Script for a class play - USGS Water Resources of Georgia

By Lloyd Moore,2014-09-28 05:58
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Script for a class play - USGS Water Resources of Georgia

The Story of Water in Dryville was created by

    Ms. Dory Witzeling

    Grades 3 & 4

    Highlands Elementary School

    Appleton, Wisconsin

    This story was adapted from the U.S. Geological Survey‟s “Water Science for Schools” Web page, “The Story of Dryville”,, Howard


Notes from Ms. Witzeling:

    The class play for "The Story of Dryville" was created by Ms. Dory Witzeling of Highlands Elementary School in Appleton, Wisconsin. She adapted the text of the USGS Water Science for Schools Web page "The Story of Dryville"


    Here are Ms. Witzeling's comments about setting up and performing the play:

    We put on two performances. One was during the day for a few classes of students. One was in the evening for family members.

    Because I allowed the students to choose their own parts (no try-outs) I had some strong performers in the bag parts in the afternoon, and some weaker performers in the big parts in the evening. The afternoon performance was fantastic! I ran about 35 minutes and got some good laughs. We could have used some microphones for kids speaking longer parts, but it wasn't bad. The principal and some of the parents told me that they thought it was great and that it had a LOT of great content.

    The performance in the evening went considerably longer because my narrator and "Henry" were not very efficient with their speaking parts. I thought it dragged, but the parents loved seeing their kids on stage. :)

    The stage itself was very simple, we just made a long backdrop out of a long piece of light brown paper (what you use for bulletin boards). I had some students volunteer to stay in for a recess and draw a desert scene with a stream running through it. We also had a podium (for the narrator) and a table (for Henry).

    The costumes were a big hit. We were lucky enough to have what we needed just through sharing among ourselves! One student had a fish costume, one had a chicken, we made a table for the water table by removing the top of a card table and making a cloth with a hole for the actor to stand in. We had a lot of hats, posters, and other small props, too.

     - 1 -

    The The Story of Water in Dryville


;; Henry Hendrick, founder of Dryville Townsperson #9 (farmer)

    ; Henrietta Hendrick, Henry‟s wife ; Wanda (or Willy) Waterwheel

    ; Narrator, Mr. Perlman ; Mr. Millford

    ; Mr. Beaver ; Andy (or Andrea) Aqueduct

    ; Map Man ; Rob Parker, gameshow host

    ; Water Table ; Mad Scientist

    ; Townsperson #1 ; Power Plant

    ; Townsperson #2 ; Chicken

    ; Townsperson #3 (Mabel) ; Catfish

    ; Townsperson #4 ; Nelly, the neighbor

    ; Townsperson #5 (Ezmerelda) ; Hawthorn, Nelly‟s neighbor

    ; Townsperson #6 ; ThermoElectric Man

    ; Townsperson #7 (farmer) ; Lawyer

    ; Townsperson #8 (farmer) ; Sign Carrier

    Sign Carrier: (Carries large sign with the title of the play to the middle of the

    stage, holds it for 5 seconds, reads the sign aloud, and then walks off.)

    Narrator: Hello, I'm Mr. Howard Perlman, the original author of this story, and your

     narrator. I work at the USGS, the U.S. Geological Survey, a great

     organization where there's some super resources about water and other

     topics for kids. You should check it out!, but let me get to today's story...

     Have you ever had the desire to strike out on your own? Maybe you've

     - 2 -

    had enough of big-city life and want to build you own town way out in the

    unspoiled and unpopulated countryside? You might name it Dryville, since

    the only part of the country that is still so unspoiled and unpopulated is

    probably the desert!

    Henry: Boy, am I ever tired of big-city life. The traffic! The pollution! The noise!

    The crowds! I think I‟ll move somewhere far away, like the desert!

    Map Man: (The map maker has a big poster of a desert area. It gets updated as the

    story goes on, so it must be designed so that you can add pieces to it.)

     Here‟s a good spot. It‟s unspoiled and unpopulated. What do you think?

Henry: Let‟s go!

    Narrator: Well, you can't begin your new town without considering water. From the

    smallest town to the biggest city, there always has to be a water plan. You

    need to be able to get water, use it, and dispose of what you don't want.

    So let's say you made the big move. You and some friends have found

    your desolate spot and have moved in. How would you develop your

    "Water Plan for Dryville?"

     The Beginnings of Dryville :

    Sign Carrier: (Carries large sign with the title of this act out onto the middle of the stage,

    holds it there for 3-5 seconds, reads the sign aloud, and then walks off.

    This person needs a gag, however, so one thing about his/her costume

    needs to change each time he/she appears. Maybe it’s a different hat,

    maybe she’s carrying a different stuffed animal…just one small thing

    should change each time.)

    Narrator: From the founding day of Dryville, you need water. Drinking water is your

    first priority, as well as water to bathe in, clean dishes and clothes, and to

    wash your hands after you've cleaned that possum you caught for supper. Henry: Look sweetie! I got us a possum for supper!

    Henrietta: How wonderful. (sarcastically) But how are you going to clean it and cook

    it for me? And Yuck! You need to wash your hands!

    Narrator: And, of course, a toilet will come in very, very handy. (Funny faces from Henry and Henrietta)


    Narrator: So, your first priority will be to find a SOURCE of water. The obvious

    source is the creek or pond nearby. Maybe you can hire a beaver to

    create a dam in the creek and create a lake,s or actually, a reservoir. Mr. Beaver: Sure, I‟ll build you a dam and make a reservoir. What‟ll you give me for it?

    Henry: I‟m guessing you don‟t really like possum, do you?

    Mr. Beaver: Uh, no. Yuck. Beavers are vegetarians. Where do you want your dam? Map Man: It should go along a creek, right about here. (Update the map to show the

    dam and the reservoir.)

    Narrator: In your free time you go ahead and start digging a hole in the ground for a

    well. If you dig deep enough you might hit the water table, where there will

    be standing water. You'll be able to lower a bucket down to get the

    available ground water.

    Water Table: (This character is dressed like a table,

    but the front is covered with a poster

    of what a real water table looks like

    (see illustration)) Hi! I‟m Water Table.

    I am the top of the ground water in the

    Earth. Ground water is water that

    seeps down through the soil until it

    reaches earth already filled with water.

    Water in the ground is stored in the spaces between rock particles. Some

    ground water is stored and some moves to wells and springs. If Henry‟s

    well is deep enough he can get below my surface and get some ground

    water. You might get your water at home from ground water, too.

    Sometimes people pour oil or lots of fertilizer or other yucky stuff onto the

    ground and it seeps into the ground. It‟s important not to pour pollutants

    on the ground or into sewers so that you can keep your groundwater clean.

    (curtsies and walks off)

    Narrator: Things are starting out great -- you've already started using surface water,

    the creek and pond, ground water, your well, and you've even created

    your own water-storage system, the reservoir. So you now have a reliable

    source for your water needs. Time to relax? ....Not yet.

    Getting Water to Your Homes

    Sign Carrier: (Carries large sign with the title of this act out onto the middle of the stage,

    holds it there for 3-5 seconds, reads the sign aloud, and then walks off.)

    Narrator: Since you appointed yourself mayor Henry of Dryville…


Henry: Where IS that voice coming from? (and dons a formal looking hat that

    says “MAYOR” on it)

    Narrator: you naturally chose the best spot for your home -- on top of the hill. Henrietta: It‟s a great view, but it sure is a pain lugging pails of water from the creek

    up the hill all day long! We use about 100 gallons a day and each gallon

    weights about 8 pounds!

    Henry: Awww, stop complaining. I thought you liked it here now that our old

    friends have moved to the next hill.

    Henrietta: Don‟t tell me to stop whining! You can carry the water from now on. Henry: (looks like he’s stopped listening)

    Henrietta: You know, you‟re the mayor now and what you need now is a "water-

    supply distribution system" to get water to everyone's homes. You should

    lay a system of pipes from the creek to each house. You could make the

    pipes with clay from the creek bed.

    Henry: (saying this like he came up with the idea himself) Hmmmm, I think maybe

    I should work on a water distribution system to help get water to

    everyone‟s homes. (slowly walks off stage while still talking to himself) I‟ll

    bet we could make some pipes with the clay in the creek and if we make

    them go to each house…

    (Henrietta follows shaking her head.)

    Narrator: The problem is, the houses are higher than the creek, and water does not

    flow uphill. Water does flow downhill, so Henry built a big water storage

    tank on a hill (at the highest point in town) and started a water brigade to

    fill it full of water.

    (Now we see a line of townspeople who are passing buckets of water along a line. The

    buckets need to look heavy.)

    Townsperson 1: I really love having running water in the house. Townsperson 2: Yeah. It sure is more convenient.

    Townsperson 3 (Mabel): I hated lugging all of those buckets of water up to the house. Townsperson 4: Of course you did. If you used 5-gallon buckets and water weighs

    8 pounds per gallon that would be….uh….5 times 8….


    Townsperson 5: Math? You‟re trying to do math? I‟m exhausted from passing

    along all of these buckets. Maybe the audience knows. Hey, you

    out there. What‟s 5 times 8?

    Townsperson 6: Good job everyone! 40 is right. Wow! 40 pounds is a lot of weight

    to haul, and I can tell you I‟m not having any fun working on this

    bucket line either!

    Townsperson 7: Mayor Henry and his great ideas. Sure, running water is great, but

    I‟m getting a back-ache!

    Townsperson 8: (Whining) I‟m tired! Are we done yet?

    Townsperson 9: Oh be quiet and keep working!

    Wanda/Wally Waterwheel: Hi everybody! You look like you‟re all working really hard.

     I‟m Wanda (or Willy) Waterwheel. I think I could help. I can use

     the power of your creek to pump water anyplace you want it.

    Map Man: Here‟s a good spot. It‟s right by the creek. What do you think? Townspeople: Hooray! We quit! (All people throw buckets of blue streamers at

    the audience at once. Surprise!)



    Dryville's First Water Works

    Sign Carrier: (Carries large sign with the title of this act out onto the middle of the stage,

    holds it there for 3-5 seconds, reads the sign aloud, and then walks off.) Narrator: Now everyone is enjoying running water in their homes. But it took a lot of

    work to build your water-supply plant. Being mayor, you decide that the

    town of Dryville will own the new Dryville Water Plant and you'll charge

    everyone to get water delivered to their houses. Since the Water Plant is

    owned by Dryville, it has to respond to the needs of its citizens -- such as

    Mr. Milford, who overcooked his possum stew and started a kitchen fire. Mr. Millford: Where was the Dryville Fire Department when I needed them!?

     (Mr. Millford should be dressed in tatters with soot all over him…)

    Henry: Yikes! Okay, I‟ll add some fire hydrants to the water-supply pipes. Hey!

    That means I‟m now the Fire Chief as well as the mayor.

(Henry adds another hat on TOP of his MAYOR hat a Fire Chief hat and he keeps

    adding hats with each new job throughout the play…)


    Narrator: Soon you start getting money from the citizens buying water - and that

    gives you an idea. You're going to write a pal back home and tell him he

    needs to build another town down the road from Dryville. Then when your

    friend gets his town started, Dryville will offer to sell them water from your

    public-supply system!

    Henry: Hey, there‟s that voice again. Weird. But that‟s a good idea! I could build

    an aqueduct system to move water from Dryville to them. Of course, I‟ll

    have to raise the price to cover the cost of delivering the water -- nothing

    wrong with making a little profit. Yeah! But how do I build an aqueduct? Andy or (Andrea) Aqueduct:

     I‟m Andy Aqueduct and I can help you!

    All you need to build an aqueduct is to

    make a canal for the water to flow in.

    You just have to make sure that it

    slants gradually downhill all the way to

    your destination. If it‟s hilly between

    here and there, you might need to build some arches like this

     (point at himself) to hold your canal and keep the water flowing.

    Map Man: Here‟s a good spot. It goes from a higher point in the creek above town

    over toward Witzelingville. What do you think?

    Henry: We already built a water delivery system for our town that pumps water

    uphill! This should be easy. We can do that!

    (Map Man updates map…)

    Be Gone, Dirty Water

    (scene set in Henry’s dining room)

    Sign Carrier: (Carries large sign with the title of this act out onto the middle of the stage,

    holds it there for 3-5 seconds, reads the sign aloud, and then walks off.) Henrietta: What, fish for dinner again?

    Henry: Yep.

    Henrietta: Go wash your hands in the water bucket after cleaning those stinky fish! Henry: (While pretending to wash hands in a bucket of dirty water) I cooked.

    After dinner you can wash those dirty dishes in the bucket, too.


    Henrietta: Do you want me to throw that smelly bucket of water out in the yard again

    when I‟m done?

    Henry: Geez, I dunno. Bob next door has been complaining about the fish smell

    from our dirty water.

    Henrietta: So what? His dirty laundry water keeps pooling up right out by the front

    step. And then there's the smell from that hole Bob dug for his toilet... Henry and Henrietta: (Holding their noses) P-U!

    Narrator: It seems that there is more to life than just getting and using water -- you

    need to get rid of your wastewater. You need to build a "water-return

    system," a sewer network. Again, lay a bunch of pipes from your homes

    back downhill. Connect your sinks, baths, and toilets to the pipes to take

    away unwanted water. Run the pipes back into the creek (but below where

    you are getting your drinking water!) and let the creek carry away your

    waste water.

    Henry: Well done, everyone! That was a big job, but our sewer system is working


    Townspeople: Hooray! We need a vacation!

    Mr. Beaver: (Comes walking in) Hey! What‟s the big idea? I did you a big favor

    and made that dam for you and now you‟re send raw sewage

    Townspeople: EWWWWW!

    Mr. Beaver: Yeah, ewwww is‟re sending raw sewage right past my

    son‟s house in the river downstream. You really need to send the

    waste water from your house someplace where you can clean it up

    before putting it back in the creek. Don‟t you care about the

    environment? I thought that was why you moved out here in the

    first place!

    Henry: You‟re right. We‟ll build a sewage-treatment plant, connect the town's

    houses to it, and begin treating wastewater before releasing it into Dryville

    Creek. Sorry Mr. Beaver. We‟ll get on it right away.

Map Man: Here‟s a good spot. It‟s between the lower end of town and the Beaver

    kid's house. What do you think?

Henry: Looks fine. Let's get to work.

(Map Man adjusts map again.)


Townsperson 1: Bummer. This water system work never stops!

    Townsperson 2: Cancel the vacation, Mabel (talking to his wife). We need to build a

    sewage-treatment plant first.

    Townsperson 3 (Mabel): (Whining) Awwww, but I wanted to go to Disneyland!

    Your First Flood

    Sign Carrier: (Carries large sign with the title of this act

    out onto the middle of the stage, holds it

    there for 3-5 seconds, reads the sign aloud,

    and then walks off.)

    Narrator: You're again happy until the first desert

    downpour hits. The rain flows down the hills

    into Dryville and suddenly you have your

    first flood -- more unwanted water (and

    mud!) to deal with. You decide to build a set of storm drains to fix this

    problem. Lay some more REALLY BIG pipes through town with drains in

    low spots. Storm water will flow into these pipes and be sent on its way

    downhill into your creek. Another problem solved...or is it? Henry: (On the phone) Yeah, we thought we were prepared with our storm drains,

    but when the storm hit, Dryville Creek overflowed and flooded some

    houses that were built on the flood plain, you know, the flat ground

    alongside of the creek.

    Rob Parker: (Using an exaggerated game show host voice) Well Mr. Mayor, you can

    solve this problem in three possible ways. Just choose what‟s behind

    door number 1, door number 2 or door number 3.

    Henry: Where did you come from?

    Rob Parker: (ignoring him) Behind door number one, you can look at the shape of the

    land to figure out which parts of the creek bed will flood most often when it

    really rains - and don't allow people to build houses there Henry: But there are some people living down there already, and they won‟t like

    having to move.

    Rob Parker: Behind door number two, you can build a dam upstream to create a

    reservoir to trap storm water before it floods into town. Your reservoir can

    then release the water very slowly, thus preventing floods and resupplying

    the ground water.


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