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Bump the Dump - a musical about a rural county's fight to keep a nuke dump out

Updated on April 14, 2013

Bump the Dump

a musical in two acts

Based on Allegany County's (New York) citizens' fight to keep a nuclear waste dump out of their county as told by:

John Arden-Hopkins and Anna Eskenazi Bush (formerly Woodbridge)

Dedicated to the memory of Dale Misenheimer, a professor of English at Alfred State College and a gifted musician who led the B.A.N.D.I.T.S. (Bands Against Nuclear Dumps in this State)

Based on actual events that took place in Allegany County, New York. All characters are fictitious.

c 1995 John Arden-Hopkins and Anna Eskenazi-Woodbridge

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. v.2 For performance information contact Anna Eskenazi Bush at

Characters of the play:

Emily Trubeck - 15

Randy Trubeck - 17, her brother

Bonnie Trubeck - 35, her mother

Dennis Trubeck - 39, her father

Billy Shear - 18, friend of Randy

Joseph Stern - 57, Principal of Belfast Central School

Siting Commissioners - FOUR people, male and/or female

Citizen #2 - leader Paul Murphy

Citizen #1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9


Child #1, Child #2

Citizen G - singer with guitar, Mary Burdock

Citizen S - senior citizen, Merle Morton

Lt. John Steed

four to six state police persons

other citizens of all ages, including children

newspaper and television reporters

ACT I, Scene 1 - the gym/auditorium at Belfast Central School

Scene 2 - the Trubeck home, the following evening

Scene 3 - any town, Allegany County, one month later

ACT II, Scene 1 - office of Concerned Citizens of Allegany County

(CCAC) about two months later

Scene 2 - the bridge at Caneadea, NY, the next day

Act I

Scene 1: The gym/auditorium of Belfast Central School. A snowy, cold winter evening. Actors/citizens are in the actual audience, while the stage holds four chairs and a podium to be occupied by the commissioners. The citizens in the audience are holding protest signs, dressed as the grim reaper, etc. and are handing out flyers/programs. There is some general dialogue, a buzz of excitement ("I hear they think there's about 5000 people here tonight," etc.) Principal Stern enters, stands at a microphone, does the whole "testing" bit/gets some feed back etc.

Stern: Testing...testing...1,2,3...can you hear me? (micro-

phone whistles) testing...testing.

Citizen: (teasing) Sure, Joe. We can hear you LOUD and clear as usual. (Laughter)

Stern: Thank you all for coming out on this bitter night. For those of you who don't know me, I am Joseph Stern, principal of Belfast Central School. We have opened up some of the classrooms and put in closed

circuit television to make room for the other citizens of Allegany County who have come to our school tonight. We ask that everyone be seated. The Governor has sent four siting commissioners here tonight to explain why Allegany County is under consideration as a potential site for a low-level nuclear waste disposal facility. As we all know, recent federal regulations requires that each state be responsible for the disposal of its own nuclear waste. This is the first time we in Allegany County will be getting a chance to meet with the commissioners from New York State to find out exactly what they are proposing. It is obviously a major concern to all of us who live here in rural Allegany County and your presence here tonight will show the commissioners just how concerned we are. (a student hands him a slip of paper) I have just been notified that there are an estimated 5000 people here at Belfast Central School tonight. (General reaction from the audience/citizens "Wow, that's amazing, etc.) That's significant, since our total county population is only 50,000. School buses have been sent in from 8 of our 14 school districts. I commend each of you for being here tonight and getting involved. The commissioners will make their presentation and then there will be time for those of you who have questions or opinions to step up to the microphone and be heard.

Thank you. (polite applause from the audience)

(Stern exits. Music begins/beat. The four commissioners enter, all wearing black suits and carrying black attaché cases. They walk out in a synchronized fashion, turn to face forward at the same time in front of the chairs. Sit at same time. Each takes a picture out of their own case. #1 has picture of Allegany County, #2 has picture of something "scientific", #3 has picture of nurse or doctor with patient, # 4 picture of money sign or money. They each go to a board and put the pictures up - also synchronized - then return to seats. Each takes a pointer out of attaché case and sits poised, #1 goes to podium and begins song. As they sing they point frantically at the pictures, then later at the audience.)

SONG - Take the Offer

Com. #1: Listen

Allegany people listen

we've got a special tale to tell you

Listen well to what I say


Your government has got a problem

We need your help to find an answer

You can help us - here's the way

Com. #2: Science

Our universe is full of science

But science can bring us problems

And that's what we came to say


Everything we do makes garbage

It's a special kind of problem

We must solve it right away

Com. #3: Nuke waste

High-tech health care can make nuke waste

Sometimes curing folks makes nuke waste

Which we have to put away

Help us

Every one of you can help us

Help our doctors help our nurses

Find a dump site that's OK

Com. #4: Money

We can offer you some money

Lots of jobs and lots of money

If you help us we will pay


High-tech science is the future

You'll be part of New York's future

If you join with us today

ALL 4: Listen to us/we will help you

Don't be nervous/we will help you

It's OK

Take the offer/it is generous

You can help to make it happen

It's OK

#1: Empty

Your whole county's kind of empty

There's no houses, there's no people

A nuke dump won't be in your way

Poor folks

Your whole county's full of poor folks

We can offer jobs to poor folks

Help them earn some decent pay

#2: Science

The future of our world is science

Join the techno revolution

Help to point the future way


All you people will be leaders

Showing others how to do it

Allegany lead the way!

#3: Helping

You'll be on the side that's helping

Battling the dread diseases

That might kill us all one day


Nuke waste comes from fighting cancer

Help to save our kids from cancer

That's the role that you can play

#4: Struggle

Allegany people often struggle

Take the jobs that we will bring you

And you'll see a better day


We will help you pay your taxes

We'll pay for schools, for roads, for bridges

You'd never have another way

ALL 4:Listen to us/we will help you

Don't be nervous/we will help you

It's OK

Take the offer/it is generous

You can help to make it happen

It's OK

#1: (musical tag)

We have provided this opportunity for you to tell us

your reaction to our generous offer.

Remember, there are other areas in the state that are

also being offered the opportunity for these jobs and

these benefits.

If you have a question or comment please step to one of the microphones provided for the audience.

If you have technical questions, we'll do our best to

answer them. Please talk for no more than a few minutes

so everyone has a chance. Who's first? Yes, miss, what do you have to say?

(Emily walks down the aisle in the auditorium and stands at microphone at the end of the aisle. Acoustic guitar music starts. This is a contrast to the empty, high-tech sound of "Take the Offer.")

SONG - Allegany Children

EMILY: Allegany Children

to us your words are clear

you want to take our homes away

and dump your garbage here.

Allegany children

we're here to take a stand

we don't want your nuke dump

not in our promised land.

I grew up amid the fields

of corn and wheat and hay

our county is a special place

for kids like me to grow and play.

(Other children join Emily)

Allegany children

our message isn't hard

we don't want your nuke dump

not in our backyard

Allegany children

please listen to us say

all we have's our future

please don't take it away.

We may be simple people

our lives are in the land

we belong to Allegany

in a special way

you can't understand.

Allegany children

our message isn't hard

we don't want your nuke dump

not in our backyard.

Allegany children

we're here to take a stand

we don't want your nuke dump

not in our promised land.

Allegany children, Allegany children, Allegany children

#2: (condescending) We thank you for your input, children, but these

kinds of questions are better left to older people.

(Children begin to leave the stage, Emily lingers)

Maybe you should ask your parents what they think about

this generous offer that your government is making.

If there is anyone else--perhaps a little older, or who

represents a point of view of the taxpayers of this

community--we would be happy to hear you now.

(Emily stands her ground - family joins her)

SONG - "We're a Family"

Trubeck Family: We're a family

What does that mean?

We stand together when

times get hard.

We're a family

we've always been

four lives together

that's what we are

Bonnie & Dennis: When something threatens

what we are

We come together to stay.

We stand as one, that's how it's done

That is the family way.

Family: We're a family

The world should know

we help each other through

any trouble.

We're a family

and as we grow

our trust is strong and our

love is true.

Randy & Emily: When something threatens

what we are

We come together to stay.

We stand as one, that's how it's done

That is the family way.

Family: We're a family

the world should know

we help each other through

any trouble.

We're a family

and as we grow

our trust is strong and our

love is true.

We're a family

we're a family

we're a family

#3: (Condescending)

Well, that was a really refreshing view of the kind of

family values that make America great. (The Commissioner

turns his back to the family, the family returns to the audience). We have, for the SERIOUSLY interested, a large amount of material that explains the absolute safety of waste disposal facilities and the outstanding economic benefits that such a facility will bestow on a REMOTE RURAL location such as this. We have heard from one family so far, and we are interested in knowing what the OPINION LEADERS here in Allegany County have to say.

You sir, yes you in the shirt and tie. What do you say? Step up to the microphone please. Don't be afraid. What do you say?

Citizen: We're gonna fight you!

#3: I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch that. Speak into the

microphone please.

SONG - We're Gonna Fight You!

Citizen: We're gonna fight you!

(MORE VOICES): We're gonna fight you!

(MORE VOICES): We're gonna fight you!

(MORE VOICES): We're gonna fight you!

Chorus: We're gonna fight you

we'll fight you all the way

We're gonna fight you

we're gonna make you pay

We're gonna fight you

no matter where you go

we're gonna fight you

we think you oughtta know

Citizen:Go tell the stooge that sent you

your trash ain't welcome here

Go tell 'em Allegany

will shout out loud and clear

Chorus: We're gonna fight you

There's evil in your plan

We're gonna fight you

every woman, every man

we're gonna fight you

we're all together now

we're gonna fight you

that's Allegany's vow

Citizen: There's poison in your nuke waste

we know that very well

you try to make us take it

we'll blow you straight to hell

Chorus: We're gonna fight you

we'll fight you all the way

we're gonna fight you

we're gonna make you pay

we're gonna fight you

we're gonna fight you

we're gonna fight you

we're gonna fight you

(As the menacing tone of the crowd grows, the head stooge attempts to break in)

SONG - Medley - Take the Offer/We're Gonna Fight

You!/Allegany Children

#1: Listen

Allegany people listen

There is something that your missin'

Listen to me, listen well!

Chorus: we're gonna fight you, we're gonna fight you!

#1: Listen, Allegany people listen...

(he is drowned out)

Chorus: we're gonna fight you, we're gonna fight you!

Emily: Allegany Children

Chorus: we're gonna fight you, we're gonna fight you!

#1: Listen! Listen!

Chorus: we're gonna fight you, we're gonna fight you!

#1: Listen! Listen!

Chorus: we're gonna fight you, we're gonna fight you!

#1: Listen, Allegany people

Chorus: (crescendo drives commissioners towards upper right)

We're gonna fight you! (repeat 5 times)

Fight you (repeat 4 times)

(as curtain falls...)

Emily: (a capella, plaintively) Allegany children...

Act I, Scene 2

The Trubeck home. It is Saturday, the day after the Belfast 5000. Emily is in a basketball uniform; the whole family has just come back from a game which her team won.

Dennis:You gals did great today, Em. You really knocked the socks off those Bulldogs.

Emily: Everybody really played well, it was real teamwork.

Randy: I think Em was all psyched up from the speech she

gave 'em last light in Belfast. Those commissioners

didn't know what to say when Emily stood up for us kids.

Bonnie:Wow, between last night in Belfast and today's game, I'm pooped. So much excitement for our "little

rural county."

Dennis:I can't believe those stooges from Albany actually

thought we would let them put a nuclear waste dump

in our county.

Emily: I think they thought we were a bunch of hicks or


Randy: They're the ones who are jerks, thinking we'd just

sit by and let it happen. That one guy looked like

Pee Wee Herman, ya know?

Bonnie: I don't know, I thought the short guy looked more like


Emily: Mother, how can you be so insulting? Even Barney is

a lot cuter than that guy.

Dennis: Well, they can't help being that way. Maybe their brains have been fried by that nuclear waste. (laughs)

Bonnie:And to think they had the NERVE to approach US about

selling OUR land to them so they could put the dump

right here.

Dennis:Emily, you'd better go feed the dogs. They've been

waiting all day for us. Randy, go see if there was

any mail today and bring the recycling bins 'round back.

(Emily and Randy exit)

Bonnie:Honey, it's really good to see the kids

getting into this "bump the dump" thing.

Dennis: It's a good way for them to see real politics in action. They're making a difference in their own community.

Bonnie: How did you like it when those guys called us NIMBYs?

Dennis:Well, what did ya expect? Of course we're going to say "Not in my backyard" but they don't realize, we don't

want this stuff in anybody's backyard.

Bonnie:We've already seen what happened with the nuclear stuff over there in West Valley.

Dennis:And it's happening all over. I mean, you read articles

in the paper everyday about people getting sick mysteriously, and you never know whether radiation is involved...

Emily: (entering) Hey mom, dad, I hope you guys are ready to be grandparents! (parents both react shocked). Just know how we said we were going to get Lady Gray fixed? Well, I think we're too late. (Bonnie breathes sigh of relief, Emily giggles)

Bonnie:Well, it's not what we planned, but I'll bet she'll

have great puppies.

Dennis:Damn those Smiths. They always let their dog

run loose at night. He's probably the father.

Bonnie:Don't worry dear, we'll find someone to take the

puppies. (Randy enters)

Emily: I get to keep one, don't I?

Bonnie:We'll see.

Randy: Keep one what?

Dennis:Emily thinks Lady Gray's going to have pups.

Randy: (hands father the mail) Cool, I think we should keep

one, the runt.

Emily: How do you know there'll be a runt?

Randy: There's always a runt.

Emily: What if they are all the same size?

Randy: There will be a runt. (Emily and Randy ad lib arguing)

Dennis: OK you two. That's enough. Let's get this place

picked up before bed so tomorrow we can take it easy.

(Dennis sorts through the mail while the rest

of the family picks up around house) Uh oh, this doesn't look good.

Bonnie: What is it?

Dennis:It's from the bank. You know, we're three months

behind on the mortgage payment. This can't be good


Bonnie:Oh, don't worry so much. It's probably just a late notice. Soon the weather will be better and you'll get plenty of work. We'll catch up in no time.

Dennis: Oh my God.

Bonnie:What is it?

Dennis:They're gonna foreclose on the house. We're losing our


Bonnie: (Grabbing the paper) It can't be. How can they throw

a family out on the street?

Dennis:We're losing our home. (general commotion from the

whole family. Bonnie calms the kids down as the music


Bonnie:Don't worry kids, well figure something out.

SONG - They're Throwing us Out

Bonnie: We're a family

Dennis: They're throwing us out

B/kids: We stick together through all our troubles

Dennis: How can it be? What can we do?

We're losing our home, my life is through

Emily/Randy: We're a family

Dennis: They're out of their minds, they're out of control

Emily/Randy: We stick together no matter what happens

Dennis: I don't understand, it's all so unfair

We're losing our home and nobody cares

Bonnie: Calm down dear, don't worry dear

Dennis: Foolish wife, look at life

we're country folks

we have no rights

whatever they want to do they'll do

and they just don't care about me and you

Emily: There's got to be something we can do

you've always taught us that we'll come through

Randy: I'll sell my guitar, I'll work at the store

Emily: You can have all my savings

there's got to be more

Dennis: Foolish kids, it not enough

There's no hope left

We gotta give up

It's useless, we're done

the story is through

there's nothing more that we can do

Bonnie/kids: There's got to be something that we can do

Dennis: It's over

B/k: It's not

Dennis: We're done

B/k: Don't give up

Dennis: But what can we do?

B/k: We're a family

Dennis: We try our best

all: we stick together when bad times hit

we're a family

we don't give up

we'll solve the problem, we'll stick together

(end with tag: we're a family)

Dennis:So what can we do?

Bonnie:We'll figure it out. Let's get some rest. We can

talk about it in the morning. (Bonnie and kids start


Dennis:(speaks tentatively - he is unsure of his suggestion)

I know what we could do. (all run back, "What, dad?",

("tell us," "do you have an idea?", etc.)

We could sell some of our land to the siting commission.

Bonnie:We can't do that Dennis.

Kids: No way, Dad. Bad idea. (etc.)

Dennis:We might have to Bonnie. Maybe there's no way around it.

Bonnie:(she is trying to be calm, attempting to be patient)

I am not going to sell our land so they can put in a

nuclear waste dump and poison all of us.

Dennis:(he is trying to convince her, she is getting angry)

But don't you see, if we sell the land we'll have

enough money to pay off the mortgage and all of our

other debts. We'll never have to worry any more.

Bonnie:(she is adamant and yelling by this point)

I don't care. The health of our children and our neighbors is too high a price to pay for

getting you out of debt.

Dennis: I don't care what you think, I think I'm gonna do it. And I can. The deed is in my name.

Bonnie:Children, go upstairs. (kids complain, "aw, mom," etc) Your father and I have some discussing to do. (children exit) Now you listen to me Dennis Trubeck! You are NOT selling OUR land to that siting commission.

Dennis: There's no discussing it. I'm selling and that's it.

Bonnie:Have you lost your mind? This is crazy Dennis. If you

do this, I'm taking the kids and leaving. I won't have

them living next door to a nuclear waste dump.

Dennis:You're blowing things out of proportion as usual. It's

not that dangerous. They told us they could store it

properly and monitor it. You're overreacting.

Bonnie:You have gone crazy. You're willing to believe that

crap just so you can feel good about selling out.

Dennis:Who are you calling crazy?

Bonnie:You, damn it, you ARE crazy. I don't even know you

anymore. What happened to the man who always put

his family first?

Dennis:I am putting you first. I want you to have a house to

live in.

Bonnie:Next to a nuke dump? So we can get cancer and still

have a cozy little home to die in?

Dennis:You're an idiot. You're just being an emotional

female. You're not approaching this logically at all.

Bonnie:(she is wounded, but still angry) I can't believe you just said that.

Dennis:Well it's true. I'm selling and there's nothing more

to say.

Bonnie:(she gives up arguing, but is still very angry) O.K., have it your way. I'm leaving with the kids. (calls upstairs) Emily, Randy, pack your bags, we're going to stay at Grandma's for a while.

Dennis:Fine, be stubborn. You'll come running back in no

time. And you'll be thankful I had enough sense to

sell some land and save our home. (he exits. Bonnie is angry at first, then collapses on to sofa, lights fade down to a tight spot)

SONG - Nuclear Waste Wasted our Family

Bonnie:Where did he go when he walked out on our family?

What did we do, when everything went wrong?

What can I say to put us back together?

It hurts so bad, we've been together for so long.

Nuclear waste, wasted our family

nuclear waste, wasted our love

nuclear waste, wasted our family

all I can do is pray to God above

There was a time when we would stick together

There was a time we could not be pulled apart

but now we've been through a nuclear fall out

and it's tearing, just tearing at my heart

Nuclear waste, wasted our family

nuclear waste, wasted our love

nuclear waste, wasted our family

all I can do is pray to God above

(music continues, Bonnie crosses to stairs)

O.K. kids, it's time to go.

(She crosses center, puts on coat, lights fade to blue, she sings):

so now we've been through a nuclear fall out

and all I can do is pray to God above

yes now we've been through a nuclear fall out

all I can do is pray to God above

(lights out)

Act I, Scene 3

Scene opens with curtain closed. Citizens coming down aisles with signs, masks, coffin, etc. There should be some newspaper

reporters present.

C = Citizen

C #1: Everybody take a sign.

C #2: (with bullhorn) O.K. Any one who does not want to

get arrested, you must stand on the side of the road.

Those willing to get arrested must wear armbands. And

remember, no violence of any kind. This is a

non-violent protest. We are here to protect Allegany

County, not start a war.

C #3: Hey, what are the masks for?

C #2: The masks are only to be worn by people who have been

trained in non-violent resistance.

C #1: Somebody help me pass these out (signs, flyers, etc.)

C #4: (rushes to help #1) When do you think those guys are gonna get here?

C #5: I heard they're already here.

C #6: Nah, we're out here for nothing. They're too chicken

to show up.

C #1: Did you hear Dennis Trubeck is selling his farm to

to the Siting Commission?

(General reactions: "He wouldn't do that," "traitor," "I can't believe it," "I heard his wife left him"...)

C G: (some people and kids gather around the lady with the guitar as she sings:)

SONG - Take Care of your Mother Earth

A steady voice burned through the clouds

it was clear and soft, its message loud

It struck like lightning, it knocked me down

"Take care of your Mother Earth"

Chorus: Mother Earth, oh Mother Earth

Take care of your Mother Earth (2x)

I dusted away nuclear danger

I washed away acid rain

I polished on civilization to make it safe again

Chorus: Mother Earth, oh Mother Earth

Take care of your Mother Earth (2x)

Tomorrow I'll rise with a smile on my face

knowing children can flourish in this

cleaned and polished place

Chorus: Mother Earth, oh Mother Earth

Take care of your Mother Earth (2x)

Yes I dusted away nuclear danger

I washed away acid rain

I polished on civilization to make it safe again

Chorus: Mother Earth, oh Mother Earth

Take care of your Mother Earth (2x)

Kids: a mighty voice danced through the clouds

it was joyful, clear and loud (2x)

Chorus: Mother Earth, oh Mother Earth

Take care of your Mother Earth (2x)

(as the song ends, there is some cheering, clapping and chatter)

C #2: (using the bullhorn) Move back everybody. We're bringing up the coffin now. Clear out of the way.

C #4: What's the coffin for?

C #5: It shows what they're trying to do to us. They

wanna kill us. They wanna destroy Allegany


C #8: Yeah, what do they think they're doing anyway?

C #9: I say we get out our guns and run that siting

commission off for good.

C #1: Yeah, let's get them rotten dogs.

C #5: A shotgun's too good for those SOB's.

Let's burn 'em alive.

C #7: This is war. We gotta do whatever it takes to beat 'em.

C #8: We didn't start this, but by God, we're gonna finish


(General agreement: "Yeah," "let's do it," "let's get them, where are they?" etc.)

C #2: Now remember folks, this is a peaceful protest.

There's not going to be any violence. Everything we

do has to be legal and peaceful and under control.

Remember who the bad guys are here (walkie talkie

squeaks). Well folks, they're on the site. Everybody remember what you're doing. Get the coffin over there. Remember, if you're willing to get arrested, come over this way and keep your armbands visible. If you don't want to get arrested, get off on the side of the road. Here they come folks.

(Curtains begin to open. Commissioners are on stage, armbanded citizens approach stage from aisles and surround them. There are deputies on stage as well)

SONG - God didn't make no Nuclear Waste

Billy Shear: Looky here stooge we got something for you

If you don't know it now, let me give you a clue

well we got you surrounded, gonna get in your face

God didn't make no nuclear waste

You come around here with your lies and that sucks

you thought you could buy us for a couple of bucks

you think we look angry, let us give you a taste

God didn't make no nuclear waste

Chorus: God didn't make no nuclear waste

God didn't make no nuclear waste

BillY: Take a look around, you ain't got a friend

everybody here will fight you 'til the end

we're loading up our rifles and our shotguns too

we've got plenty ammunition for the four of you

we're pickin' up sticks and we're pickin'up stones

we'll beat you to a pulp

and then we'll pulverize your bones

better start out running, you're gonna get chased

God didn't make no nuclear waste

God didn't make no nuclear waste

Chorus: God didn't make no nuclear waste

(repeat, get audience going, clapping etc. Suddenly, we hear a police siren, everything stops, freeze)

(Pushing/shoving scene. Music starts up very rapid. Lights and other effects should be used to convey the chaos of the scene. Commissioners try to leave; they are blocked by the citizens. The law begins to remove people, including those without armbands. Randy Trubeck tries to free Billy by pulling on him and ends up getting arrested himself. Randy gets pulled off stage left as his mother and sister are swept stage right by the crowd trying to escape.)

Emily: (shouting above the din) Mom, they've got Randy, mom what are we going to do?

Bonnie: Randy, Randy...

(Emily and Bonnie are pulled off stage right by the crowd as Randy and Billy are dragged off left by police as the curtain closes)


Sc. 1: (this scene should take place in front of the curtain so that the big bridge scene for the second scene can be set up behind the curtain. The setting is the office for CCAC - Concerned Citizens of Allegany County. There should be a sign with CCAC, some Bump the Dump flyers, stickers, an old desk and chair, table and chairs, file cabinet, telephone on the desk, stacks of newsletters, envelopes, etc. As the scene opens, several citizens are at a table, putting newsletters in envelopes. Paul Murphy is on the telephone)

C #2: (into phone) Well, thanks anyway Joe. I know you've been giving all you can. We'll make bail somehow. (hangs up phone, addresses the group stuffing envelopes) Does anyone have any ideas on who else we can call to raise money to get our people out of jail?

C #1: How much do we have so far?

#2: Enough to get eight of 'em out. But we need to

raise enough to get 'em all out.

#4: How about asking old man Gunner? He's got lots of


#5: Yeah, but he'd never part with any of it.

Bonnie:I wish I could come up with some of the money,

especially since Randy's one of the people who needs

the bail.

#2: Don't worry about it Bonnie. We'll come up with it

somehow. We're all doing our part. Things will work


Bonnie: It's just been so hard. Randy's in jail, Dennis and

I have split up, and sometimes it looks like the

Siting Commission is going to put a dump here no matter

what we do.

#4: I know it's been rough on you Bonnie. I just think...

#8: (running on stage) I went to see Cliff Billings and he

gave us the cash we need to get everybody out of jail (hands a bundle of money to #2, everybody reacts/cheers)

#2: This is great. I'll run right over to the jail. I want to get there before they close the office. (exits in a hurry)

#4: See Bonnie. Things are going to shape up.

Bonnie: Well, I'll feel a lot better when I see Randy come through that door.

Emily: Me too. (Bonnie hugs Emily)

(The phone rings. #8 answers and animates talking as the rest of the dialogue continues)

#3: Well, we've just about got this mailing done. Hopefully

this one will bring in as much money as the last one.

#5: I don't know. Last time the fire was hot and people

were really scared of the Siting Commission. I think

people think the fight is over now even though it's only the beginning.

#8: (hangs up phone) Well, that was Sara Horton calling

from Albany. She went up there Monday for the

Siting Commission's public meeting. They're

still interested in Allegany County and they're coming

to Caneadea tomorrow morning. (general reaction from

the group)

#1: What are we going to do?

#3: (gets out a clip board and goes down a check list)

Jackie, you call the newspapers to see if they've

gotten wind of this. (#8 gets on phone to call newspapers) Greg, you call the radio stations and see what they know.

#5: Right, I'll go home and make the calls now. (he exits)

#3: Sue, you need to get the phone chain started so we can get our people together.

#9: When should everyone meet?

#3: We'll need to find out exactly when the Siting Commission plans to be there and then you start making

the calls.

#8: Well, I talked to the folks at the paper and they hear

it will be early in the morning tomorrow. That's all

they know.

#9: I'll start making calls and just let everyone know it's

going to be early. You think we should meet around

6:00 a.m.?

#3: Let's plan on that for now, until we hear something

more definite.

#9: O.K. (#9 exits)

#1: We'll need to make some new signs. Some of the old

ones are starting to look pretty beat and...

(The people who got arrested, including Randy, enter. There is general commotion: "Great to have you back, how'd you make out in the slammer, etc.")

Bonnie:Oh Randy, are you O.K?

Randy: Well, I kinda freaked out, but it was also really cool that we stood up for ourselves.

Bonnie:Yes, but you weren't supposed to get arrested Randy.

Randy:But mom, when they tried to take Billy in, I got mad.

I didn't think it was fair what they were doing, so I

guess I just got caught up in it.

Emily: Well, I'm really glad they got you out.

Randy: Me too. I mean, talking to you and mom

through the bars of a cell was not exactly what I had in mind.

Bonnie:Did Dad come to visit you too?

Randy: Yeah, about a half hour after you and Emily left.

Bonnie:Did he say anything about selling the land?

Randy: We didn't talk about it much, but he did say he

thought it was terrible they were throwing

people in jail just to get their way.

Bonnie:Well, I hope he comes to his senses. Maybe he'll

realize if they can throw his own son in jail they'll

do anything to put that lousy dump here.

#3: (to #2 who just walked in) Hey Paul, Sara called from Albany and we're on the hot seat again. The Siting Commission is going to inspect the proposed site in Caneadea tomorrow morning. We've got a lot of work to do.

#2: Time to call out the troops. This time we're gonna

make such an impression that they won't come back.

SONG - They're Coming

(This song can be done in part unison, in part divided lines among the chorus. Staging should include people on the phone, people making signs, etc.)

They're coming, they're coming

The showdown could be anytime

We cannot let them cross our line

They're coming

They're coming, they're coming

We need to call our people in

We'll form our line, they cannot win

They're coming

They're coming, they're coming

We thought we'd shown them we would fight

but they might be here by tonight

they're coming

They're coming, they're coming

we'll block the roads, we'll wait and pray

and then we'll drive them all away

they're coming

They're coming, they're coming

we call out everyone in town

to bump the dump and shut 'em down

they're coming

They're coming, they're coming

We've laid our plans, we're ready now

we'll stop them dead and we know how

they're coming

They're coming, they're coming

Some of us will go to jail

but we all know we must not fail

they're coming

They're coming, they're coming

We will protect our home and lands

we won't submit to their demands

they're coming

They're coming, they're coming

We've waited for this day to come

but now it's here, I want to run

they're coming

They're coming, they're coming

We've worked so hard, it ain't no fun

if they force me to, I'll use a gun

they're coming

They're coming, they're coming

I can't believe that they don't care

they'll dump their poison anywhere

they're coming

They're coming, they're coming

We'll make our signs, we'll make a scene

so everyone knows just what we mean

they're coming

They're coming, they're coming

We'll call the papers and TV

We'll make sure everybody sees

they're coming

They're coming, they're coming

This will be the final show

we'll go as far as we must go

they're coming

They're coming, they're coming

The time has passed to talk and plan

we'll fight it out now, man to man

they're coming

They're coming, they're coming

We've tried to fight with letters and calls

but now it's time to form a wall

they're coming

They're coming, they're coming

We'll lock our arms, we'll plant our feet

a solid wall is what they'll meet

they're coming

They're coming, they're coming

They will not get away this time

The biggest stooge is mine, all mine

they're coming

("They're coming" repeats, fade to black as repeating)

Act II Scene 2 (Curtain opens on the bridge. Citizens of all ages are present. They have been waiting a long time. Three senior citizens are handcuffed to the bridge. Newspaper and television reporters arrive during the scene. Background music/clock ticking)

Child #1: Mom, how much longer do we have to wait?

Child #2: Yeah mom, I gotta go pee.

Mother: They should be here soon, kids. I know it's

been hard waiting, and you've been really good.

C #7: Why don't you let me drive them into town, Joan?

I can take them to the restroom in the library.

Mother: Thanks, Tony, I appreciate it. (children and Tony

exit stage right)

C #4: So when do you think they'll get here?

C #8: I don't know. They should have been here by now.

C #6: Would anybody like some coffee? I have a thermos

full. (several people get some)

C #5: It sure is cold out here.

Bonnie: Emily, can you go get a blanket out of the

car please?

Emily: Sure mom (she exits stage right)

#9: So Merle, how are you doing? Would you like some


C S: Thanks, dear, you're very sweet. (music begins)

You know, I've been sitting here thinking. It's

just so strange how things happen ...

SONG - How did this Happen?

All of my life I played by the rules

I've never spent a night in a jail

Now I've chained my life to this rusty old bridge

and I'm wondering if I've gotta make bail.

I never broke a single law

It took courage just to live the right way

but when the cops arrive on this chilly morning

I wonder if I'm brave enough to stay

CHORUS: How did this happen, what will they do?

What's goin' on here? I wish I knew.

I've never done a wrong thing in my life

I'm so clean that you can hear me squeak

But now I'm here waiting for a man with a gun

I'm so scared I can hardly speak

I never wanted any trouble at all

I'm old enough now to retire

but this nuclear dump has got me chained to a bridge

and my legs are so achy and tired

CHORUS: How did this happen? What will they do?

What's goin' on here? I wish I knew.

Nothing will ever be the same after this

I wonder if we'll end up o.k.

there isn't a person in the county I know

who doesn't feel kinda betrayed

The system has made criminals of everyone here

We didn't even know it at first

If we were believers, we've lost all our faith

The best of us suffer the worst

CHORUS: How did this happen? What will they do?

What's goin' on here? I wish I knew.

Emily: (runs in) They're coming - mom, there's all

kinds of cops and they're headed this way.

Bonnie: Calm down Emily, we're all ready.

C #2: (on bull horn) O.K. It's time folks. Those

with armbands stand in the middle of the road,

right behind the people who are chained to the

bridge. The rest of you stand off to the side of

the road. (citizens enter with casket, come down

aisle in audience as drummer does dirge roll.

Cops enter stage right. Casket is set down.

Everybody stops/silence.)

Lt. Steed: You people are blocking the road. You are in

violation of the law. You may not interfere with

the official government business of the siting

commission. Some of you are already under court

order to cease and desist your protest activities.

You must all clear the road or face charges of

obstructing governmental administration, punish-

able by a year in jail, a fine of $1,000 or both.

I advise you all to clear out now. (nobody moves)

You give me no other choice. (commands his force)

Attention! (all cops take out night sticks)

Ready. Forward. (Just as cops are about to move

Dennis runs in stage left, pushes his way through

the crowd, takes center stage between cops and


Dennis: Stop. This is all unnecessary. I have something

I have to say.

Lt. Steed: I don't want to hear it. You people have to

leave. (music begins)

Dennis: But this is our land, you've got to at least

listen to me.

SONG - This is Where it all Ends

Dennis:You can take your clubs and go home now

Take your signs and you do the same

Break it up before it gets ugly

This entire thing is insane.

There's no need for you to be fightin'

No need for any arrests.

No need for this confrontation

If it stops here that will be best

I'm the man who said he would sell now

I'm the one who makes all this true

But I'm backing out of this contract

So there's nothing more you can do

I won't turn my back on my family

I won't say good-bye to my friends

I won't sell out for your money

So this is where it all ends.

'cause there comes a time in each man's life

when he must choose what's wrong, what's right

The dump you want is evil

and I can't be part of your plan

When you came to me I was frightened

We were poor and the future looked bleak

Your money looked like the answer

to the prayers of a family in need

I decided to sell you my farmland

I thought it would help us get by

But your nuke waste wasted our family

and that's something your money can't buy

Take your money and leave us alone now

Take your science, your promises too

We don't want your nuclear waste now

and we don't want no part of you

I won't turn my back on my family

I won't say good-bye to my friends

I won't sell out for your money

So this is where it all ends.

There comes a time in each man's life

when he must choose what's wrong, what's right

The dump you want is evil

I can't be a part of your plan

(the song ends abruptly as the Lt. grabs Dennis and shouts his commands)

Lt: Ready. Forward. (cops move forward, Dennis gets

dragged to stage right - a holding area -

more arrests are made, including those chained to

the bridge. Underneath all this, a vamp starts

for We're Gonna Fight You. More people are taken

to the holding area, mob gets wilder, on the verge

of intense violence. Siting Commission enters,

perhaps down the aisle. Head commissioner

wrestles with C # 2 for the bullhorn. A cop

intervenes, commissioner takes possession.)

Com.: (through bullhorn) Please, may I have your

attention. I have an announcement that will

be of interest to everyone. (jeers and catcalls)

I have just come from a meeting with the

governor of our state. (more jeers) The governor

has studied the situation with siting a nuclear

waste disposal facility. He has given this

matter a great deal of thought.

C #7: Why doesn't he put it in his OWN backyard?

(crowd yells in agreement).

Com: Now please, let me finish. After studying the

matter with great care, the governor has decided

not to site a facility in an unwilling community.

C #6: Nobody's more unwilling than we are. (General reactions)

Com: When looking at the social, economic and

geographic considerations of siting a

facility, Allegany County seemed like an

appropriate location to investigate for a low level nuclear waste storage area. (the crowd is confused and some still angry) However, after more complete deliberation and investigation of the factors surrounding the siting of the facility in Allegany County, the governor has determined to suspend site characterization activities in this location.

C #1: What the hell did he just say?

C #7: It means they're going to build it here anyway.

C #8: No, I think they're NOT going to build it here.

C #3: (yells to commissioner) What does all that crap

you just said mean?

Com.: The State of New York will not, I repeat, will not

put a nuclear waste disposal facility in Allegany


(the crowd goes wild, cheering, etc.)

Com.: Those people arrested today will be released.

(cops let those out of holding area)

#2: What's going to happen with all the charges that

have been made?

Com.: No charges will be pressed. (muttering under his breath) I guess you NIMBYs got your

way. (hands bullhorn back to # 2, commissioners

exit, more general excitement from the crowd, people congratulate each other, hugs, the Trubecks

are reunited)

Dennis: (to Randy) So how's the jail bird?

Randy: I'm o.k., dad. How about you?

Dennis: (puts his arm around Bonnie) Doing great.

#2: Well, we did everybody (cheers from the crowd as

the music begins)

SONG - Lift up your Voices, Allegany

CHORUS: Lift up your voices, Allegany

Raise your standard high

Stand tall and strong, oh Allegany

Show the world your pride.

Emily: For Allegany's children

the future's looking good

we stand united, everyone,

united as we should

CHORUS: Behold your people, Allegany

standing strong and true

Neighbors, friends and families

we show our love for you

Randy & BillY:

We had to fight, protect our homes

As young men often do

CITIZENS: We took our chances every one

and somehow we came through

CHORUS: Come celebrate, oh Allegany

don't let memories fade

hold high the torch of history

pass on the truth we've made

Siting Commissioners:

Our hats are off to all of you

as we make our retreat

There is a power living here

we never thought we'd meet

CHORUS: So square your shoulders, Allegany

let fire glint our eye

We fought the foe with all we had

and now we watch him fly

Dennis & Bonnie:

Although sometimes our lives are hard

and we seem awfully poor

Family: our strength is in our families

our love helps us endure

CHORUS: (a capella)

Lift up your voices, Allegany

Raise your standard high

Stand tall and strong, oh Allegany

Show the world your pride

Behold your people, Allegany

standing strong and true

neighbors, friends and families

we show our love for you

(a beat comes in, reprise of "Take Care of your Mother Earth" into curtain calls)


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    • profile image

      Christina Arden 

      6 years ago

      Hi Anna,

      I just found you by chance. Wow! I'd actually forgotten about this show. I'm in Rochester, NY. Where are you? My email is Let's catch up!


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