A Donkey to Market Reader’s Theater Play Script for Kids ~ Sample

DON

Donkey to Market Reader’s Theater Script for Kids 

CHARACTERS

• NARRATOR
• DONKEY  (no speaking lines)
• GRANDSON
• GRANDFATHER
• FIELD OWNER; also VILLAGER #1
• GIRL AT THE WELL #1; also VILLAGER #2
• GIRL AT THE WELL #2; also VILLAGER #3
• GIRL AT THE WELL #3; also VILLAGER #4
• FARMER #1; also VILLAGER #5
• FARMER #2; also VILLAGER #6
• FARMER #3; also VILLAGER #7
• CUSTOMHOUSE OFFICER; also VILLAGER #8

Scene 1 – Outside grandfather’s home

[Stage Set: The  stage is divided into three sections.  The opening scene takes place at the very front of the stage.  The stage is divided into three sections – the first section is for Scene 2 and shows FIELD OWNER’S pastures and a well, the middle section is for Scene 3 and shows a Customhouse’s counter, and the 3rd section for Scene 4 shows the village of Kompang, with market stands and stalls.  (See Performance Notes for set ideas, and how to make the well, the Customhouse counter, the market stands and stalls.)]

[DONKEY is on all fours, milling around and pretending to graze.  

[NARRATOR enters.]

NARRATOR:
Hello, everyone.  Welcome to “A Donkey to Market,” a folk tale from Cambodia. That’s the donkey. (Donkey looks up, startled)  And there’s the market (gestures to the set of the village of Kompang) The story is brought to you by Stories to Grow by.  (Donkey shrugs and returns to grazing)  

[NARRATOR steps forward.]

NARRATOR:
Long ago in Cambodia, an old man once lived with his grandson.  Together they raised a baby donkey—that’s called a “foal” (pronounce: FOLE). When the foal grew up, it became a handsome animal with smooth, brown fur.  

[GRANDFATHER and GRANDSON enter.  They come to the front of the stage, in front of all of the set pieces.  GRANDSON is carrying a feed bucket and stalks of hay.]

GRANDSON:
Grandfather, please hand me some feed for the donkey.

GRANDFATHER:
Here you go. (pats Donkey) Just look at him. Our donkey is so plump and healthy.

[DONKEY acts proud and swishes her or his tail.]

GRANDSON:
Definitely! I have never seen a better-looking donkey.

GRANDFATHER:
Certainly makes you think about–

GRANDSON:
What?

GRANDFATHER:
Well the truth is, he would fetch a good price at market.

[DONKEY gasps and looks alarmed.]

GRANDSON:
What? We’re going to sell him?

GRANDFATHER:
 (pats Donkey) Not to worry, now.  You’ll have fun with your new owner.  

[DONKEY is skeptical.]

GRANDFATHER:
Maybe your new owner will have fields of spinach!

[DONKEY is VERY interested.]

GRANDSON:
Well, I’m going to miss this donkey—but if you’re sure we can find him a good home …

GRANDFATHER:
Yep. We’ll be sure of it.  But finding the right buyer won’t be easy.

GRANDSON:
Why is that?

GRANDFATHER:
Everyone in our village already HAS a donkey. (ponders in thought for a moment) You know, the village of Kompang (pronounce: KOM-pang) is far away. I’m guessing many families out there don’t have donkeys yet.  But how do we get our donkey all the way to Kompang without tiring him out? If he looks tired, he won’t fetch the best price.

GRANDSON:
(to Donkey) You’re a handsome guy, and we want you to look your best!

[Donkey beams.]

GRANDSON:
Grandfather! What if we walk next to the donkey instead of riding him? Then he won’t get too tired.

GRANDFATHER:
What a smart fellow! Just like your grandfather. Why not? We’re strong and healthy.  It’s a beautiful day to get started on a nice long walk.  Let’s do it!

GRANDSON:
Great! I’ll get him ready.

[GRANDSON picks up the rope and places it around DONKEY’s neck.]

GRANDSON:
(to Donkey) Ready?

[DONKEY nods.]

GRANDFATHER:
Let’s go!

[GRANDFATHER, GRANDSON and DONKEY walk in a big circle, staying in front of the set pieces, and head toward FIELD OWNER.]

[FIELD OWNER enters and stands out in front of the well pretending to do farm work.]

FIELD OWNER:
(calls to Grandson and Grandfather) Hey there! Be careful, you two! The field is full of thorns.

[As GRANDFATHER and GRANDSON cross the field, they say “Ouch!” and “Oh, my!” as they pretend to come upon thorns.]

FIELD OWNER:
(to Grandfather and Grandson) Didn’t you hear me tell you about the thorns? Yo! Shouldn’t at least ONE of you ride that donkey? Why suffer the thorns?

GRANDFATHER:
Maybe the fellow has a point. (gets stuck by a thorn) Ouch! All right, then. Grandson, why don’t you get up on the donkey? He’s not strong enough to hold us both, and you’re lighter. Go ahead, have a ride.

[GRANDSON pretends to get on DONKEY by straddling one leg over DONKEY, who remains on all fours, and then the other leg. Depending on the ability and inclinations of the actors, GRANDSON and DONKEY could move forward in a way such that when DONKEY walks ahead, GRANDSON also walks at the same pace. This way, it looks like GRANDSON is “riding” DONKEY.  Alternatively, GRANDSON could straddle DONKEY but then stand behind DONKEY. This also gives the appearance that GRANDSON is “riding” DONKEY as GRANDSON and DONKEY move forward together. GRANDFATHER holds the rope.]

GRANDSON:
Ahhh, this this sure beats walking! Are you sure you’re okay, Grandfather?

GRANDFATHER:
I’m fine, just fine. (gets stuck again by a thorn and shakes his hand in pain, but mutters under his breath so Grandson doesn’t hear)

[GRANDFATHER and GRANDSON exit.]

[FIELD OWNER exits.]

 

 

Scene 2 – Field

[Stage set:  This scene takes place on one side of the stage, an area that portrays a field.  If you have a painted backdrop, it shows trees in the background and fields in the foreground. A well for hauling water is also onstage. (See Performance Notes for suggestion on how to create a well.)]

[FARMER #1, FARMER #2, and FARMER #3 enter.]

[GRANDFATHER and GRANDSON enter on the side of FARMERS, who are all standing in the field. FARMERS are talking to each other in low voices.]

FARMER #1:
(voice heard above the others) It’s an outrage! You tell them.

FARMER #2:
Why should I? YOU tell them.

FARMER #3:
I can’t bear this another minute. I’LL tell them.

FARMER #2:
Good. You do that.

FARMER #3:
(approaches Grandson and Grandfather) Say, there.  Where are you two headed?

GRANDSON:
To Kompang.

FARMER #1:
(steps up) That’s a distance. And who is that older gentleman beside you?

GRANDSON:
My grandfather.

FARMER #1:
(voice laced with anger) Did you say your GRANDFATHER?

GRANDSON:
I… just said that?

[Gasps and more mumbling from FARMERS.]

FARMER #2:
(displeased)  You see nothing wrong with your actions, young man?

GRANDSON:
What do you mean?

FARMER #3:
You’re making your own grandfather walk behind! (to audience) WHAT is this world coming to? (to Grandson) Don’t you have any respect for your elders?

GRANDSON:
But my Grandfather said–

FARMER #2:
And now you’re blaming your own grandfather! This is too much!

GRANDSON:
Well, no, I mean… Well…  Grandfather, I think they’re right. I’ll get down. Please, get up on the donkey.

[GRANDSON pretends to climb down by stepping over DONKEY to be in front of it; now GRANDSON is facing the audience. GRANDFATHER steps over DONKEY until he is completely behind DONKEY.]

FARMER #2:
Well, YOU told HIM.

FARMER #3:
Why should I even have to TELL him? (arms upward) Kids today!

[FARMERS exit, slapping each other on the back.]

[GRANDFATHER, GRANDSON and DONKEY gather themselves and pretend to talk among themselves for a few moments while GIRL AT THE WELL #1, GIRL AT THE WELL #2, GIRL AT THE WELL #3 enter and gather around the well.  GIRLS pretend to talk happily among themselves.]

[GRANDFATHER, GRANDSON and DONKEY walk toward the well.  As they do, GIRLS AT THE WELL. GIRLS AT THE WELL speak the following lines quickly.]

GIRL AT THE WELL #1:
Who’s he?

GIRL AT THE WELL #2:
Who do you mean?

GIRL AT THE WELL #1:
That young man.  Do you know him?

GIRL AT THE WELL #2:
(looking) Wish I did – cute!

GIRL AT THE WELL #4:
Wait a minute!

GIRL AT THE WELL #1:
What?

GIRL AT THE WELL #4:
That cute young man is forced to walk behind his elder like a SERVANT.

GIRL AT THE WELL #3:
Is there no end to what grown-ups will make us do these days? (calls to Grandfather and Grandson) Good sirs, where are you headed?

[GIRLS swoon.]

[GRANDFATHER, GRANDSON and DONKEY reach the GIRLS AT THE WELL.]

GRANDFATHER:
We’re headed to Kompang to sell this donkey. (Donkey looks alarmed, then Grandfather says assuringly to Donkey) We’re finding you a good home, remember? (Donkey looks relieved, then Grandfather turns to Girls) But we still have a long way to go.

GIRL AT WELL #1:
(pointing at Grandson) Is that young man your servant?

GRANDFATHER:
Why no!  This is my grandson.

GIRL AT WELL #2:
Well, then, I don’t mind saying that you should be ashamed of yourself!

GRANDFATHER:
What? Have I offended you?

GIRL AT THE WELL #3:
HE (points to Grandson) doesn’t deserve to trudge behind you.  You’re treating him like a servant!!

GRANDFATHER:
Oh, I didn’t think of it that way! (to Grandson) Here. Why don’t we BOTH ride the donkey? Climb on up.

[GRANDSON straddles DONKEY.  Now both GRANDFATHER and GRANDSON are behind DONKEY. DONKEY groans under the “weight.”]

GRANDFATHER:
(to Donkey) You all right?

[DONKEY makes a noise as if trying to be obliging. DONKEY moves offstage. As DONKEY exits, walking on all fours, GRANDFATHER and GRANDSON likewise walk behind DONKEY as if they are both “riding.”]

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