In a small Pakistani village, locals fight to save a Peepal Tree. This religious tree has brought together followers of the Buddhist religion for generations; however, city workers have come to cut it down.
Play Title: The Last Tree
Author: Shahid Nadeem
Publisher: Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts
Anthology: This play is part of a collection entitled, Where is the Hope? Edited by Chantal Bilodeau
Primary Discipline: Environmental
Source Texts: N/A
Character Breakdown: 4 males, 1 female. 1 character of unspecified gender. 1 group of villagers (2-3 indivduals of mixed gender). 1 group of workers (small group of different sexes).
Gullo (male), Baba Ji (male), Mother (Gullo’s mother; female), Elder (male), Official (male), Workers (mixed group), Villagers (mixed group), Tree (unspecified gender).
Setting: Village in Pakistan
Time Period: Unknown
Synopsis of Play: In a Pakistani village, Gullo is sitting under a Peepal tree. This tree is a religious tree that unites followers of the Buddhist religion. Baba Ji joins Gullo but instead of addressing the young boy, he converses with the tree. Baba Ji then goes on to tell Gullo that the tree has a heart and it talks to those who want to listen. As Baba Ji and Gullo exchange thoughts on the tree, an Official sticks a notice on the Tree. The notice is a public announcement that the Peepal Tree will be cut down to make way for the new motorway. Baba Ji cries out, for this is the last tree left in their village and it has a lot of religious and social value. Even though the villagers attempt to fight back, the workers succeed in cutting-down the tree and carrying off the timber. In the end, Gullo is excited to find all the seeds that were dropped onto the ground during the cutting process. A glimpse of hope arrives for the villagers as they plant the seeds throughout the village.
First Performance Date: This short play was originally performed for the Climate Change Theatre Action 2017; exact date is unknown.
First Producer: Climate Change Theatre Action 2017
Performance History: This short play has been performed at various venues across the world as a part of the Climate Change Theater Action 2017.
Biography of Author: Shahid Nadeem is a Pakistani playwright who has written and directed plays on social and human rights issues, mostly for his theatre for social change group, Ajoka. A collection of his plays was published by Oxford University Press, Pakistan in 2008. Shahid has been a fellow at the Getty Research Institute (2001) and National Endowment for Democracy (2014-15). He was awarded President of Pakistan’s Pride of Performance award in 2009. [Taken from Where is the Hope? By Chantal Bilodeau].
Entered By: Jake Caracciolo