According to Joan MacLeod, her play 2000 grew out of a story she read about a cougar that had wandered into a sports arena in Vancouver, BC: "I was intrigued by the notion of the wild invading the city and the city invading the wild, by the idea of things being not quite right in nature and the approach of the millennium."
In the play, the cougar appears to embody the precarious and increasingly circumscribed state ofnature. Each character relates to nature in a different way, whether it be with distrust, cynicism, awe or longing. The figure of the "Mountain Man," who has abandoned all of his civilized ways, even speech, to live among the animals of the forest, provides a meeting ground between humanity and nature. Like the cougar, increasingly crowded by a rapidly encroaching civilization, he scavenges what precious little remains of the beautiful animal in all of us.