Zara Loves Germs

Title: Zara Loves Germs

What: An Operetta for children in 30 minutes (2 acts)

Four characters, plus a ‘mime’:

Zara – the heroine

Mya – the comic sidekick

Eli – the nerd sidekick

Brady – the antagonist bully

Mr. Heinz – the Science teacher (mime)

Instrumentation: violin, percussion, cello, keyboard/piano.

Who: Grades 4-8 (ages 7-13)

Why: To introduce kids about the value of science as a source of wonder. Also, self-care as a preventative measure against disease .

Where: Elementary and middle schools anywhere in the USA/Canada.

How: The production is ‘portable’; the set is mostly ‘analog’ and costumes can be re-imagined with each production.

SYNOPSIS:

ACT I

An unidentified waterborne disease has afflicted an urban school. Teachers, staff and school kids that have been infected are experiencing too many tummy aches and are instructed to stay at home to rest.

Zara is a 4th grader that enjoys finding solutions to satisfy her scientific curiosity, in her home-basement lab. Her two besties Mya and Eli are her unofficially designated ‘lab assistants’, finding answers either serendipitously (Mya) or by die-hard analog research (Eli). The waterborne disease is their current fixation. The setting in the lab features two tanks of H2O, one labeled “contaminated” and the other “purified” (i.e., Good and Bad)

Brady, the over-dominant and most prominent school bully, finds extreme pleasure in taunting Zara. He makes a scathing and scary visit to Zara’s lab. Seeing that Brady has come with his Stanley Mug, in the middle of his ‘diatribe’, Mya secretly switches the two signs between the Good and Bad H20. Brady finishes the verbal assault by refilling his Stanley Mug with “good” H20, and guzzling it all down.

ACT II

At the same time, while crawling out from forced hiding under her lab desk, Zara happens to observe Mr. H. entering the lab and filling his mug with the  ‘bad’ H20 – and before she can stop him, he immediately microwaves the mug of H20 for his afternoon tea.

Mr. H. drinks his tea and carries on with his experiments, without incident.

With a few tests of varying H20 degrees, the trio determines that boiling the H20 (at boiling point Fahrenheit) offers a solution for the prevention of the waterborne illness. Zara creates purified H20 as a partial solution to rehydrate all that are afflicted in the school community.

Brady falls ill with the waterborne ailment. Zara is faced with the dilemma about whether to share the purified H2O with him; she wants to find an answer for the disease but at the same time is having trauma from the bullying.

Zara decides that she can put aside her misgivings about Brady, and visits him in the hospital offering the purified H20 (to complement the necessary antibiotics). His health improves. Brady apologizes for hurting Zara’s feelings.

While not besties, they develop a friendship.