• Prospect Theater Company

A story by Corinna Schulenburg


We’re so glad you’re here! We’ve been waiting for you. A long time, really. Not to say that you’re late! You’re totally not late. You’re just in time. That is...if you really are who we think you are.

Do you remember the dreams? They probably started when you were little. Maybe you barely remember them now. But in the dreams, you would change, your body would transform into different things, ordinary animals at first, but then...anything you wanted. Unicorns. Dragons. The wind. Do you remember? It doesn’t matter. We remember. .


Because we sent them to you, the dreams. We needed you to be ready. We just didn’t think you’d have to be ready so soon.

But it’s been speeding up, happening faster than expected. The Cascade, they call it. It’s this tipping point when it becomes impossible to stop what they’ve been doing to Earth. No turning back. Once The Cascade starts, everything dries out – have you noticed that? How everything catches on fire these days? How the grass can’t hold its green?


That’s The Cascade. You take all the water away from the things that need it--roots, stems, throats. You let them dry out, burn up. Then, you give all that water to the ocean, let it roll over everything, start over. That’s what they want, the people behind The Cascade. See, they figure if everyone needs to get off the planet, they’ll pay anything to do it. You’ve read about them, right? That moon corporation? We used to laugh at them. We’re not laughing now.


But you, you can stop it. Did you know how powerful you are? Did you know you really can change your body? Shapeshift? In the dreams we’ve sent, we’ve seen there are only three animals that have the power to stop what’s coming: THE BEE, THE WOLF, or THE MOLE. You have to choose one. Whatever you choose, it will give you the power to stop them. We hope.


Did you make your choice? Good.


Now walk toward the next station.


CHOICE A: If you chose THE BEE, walk toward THE BEE.

CHOICE B: If you chose THE WOLF, walk toward THE WOLF.

CHOICE C: If you chose THE MOLE, walk toward THE MOLE.


With each step, feel yourself transform.


Feel yourself become.


CHOICE A: THE BEE


You’ve chosen to become THE BEE.


Bee-autiful choice. (Sorry about that, we love two things: saving the world and bad puns).


Do you feel how fast you are? How quick your wings beat?

Do you feel the power of your sting?

Do you feel the power of your dance? Your dance can tell another bee where to find the flowers.


We need you to find the flower.


Listen, the company that’s trying to start The Cascade, they’re called CI, and yeah that does stand for Cascade Incorporate. They’re not all that creative. Great at destruction, though. And they must be stopped.


That’s why we need you to find the flower.


See, everything’s connected, right? You know this. Human beings swat at bees but without them, nothing grows. And a single bee, a single bee can bring the right pollen from one plant to another plant, and everything changes.


That pollen, if it can spread, will help the plants survive anything The Cascade can throw at them. This pollen takes photosynthesis--you know, how plants use light for food--and uses it to make water from the air.


That’s right, you spread this pollen to a couple of cacti, and the next thing you know, you’ll turn a desert into a meadow, a meadow into a forest. You can stop The Cascade.


So, find your plant, maybe it’s a flower, maybe it’s something else. Your eyes are different now, they can see colors humans can’t. When you see the plant with rainbow colored pollen, spread it to as many other plants as you can. No really, don’t just read it, do it. Find your plant and spread its pollen.


Good. Keep going. Don’t stop. The Cascade won’t stand a chance!


Wait. Do you smell that? Yuck, that smells gross. Wait, that smells worse than gross, that smells toxic, like poison.


Oh no! CI figured out what you’re doing, they sent chemicals in the air to knock you out before you could finish.


Quick! You need to transform again! Choose THE WIND or THE RAIN, the hurry to your next station.


Hopefully it’s not too late!


CHOICE 1: THE WIND

CHOICE 2: THE RAIN


CHOICE B: THE WOLF


You’ve chosen to become THE WOLF.


The first you’ll notice is your hearing. It’s now 100 times stronger than a human’s. That’s right, that noise? It’s Times Square. You can hear it from here.

But that’s nothing compared to your sense of smell. That freshly popped popcorn scent? That’s from New Jersey. Of course, there are some downsides to this (humans are so smelly).

Do you feel your strength? No human can outrun you.


But it’s not your heightened senses, your strength, that give you your real power.


It’s your pack. And right now? We need you to summon that pack.


Listen, the company that’s trying to start The Cascade, they’re called CI, and yeah that does stand for Cascade Incorporate. They’re not all that creative. Great at destruction, though. And they must be stopped.


That’s why we need you to howl.


See, we’re so disconnected, right? Everyone’s on their screens. Humans have lost their pack. We’re divided. And that’s how CI gets us. When you’re divided, you can be set against each other. CI has us fighting each other when, really, we need to be fighting them.


That’s where your howl comes in. You’re not just any wolf, but you know that, right? Your howl will awaken the wolf in every single person in this park. Then, they’ll take that howl with them and wake up everyone in this city.


Then the country. Then the world. That’s how we stop The Cascade.


Find one person that seems ready. Howl for them. No really, don’t just read it, do it. Find your person and howl for them. Find another. Howl. And another. The Cascade won’t stand a chance!


Wait. Do you smell that? Of course you do, you’re a wolf. And because you’re a wolf, you know that’s poison.


Oh no! CI figured out what you’re doing, they sent chemicals in the air to knock you out before you could finish.


Quick! You need to transform again! Choose THE WIND or THE RAIN, the hurry to your next station.


CHOICE 1: THE WIND

CHOICE 2: THE RAIN


Hopefully it’s not too late!


CHOICE C: THE MOLE


You’ve chosen to become THE MOLE.


The first thing you’ll see is that you don’t see much. Who cares? Where we’re going, we won’t need eyes.

You’ll find your way with your nose. After all, you can tell the difference between the soil of Crabapple Grove and the soil of Hippo Playground.

Follow your nose, it always knows, as the song goes.

And the way you go? You dig with those strong paws, those sharp claws. You’re not afraid to get deep.


And that’s good, because we need you to find the root. You’re the only mole who can.


Listen, the company that’s trying to start The Cascade, they’re called CI, and yeah that does stand for Cascade Incorporate. They’re not all that creative. Great at destruction, though. And they must be stopped.


That’s why we need you to dig.


See, the trees get it. They understand that true power comes from the ground. From below. They know that the center of the Earth burns as hot as the surface of the sun. Yeah, you heard that right. Tap into that kind of power, and you can stop The Cascade and CI for good.


Here’s how it works. One of the trees here has roots that go deep. Like, center of the Earth deep. If you can find that root, and then dig your way deep enough, you can release its power. You’ll send CI running all the way to Pluto.


But first, you need to find the right root. Walk around. Use your sense of smell. When you find a root that smells right, put your paw on it. Do you feel vibrations, so tiny they might not even be there? No? Keep looking. When you find the one that shakes, just a little, you’ve found your root.


Now to get your hands dirty?


Wait. Do you smell that? Of course you do, you’re mole. And because you’re a mole, you know that’s poison.


Oh no! CI figured out what you’re doing, they sent chemicals in the air to knock you out before you could finish.


Quick! You need to transform again! Choose THE WIND or THE RAIN, the hurry to your next station.


CHOICE 1: THE WIND

CHOICE 2: THE RAIN


Hopefully it’s not too late!


CHOICE 1: THE WIND


You’ve chosen to become THE WIND.


So yeah, I know it feels like you don’t have a body, and yeah, I know that feels weird. The thing is, you do have a body, it just...works different. Let me explain.


You only know you have a body when you touch something else. See how that person’s hair blew in their face? You did that. Did you feel your hand for a second as it happened?


That’s how it works with your voice, too. Want to say something? Speak through the leaves. Did you hear that? The sound of you in the leaves? Did you feel your voice in your chest as it happened?


You have a body, you have a voice--you have one of the most powerful bodies and voices on the planet! But you can only feel them, hear them through other things.


I hope that makes sense because we don’t have much time. Yeah, the poison in the air, remember that? If you don’t blow it away, everyone here will be hurt, and they’ll be that much closer to starting The Cascade.


Well, hold up, it’s not like blowing out candles. You don’t have lungs any more, remember? But you can breathe, and you can blow.


Here’s how it works. Maybe you remember this from school: warm air rises, cloud air doesn’t and that’s all it takes, right, that difference in pressure.


So you know what to do. Find a place where the pressure is different, somewhere between the sun and the shade. Hold out one part of your body and feel the warmth. Hold another part of your body and feel the cold.


Yes, that’s it! Do you feel your power growing? Warm, cold, warm, cold, let the pressure build until you are ready to below.


Now, blow!


You did it! The poison in the air has dispersed. It can’t hurt anyone now. It can’t stop the roots from deepening, the pollen from spreading, the pack from waking up. Look! Over there, CI agents! They must’ve been the ones to release the poison. They’ve probably been hunting you. Well, they had no idea, did they? They had no clue what you could become.


A hero. Look, they’re into some helicopter thing and flying away. Let’s chase after!


CHOICE 2: THE RAIN


You’ve chosen to become THE RAIN.


At first, it’ll feel like falling. Wait, no, not exactly falling.


It feels like swimming. Or no, that’s not it.


Maybe it feels like crying, except not sad?


Yeah, that’s what it feels like to be the rain. Let me explain.


You know when you feel hot about something? Like it could be angry, or excited, or scared. Your heart is pounding, you feel this heat rise to your face. Well, it’s the same way with water.


Water gets angry, or excited, or scared, and it heats up into vapor and floats up into the air. Of course, it gets cold up there, and the water, just like us, cools down. Makes a cloud. And when it gets heavy enough, all that water has to go somewhere.


So that’s you, that’s rain. And we need you to get heavy enough to fall.


I hope that makes sense because we don’t have much time. Yeah, the poison in the air, remember that? If you don’t wash it away, everyone here will be hurt, and they’ll be that much closer to starting The Cascade.


Well, hold up, it’s not like crying at a sad story. You don’t have eyes anymore, remember? And heavy isn’t the same thing as sad. Heavy is so full that something needs to spill.


Here’s how it works. Fill yourself up with something. Maybe it is something that makes you sad, but maybe not. Maybe it’s something that makes you so happy you feel like dancing. Go on, dance! But whatever it is, just let that feeling fill you up.


Yes, that’s it! Do you feel your cloud growing? Heavy, heavy, heavy, fill yourself up until you’re ready to spill!


Now let it spill, let it fall, let it rain.


Let it rain.


You did it! The poison in the air has been washed away. It can’t hurt anyone now. It can’t stop the roots from deepening, the pollen from spreading, the pack from waking up. Look! Over there, CI agents! They must’ve been the ones to release the poison. They’ve probably been hunting you. Well, they had no idea, did they? They had no clue what you could become.


A hero. Look, they’re into some helicopter thing and flying away. Let’s chase after!

FINALE: FIRE BIRD


The CI agents are flying away, but thanks to you, and a million more like you, it doesn’t matter now.


What’s that? Oh, you’re wondering what I meant by a million more. Right. Well, you didn’t think you were the only one, did you? All across the great turtle of the world, shapeshifters are stepping into their power. They are learning to change and they are the change.


This doesn’t mean you’re any less special! It means you’re not alone. It means when we drive CI out of the Crabapple Grove, we’re driving them out of a thousand more sacred places. If we keep this up, we can stop The Cascade. We can keep the Earth as our home.


But the battle’s not over yet.


Yes, it’s true, the bees are spreading pollen.

Yes, it’s true, the wolves are waking up their pack.

Yes, it’s true, the moles are finding the deep roots.

Yes, the wind blows, the rain falls, but the work is not yet done.


Because there is a place for fire.


Not the fire that Cascade Incorporated wants. That kind of fire is only about waste, destruction.


But there is another kind of fire.


The fire from the center of the Earth to warm us from below.

The fire from the surface of the Sun that warms us from above.

The fire in our hearts that burns for the things we love.

A fire that warms, that protects, that starts things over.

There is another kind of fire.


Shapeshifter, are you ready to change your shape one last time?


Good. I knew we could count on you.


When you see the great bird of fire, become fire yourself.

You will feel a hunger like you’ve never known.

You will like even the air is your food.

Then you will feel your flames become wings, your burn become beak, your blaze become the cry of phoenix.

Then, you, you and millions more like you, will rise up and end CI and The Cascade forever.


And, we’ll begin again.


Shapeshifter, what will you become?

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