Silent Woody

By Vijay Shanker


The objective of the play is to show the value of those who are seemingly unimportant. The scene is a jungle community, where all the animals are being rewarded for their special skills. The grand finale is the Lifegiver Award to SILENT WOODY (a tree). There are objections from the Lion, who points out that WOODY is a mere tree and did nothing all day. How can one justify a prize for doing nothing?


Little Wonder - a young Girl  
Silent Woody – a Tree 
Brave Heart - Lion 
Mr. Plumes - peacock 
Titanic - Elephant 
Wise Guy - owl 
Sir Slow - turtle 
Topsy Turvy - monkey 
Lady Speed - zebra 
Sumo - bear


(Dimly lit forest. A large tree in the foreground, to the right of stage. The lights brighten gradually. A wide banner in the background with the legend: “JUNGLE MILLENIUM AWARDS”.
AUDIENCE: Lusty cheering.
(The owl – WISE GUY appears on stage wearing spectacles, looking very professor-like. He positions himself in front of a mike. He waves his arms and the cheering fades away.)
Wise Guy: “ Good evening folks. Welcome to the Jungle Millenium Awards!”
AUDIENCE: Cheering. Silence
Wise Guy: “ I know … yeah …. it IS a FUN DAY! We are here to celebrate…. The  beauty of our jungle world … the achievements of our friends ….
AUDIENCE: Cheering
Wise Guy: “ Let the show begin!!”
DRUMS ROLLING. Cheering. Fade into silence.
Wise Guy: “ That’s the spirit … Now let me call our guest of honour to give away the prizes. …… A true friend of the animal kingdom …….our own beloved human …. I GIVE YOU  Miss Little Wonder!  Give the lady a big hand.”
(A young girl walks onto the stage. She is dressed in a frock with bright colours and wears a crown of flowers)
Wise Guy: “ This young lady …. A lover of nature ….a freind of animals.  Miss Little  Wonder, I invite you to give away the prizes … to the best among us jungle folk … to the achievers … … to the happy, wacky, zippy  ….
Wise Guy: “Okay… okay .. Let’s get on with it … I give you Miss Little Wonder  …  She is all …yours!”
Miss Little Wonder “ Thank you Sir …. Oh … (gushing) I love this place! I love you all!”
Miss Little Wonder: “ I should like to sing you a song …. May I ?”
Chorus: “Yeah!  …. A song …. A song!”
Audience: Cheers. Silence.
Miss Little Wonder: (breaks into song)
“Sometimes ……. I think I’ll be a dew drop Resting on a leaf ….
Sometimes …… I think I’ll be a tree Gentle and so lofty ….
Sometimes ….  I think I’ll be a bird Flap, flap and fly away
Sometimes ….. I think I’ll be a mountain And hide behind the clouds
Sometimes ….. I think I’ll be a fish And swim from shore to shore
Sometimes …. I wish I could be FREE So I can really be,  ME!
To be ….. Meeeee! meeee! Meeee……”
Wise Guy: (interrupting the song)“ Okay Okay ..We get the message .. I guess… yeah we get it.. thank you dear…..for being so loud … and clear. Wow! That was indeed a mind-blowing thought…. I mean …A great song really!!!
Audience: CHEERS
Wise Guy: “ I think lady … you should be YOU! That’s because ….. We need you here to give away the AWARDS!”
WG gives LW a piece of paper.)
Little Wonder: “ The first award of this evening is for the BEST WRESTLER OF THE MILLENIUM –    S U M O – The bear!”
Wise Guy: “ Bear-in-mind ..guys … ahhaa … when the going gets tough … the tough get going!”
(Martial Music)
(SUMO comes stomping onto to the stage. Hugs LW…. And lifts her off the ground and swirls …While she appears to be struggling. )
Audience: CHEERING.
(SUMO sets down LW. She takes a trophy from WG and gives it to SUMO. Who bows as he receives it. He then bows to the audience, and stomps away, proudly, chest forward. )
Martial Music. ….. fades out.
Little Wonder: “ The next award goes to the Best DANCER of THE MILLENIUM, Mr Plumes !
(Mr Plumes waltz onto the stage, showing off his colorful plumes. He dances around for a while …. Bows to Little Wonder …. Receives the trophy… turns round bows to the audience…. And backs out of the stage.)
Music fades out.
Wise Guy:  Hey … no wonder  … he IS proud as a peacock …  I envy this guy!
Little Wonder: “ And now ….. the FASTEST LEGS OF THE MILLENIUM … Lady SPEED.
(Sound of trotting becomes louder and louder…. A crescendo …. The ZEBRA comes storming in  … runs right across the stage and disappears.)
Little Wonder: “OMIGOODNESS! … now what was that ?
Wise Guy: “ Yipes … I think …I saw stripes!”
AUDIENCE: Cheering…
A voice: “ ONCE MORE!”
Little Wonder: “ I guess we’ll catch up with Lady Speed  in the future … Now let’s have  Sir SLOW on stage … the MARATHON AWARD WINNER OF THE MILLENIUM.
(Music – calypso)
(A Turtle walks steadily and very slowly on to the stage …. Turns at a right angle and walks up to Little Wonder .. she stoops down to give Sir SLOW the trophy … the turtle then turns to walk away… Wise Guy brings a skateboard and Sir SLOW steps on it. He give a gentle push … and Sir SLOW is off…)
AUDIENCE: Cheering & whistling
Wise Guy: “ Sorry folks … that was SLOW in a….. HURRY!”
Little Wonder: “ NOW … The ENTERTAINER OF THE MILLENIUM … I give you Topsy Turvy”
(A Monkey tumbles into the stage. After a few  somersaults and back flips, TOPSY TURVY kisses Little Wonder. He hugs her a little longer than necessary.)
Wise Guy: “ Ahhhmmm .. Hhh .. MMM ! (Clearing throat) Looks like he prefers entertaining himself!”
Little Wonder (struggles free), and gives Topsy Turvy the award. He bows gracefully, kneels down and kisses her hand. He then springs up, and faces the audience.
Topsy Turvy (RAPPING)
“Outside the window and down in the streets,
In the blue ocean and on the long beach
You can find litter everywhere
Litter, litter, litter, everywhere
Do we people really care?
Let’s clean up the po - llution,
And be part of the so - lution
And start a green rev – olution
Yes we do care, oh we do care
There’s so much litter everywhere
Litter, litter, litter, everywhere
Let’s clean up the pollution
Make it our sole mission
Let’s make a true re- solution.
If we really, and truly care
About the litter everywhere!”
 AUDIENCE: Screaming with delight, lusty cheering
(Topsy Turvy bows to the audience and swaggers out of the stage)
MUSIC: Afro-American .. fades away
Wise Guy: “ Wow … that was LITTER-ALLY great!”
Little Wonder: “(Blushing and clasping her hands) “ Oooh I loved that!”  (long pause, while she rolls her eyes) The APPETITE OF THE MILLENIUM AWARD goes to none other than the kind, gentle giant of the jungle – TITANIC ”
MUSIC: The sound of loud trumpeting, follwed by music of  “Baby elephant walk” (movie track: Hatari)
(The elephant walks in majestically. Waves his trunk at the audience. Then kneels in front of Little Wonder, to receive the award … swinging its trunk it walks away.)
Wise Guy: “ Eating habits, die hard … I guess”
Little Wonder: “Talking of DIE-HARD, our next award is for the hero of the jungle, the BRAVEST WARRIOR OF THE MILLENIUM – BRAVEHEART !”
(A loud ‘ROARRRR…’)
MUSIC: Music Track from Lion King.
(BRAVEHEART walks majestically onto center stage, faces the audience and ROARS.)
Braveheart (Speaking) “ That scared you guys I bet … Ha Ha Ha!” (Turning around and looking at Little Wonder): “ Sweet-heart … I am Brave-heart, now isn’t that funny ?… ha ha ha!!!”
Little Wonder (Looking scared): “Your award, Sir …” ( She gives him a trophy)
Braveheart: “ Thank you dear …” (He bows to her and turns around, looks at the audience, then slowly saunters off to a corner, in full view of the audience. He lay down on the ground paws facing front , looking indifferent .)
AUDIENCE: Cheering..
(Music fades out)
Wise Guy: “ That was the king in person … looks like he is into his siesta… I think it’s good for his heart … (Whispers) if you know what I mean !!!
Little Wonder: “ And now for the final award of the evening. THE LIFEGIVER AWARD OF THE MILLENIUM …..  goes to the oldest, greatest, magnificent member of our beloved jungle ….. SILENT WOODY!
AUDIENCE: Screams of delight, whistling, clapping …
Braveheart (Very loud voice) “ S T O P!”
Braveheart: “ What is this rubbish? SILENT WOODY… my left paw! Why should SILENT WOODY get an award … just a stupid old tree …. Standing still all day and night ….. it does nothing … just stands there like a block of wood … Ha .. LIFEGIVER … this is an insult to me … I am your LIFE GIVER … because I can take away your life … ha ha ha! Don’t you ever forget that!”
 (There is sudden total darkness.. Flash of lightening. Rumble of thunder. Silence. A gentle glow surrounds the tree. …..a fog slowly shrouds the tree.   A gentle voice (as if from above):
“ If you plant a little seed …  it will grow so tall.
But it will never,  ever treat you small! ”
(The fog clears. A ring of fairies appear moving around the tree, hand in hand, skipping and dancing.
SONG: Sung by TWO individuals and ONE CHORUS
NARRATION –Husky sing-song voice
“Woody is so wise and has seen many changes
Here in the woods he has lived many years
In this old jungle he has seen many dangers 
Here Woody has seen laughter and tears”
A little girl’s Voice: “I know I’ll be happy ‘cause you love me Woody”
Chorus: We all love you Woody!
NARRATION:  “Woody  gives you shelter all thru the year
He gives you shelter in wind and in rain
He makes the air so pure and so clear
Woody gives you life back  … again”
A little girl’s Voice: “I know I’ll be happy ‘cause you love me Woody”
Chorus: We all love you Woody!
NARRATION: “His roots trap water and give it to the soil To help us live and not be thirsty
Woody works for pleasure not unhappy toil
He is so modest, seeks no praise nor glory! “
A little girl’s Voice: “I know I’ll be happy ‘cause you love me Woody”
Chorus: We all love you Woody!
 NARRATION: “Woody works hard all day and all night 
He gives water to the clouds that rain 
He gives oxygen so we may breathe right 
Forever grateful to Woody …we remain.”
A little girl’s Voice: “I know I’ll be happy ‘cause you love me Woody”
Chorus: We all love you Woody!    We all love … YOU … WOOODY!
(The song concludes. Lights become brighter)
(BRAVEHEART is standing in the middle of the stage, gazing up at the tree. He turns around and faces the audience.)
BRAVEHEART: “ SILENT WOODY … say I never could have guessed. Quite a chap really …. Imagine doing all that stuff … making oxygen, cleaning up carbon dioxide, recycling water, … yeah WOODY is rather a nice old tree … hmmmm I get to sleep under his branches when I am hot from the sun.  (A long pause)
(Braveheart walks slowly towards Woody. He takes off the medal from his neck and ties it around Woody’s trunk. He kneels before Woody)
BRAVEHEART: “ Forgive me WOODY … you deserve my award, as well. You are indeed the KING of the JUNGLE.”
MUSIC: “For he’s a jolly good fellow ….”
(All the animals troop in to give their awards to SILENT WOODY. Finally Little Wonder and Wise Guy carry the LIFEGIVER AWARD, together ….. and present it to SILENT WOODY (fix it onto to the trunk).
A child’s Voice:
 “ If you plant a little seed …  It will grow so tall.
But it will never,  Ever treat you small! ”