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Plastic Drastic

When a colossal storm dumps a mountain of plastic trash onto their shoreline home, a young brother and sister are left alone to find their missing parents and fend for themselves. The boy and girl set out on the open sea where they encounter one gargantuan monster after another, but nothing is as terrifying as when they shipwreck upon the monster they unknowingly created themselves, The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Utilizing grand scale puppetry and original live music, Elena Araoz and team have created a theatrical spectacle unlike anything your family has ever seen.

  • Run Dates February 26 to March 13, 2016
  • Appropriate Ages 7+ years
  • Duration 60 minutes

Know Before You Go

It’s almost time for our next production, Plastic Drastic, a play with puppetry and live music about two young adventures lost after a tsunami of plastic in the ocean destroys their home! We’ve assembled some special information to help you and your family to get ready for the upcoming performance. Before you go to the show, you might want to take a few moments to review this “Know Before You Go” Guide so everyone will know what to expect from the performance!

The Characters You’ll Meet

  • Boy – A boy joined by his sister searching for his parents across the ocean and over mountains of forgotten discarded plastic items. He doesn’t really see any reason why you should keep things when their purpose is worn out. Boy is brave and likes to take action.
  • Girl – A girl joined by her brother searching for her parents across the ocean. She has always wanted a doll named Polly and all of the many accessories that go with that toy. Girl is a skilled sailor and likes to have a good plan thought out.
  • Polly – The larger-than-life monstrous version of a very popular toy doll that Girl has wanted for a very long time.
  • Mariner – A weary ocean traveler who is trying to collect all of the tiny pieces of plastic (called “Mermaid Tears”) that he dropped in the ocean. He wears an albatross that has passed away around his neck as a reminder of why he is trying to find these “tears.”
  • Albatross – A gigantic bird in search of food that has starting eating plastic it finds in the ocean instead. The plastic makes him sick but he has made a habit of eating it and is getting a taste for it.

The Story You’ll See

A brother and sister suddenly find their house bombarded by a large heap of trash and used plastic. Not knowing where their mother and father are after the disaster, they set across the ocean in a small raft in search of their parents only to find many more problems and obstacles in their way including: a monstrous gigantic talking doll, a mariner with a seemingly hopeless mission, a bloom of dangerous jellyfish, an upsetting albatross, a treacherous island of floating plastic debris, and a weary ocean crying out for help. After a perilous journey across this scorching, watery terrain, filled with dangerous obstacles, they discover that the many things they once loved and cherished but threw away are now poisoning our ocean. With such a large, dire, and overwhelming set of problems, will these two young adventures be able to find their parents, change their ways, and help save the world’s oceans before it is too late?

Be Aware

Here are a few things your family might like to “Know Before You Go”:

  • The “Boy” and “Girl” begin the story having been left on their own after an awful environmental disaster (a tsunami of plastic has crushed the family’s home) in which their parents have disappeared. Young audience members may be troubled by the abandonment and isolation Boy and Girl feel as they find themselves alone without anyone to care for them.
  • Plastic Drastic’s subject matter is the troubling environmental problem of how much plastic has ended up in our world’s oceans. The huge, tough-to-address nature of the problem and how our human habits have contributed to polluting our planet are big themes throughout the show. It may upset some children who worry a lot about the big problems we face in our future.
  • Animals getting sick and dying is definitely a part of this environmental fable. During the show it is mentioned that the albatross on the mariner’s back is dead and that if any of the animals or sea creatures ingest “Mermaid Tears” (an actual industry term for tiny bits of plastic waste in our oceans) they will get sick and die. If your child is particularly sensitive to such topics, you may want to prepare them.
  • There are a couple of frightening moments in the show where Boy and Girl end up in jeopardy facing life-or-death situations. Some of these scenes may frighten or upset some young viewers.
  • Some of the language of Plastic Drastic is shared through poetry and songs. Some detailed information about what is happening to Boy and Girl and voice of the ocean may be confusing for some younger audience members. You may want to discuss the play with your child after the performance to ensure that they were able to make sense of it and understand everything that was happening.


From Story to Stage: Playwright and/or Composer or Book Author

  • Plastic Drastic is a brand new play that was commissioned by The Rose Theater for a world premiere in Omaha. The script and the production have been in development here at The Rose for over a year, and The Rose teaching artist team worked with creator Elena Araoz here in Omaha several times as she was imagining the story and staging.
  • Elena Araoz is a stage director of theater and opera as well as an actress. As a director, she works internationally, Off-Broadway and across the country. The Drama League has recently named Araoz as the inaugural Beatrice Terry Artist-In-Residence at the Drama League.Also this season, Araoz is a 2050 Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop, where so far, she has written and developed her play Two Arms and a Noise, a physical theatre piece about the life of an indigenous Peruvian woman. (taken from:
  • The story structure of Plastic Drastic is loosely based on a classic Greek play called The Odyssey by Homer. In that story, the main character takes a long, meandering journey to get back to his family just like the Boy and Girl in this play.
  • All of the text and music for this production is brand new and was created just for this world premiere production at The Rose Theater.


Show tickets are available at Will Call, if not picked up earlier. Lobby doors will open 45 minutes prior to the show. Tickets that have not been claimed five minutes prior to the the show may be released or sold.


The Rose is surrounded by several metered parking spots, active from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The cost is $0.25 per hour or $10 per day. Metered parking is free on Sundays and holidays. Free parking is available in the Wells Fargo parking lot on the northwest corner of 20th and Farnam streets on weekends and after 5:30 p.m. on weeknights.


Everyone deserves a chance to experience the magic of theater. Performances are open to children and family members of all abilities. Click here to learn more about accessibility at The Rose.

Join Our Post-Performance Q&A Session!

A few minutes after the performance, our actors will conduct a Question & Answer session from the stage. It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the scenery, costumes, special effects, and other aspects of the production. The actors may even have a question or two for you about the story.

Meet the Cast & Get an Autograph!

Some performers will be available after the show to say hello, pose in pictures, and sign their autographs for you. You can meet them on the mezzanine level right outside the entrance to our balcony level seats.