripping his hand)
B      We’re friends –
K      Yes!!
B       – and our presidents are enemies…..
K       – and we want them to be friends!
B        – ‘cos if they were friends, we wouldn’t need all those nuclear bombs!
    K   (filling the si1ence) – they could send each other flowers!!
TSH and the Gross Director exchange ‘glances. The gross director, starts to snigger; TSH breaks the tension by pretending it is the most uproarious joke he’s ever heard, bursting into great gobs of laughter –
TSH  – It’s a  hit!! –
B     No wait – it’s serious. (Enraged by their laughter)
Pers. Hear the boy out.
B     It’s very serious! I don’t want to die.  There are hundreds of millions of people on this planet: they don’t want to die either, yet just because a few of our leaders want to have these bombs, it looks as though we may be going to – in a horrible nuclear war!
K     I don’t want to die – I want to Live!!’  We want all you people out there to rise up and say to your leaders, “No! ! – we don’t want these bombs! We want you to stop making any more of them, and get rid of the ones you’ve already got….   And be Friends!”
B     That’s what we came here to say……
The shy starlet, Gayla, who has been excluded so far, listens enrapt. She breaks the silence by applauding the boy; others join her – TSH. and Mickey look totally perplexed, but start to clap anyway. The boy is hugged by Gayla on one side, and Katya, on the other. FADE TO                                             BLACK OUT
Eight members of the chorus(a mix of older and younger), have planted themselves about the theatre, dressed in rain-coats, vests(waist-coats) , and the kind of paraphenalia that identifies them as people of the press – cameras, note pads etc.
In the blackout, wait for total silence, then ring a bevvy of shrill electric bells – the Press Chorus speak into imaginary telephones.(If the theatre is sufficiently dark, pick them out with flashlights; also give then individual bells – the cacophany of bells from different areas of the auditorium is more effective than a single-source sound.)
Who ? What ? Where ?
When ? How’d he?
What the – ? Who the – ?
Communist with a little American boy?
Russian ?!! !
You’re putting me on – !?
Well – (singing) It could be a story!
Perhaps we got a story – Front page story –
Or maybe just some headline news!!
During this, they all hurry up to the stage, where the lights come up to reveal the children chatting informally with the Personality and the Talk show people . The press chorus sweep out all but the children whom they engulf in a deluge of questions:
Who are you – ? Where you from -? Were you paid – ?
Who’s your boss – ? What’s his name – ?
Is she rich – ?
Are you friends ? What’s the game -?
The children are driven literally up against the wall by the barrage of questions – repeated over and over, until one member of the chorus separates:
Nahl  –  It’s not a story
There’s no meat – no bite!  (the others appear to agree)
Yes there is!
So what’s the lead?
 – what’s the hook?
It’s obvious!
You mean they’re in love – ?
Of course !
Aa-aahh !!! (singing more eagerly now)
It’s a story – we really gotta story,
Headline story – a human interest story!
The Photograph, the photograph
We’ve got to have a photograph –
They hurry the children round into position –
The photo, the photo – we’ve got to have the photo
Side by side
– closer in
– make ’em smile
– cheesey grins
– out my way
– whatdya say?
– you’re blocking my frame!
– stop being a pain!
The flash cubes pop n a spatter of strobe light. The Press Chorus suddenly goes very silent and studious: they cross· their legs, and sit as though typing, backlin in silhouette.
Down Left:  two older chorus members appear equally suddenly: these are Katya’s parents. They stand silently as the children part.
K          (noticing her parents)    I must go –
B         You can’t go now! –  we’re just at the beginning!
K         You will do better now alone. Good luck (she gives his hand a squeeze in parting)  Come to Moscow… Soon!       (SHE  EXITs)
During this, the press chor. make sounds like the tapping of a type writer.
A tic a tac a shoo-ee
A tic a tac a shoo-ee
A tic a tac a tic a tac a tic a tac a shoo-ee (repeat)
As the boy gapes,watching the departing Katya, he is suddenly surrounded by the press, shouting and waving papers:
Press Chor.  Extra, Extra – read all about it
Headlines, headlines – no doubt about it Extra Extra! – read all about it,
Headlines, Headlines! – take it home and shout it!
They hurtle down the aisles, taking their news ;· to the audience. On stage the Story-teller comes forward into the pool of light, where Bobby has finished up. He/she puts an arm around his shoulder and narrates the story from memory:
S.T.     So – the children created a media sensation!  Overnight they became famous! – their photographs smiled off every morning newspaper, and by nightfall, there wasn’t a person in the land who had not heard of them.  One person in particular was quick to take advantage of their popularity….
One of the Press Chorus is walking across the stage, carrying a long print out. He stops, agape, – addled in his tracks by what he reads: he begins to emit little bleating noises in his excitement:
Press 1     Ab – Ab  –  ee-eekh!! It’s a scoop! Hey! – you guys – ?
The chorus at the back of the hall, turn in the aisles:
Press Chor.   What – ?
Press 1     The President!! – the president will hold a press conference tomorrow morning for the little boy…………………… !
Press Chor.    What?! (they move back to the stage)
Press 1    A press conference – the president and the little boy!!
Press Chor.   WHAT ? ? ! !
Press 1    No holds barred!!
Press Chor.   I don’t believe it.
(seizing the boy and starting to sing) He’s a hero – we really gotta hero,
Headline hero, a little bit of front page news.
Newsnight, satellite, print it right I
Broad side, nationwide, any sidel
Front page, centre fold, get it sold
Extra! Extra! – read all about it
Headlines, headlines – no doubt about it!
Extra! Extra! – read all about it I
Front Page !
Build it high!
Print it bold!
Reach the sky!
Make ’em shout –
Make ’em cry !!
The President emerges centre stage with a swish of the star-spangled banner: the press chorus create a tableau, presenting the child to him. 


S C E N E         S I X

In the Office of the President

The President stands expecting applause. He wears a sober suit with medals pinned to his jacket. He should not in any way resemble a known president: this is not a caricature. He should be a calm, gentle, loving human being, with great personal integrity, and a heavy sense of the responsibilities of his position.
He is flanked by two deferential aides, one carrying a smart file of papers, the other a small black briefcase. He moves to greet the boy to a drum roll or suitable music(the “Star Spangled Banner” perhaps. There should be a sense of the processional about this moment: remember that “Peace Child” is an annual ritual for these children. The entry of the Presidents is always a grand moment for them.)
Boy and President pose briefly for photographs – they do not exchange words. The Television camera is wheeled on for the press conference, accompanied by the same floor manager who gives the president his cues.
The President takes his position behind a large desk which has been set up downstage right. The desk has three telephones on it, one of which is red. The Aides show the boy to a small chair which has been set for him, and go to their positions either side of the president. The flag is draped prominently behind the desk. The first Aide places the file in front of the President and opens it. The Press Chor. stand in a tableau around the boy, their pens and cameras poised. The President addresses the press and the millions that lie beyond them:
US Pres. Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I want to welcome you to this informal talk which I hope will help you all under­stand what we are doing to ensure the security of this great country of our’s. To help me,·I have invited along young – er – (consulting the file) – Bobby here who ,has been asking some extremely intelligent questions on this subject, questions that I believe should not go unanswered.  Now, one of the things he’s been saying is that we should “get rid of the nuclear bombs we’ve made and stop making any more…”    Well fine, I’d get rid of our bombs tomorrow if the other side would, but they don’t: they keep right on building new ones, bigger and nastier ones,(and if this escalation continues……)
Bobby    So do you – (interrupting his flow)
Pres.    So do I what – ?
Bobby    Keep right on building _ bigger and nastier ones….
Pres.    We have to, just to keep ahead in the game!
Katya    But sir, it seems to me your “game” is going to destroy this planet. If you and your friends want to play games, please find a less dangerous – one.
The press chorus stifle titters. The President and his aides regard the boy coldly, their smiles frozen to their faces. Coolly, the President lifts another piece of paper and reads from the prepared notes.
Pres.    Bobby, our world is a very complex, difficult place. The military establishment is an essential part of the machinery which keeps the seaways free for trade, the airways free for you to go on vacation, and our country free so that you can say the kinds of things you have been saying.
Bobby    What does building bombs to blow up the whole world have to do with all that?
Pres.    The bomb is the deterrent !
Bobby… I don’t understand: do you mean that if we have the bomb, we won’t use it, but if we don’t have it. – we will?
Pres.    Something like that –
The President turns and glares at his aides. Their prepared notes have obviously failed miserably. The Press Chor. find it very funny. The boy is non-plussed. Hastily, one of the Aides selects another paper and hands it to the President. He says, with forced conviction –
Pres.    The bomb cannot be un-invented
Bobby    Why not?
Pres.    You can’t put the genie back in the bottle –
Bobby    What bottle?
Pres.    It’s just an expression, look – ·don’t you want to talk about Arms Control?
Bobby    What?
Pres.    (reading) – The Baruch Plan, the ‘Open Skies’ proposal, The McCloy/Zorin agreement, the Zero Option – none of that interest you? (the boy looks blank) – what about the Peace-keeper missile?
Bobby    How can a missile keep peace if people want war?
Pres.    (looking to his aides who are defied for an answer. The President smiles) OK, Bobby – what did you want to ask me?
Bobby    I want to know why you and that Russian guy haven’t had a talk yet?
Pres.    (to the aides, mimicking) – ‘Why haven’t me and the Russian guy had a talk yet’? – Hm?     –  Hmm?!
The Aides confer hurriedly together in whispers, suggesting answers to the President. He listens politely, replacing the papers neatly in the folder, which he then hands to one of them.
Pres.    I won’t be needing this – or you.(indicating that they leave) Take the gentlemen of the press with you – give them  a drink. I’ll handle this – Child! – on my own.
The Aides leave, ushering out the press chor.
Pres.    Now! – why should I have a ‘talk’ with the Russian Leader?
Bobby    You could become friends….
Pres.    (sitting on the desk, to the boy) Bobby: I think you should know a little about the country you are so keen for us to make friends with. It is a cruel, corrupt dictatorship which manipulates the newspapers, the Television, and even the school system until the people aren’t really people at all. They are robots, believing whatever their leaders tell them to believe.
Bobby    You mean like those cults in California … ?
Pres.    (eyes narrowing momentarily, but continuing) No – Let  me tell you a story about Russia:  There was a rich peasant who hid away some grain so that he could feed his family through the long Russian winter. The authorities knew he had the grain, so they kidnapped his son and tortured the boy until he told where the grain was hidden. Then they killed the rich peasant and took the grain.  That’s what actually happened.  Now hear how the Russians tell the story to kids in schools! – the peasant is a wicked land-owner whose son, with the interests of his dear comrades at heart, goes and tells the authorities where the grain is hidden, so that the police may punish the father for his selfishness, and the grain be retrieved. The Son is a hero in Russian folklore – a hero! – for betraying his own father!!
Bobby    That’s terrible –
Pres.    It is truly terrible, Bobby   – and there are many more terrible things I could tell you about Russia –
Bobby    -. but surely nothing worth blowing up the world for?
Pres.    What?
Bobby    OK – so we’re different. We’ve got different ways of doing things. So? OK! We don’t have to blow up the world just because Russian kids don’t like their daddies.
Pres.    You’re missing the point, Bobby!   The nuclear bomb is there to deter! · To stop the Russians invading us. You saw how they invaded Afghanistan –
Bobby    You think they’re going to invade us?
Pres.    They could.
Bobby    When?
Pres.    Any time –
Bobby    This week? – next week?!! Come on! I don’t believe they’re planning to invad. e us!          Why don’t you call the guy up and ask him?
Pres.    Because he’d say no!
Bobby    What would you say if he called you?
Pres.    We have plans to invade anybody….
Bobby    Well if neither of you are planning to invade each other, then neither of you need the weapons….
Pres.    But… He’d be lying!!!
Bobby    He’d think you were lying!
Pres.    (raising his hands in frustration)    Ach, this is getting us nowhere!(he looks longingly for some of his notes)
Bobby    (filling the silence)   Where’s the button you push to launch the missiles?
Pres.    There’s no button: there’s a series of computer commands, locked in this case… (he reaches for the briefcase which has been left beside his desk, pleased for the diversion.) He pulls out a key and goes to unlock the case – )
Bobby    Is that the key to the case – ?
Pres.    (leaning forward) Yes –
Bobby    May I see it?  (standing up, taking the key) So this little key gives you the power to start a nuclear war which could destroy our world I
Pres.    Not all nuclear wars would be so destructive
Pres.    But no nuclear war is winnable!    Whatever happens, when you turn this key, millions of people who want to live would die….
Bobby    Suppose there was another key, a key which, when you turned it;would lock away all the nuclear bombs in the world forever. Wouldn’t you turn that key?
Pres.    (pondering deeply a moment)  No,  No I wouldn’t….  You see, Bobby, the difference between you and. me is that I know that there are things worth defending in this life –
Bobby    Like what?
Pres.    Freedom!   I would rather die than live in a world where people were told what to think, where to go, what to do! I would want to stop anyone who tried to take that freedom from me with every ounce of my being, and Yes! – I’d want those weapons to help me!
Bobby    But would they help? Think of the accidents!    How can you talk of freedom when the weapons you are building could take away everyone’s Freedom just to be alive!
Pres.    What accidents?
Bobby    The moon rising which your computers thought was a Russian Missile attack. That bomb which dropped out of a plane by accident and almost went off in North Carolina…. You know a nuclear war could start by accident any minute!! Why don’t you tell the people?
Pres.    The people have been advised of the dangers many times. They elected me to be their president because they believe in the value of the nuclear deterrent in the long term!
Bobby    But in the long term, one of them is bound to go off, by mistake if not on purpose….
Pres.    – and that you fear could be the end of everything – ?
Bobby    Yes !
Pres.    (reflective suddenly) – you could be right. You’d better give me back that key…
Bobby    Please – throw it away!
Pres.    (re-asserting himself)     Never! – the people depend on it for their protecti6nl                •
Bobby    The people need protection from the key. That key is no protection for them]
Pres.    Hrmmm.  You may feel differently when you get a little older.
Bobby    If things go on as they are, I won’t have the chance to get any older.      Where will you go when the nuclear war starts?
Pres.    (startled) When?!! – If! – If! you mean – ! In the event of a nuclear emergency, I would go to my bunker.
Bobby    Would you make a final broadcast to the nation?
Pres.    No. TV and radio would be full of civil defense information.
Bobby    Would you phone your wife?
Pres.    My wife?! my wife would be with me…. I hope, –
Bobby    What about your children, your friends, your little grand­ children? They couldn’t all be with you.               Would you call them up to say “Good-bye”?
Pres.    Hm.   This has gotten to be a pretty morbid conversation.
Bobby    But it’s a pretty morbid war you’re planning !!  It doesn’t have to end like that – does it?
Think of all the happiness you would bring to the world if you stopped preparing for war and started preparing for Peace!    Think! – think what great joy you would bring to the world if you persuaded all the leaders to unite for Peace! You would be remembered as the greatest man who ever lived – the man who gave the world – Peace I!
Music begins
The boy’s words are beginning to work on the president. He looks sad – rather old suddenly. He creates a space by himself and starts to sing:
I’m sorry – I wish I could
But I can’t, it·’s too late,
We’ve gone too far to change our ways
To undo what has been done –
Forgive me – I know you’re right,
It all may happen some future time,
But I am helpless on my own
To undo what has been said –
It’s an Impossible Dream –
One I’d love to share,
An impossible dream,
If only I could dare….
I’m sorry, what can I do?
If only I was more like you,
It seems so simple, it could be done
To move a mountain, to move a sun!
Powerless though I am
To change a world that’s upside down
If only I could see it through
And believe – believe like you –
An Impossible Dream
One I want to share
An Impossible dream –
If only I could dare…..
The President comes forward, deep in thought, not looking at the boy:
Pres.   You’re right, Bobby, – it’s been clear to me a long time what’s going to happen to this world of our’s. We’re draining it of resources, polluting it, taking out far more than we can put back. We’re squeezing it dry like a sponge, and the only way it can end is – ‘speuchk l ‘  – the big bang. It probably won’t be in my life-time, but it might be in your’s….
Bobby   No –
Pres.   You know, Bobby, the saddest thing? –  when I look at some of the people around me, their greed, their selfishness, the corruption! I sometimes find myself thinking it’d be no bad thing –
Bobby  What?
Pres.    To blow up the planet and start over again….
Bobby   It’s in your power to blow it up.·
Pres.  I know –
Bobby  It’s not in your power to start over again. If we want to save the people, we’ve got to save the world first.
Pres.  You have to Bobby – I _can’t. I’m up to here in the system and they’d eat me for breakfast if I even tried, but – I want you to know that, in my heart, I’m on your side.  I want to live too…..  (he looks up at the boy) If there’s anything I can ·do – ?
Bobby  (brightly) You can send me to see Katya’s President – !
Pres. (it takes him a moment to register; he laughs)- you mean? Him??  He wouldn’t want to see you?
Bobby  Why not?  He probably wants to live too. Why don’t you call him up and ask him? – that red phone’s the hot-line to him, isn’t it?
Pres.  Yes, but – you are seriously suggesting that I send you to meet with the President of the Soviet Union – ?!
Bobby    Yes.  I’ll phone him if you like –
Pres.  (quickly covering the phone) No.
Bobby  What about all those press people out there? What are you going to tell them – ?
Pres.  (thinking)You want to see that little girl again?!
Bobby  I want you and him to be friends, that’s all
Pres.  Hmmm.  (composing a text) “This child wishes to carry a message of peace from the children of the United States to the children of the Soviet Union.”  Might be an interesting gesture?  How does it sound to you?
Bobby  Sounds great!
Pres.  OK, Bobby, I think you just got yourself a deal. Shall we go face the mob?
Bobby  You mean it?
Pres.  Sure I mean it! Come back everybody, I’ve got an important announcement ….. (the aides usher back the eager Press Chor.) “Ladies and gentlemen: following a most interesting private talk with me, I have decided to send this child to carry a message of peace from the children of the United States to the children of the Soviet Union. I trust you will give him your. fullest support, as I do.”
He turns and shakes the boy’s hand as he finishes. There is a moment of stunned silence as the magnitude of the boy’s achievement sinks in: then there is tumultuous applause. Women rush up and kiss the boy; the children at the  Story-teller’s feet stand up and look on with pride at their friend. Music starts. The President stands back as members of the Large Chorus come forward raising the boy as a hero in the song, “SING!”
All           Sing! I do wish the world would sing!
I do wish the world would say
How they love to live and play
How they need each other’s
Peace! – that is all we want to have
That is all we want to share,
Let us live our lives in peace,
Oh let us give this life a chance to –
Love! – love is all I need,
Love is all I want,
Love is everywhere –
Peace! – peace is all I want,
Peace is all I need,
Peace – everywhere
Love! – it will help us all to sing, It will teach us all to dance,
I do wish the world would sing, • I do wish the world would
Say! – how they love to live in Peace How they love to sing and dance,
All we need is one more chance,
Won’t you give us one more chance to –  (repeat)
As the song repeats, four of the older chorus members raise the boy and girl on their shoulders, and lead a procession of the cast out through 1 the auditorium in two columns. They stop at the back of the hall, turning about, filling the aisles with their music, – alternating the choruses, thus:
Come into my Joy!                Love – Love is all I need,
Come into my Pain!               Love is all I want,
Come – you be a friend of mine,   Love is everywhere  I’ll be the same!
                                                     Come into my joy!
Peace – peace is all I want,         Come into my pain!
Peace is all I need,              Come – you be a friend of mine,
Peace – everywhere!              I’ll be the same!
The final refrains are repeated as the houselights come up, the cast spreading their song through the audience, – singing, dancing, clapping their hands as the number builds to a massive celebratory climax




A            C           T          I I

S C E N E       S  E  V  E  N

The Soviet President

About five minutes before the end of the Intermission, the cast start to come back on stage. One of them starts to tinker on the piano; others chat, finishing off their interval drinks or sandwiches. They give the impression of being relaxed, happy – at peace with themselves and their planet.
A couple of the older cast members come on, arm in arm – the man in the costume of a Russian aide. His girl-friend looks him over, adjusting his ridiculous moustache, laughing.      The guy at the piano starts to play a suitable minuet for their benefit – the couple dance elegantly round the stage. One of the other chorus members comes on – a rougher kid. He goes towards the piano:
OCM      Do you know any of the other music of that time – rock ‘n roll? disco?
The pianist starts to play something very familiar to us, but of course, a piece of musical history to the people of 2035. The rough kid starts to do an arcane imitation of Elvis Presley jiving, another imitates John Travolta – others in the cast start slam-dancing, pogo-ing, rock ‘n rolling – all crude, fiercely unrealistic caricatures which obviously amuse them hugely. The rest of the band join in, pepping up the number with a strong rhythm, until the whole stage is filled with kids dancing; some of the older chorus members watch, enjoying the spectacle.
The Girl and the Russian President come on; they have obviously been going over their parts and are in serious mood. They pick their way through the dancers, and wait by the Soviet President’s desk – identical to the US President’s, but set up Downstage Left.
The Storyteller has been watching the dancers with amusement, but now realises that they must get on with the show. The houselights start to dim; the music begins. to peter out; , stage lights dim and one by one, the cast stop dancing…….  The President checks his desk and moves offstage.
The boy, dressed in a heavy Russian coat and beaver hat, walks solemnly down the central aisle towards the stage. A spotlight follows him on to the stage – the cast back away, leaving the girl alone to greet him. There is a sinister rumble of sound around the theatre which explodes into a shattering blast of sound, accompanied by brilliant flashes of light, and the awesome spectre of a mushroom cloud unfurls upwards on the backwall of the stage. The roar of the explosion dies away into the opening chord of the “Mr President” song, and the boy walks forward into the spotlight to deliver his message to the Soviet Children:
Boy     Mr President – is it true what they say?
You can kill all the world in less than a day?
Mr President – is it true what I hear?
Because of men’s greed we must all live in fear?
Girl &  Boy   Mr President – can it be what it seems?
There will be no more love
There will be no more dreams?
Chorus       Oh No! – Oh No! – it’s plain to see, it’s plain to see!
But so hard to. understand,
That this world we all love
Could be taken away – all in a day
Oh No! – Oh No –
It’s not fair, it’s not fair,
That a few should have the right,
For the sake of their pride
They can make us all die – without asking why,
Oh No!!
During the chorus, members of the cast walk forward, solemnly taking their places alongside the children, supporting their pleas:
Mr President – is it true what I read?
The world could be dead with a turn of your key?
Mr President, can it be what it seems?
There will be no more children, no more love; no more dreams ?
Mr President – won’t you hear our small plea?
For the millions of children – throw away your key!
Mr President – it’s a time to be brave,
Announce to the world, this will be a Peace Day –
All           The First Peace Day!!
Drum roll.   The ranks of the children part as the Soviet President enters. He is accompanied by two soldiers and an attendant carrying the scarlet hammer & sickle flag. He stands a moment surveying the children then hurries past them to his desk. He confers with the two soldiers: one of them returns and addresses the boy and girl.
Soldier The President would like to see you a moment in private.
The rest of the chorus melt away into the darkness, those closest to the children shaking their hands and wishing them luck. The children then follow the soldier to where a couple of chairs have been set facing the desk. The president looks up greeting them. He is an older man than ‘the JS president. Less genial. One gets the sense that this is a man who has fought for power and held on to it for most of his life. He has an easy sense of his own authority – no doubts or qualms are visible in his demeanor. He comes forward to embrace the children, posing with them for the benefit of the Press Chor. who have followed the boy to Russia. He then dismisses them with a gesture, and returns to his· desk, surveying the paper.
Sov. Pres.   So –  you bring a message of peace to the children of my country. We are most grateful. How would you like us to respond?  ·
The boy and the girl are confused – they don’t know what to say. Looking between each other, they fumble for words.
Bobby       We – we want to be friends!
Katya       We want you to get rid of all your nuclear bombs –
Bobby       – and be friends with my president.
Sov. Pres.   Ah! Yes. I would very much like that. I . have offered to meet with your president many times. You must ask him the reason why he has refused. I have pledged my country to many other things too – never to use nuclear weapons against nations that do not possess them; never to use nuclear weapons first in a conflict. Your president refuses to- make such pledges. Instead, he insists on placing new, sinister weapons right on our frontiers in spite of all my efforts to persuade him to do otherwise, – and the efforts of many in your country too, I believe. It is ironic to reflect, is it not; that when my country attempted to place weapons on Cuba, your country threatened to blow us off the face of the earth.   I make no such threats. You see, Bobby, my country knows too well the agony of war: our people have twice this century been: involved in catastrophic wars. Twenty million people die·.d!!   Your country has not been invaded for two hundred years: you cannot know the reality of war! You cannot love Peace like we, the Soviet people love peace! –   (he is very convincing)
Bobby       (after a silence) What about Afghanistan? What about Poland?
Sov. Pres.   What about El Salvador? – Vietnam? – the Bay of Pigs??!
Bobby       What about all those people in the salt mines? – and what about all the nuclear weapons you have?!    You have far more than we do – and you are making more and more of them, lining them up along your frontiers, pointing at us!! Why do always try to blame the other guy? Why can’t you ever admit you’re a little in the wrong yourself?!
The president smiles, amused at the boy’s outburst
Katya       Why don’t you try to be friends?
Sov. Pres.   My dear Katya, I tell you I have –
Bobby       Look, why don’t we all go back together now? The three of us. My president will see you, I know he will. He’s a really nice guy underneath. You could go and have a quiet meal together somewhere out in Virginia and sort something out! I know you’d get along together terrific  !
Sov. Pres.   What you suggest is impossible – I think you do not understand the wickedness of the adult world. Men are not peaceful: they are evil, greedy, cunning, selfish, violent, ruthless animals!    In groups,, they are capable of greater wickedness – so just as the criminal needs prison bars to deter him from his crime, so nations require the threat of destruction to deter them from war!
Sov. Pres.    – and let me tell you another thing ….
The Soviet President stands, enjoying his conversation with his attentive audience. His intellectual superiority positively glistens….
Sov. Pres.   I would ask your government not to disarm!   There! – doesn’t that surprise you?  (he laughs)   You see, if you peace people have your way and “get rid of all America’s nuclear bombs” – it places me in a great problem. What will I say when my generals come to me and say, ‘Let’s take Iran, move on Pakistan – take over Saudi Arabia….’ Before I  could say, “No! – to do that would place us at the mercy of nuclear devastation from the West’!'” You see!!?  Without your  nuclear bombs, I could not control my own people!  The bomb has kept the peace between us these last forty years. Believe me children, because we have these bombs, we are all safer!
Bobby       I don’t believe you –
Sov. Pres.   Look to History!    Wars have always started when one side detects a weakness in another.
Bobby       But in the future, we won’t need wars There are telephones, television, Planes that can take us from side to side in a few hours! War is Un-necessary! And how can you say that we are safer??!! – you agree that with these weapons we can blow up our world?
Sov. Pres.   Yes –
Bobby       Without them we couldn’t, could we?
Sov. Pres.   No, but –
Bobby       Well wouldn’t that be safer?!
Katya       (after a pause) Oh if only people would love each other….
Sov. Pres.   But they don’t.(At last he is touched by them; he looks sad) Bobby, Katya – I wish I had the time to teach you all I know about the problems the world is facing, but it would take many months and as you can see, I have other work… You are very beautiful children: I have enjoyed meeting you very much. Though it may not always appear so, everything I do in government has the interests of you children at heart. You are our future. I am your past.  Thank you for coming.
He shakes them warmly by the hand as the soldier hovers to escort them out. Bobby and Katya seem rather upset that the interview has been brought to an end so abruptly.

S C E N E         E I G HT

The Dream

The Lights fade downstage left,  as the President and his entourage quickly depart. Flag, desk and chairs are quickly struck. A long bench is brought up centre stage, as the children wait, trying not to believe that their adventure is over.
Katya   Is that all – ?
Bobby   I fear so,
Katya   Won’t he do’ anything?
Bobby   No –
The remains of the Press chor. come up to see what has happened. Some of the other children come with them – the children who have been closest to them during the “Mr President” song.
Press 1 So what’s the scoop?
Press 2 What happened ?
Bobby Nothing.    (Bobby slumps down on the bench disconsolate)
Press 1 No summit meeting?
Katya   No –
Bobby   (firmly) Nothing!
Press 2      Bad luck, kids –   (drawing away)
Press 1       Good try.                                                    THEY  EXIT.
Child 1      What did happen? What did he say?
Bobby        He said it was good to have nuclear bombs.
Child 2      What ?! !
Katya        He said we really need them.
Child 3     – you mean you agree with him?
Bobby  I don’t know _what I  think.   But there’s a lot of things that he knows that I don’t.
Katya                 We are only children……
Child 4               But ….. How can it be good to have nuclear bombs?!
Child 1              – right!
Child 2             – it can’t be good to blow up our world, – .
Child 3                – we haven’t got another one to go to!
Child 4             – It’s a madness!
Child 1             He’s crazy…. (the children all agree)
Child 2             Didn’t you tell him about the starving people ?
Child 3              Children who need food, not bombs!
Child 4               You can’t eat bombs!
Child 1              Right!
Katya .(morose)  It didn’t come up –
Child 4    You know, I saw a poster once. It said that it would cost about twenty billion dollars to feed all the starving people in the world…. sounds like a lot of money, doesn’t it ?
Child 3    Twenty billion – sure!!
Child 4    It’s about what the world spends on the military in two weeks!·
 Bobby  What?!
Child 1    You mean – ?
Bobby  Let me get this? – if we shut down the military for just two weeks, we could  feed all the starving· people in the world?
Child 4    That’s what the poster says !
Katya  How would you close down the military for two weeks – ?
Bobby  Doesn’t matter how – it’s a question of priorities.
Child 1    The principle –
Child 3    What principle?
Katya  The principle that it is more important to buy food for starving people than weapons.
The children all crowd around the bench, warming in agreement with Katya’s thoughts.   She continues thinking aloud….
Katya    What if they shut down for three weeks?
Child 1  Six weeks?!
Child 2  Six months
Child 3  A Year!
Katya     For ever! Just think!    Imagine what a beautiful world we could create if we stopped making weapons for ever….
All       Mmmm! /Yes! / Oh yeah! etc……
Child 1   We could clean up the houses round here for a start!
Child 2   We could clean up all the towns and cities everywhere!
Child 3   We could look after all the animals properly,
Child 4   The trees and the flowers.
Katya     We could stop all the pollution!
Child 2   Take water to the deserts!
Bobby     Grow great forests in the Sahara!
Child 3  We could laze about in the sun all day –
Child 4  Fly off to exotic places!
I guess we’d still have to go to school –
Yes, but they’d be the most beautiful schools you’ve ever seen!
School lunches would be seven course banquets…
– served on silver!
We could fly out: to the limits of the universe! – get people living on the moon –
on Mars !
on all the planets!
But we’d put things right on this planet first – Yes.
We’ll .polish it up till it shines like a star –
and all the people, and all the animals would laugh and shine with happiness ….
Oh! Oh! – this will be the most beautiful planet in the universe – !
Isn’t it a lovely dream, Katya – ?
It’s the most beautiful dream I ever heard – and it could come true if only we could stop the Arms Race –
He notices the figure of the soldier waiting downstage left. The soldier advances, waiting to escort Bobby back to the USA.
Must you go home now – ?
I guess so.
Thank you for bringing your message of Peace – !
Tell the children in America, we want Peace too!
I will –
Think of us sometimes….
The children back away, leaving Bobby and Katya to say goodbye alone.
Bobby    So this is it – the end of the line.
You’re not giving up, are you?
Of course not!
We have our dream, remember.
No one can take our dreams from us, Katya- – ,
I hope not.  We have something else too – What’s that?
They hug each other like brother and sister. The soldier moves forward:
Soldier   The car is waiting, sir –
K                      You must go now.
Bobby backs away sadly, then turns on his heel and goes off with the Soldier.                                                   Music
Katya (singing)  Reach out for a star,
Come out from where you are Show me what you can do
Believe in me – I believe in you!
Reach out for your dream!
It’s not as hard as it may seem
Together we can make it through,
Together – me and you.
Wake up – open your eyes!
This is our world, our paradise.
Reach out – don’t be afraid,
Come on now, we’ll find a way,
There’s a whole new world for us to see
There’s a universe in you and me!
During this, Bobby has kept his escort waiting in the downstage left area. During_ the instrumental interlude, he moves softly towards Katya, and sings harmony to her as she continues , – surprising her: •
  Bobby & Katya Reach out! – put your hand in mine,                     )
Oh see – see how we shine,
Together – we’ll make it through,
Together – me and you!
Don’t be shy, just be yourself,
You are your greatest wealth.
Reach out for a star
Come out from where you are
Show me what you can do
Believe in me – I believe in you –
Show me what you can do –
Believe in me….     I believe in you.
The spotlight slowly irises in on the two of them, and the shadow of the s oldier comes forward. The boy walks quickly to him. EXIT / BLACK    OUT


S C E N E      N I N E

The Waking

An atmosphere of desolate gloom is created by tinges of blue along the screen at the back of the stage. Into the darkness come shadowy shapes in ragged clothes – a mix of older and younger chorus me bers. Their voices echo in the blackness:
OCMs (individually) – Quarter! – Quarter! – anybody gotta quarter? – Can you spare a dime,· miss ?
The follow spot picks out the face of the Story-teller who reads:
S-teller: So the boy returned to Washington…….  Before – he’d been a hero. Now he was spurned. He took to walking the streets, alone, brooding.  He felt happier in the poorer parts of the city, – here he felt he could do some good….
The Story-teller pauses. Two stage-hand figures come silently up behind him/he bearing a ragged cloak and wig. Gently, they place it on his/her shoulders, transforming him/her into the character of the Raggedy Man / Wise Old Woman. The story-teller closes the book, and hands it to them:
S-teller:(from memory) – In all the publicity surrounding his trip to Moscow, the boy had been sent large sums of money by people he’d never hear’d of – people who wanted Peace….
Assuming his/her new character, he/she joins the other beggars.
Bobby walks across the stage, head bowed, carrying a heavy satchel of books. The Beggars reach their hands towards him, repeating their cries: He searches through his pockets, pulling out a green bill: he looks at it carefully, then hands it to one of them.
OCM 1    (looking at it)   Hey wait – !
The boy hurries on, not wanting to get caught up with their gratitude. The Raggedy Man/Wise Old Woman gazes hard at him –
RM            Stop! (there is an authority about ,the voice .that arrests the boy – he turns)   Aren’t you the boy who went to Russia? (The Boy hangs his head, ashamed, turns away) I thought so – Child – I bless you for what you did! – you think you failed, but already you’ve achieved much – !
Give me a break….
You will be successful. You will bring Peace to this earth.
(pausing, stunned) – look: if you need mpr& money, I’ll bring you some tomorrow…..
R.M.      (going to him) The Spirit is   working for you. The Great Spirit – it will help you.
Bobby    Well if it’s that great, ask it to give me a hand with my home-work, – I’m real behind.. .
R.M.      For the Great Spirit there is’ Only·one work – filling up all living things with love.              ·       ·
Bobby    Try telling my teachers that!
R.M.      Why are you. so bitter?
Bobby    Bitter? I – why shouldn’t I be bitter? ! This world’s going crazy, and I’ve been to see the two most powerful people on the planet and they’re not doing anything about it!                        If there was any justice, would we be spending billions of dollars on useless weapons and leave you guys on the streets begging for quarters?!
R.M.      You cannot, blame weapons, child; you cannot even blame the men who made them. You must blame the Fear that has grown up between us.
Bobby    Fear – ?
R.M.      Yes. You destroyed that fear the minute you held the girl’s hand. In that gesture of love, you showed how we destroy the bomb….   You created a foundation for Peace: you can build on it – now!
Bobby    (amused) And. this Great Spirit will help? {He allows himself to be drawn into their conversation, unthinking) Where is it?
R.M.      All around us. The Spirit flows through this earth like veins through our bodies, carrying life to the plants, the rivers, the trees. People have done so much in contempt of the Spirit – destroying the lifeblood of our planet, is it any wonder that Nature gives us the machine y with which we can destroy ourselves –    ?
Bobby    Can anything prevent it?
R.M.      Yes – you! – a child! In children, we see the Spirit of New Life surging up through the crust’ of the old. Don’t you feel the Spirit of Life working within you? Come with me…
R.M.       (singing)Look at life, – take a look around you,
Look at life, – doesn’t it astound you?
See the colours of the Rainbow,
Smell the fragrance of a flower –
Aren’t we lucky you and I –
You and I ! –
Life! –   Life!   Look at life! Life!
This number should be accompanied by a vibrant dance, revolving energetically around the centre-axis of the Raggedy Man, who holds the bo_y to him during the song. Music continues – a rippling undercurrent to what follows:
R.M.   So – do you see what you must do now?
Bobby No –
R.M.  Ach, Bobby!  do you never have dreams?
Bobby Yes! – Katya and I have a dream –
R.M.   Tell me, tell me –
Bobby We have a dream of a world at peace,
A world where all the countries love each other
– where all the people want to share everything1
– where nobody’s frightened of anybody,
 – where everyone has enough to eat,
  – where nobody has to kill for anything
   – Peace!
R.M.    I had such a dream – I dreamed that the children of all nations would link hands around the globe in an endless chain, encircling the earth with love, forcing grown-ups finally to lay down their weapons of war and live at peace with one another on this lovely earth!
Bobby    Yes !
R.M.     I dreamed that I would walk out one morning and travel round the world, and the children would rise up behind me, begging for Peace…. But when I woke, I  saw that my dream was not yet possible. Now is the moment – Now the world waits, –
B        Why ?
R.M.      –  there are telephones, television, jet planes! – we have the machinery to make peace, just as we have the machinery to destroy ourselves –
B        Katya said something like that….  What must I do?
R.M.     Take your dream to the people –
Bobby    Right now?
R.M.     Whenever – when you are ready. The people of the world are waiting for you – !
Bobby  Me? –  you really think so?!
You, or any child.   Everybody wants to Live, Bobby – everybody fears death, and now this nuclear· bomb has given their fear a focus. When you bring them life, they will embrace you!
(moving away) I see – well, I should get back and do my homework. n ow……
When you are ready. (He is moving reluctantly)
We will give you whatever help we can, won’t we?(murmurs of assent from the chorus.)Good luck
(moves away, but invisible strings are pulling him back) I don’t know why I’m doing this,(dropping his satchel) I think I hear your spirits calling; they call pretty loud, don’t they? (coming towards them) – help me! (he pauses)
There’s a moment of silence while he looks at them. Then the lights fade quickly to black as they raise a cheer, and the boy runs to the Raggedy Man’s arms.


S C E  N E     T E N


Still wearing his raggedy man costume, the Story-teller returns to the pool of light surrounding the smaller children. He picks up from where he left off the story
S.T.      So started the children’s crusade for Peace! – and very quickly, they ran into the· world’s major problem – Indifference.
The chorus still stand centre stage, laughing and chatting with the boy. They push him forward as an older chorus member shambles across the stage as though on his way home from work:
Hi! –  We’re going to bring Peace to the world –
Oh yeah (bored)
Yes. We’re going to get all the countries to make friends so they can stop wasting money on weapons and start spending it on – brightening the place up a bit:… !
Sounds great – good luck! Won’t you help?
_I ‘m sorry – we’ve got people in for dinner….
It was the same with children –
I gotta a ball game to go to –
– there’s something on TV –
– I’ve got a date !
Stop! (they all freeze) –  if you were strapped to a railroad and I told you the·re was a train coming at a hundred miles an hour, you’d listen – ?!
Children   Yes –
B         Well we are strapped to a railroad – it’s called the planet earth. And· there is a train coming – it’s called nuclear war!
Ch 1      Oh – the nuclear
Ch 2      Come on, man! – what can we do – ?
Ch 3       What’s it got to do with us?
Bobby     Everything! – don’t you see? – when we grow up, we’re go to have t_o take charge of this planet. If, things go on as they are, there isn’t going to be a planet left: so we must get our act together· now! – get kids all over the world to unite for Peace and work out ways to run this planet without threatening to blow each other up.
Ch 3       How are you going to do that?
Bobby     That’s what we’re planning now. Will you help?
They think a moment –
OCM          Can I bring my date?
They go into a huddle, other children joining them. They fling ideas about vigorously. The raggedy man watches amused, changing costume to narrate:
ST        Every night, they met in the park,. working out a plan of action….
OCM       So if the superpowers made peace, everyone else would follow    – ?
Bobby     Right –
Ch 4     Well all we’ve got to do is to get those two guys to meet
Ch 5(a girl) – A chain letter!
Ch 3     What?
Ch 4     ” – an endless chain of love around the world!”
Ch 1     A chain of letters!
Ch 3     You write to me and him – we write to two· more people each, they to two more – and so it fans out around the world!
Ch 3      I don’t see how that helps?
Ch 3      We all write letters to the presidents
Ch 3      Brilliant !
Ch 3      – cost a fortune in postage.
Bobby    Don’t worry about money – we just get on TV a few times and ask for it…. Grown-ups want peace too !
Music:    The children fan out across the auditorium, singing in a fast dance tempo:
I want to live, I want to live,
The right to live my life,
I want to search far and wide,
To know the reasons why –
I want to learn all the secrets
The  world has to give,
I want a chance to live my life
I want to live, I want to live –
The music continues as the story-teller narrates:
S.T.     From a small nucleus of children in the city of Washington, the children’s crusade for Peace spread out across the world. Quicker than they ever could have imagined, their message was heard. In every country, they found children thirsting for peace – grown-ups too. They were invited all over the world, received by kings and queens, prime-ministers and presidents. But always, they sought out the children, telling them of their responsibilities towards the planet they were about to inherit. To them, they addressed their plea –
I want to be, I want to see
A world that’s good and free
I want a home, someone to love,
To share their life with me,
I want to have and to hold
A child of my own
I want to live, I want to love
The right to grow old…
S.T.     They went to Mexico, Brazil, – into Chile, Argentina, Across to Europe: Greece, Spain, Yugoslavia …. The Middle East: – Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, – Japan, China, Australia, India – down into Africa: Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe…. and finally to Moscow, where they found Katya and her friends hard at work on the same crusade.  From everywhere, the letters poured into the Presidents, until- finally, one warm summe,r’s day, thousands of children gathered in Washington and Moscow to hear the Presidents reply.  The children returning through audience
We want to live, we want to live!
The right to live our lives,
We want to search far· and wide,
To learn the reasons why
We want to see all the beauty
The world has to give,
We want the chance to show the world –
We want to live, – We – Want – To – LIVE!!
As they come to the foot of the stage, the two desks are set up downstage left and right. The Presidents and their aides sit working, apparently unaware of the horde of children. Bobby and Katya come up on stage, and a ·e casually shown to chairs and told to wait. Supreme unconcern by Aides.
In the scene that follows, the two sides of the stage become mirror images of each other – the boy/the girl, US Pres./Soviet Pres., the four aides – a 1 perform identical movements, but only the English words are heard. The Russians mime the language, imitating each gesture and move exactly.
Bobby  (exasperated) There’s a hundred thousand children out there!!
Aide   (quieting them) The President’s a busy man –
Bobby  He must have known we were coming – !
Aide   He has important matters of state to attend t
Bobby  Where are the letters? (looking about)
Aide    What letters?
Bobby   The letters from all the children of the world?
Aide    Oh yes – there were one or two?
Bobby   I’d like to see them!
President(turning from their desks) – yes I’d like to see them too!- all that stuff about a hundred million letters
Aide (confidentially) – there were quite a few of them, sir –
Pres.     Let me see ’em – all of them! !   I bet there weren’t ten thousand of them – we get more than that for our wedding anniversary…! (brushing aside the aides and going straight to the children) Bobby, I’m surprised at you. You’re a bright kid, you must know the hassle this great stunt of your’s has caused me, – it’s tied up hundreds of people in our embassies around the world with frantic teachers asking us _if we believe in Peace!
The stack of letters builds up on either side of the stage as the Aides bring on sacks full of letters. The presidents open up one of the sacks and a flood of letters falls out across their desks.
Pres.   Hm! – pity I don’t collect stamps; these things don’t do any good, Bobby – they’re distracting, they waste time, – your time too!   How are you going to catch up on all the school you’ve missed? Huh?? (Bobby is too mesmerised by the mountain of sacks building up around the president’s desk to hear the  questions.) You’ve interrupted not just your own education but that of thousands of other kids around the world as we11 – hey is that about it with the letters now?!
Aide    We’ve hardly begun, sir –
Pres.   Hardly begun?!! – how many are there?
Aide    Between five and seven hundred million, sir
Pres.   Million???!!!
He stands surveying the growing mountain of letters. The aide flings up a mail sack too many, and the whole mountain collapses, engulfing the Aide in a sea of paper. The children giggle, and the presidents smile.
Pres.   OK that’s enough. Get these things out of here. (to the children)What did you hope to achieve by all this?
Bobby   Like we said before, we want you to be friends – that’s all. (he pauses, before continuing) – we want you to sit down across a table from the other president, settle your differences, – and find a way of getting along with each other that doesn’t cost us billions of dollars in weapons and bombs….
Pres.   You want a summit meeting. (He thinks hard) Good! I want one too….
Aide    But sir…
Pres    No! There’s been enough pussy-footing around in this bush on this matter. Let’s get right down to it – A Summit Meeting!
Drum Roll:  the two presidents face front on either side of the stage, and – to the cheers of the children who come on stage chanting: “Peace!  Peace!  Peace!”  The Presidents walk towards each other and embrace.  The Story-teller narrates as they walk off back stage centre, the children following them.


S  C  E N E          ELEVEN

The Summit Meeting

Story-teller    The Summit meeting duly took place: the world watched as the two great leaders met and embraced for the first time. Both expressed great joy in the meeting and congratulated the children on their initiative in bringing them together. Then they went off to’ start the formal business of the meeting, leaving the world – and the children – to wait in silence.
Bobby and Katya try to follow the leaders into the meeting. They are prevented by the aides.
Katya      Can’t we go in?
Aide       Course not. It’s a private meeting –
Bobby      But there are hundreds of people in there
Aide       A private meeting of hundreds of very important people….
Katya      But if they will be friends, why should it be secret?!
Bobby….. If they don’t trust their own people to hear what they are saying, how can they trust each other ??
The aides laugh and move away, chatting amongst themselves. The Summit meeting is taking place behind a curtain at the back of the stage; the children wait disconsolately before it. A smart-looking military man comes and waits before the curtain:
Bobby     Who are you?
OCM 1     I’m addressing the meeting from the point-of-view of a military strategist. Are you the children that started this thing?
Katya     Yes !
OCM 1     Ah! – peace is all very well, but you should heed the old Roman motto: “If you want Peace, prepare for war!”
Katya     Why ?
Bobby     If you want peace, shouldn’t you prepare for peace?
OCM 1     History shows us that weak countries always go to the wall. In the real world, it’s the survival of the fittest! That is why nations will always need us – the Military!!
An aide draws back the curtain and the Military man is ushered into the meeting. A bespectacled man in a laboratory white coat hurries in next.
OCM 2      (to himself and to the children) -A11 th1s talk of Peace is very bothersome!
Bobby      Why?
OCM 2      If there was peace, there would 1 be no weapons research, and half the university research departments would have to close!
Bobby      Wouldn’t they be able to research peaceful things?
OCM 2      It doesn’t work like that: it’s very easy to get governments to spend money researching a new weapon. All you have to do is· to persuade them that the enemy has a better one. If there are no enemies, it doesn’t work! No, no – peace is out of the question.
The aide ushers him inside. A genial man in a suit comes on next:
Katya      Who do you represent?
OCM 3      I’m an economist –
Bobby      Surely Peace would be good for business ?
OCM 3      It may have been true in the past, but war has done better for business in recent years. Military expenditure has been the major area of growth all over the world recently –
Katya      What about Japan, West Germany – they are rich because they have no armies?!
OCM 3      But they’re not strong! – the United States and the Soviet Union are super-powers because they have large and powerful military establishments. The economies of both nations are geared to supporting them: we call it – the Military Industrial Complex. Nothing – not even children – can change it.
He is ushered behind the curtain. The children look amongst themselves.
Bobby     What is this “Military Industrial Complex”?
Ch 2      I’ve never heard of it –
Ch 3      – I’ve never seen it marked on a map!
Katya     There must be someone who can speak for it – ?
A  dusty-looking man in pinstripe suit, spectacles, moth-eaten hair and brief-case comes on. He is the Bureaucrat – in England he would carry a derby hat:(Bowler). He listens. to the children’s question and comes forward:
B’Crat    Er – can I be of assistance?
Katya     Do you represent the Militar_y Industriat Complex?
B’Crat    Not represent, but I can tell you a little about it –
Ch. 4     Where is it for a start?
B’Crat    It’s everywhere – you can’t escape from it. You see, it’s to do with security – security of possessions and property.
Ch.2      I don’t have any property –
Ch.1        – I don’t have many possessions!
B’Crat    That’s why you find it so hard to understand the adult world: protection of belongings – from cars, to countries, to continents – that’s the major business o_f our planet!
Ch.3      Is it big business?
B’Crat    Very, very big: the nations of the world spent more than six hundred billion dollars on it last year – (the children whistle) – yes a lot of money. You can see why it would be so difficult to dismantle it –
Bobby     So the biggest business in the world is the preparation to destroy it – ?
Katya     – and all the people on it!
How did this madness start – ?
B’Crat    I don’t know – I only work for it….
Ch. 4     Couldn’t you change the factories? – instead of making tanks and guns, make tractors and water pumps and things that will help us to live – !?(The children all agree volubly.)
B’Crat    Um – I’m sure we could, but we’re in the hands of our political masters there……(ignoring further questions)
The usher holds back the curtain for him, and he gratefully retreats rom the children’s barrage of questions.  The children fall silent –
Ch.4      What was it – that thing they called it?
Bobby     Military… Industrial – something?
Music:  Heavy, rhythmic beat of the Introduction to the Military Industrial Complex song. The curtain rises to reveal the four figures the children have been talking to: if feasible, they – and a chorus of dancers – do carefully choreographed dance number in which mechanical movements, the passing o_f money and weapons, reveals the machinery of the Military   Industrial complex. The attack of the number in this version is similar to “Fireball” – heavy rock, powerful vibrant movement. (The tape has a simpler, reggae version of this song which can be used.)
Chorus:   (singing) It’s a military industrial complex,
Isn’t it sad, the world is quite mad!  A fashionable national contest,
The biggest the best,  The East and the West!
Indestructible immovable object The ego at large, a tragical farce!
Uncontrollable horrible shambles –                     I
Such a sorrowful sight, everyone’s right!
Oh! what a hopeless case it is,  No one really cares.
Oh! what a crazy world this is –  No one can win this race! –
 (because) The bigger they build
The faster they go
The greater the bang
Spells· the end of man – !
It’s a military industrial complex,
Isn’t it sad, the world is quite mad!
A passionate emotional subject –
Who’s right and who’s left? –
It’s anyone’s guess!
An inexplicable typical jungle –
No one to blame, a ridiculous game!
Uncontrollable  horrible  shambles –
Such a sorrowful sight, everyone’s right!
Oh! – it’s a really hopeless case,
No one seems to care!
Oh! . – what a crazy race it is,
No one really dares!
 (because) The bigger they build,
The. faster they go
The greater the bang spells the end of
..Spells the end of man – !
It’s a Military Industrial Complex
Isn’t it sad, the world is quite mad!
It’s a Military Industrial Complex
Who’s right and who’s left –
It’s anyone’s guess!
It’s a Military Industrial Complex
There’s no one to blame
For this ridiculous game!
It’s a Military Industrial Complex,
Such a sorrowful sight – everyone’s right!!
The Presidents stand up during the song, and are involved in the final tableau at the end, acknowledging the applause as their: own.
    US Pres. Thank you – thank you.
They move to microphones at either side of stage and deliver simultaneous mirror image statements. The American’s is heard.
        US ·Pres. (reads)”Following frank and very cordial discussions with my friend, the President of the Soviet Union, we have concluded, – after consulting with top military, scientific and economic experts – that disarmament at this stage would not be in the interests of either of our Any moves beyond the arms control measures at present under discussion would, we agree, seriously threaten world security – “
The children stand centre stage, caught between the two immovable objects.
Bobby  I don’t believe it –
Katya  What are we going to do?                        ·i
Bobby  I just don’t believe it
The Presidents start to fold their notes and move away from the microphones. They are stopped by the figure of the Raggedy Man coming;.1. forward from backstage centre.
R.M     Wait – (the children all turn round) Don’t give up yet!
CH 1    It’s the raggedy man!!!
The children cheer and run to him, hug ging him closely. He walks forward, addressing the presidents warmly:
R.M.    Sirs – you listen to the counsel of experts, – but you fail to consult the experts who brought you together! Why do you not let the children speak -·   ?
US Pres. (alone) I fail to see what useful contribution children could make to complex discussions· of this kind – ?
R.M.    They could lessen the complexity, perhaps –
US Pres. Look, these kids have meddled enough in this thing; it’s time they were put in their place and sent back to school –
R.M.    – where they will learn to make the same mistakes as you are making. It is their planet, remember: you are borrowing it from them.
Soviet Pres. – Why not let the children speak? What is the harm?
US Pres. (surprised, but acquiescent) – no harm, I suppose! Come on kids, what do you have to say?
The children are ·a little thrown by this: they look to Bobby. He shakes his head – he is still too stunned.
Ch 2    (to Katya) – tell them about our plan!
Katya   Yes we have a plan which needs your help! We want to change places! – you see – if all the children in the world can grow up friends like Bobby and me, by the time we are your age, there will be no need for weapons: we shall all be friends!
Ch 3    We shall change places for a year – go to another country, learn another language,_    another way of life, – stay with a family, go to their schools. It’ll be the best way of learning
US Pres. – but extremely expensive!
Bobby   A fraction of what you spend on the military!! Don’t you see? – it makes so much sense. If we can work together as kids in school, we can work together when we are grown up. Look at all the problems we have starvation, poverty, disease, pollution – Big problems, but I bet none of them are as hard as- building one of your nuclear missiles! We can do it!    We can make this the most beautiful planet in the universe – and we’re going to try!
B’crat  What about the Military Industrial Complex?
Bobby   You can keep it!             ,
Katya   We’re going to build a Peace Industrial Complex!
Great Cheers! They are ·leaving when the Soviet President detains them:
S. Pres.·; But children – there is no precedent in History for what you suggest –
R.M.   Yes there is! (he comes forward)  In many tribes, the exchange of children was part of the making peace. Tribes who had fought fiercely on the battle field would exchange children to seal the peace between them.    If in the future conflict threatened, each child would come forward and say, “No! – these are my people: you would not make war against me!”  Such a child was called, a “Peace Child” –
Music The Introduction to “Child for a Day”. Bobby, Katya and their friends come forward singing, building the song. The Presidents walk to their sides of the stage, where they stand alone, pondering. The Aides melt back into the large chorus with the Military Industrial Complex figures. The raggedy man stands with the small chorus of children who have nestled at his feet for the story. They watch, not singing:
I was a child who ran full of laughter
I was a child who lived for a day –
My eyes full of sunshine
My heart full of smiles,
I was a child – for a day!
We were the children who sang in the morning
We were the children who laughed at the sun
Who listened to those who spoke with their wisdom
We were the ones we would say –
We’re getting older, as time goes by –
A little older every day –
We were the children of yesterday
We are the men who worry of nothing
We are the men who fight without aim
Who listen to no one, yet speak of our wisdom
We are the pawns in the game –
We’re getting older, as time goes by
A little older every day –
We were the children – of yesterday.
The boy, the girl, – or whichever child has the most suitable voice, sings the last verse. During the previous chorus, the cast have begun to filter off the stage, leaving it to the Presidents, the Story-teller 1.nd his group of watching children.
I was a child who ran full of laughter
I was a child who lived for a day
My eyes full of sunshine,
My heart full of smiles
I was a child for a day –
We’re getting older, as time goes by –
A little older every day
We were the children of yesterday l
The spotlight fades on the child who quickly exits. The Presidents move towards downstage centre into the light. They stand, still alone with their thoughts……


S C E N E      T W E L V E

Conclusion & Epilogue

The Presidents Aides return with their coats and hats. As they stand putting them on, they start to talk:’
Sov.Pres.  You know – the more I think, the more I like the children’s idea – !
US Pres.  Yes – ?
Sov. Pres It could work
US Pres   It could.
Sov. Pres ‘Tis pity I have to worry about the central committee.
US Pres   What about Congress? -· Ha! I’d be a laughing stock –
Sov. Pres I’d be exiled to Siberia!
US Pres   That bad ?
Sov. Pres Someone. would say that . it breaks the sanctity of the Russian family -· I. would become the enemy of every Russian Mother
US Pres   Oh –
Sov. Pres Can you imagine anything worse ·than being the enemy of every Russian mother ?
US Pres   ( Laughing,,) No – ! (considering it seriously)    It’s the cost factor that’s prohibitive –    ·
Sov. Pres (dismissing it in his own mind) It’s not practical
US Pres   Disruptive – .
Sov. Pres Unnatural.
US Pres   (not wan.ting to end the ,c.onversation) But – you know, I wish I’d had the· chance to .spend a year in your country when I was_ a c.hild’. I didn’t leave America until I joined the navy.
Sov. Pres I never travelled outside Russia. I preferred to go fishing.
US Pres   Fishing?  Are· you a  fisherman ?
Sov. Pres Yes· You as well?
US Pres   Y·ou bet !
Sov Pres  Lakes or rivers?
US Pres   Rivers, mostly –
Sov Pres  Ah! – interesting.
US Pres   (noticing the chill face of the aide looking on} Well – What are we going to do about this children’s Plan?
Sov. Pres Nothing as usual.
US Pres   Pity. · I wonder what we would have done if we were children?
Sov. Pres We would probably have been friends.
US Pres   (with great appreciation)   Yes.  Well, I have enjoyed meeting you –
I also. If we meet again, will it be you, or someone else?
US Pres   We shall see. (they shake hands cordially)
Sov Pres  Goodbye.
Both presidents turn and start to go. The US President turns –
US Pres   Darn it – what are you doing after this meeting?
Sov Pres  Nothing?
US Pres   Look – (dismissing his aide) – why don’t we go back to my hotel and have a drink, just the two of us? – I’ve always thought we could sort this thing out if we could just relax over a couple of beers – (pause) – with some time on our own we could crack this thing….
Sov Pres  (pause)  I don’t like beer –
US Pres   (smiling, seeing the mould breaking)   We11, I don’t like Vodka but I guess we could find you a bottle –
Sov Pres  I think it would take more than one bottle to – how you say – crack this thing!
US Pres   We could go fishing!
Sov Pres  Excellent ideal – you must come. to my summer place up in the mountains, – the fishing is superb!
US Pres   Lakes or river’s?
Sov Pres  Rivers! – trout, salmon….
US Pres   Salmon!? – I didn’t know you had salmon in Russia?
Sov Pres  My dear man, (they start to walk out, the Soviet President’s hand on the American’s shoulder, dismissing his Aide with the other hand) – we have some of the best salmon in the world! – Last year I caught one – thirty eight pounds!
US Pres   Thir’t· y-eight pounds???
Sov Pres  Well perhaps it was thirty six pounds – it was exceptional! I
US Pres   This is beginning to sound like a good idea –
Sov Pres  Good idea? – You’11 have the best time in your life! Bring your wife – your whole family, – there is a whole guest cottage…..
They are well offstage by this: as they go, the children spread out across the stage from the Story-teller’s position, watching them go.
Ch 1      So – it happened!
S-teller  Yes –
Ch 2      Did it take the world a long time to get used to being at peace?
S-teller  Ages and age .!: It’s .only now that we are beginning to see how beautiful a world at peace can  be –
Ch 3              What happened to the little boy?
S-teller  He continued working for peace – peace-making, peace­ building, pe·ace-keepin.g.·..                  That work never ends!
Ch 4     Was he very famous?
S-teller Not after that moment.  But the idea of him was – he soon grew up and became a man, as you will – but as a child, as a Peace Child – he became a symbol for somethin·g   that everybody· values.
Ch 5     What happened to the little girl?
Ch 6     Did they get married ?
S-teller Well –
Ch· 7    They must be very old? Ch 8 Where are they now?
The story-teller smiles enigmatically.  The children turn back, wondering:
 Ch 1     Did you know them?
S-telle r· Yes I did – rather well, actually. .. Ch 2  What were they like – ?
Ch 3-     You! Yo_u  were the Iittle boy!!!!
The children all start jabbering with excitement, asking: “were you? were you?..etc.”  The story-teller refuses to be drawn:
S-teller  Look – it doesn’t matter who ha was, it matters just that he was! You could be the little boy – you, you – you or you could be the little girl who was his inspiration! Like them, you carry within you the power to create Peace! We. have so little time here upon this earth – look around! What can you do to make it better? We’ve made our contribution, such as it is. We leave this lovely world. to you: take care of it!· Use all that fighting power, that energy that lies within you, not against each other, but for each other, – for Life! continuing Life on earth.
Listen – they’re coming back!  Shall we join them – ?
Offstage, the chorus begin the chant, bringing everyone back on for the curtain call:
Come into my Joy! Come into my Pain!
Come – you be a friend of mine,
I’ll be the same –                 (repeated)
The cast line up across the stage, story-teller at the centre, boy and girl either side, the presidents either side of them. The rest of the cast ranged about them. They all sing and clap the chant which rises to a massive crescendo. Silence for applause – the story-teller acknowledges the band – and perhaps too, the audience. Then the band leader gives a count of four, and launches into “Peace Day” which sends the cast of children bounding back down the aisles, dancing, singing, throwing streamers – shaking hands, hugging, kissing- members of the audience on their way out. The story-teller is left alone on stage. He takes off the cloak of the Story-teller and gives it to a stage-hand, who gives him ,a towel. He wipes off his make-up, takes off the wig and/or shakes the grey dust out of his hair. He turns round, facing the audience as a young teen-ager: he stands in the spotlight for silence.
(In his own words, to the effect of the following) –
EPILOGUE: “What we have presented here for you tonight has been a fantasy – a celebration of a world of which I’m sure you would all like to be a part – a world at ·peace, a world without hunger, without disease or suffering. In leaving you tonight, I must remind you, that world is very far from our own.
In fifty years time, I, and the children who have performed here tonight, should be looking forward to a peaceful and happy old age; but, unless there is a massive change of heart by our governments, it is probable that we will not. Statistics, the law of averages, suggest that by then we will have died in a thermo-nuclear holocaust, whether started intentionally, or by accident.
The task we face is monumental – but it is not impossible. I hope you will go home from this celebration tonight full of hope, full of determination to struggle for Peace in the knowledge of how lovely Life is, – and how unbearable is the thought that by our own folly, by our lack of courage – by our slackness – we could end it.  Thank you!”
F I   N    I    S