Janet & Thomalyn (Tam Lin TamLane) Story

Janet & Thomalyn (Tam Lin Tamlane) ~ Reader’s Theater Script No Reviews Posted.

Janet & Thomalyn Reader's Theater Play Script for Kids 

CHARACTERS

  • NARRATOR
  • Fairy #1
  • FAIRY #2
  • FAIRY #3
  • EARL
  • JANET
  • THOMALYN
  • FAIRY QUEEN

Scene 1 - Castle

[Stage Set:  The entire stage is a forest. If you can paint a backdrop, show trees, flowers, etc.  More on the forest set in Scene 2.]

[The play opens in the castle - a pop-up scene that takes place in front of the forest set.  Place a throne in the castle area.  You can cover a chair with nice fabric, and wrap the chair legs with gold aluminum foil.]

[NARRATOR enters.]

NARRATOR:

This play takes place in Carterhaugh (pronounce: COT-er-haw) - that’s a real woodland that exits near Selkirk in Scotland. The story is “Janet and Thomalyn” and it’s brought to you by Stories to Grow by.

[EARL enters and sits on his throne.]

NARRATOR:
That’s the Earl of Caterhaugh.  He owns all of the land surrounding his castle, including the woods.  He’s made it very clear, however that –

EARL:
(stands) No one is to enter the Carterhaugh woods anymore!  It is forbidden. (sits back down)

NARRATOR:
The reason being, there was an incident with the Earl’s apprentice.  He went in as a young man, came out as a goat.  Fairies can do that.  They may be beautiful, but watch out!

[JANET enters, wearing a green hooded cape.]

NARRATOR:
That’s Janet, daughter of the Earl. What’s she up to?

[JANET sees her father, the EARL, and quickly turns to walk away,     trying to be sneaky. EARL notices her.]

 EARL:
Janet!  Just where do you think you’re going?

NARRATOR:
That’s my cue!

[NARRATOR exits.]

JANET:
Um… I was just thinking maybe I would take a walk…

EARL:
You’re not thinking about taking a walk into the woods, are you?  (pause) Janet?!

JANET:
Well, I don’t see what the big deal is! We can’t let fairies scare us. You’re the Earl, we own all this land  -

EARL:
Janet, think about it.  You’re off your head!  Do you think fairies care who owns the land?

 JANET:
But, Father–!

EARL:
I said NO. Now no more on this.  I won’t hear another word!

[EARL exits.]

JANET:
AAUGH! I hate it when he orders me around like that.  I’m no longer a child - I’m 17 years old!  And someday, I’ll be a countess!

[JANET sits in the throne and pretends to be in charge.]

JANET:
I hereby declare that the Carterhaugh woods are free and open to all!

[FAIRIES stick their heads out from behind trees.]

FAIRIES #1-#3:
(whisper) Janet!  Janet!

[FAIRIES hide.]

JANET:
I’m sure the fairies won’t mess with me, countess-to-be.  Besides, that goat thing was a fluke.  Why does everyone get so excited?

[JANET exits.]

[FAIRIES enter.]

FAIRIES #1-#3:
Hee, hee hee!

[FAIRIES exit.]

Scene 2 - Forest

[Stage set: Several cardboard trees and a few rose bushes.  There is a large rock at the front of the stage. (See Performance Notes for suggestions on making the trees, the roses bushes, and a rock).]

[JANET enters.]

JANET:
(takes a deep breath)  Mmmh!  I’d know that aroma anywhere.  (turns to the roses) There they are!  Such lovely roses!  I’ll bring a few back to the castle.

[JANET bends down and pretends to cut some roses (See Performance Notes for ideas on simulating her cutting roses).  She becomes so entranced in her job that she does not notice THOMALYN, an elf and FAIRY #1 enter.]

FAIRY #1:
(shocked) Look!  A mortal girl is picking the Fairy Queen’s royal flowers!

THOMALYN:
So that’s a mortal girl!  It’s been so long since I’ve seen one.

FAIRY #1:
Of course it’s a mortal girl!  Look at those round ears.  And how she wears a cape!  No fairy would go out among proper company in a cape like that.  No style at all.

THOMALYN:
(entranced) She is lovely, isn’t she?!

FAIRY #1:
What?  Whatever.  I’m going to turn her into a pig! (raises arm)

THOMALYN:
Wait, stop!

FAIRY: #1
(with arm still raised, ready to cast a spell) Why?  It’s not like there’s anything else to do.

THOMALYN:
(steps in front of her) Because umm… it’s…um…my job to protect the royal gardens, yes, that’s right!  This is my jurisdiction, not yours!

FAIRY #1:
(lowers arm) Oh, very well!  But you’d better not leave this mortal girl alone in the forest, or one of us fairies is likely to pigify her.  When you’re not looking!

[FAIRY #1 exits.]

[THOMALYN crosses toward JANET.]

THOMALYN:
So you like roses?  Roses that don’t belong to you?

[JANET turns around, startled.]

JANET:
Oh!  Who are you?  And why do you say these roses don’t belong to me?  (with pride) My father, the Earl, owns this very forest.

 THOMALYN:
(bows lightly) My name is Thomalyn (pronounce: TOM-a-lin).  I guard this forest for the Fairy Queen.  (leans forward and whispers urgently) And as far as she’s concerned, these roses are not yours, or your father’s.

JANET:
(loudly) Well… no matter what you say, I don’t for a minute believe –

 THOMALYN:
(more urgently) You have to understand.  Picking these roses is a crime in the fairies’ land.

JANET:
(loudly) I never heard of that.

THOMALYN:
(whispers) Hush.  The fairies don’t care if mortals know about their laws.

JANET:
Well then, why should we humans care about them?

THOMALYN:
Because they uphold their laws, and you’re in their territory now.

JANET:
(suddenly worried) Oh, my!  Will I be turned into a goat?

THOMALYN:
Not if I can help it.  Look, hand the roses back to me.  I’ll give the bouquet to the Fairy Queen and tell her I picked the roses for her, as a gift.  She doesn’t need to know about anything else.

JANET:
Okay.  (hands Thomalyn the roses)  By the way, my name is Janet.  I didn’t know fairies could look like you.  Like a human, I mean.

THOMALYN:
I’m no fairy.  I’m an elf.  (touches ears that are sharp and peaked)

JANET:
Well, other than THAT, you could have fooled me.  Say, what flowers in the forest can I pick without running into those fairy laws of yours?

THOMALYN:
There are some poppies further into the woods. The Queen doesn’t care for orange, so those flowers should be safe to pick.

JANET:
Ooooh, I love poppies! Will you take me there?...uh?

THOMALYN:
Tomalyn.

JANET:
(nods) Thomalyn, take me there, okay?

THOMALYN:
We better not. The deeper into the forest we go, the more likely we are to run into fairies.

JANET:
Oh, come on, no one will see us!  And besides, what’s the point of knowing they’re safe to pick if I can’t pick them?

THOMALYN:
(looks at Janet who has an expression that reads “please!”) Oh very well, we’ll go.  But you must stay by my side at all times.

JANET:
(to audience)  How enchanting, I’ve never had an elf as an escort before!

[They exit.]

 

Scene 3:  Forest

[Stage Set: Same as in Scene 2, but STAGE HANDS remove the rose bush and bring on a throne for the FAIRY QUEEN. This should be a light weight wooden chair, with ribbons and flowers tied and glued onto it. (See Performance Notes for further suggestions on   making the throne.)

[FAIRY #1, FAIRY #2, and FAIRY #3 come flying out of the woods.  FAIRY # 1 and FAIRY #2 are laughing.]

FAIRY #3:
What’s so funny?

FAIRY #1:
Haven’t you heard?  Thomalyn’s in love.

FAIRY #2:
He thinks we don’t know!  But it’s all we’ve been talking about!

FAIRY #3:
You two need to get a life.

FAIRY #1:
You should see!  Whenever she comes to the forest, he sighs like a maiden.

[FAIRY #1 imitates THOMALYN in a crestfallen posture and sighing deeply.  FAIRIES crack up laughing.]

FAIRY #3:
Does the Queen know he’s taken with a mortal girl?

FAIRY #1:
Of course not!  And no one must tell her!

FAIRY #2:
You know how the Queen gets about mortals.  She must never find out!

FAIRY QUEEN:
(from offstage)  FIND OUT WHAT?!

[FAIRY QUEEN enters.  All FAIRIES bow down before her.]

FAIRY QUEEN:
Well?

FAIRY #1:
Oh, Your Majesty, you caught us!  We were planning… um, we were planning… a special gift for you for Samhein (pronounce:  SAM-hine) Eve, coming up.

FAIRY QUEEN:
(much nicer now)  Were you?  How terribly kind of you to do that.  (sits in her throne) What type of gift?

FAIRY #2:
It’s supposed to be a surprise.

FAIRY QUEEN:
I don’t like surprises.

FAIRY #1:
It’s candy, your highness!  We know you have a sweet tooth.

[FAIRY #1 and FAIRY #2 give each other a high-five, out of sight of FAIRY QUEEN.]

FAIRY QUEEN:
Ah, how nice!  And what a coincidence.  I actually came to speak to you about Samhein Eve.

FAIRIES:
Oh?

FAIRY QUEEN:
This year, I have a plan.  There’s no way our powers will be, in any way, uh, adversely affected.

FAIRY #1:
(to audience)  Meaning, we lose our powers at Samhein Eve.

FAIRY #2:
(to audience)  You know, Samhein Eve?  You guys call it “Halloween.”  When all the monsters, goblins and witches come out.

FAIRY #1:
(to audience)  For us, that’s when we come out to ward off the spirits that could sap our strength.

FAIRY QUEEN:
If all goes as planned, we will be stronger than ever! We must do this right.  Starting with our procession.

FAIRY #2:
What will the order be this year? I imagine you’ll go first as always, on your black horse.

FAIRY QUEEN:
Obviously.

FAIRY #3:
Who will go next?

FAIRY QUEEN:

Well, how about you?

FAIRY #3:
(bows) It’s too much of an honor for me.

FAIRY QUEEN:
True.  But some fairy has to ride the brown horse second.  It might as well be you.

FAIRY #3:
(to audience) Glad she thought long and hard about that.

FAIRY #1:
And will Thomalyn ride the third horse, the white one?

FAIRY QUEEN:
Ah, Thomalyn, the key to our success!  This is the seventh year he has been with us.  He’s ripe now for the sacrifice that will strengthen our powers more than ever!

[FAIRIES clap and celebrate.]

FAIRY QUEEN:
Speaking of which, where is that elf?  I haven’t seen him since he gave me those roses a few days ago.

FAIRY #1:
I believe he’s out protecting your gardens, Your Majesty.

FAIRY QUEEN:
Not the hardest job.  Very well.  Inform him when you see him he is to ride third in the processional.

FAIRY #1:
Yes, Your Majesty.

FAIRY QUEEN:
And I hope I don’t have to tell you - you don’t need to mention the rest of it.

[FAIRIES bow, and exit in various directions.]

 

Scene 4 - Forest

[Stage set: Same as in Scene 3, but STAGE HANDS remove the throne and bring on the orange poppies (See Performance Notes for suggestion on creating the poppies and making them easy to move.)]

[JANET and THOMALYN enter, arm in arm.]

JANET:
Oh, Thomalyn!  These last few days have been wonderful!

THOMALYN:
Janet, being with you is more magical than anything in Fairy Land.

JANET:
And the summer’s just started! We will spend all summer together!

THOMALYN:
Ah…! (looks downward)  Actually…

JANET:
Actually, what?

THOMALYN:
Unfortunately, I mean …

JANET:
What? Is it because you’re an elf?  I don’t care about that.  (strokes one ear)  I think your ears are cute.

THOMALYN:
It’s not that.  (sighs)  How do I tell you?  You see, the truth is, I overheard the fairies talking.  Come Sanheim Eve, it’ll be the time for me to…

JANET:
To what?

THOMALYN:
I’m to be sacrificed!

JANET:
WHAT?!

THOMALYN:
(dramatically) What a journey it’s been for me!  Born a human, knighted even.  Then captured by the Fairy Queen and turned into an elf, her servant evermore.  All of this, only to be sacrificed on Samhein Eve!

JANET:
But TONIGHT is Samhein Eve.  You can’t mean that you’re going to be sacrificed TONIGHT?

THOMALYN:
That’s it.

JANET:
No!  It can’t be!  There must be some way to make this all go away.

THOMALYN:
No way worth speaking of.

JANET:
Wait, what?  There’s a way (air quotes with fingers) “worth speaking of”?

THOMALYN:
Forget I said anything.

JANET:
You must tell me, Thomalyn.  I insist!

THOMALYN:
I’m sorry I mentioned it.  It’s too dangerous for you!

JANET:
Too dangerous? You’re about to be sacrificed! Come on, if I don’t at least try to help you, I’ll never be happy again!

THOMALYN:
You’ll get over it.

JANET:
Never!  I’ll never be happy again.  You must tell me how I can help you!

THOMALYN:
Oh, Janet! Very well. Listen carefully. Tonight there will be a procession of fairies riding horses.  They will ride to a place called Miles Cross where there will be a circle of stones.  And that’s where I’ll be sacrificed.

JANET:
Oh!

THOMALYN:
Janet, right at the circle of stones, just before I’m sacrificed, the powers of the Fairy Queen are weaker.

JANET:
Then that’s the time I must act!  I’ll come and snatch you away!

THOMALYN:
You think that’s all there is to it?

JANET:
Just tell me.

THOMALYN:
First, you must hide when the procession goes by.  There’s a very wide tree by the circle of stones –hide behind there.  Let the first horse, a black one, pass by. That will be the Queen. Let the second horse, a brown one, pass by, too.  Don’t come out from hiding until you see the third horse–a milk-white steed. That’s the horse I’ll be riding.  When you see it, jump out and quickly pull me down.  Pull me behind the tree and hide me there.

JANET:
That’s it?

THOMALYN:
That’s when it all BEGINS.  When you’re holding me behind the tree, hold me tight and not let go.

JANET:
I can do that.

THOMALYN:
The Fairy Queen will use her magic to make it look like I’m one horrible beast after another in order to scare you!  It’ll be hard to hold on, maybe impossible.  But if somehow, you manage to, that’s the trick!  No harm will come to you, nor I, and I'll be a mortal again.  Forever.

JANET:
I can hold on, Thomalyn.  I must!

[A bell is heard.]

THOMALYN:
It is time!  I must go. Remember - Miles Cross. The white horse. And above all, don’t let them see you!

JANET:
I’ll do it!

[They exit in opposite directions.]

 

Scene 5 - Miles Cross

[Stage set: Same as in Scene 4, but poppies are removed and a wide tree is brought on (See Performance Notes on how to create the wide tree.)   Trees are decorated with paper chains and other things to make the stage look festive. (See Performance Notes for ideas on decorating the stage).  STAGE HANDS also bring on a few large rocks and place them in a “circle” in front of the trees, in the area where the throne was in Scene 1.]

[FAIRY QUEEN enters on her black horse, followed by FAIRY #1 on the brown horse.  (It’s suggested the actors use “hobby horses” – simply a stick with a horse’s head.  See Performance Notes for further detail on how to simulate the horses.)]

[JANET enters and hides behind the wide tree at Miles Cross. She carries a bag which hides three props from view: a bear mask, a lion mask, and a dragon mask.]

FAIRY QUEEN:
Ah, Miles Cross! (to Fairy #3) Well, Thomalyn’s time has come!

 FAIRY #3:
A noble plan, Your Majesty!  As soon as we sacrifice the elf, our powers will be stronger than ever!

 FAIRY QUEEN:
Let’s go!

[A bell rings three times. THOMALYN enters on the white horse, followed by the rest of the FAIRIES on foot.  All FAIRIES should add something to their costumes to make them look more festive (See Performance Notes for costume suggestions).]

[FAIRY QUEEN “rides” past the wide tree and around the circle.  Then FAIRY #3 “rides” the same way.  Last, THOMALYN “ride” his horse past the tree. At that moment JANET runs out from behind the tree and grabs THOMALYN off his horse. (Remember, it’s all pretend. JANET should “pull” THOMALYN to the side, and THOMALYN will act as if he’s off his horse.)]

FAIRY QUEEN:
(roars)  What is going on?!

FAIRY #1:
That mortal girl has grabbed Thomalyn!

FAIRY #2:
She’s trying to ruin the procession!

FAIRY QUEEN:
She DID ruin the procession! Surround them!  (Fairies do as their told)  You think you can save him?  Try the hot breath and teeth of a ferocious BEAR!

[During the confusion and while hidden from view by the encircling FAIRIES, THOMALYN has put on the bear mask.  When he stands up and roars, FAIRIES separate so the audience can see THOMALYN as a bear, and JANET, struggling to hold onto him.]

THOMALYN:
GRAAAAArRRRR!

JANET:
Those teeth!  I must hold on, I must!

[FAIRIES surround JANET and THOMALYN so the two of them are hidden from view again.]

FAIRY #3:
She’s still holding on!

FAIRY #2:
No mortal girl can keep this up!

FAIRY #1:
Your Majesty, try another one.

FAIRY QUEEN:
Let’s see how she does against the king of all beasts!

[THOMALYN has changed masks.  FAIRIES part so THOMALYN as a LION is visible to the audience.  He acts fearsome and JANET struggles to hold on.]

THOMALYN:
ARRRGHH!

JANET:
I can smell his breath!  (turns away)  I can’t look!

[Again, JANET and THOMALYN fall behind the FAIRIES.]

FAIRY #3:
She’s still holding on, Your Majesty!

FAIRY #1:
Something else!

FAIRY QUEEN:
This will do it - a dragon!

[THOMALYN has changed masks, once again.  He seems to be charging at Janet while she tries hard to hold fast.]

THOMALYN:
HISSSSSSSS!

JANET:
Oh, that tongue!  Please let this be over soon!

[Again, the two fall behind the FAIRIES.]

FAIRY #3:
She has to give in soon!

[The bell rings three more times.]

FAIRY QUEEN:
NOOO!!!  Samhein Eve is over.  That blasted mortal girl kept holding on!  Our chance for a sacrifice is over.  My powers will winnow away!

ALL FAIRIES:
(holding onto their heads)  Ours, too!  NOOO!

[THOMALYN helps JANET to her feet.  THOMALYN now has regular, human ears (See Performance Notes for how to make removable elf ears).]

THOMALYN:
Janet, you did it.  I’m free!

JANET:
I was so scared!

THOMALYN:
But you held on!

FAIRY QUEEN:
What do I do now?

JANET:
(to the Queen, and gathering her strength) I would LEAVE if I were you!  Now that your powers are gone, I’ll have my father the Earl send his army to clear out this forest.  You’d best not be here when he does!

[All the FAIRIES leave screaming.  FAIRY QUEEN stops and turns around.]

FAIRY QUEEN:
I shall have my vengeance on you!

JANET:
(holding up her fists)  Make my day!

[FAIRY QUEEN keeps running.]

JANET:
We must go tell my father!

THOMALYN:
Yes!  But first, a question.

JANET:
What?

THOMALYN:
(spins around) How do you like me as a human?

JANET:
Well, you’re probably more presentable for when you meet my father, the Earl.

THOMALYN:
My thought exactly.  Let’s go.

[JANET stops.]

JANET:
Though I will miss one thing.

THOMALYN:
The poppies?

JANET:
No.  (strokes Thomalyn’s ear)  Those cute ears.

[JANET and THOMALYN exit, arm in arm.]

[NARRATOR enters with a rose.]

NARRATOR:
And so our story ends.  Janet held onto Thomalyn, and I think I’ll hold on to this rose.  Or better yet.  (throws rose to audience) Now.  As they say in Scotland, Guid efternuin (pronounce: gwid eff-ter-noo-in).  Good afternoon.

[Note- if the play is performed in the evening, Narrator to say: “Guid nicht (pronounce: gwid nit).  Good night.]

[NARRATOR exits.]

[If you have a curtain, close it now. All actors come on stage and bow to the audience.]

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The Fisherlad and the Mermaids Ring Story

The Fisherlad & the Mermaid’s Ring ~ Reader’s Theater No Reviews Posted.

fisherlad mermaid

The Fisherlad and the Mermaid's Ring Reader's Theater Play Script 

 

CHARACTERS

  • NARRATOR
  • HAMISH (pronounce: HAY-mish)
  • HARBORFOLK (x4)
  • BONNIE
  • FIONA                                                                           
  • HEATHER
  • SORCHA (Pronounce: SORE-shah)
  • MORAG (Pronounce: MORE-agg)

 

 

Scene 1 – HARBOR

 

[Stage set: The stage is divided into two sections.  On one side is the HARBOR and on the other side is an Island.  (More detail on the Island in Scene 2.)]

[The play opens at the HARBOR.  A set of dilapidated wooden piers are surrounded by green waves (See Performance Notes for ideas on how to achieve this effect.)]

NARRATOR:
Hello, everyone.  This is a play from Scotland called “The Fisherlad and the Mermaid’s Ring.”  It’s brought to you by Stories to Grow By.

[NARRATOR steps forward.]

[BONNIE, FIONA, and HEATHER enter and gather together in pretend conversation.]

NARRATOR:
G’mornin’, lads and lassies, and welcome to the chilly harbors of bonnie Scotland!  These piers find themselves filled to their damp edges with sea-hardened harbour men and women making their livings catching fish out on the waves.

[HARBORMAN #1, HARBORMAN #2, HARBORMAN #3, and HAMISH enter with fishing nets.  BONNIE, FIONA and HEATHER watch them and giggle.]

HARBORMAN #1:
I can hear the sea lions.

HARBORMAN #2:
Aye, they’re out there catching our fish!

HARBORMAN #3:
Well we better be gettin’ on with it, then.

[HARBORMAN #1-#3 exit.  HAMISH lingers behind.]

FIONA:
Och! Heather! Are ye seein’ the way that young man’s looking at Bonnie?

HEATHER:
Aye, Fiona! He’s really giving her the eye. Not that she notices.

BONNIE:
What are you two talking about?

HEATHER:
The young men follow you like a Shetland pony, that they do.

BONNIE:
(tosses head)  I know it.  It’s such a nuisance!

[FIONA, HEATHER and BONNIE giggle.]

NARRATOR:
They got it right, though.  Over there is Hamish, poor soul.  Head over heels for that bonnie lass.  What’s her name, laddie?

HAMISH:
Bonnie!

NARRATOR:
No, I mean the bonnie lass.

HAMISH:
Bonnie!

NARRATOR:
What, the bonnie lass is called Bonnie?  That’s a bit repetitive, isn’t it?

HAMISH:
You be quiet!  Bonnie’s the fairest and loveliest girl in the harbor, anyone can see that!

NARRATOR:
Hmm, which one is she, again?

HAMISH:
Bah!  Shoo yourself, this has nothing to do with you.

NARRATOR:
Ehhr…right.  I was just moving on.

[NARRATOR exits.]

HAMISH:
You know what?  I’ve spent too long thinking about her and not doing anything about it. Today’s the day I turn everything around!

[HAMISH marches up two steps toward BONNIE, then suddenly stops and faces the audience, alarmed.]

HAMISH:
What am I doing?  There’s no way I can actually TALK to her!  (turns to another part of audience, then shakes arm upward in resolve)  No, I will do it!  I WILL!

[HAMISH marches up to BONNIE and her friends.]

HAMISH:
Bonnie!

[FIONA and HEATHER giggle.]

BONNIE:
Ah, hi there… Um, what’s your name again?

HAMISH:
Hamish.  (awkward silence) Umm, could I talk to you… alone?  Just for a second?

[FIONA and HEATHER giggle and exit.]

BONNIE:
What’s up?  Umm…  Your name again?

HAMISH:
Hamish.  Well, I… uh… I… uh…

BONNIE:
What?

HAMISH:
I was wonderin’… if, y’know…

BONNIE:
I don’t know, what is it?  (awkward silence)  Ah, yer aff yer heid!

HAMISH:
What I’m trying to say is…

[HAMISH gets down on one knee.]

BONNIE:
Oh, dear.  You fell down.  Here.  (extends hand to Hamish)

HAMISH:
No, the only thing I’ve fallen for … is you!

[NARRATOR enters and sees HAMISH.]

NARRATOR:
Oh, no!  He didn’t!  Not that!

BONNIE:
Hamish, you can’t think I–

HAMISH:
Let me finish!  (pulls out a simple ring)  Bonnie, marry me and make me the happiest man alive!

BONNIE:
What?  Hamish- I don’t really know you.

HAMISH:
And I don’t really know you.  But I DO know we’re meant to be together!  Marry me, and you’ll see-

BONNIE:
Hamish, no.

HAMISH:
You don’t mean “No” as in (airquotes) “No”?

BONNIE:
Yeah, I mean (airquotes) “N0” as in “No!”

HAMISH:
Oh!  Well, okay.  Maybe today wasn’t the best day to ask you.  (stands up and wipes his face off)

BONNIE:
Listen.I’m not going to up and marry a lad who shows up all of a sudden and asks.

HAMISH:
Well then… I mean…. (looks around)  At least no one was around to see this.

[HARBORMAN #1-#3, FIONA and HEATHER enter suddenly and burst into laughter at HAMISH.  BONNIE awkwardly smiles and shrugs.]

HAMISH:
Ach! I can never show my face here again!  (sees Narrator) You!  Help me! Quick, where can I go?

NARRATOR:
So NOW you’re interested in what I have to say.

HAMISH:
HELP ME!

NARRATOR:
Well, I know of one island off the coast from here with fresh water, that-a-way (points), but it’s pretty remote, empty really…

HAMISH:
Perfect!  The emptier, the better!  All I need is my raincoat, a few things and my boat, and I’ll be on my way.  Can’t stay here another moment!

[HAMISH runs offstage.  Everyone else, still chuckling, follows him offstage.]

NARRATOR:
That could have gone better.  Poor Hamish.  He has a long journey to the Island.  Hopefully the lad will find some peace there.  And something to eat.  Speaking of which, it’s lunchtime for me!  Neeps and tatties, my turnips and potatoes, here I come!

[NARRATOR exits.]

 Scene 2 – Island

[Stage set: The edge of an island with a cliff dropping into some light waves.  (See Performance Notes for suggestions on how to achieve this effect.)]

[NARRATOR enters, looking full, hand on stomach.]

NARRATOR:
(speaking to self)  Oh, I am stuffed!  (notices audience and straightens up) You know, being a traveling narrator isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  Well anyway, here’s the island, just as dull and lifeless as I remember it.  This is where our lovesick young laddie is headed  (to self)  Hmm, he should have been here by now…

[HAMISH enters, “sailing” in on a boat from opposite side.  (See Performance Notes for how to construct boat and create the effect of sailing.)]

HAMISH:
Well, this must be it.  (looks about) Gosh, this place is quiet.  (listens a moment to the silence) Nothing’s going on at all.

NARRATOR:
I tried to warn him-

HAMISH:
It’s PERFECT!

NARRATOR:
Right- I knew he’d love it!

HAMISH:
Nobody knows me here, and I can live out the rest of my days in peace!  (climbs out of the boat onto the land and stretches) I will certainly sleep well tonight.  (stretches)

NARRATOR:
That will have to be under the stars, given the lack of accommodations around here.

HAMISH:
(looks around)  But WHERE will I sleep?  I’ll guess I’d better build myself a home.  A little island shack, if you will.

[HAMISH starts “building” the house.  He does this by lifting a cardboard cut-out of a house off of the ground and propping it up.  (See Performance Notes on how to construct the house and how to prop it up.)]

NARRATOR:
Wow- He’s a lot better at building with logs and sticks than he was with a certain bonnie lass.

HAMISH:
(looks around)  Did I hear something?

NARRATOR:
He can’t hear me here. (admires house)  Hmm.  Not bad.

HAMISH:
Not bad, if I say so myself.  Well!  I’ve worked up an appetite.  Now, what’s for dinner?

[HAMISH takes a fishing net out of his “boat”, sits on the edge of left side of the set and throws the bulk of the net offstage, while holding onto a long piece of rope or string (See Performance Notes for how to make the net).  After a few seconds, SORCHA, a mermaid, screams from off stage.]

HAMISH:
Caught one!  Wait a moment, fish don’t scream… do they? Maybe it’s the air escaping.

[When he pulls the net in, SORCHA is trapped inside.  (HAMISH pretends to “pull” her in, but SORCHA has put a net over herself and waddles onstage as if caught.)]

SORCHA:
Ach!  What’s going on?  Help me!

HAMISH:
Och!  It’s some kind of… sea woman?  Fish lady?  Scale girl?

SORCHA:
I’m Sorcha, the Mermaid Princess of the sea, ye bawheid (bore-hide) dafty!  And you’ve trapped me in yer glaikit (glay-kit) net!

HAMISH:
A mermaid, caught in my net!  (to audience) You know what this means, don’t you?  I’ve heard the tales.  This is my chance for a wish!  (to Sorcha) Since you’re a mermaid and all, what will you give me if I set you free?!

SORCHA:
Jings, fine – my dad’s the King of the Sea. I can give ye a chest of gold coins –

HAMISH:
No, no, not interested.  Of what good are a few coins here?

SORCHA:
Fine, ye greedy bampot!  Riches, beyond ye wildest dreams!

HAMISH:
Of what good are riches here?  Naw, I know what I want.  I know it right clear as day.

SORCHA:
Ah, fer goodness sake, surely not that bonnie lass!

HAMISH:
Wha-?  How did you know?

SORCHA:
You think we don’t talk about you land folks out in the sea?

HAMISH:
What do you know about the bonnie lass?

SORCHA:
About how ya asked her to marry ya and she said Naw!

HAMISH:
Och, great!  Now they’re laughing at me under the sea, too!

 SORCHA:
But this lass – what makes her so special?  Why her?

HAMISH:
I have my reasons!

SORCHA:
Do ye even know her, laddy?

HAMISH:
I know we’re meant to be together!

SORCHA:
If you say so.  (groans) All right, cut me loose from this twisted net and here’s what I’ll do.  I’ll give you a ring that will be SURE to make your bonnie Bonnie… (to audience)  I can’t get used to that. (back to Hamish) …your own.  Here ‘tis - a ring and a bell.

HAMISH:
A ring and a bell?  What good will they do me?

SORCHA:
The ring is for proposin’, ye dafty.  And one ding of this magic bell when the time is right will make your bonnie lass say yes to marrying ya.  Just like that.  They’re magic, and that.

HAMISH:
Now you’re talking! Stay still, mermaid, and I’ll cut you out.

[HAMISH mimes cutting the net and SORCHA climbs out.]

SORCHA:
(stretches) Feels grand ta’ stretch me tail!

HAMISH:
Ahem.  The ring and the bell?

SORCHA:
A’right, fair’s fair.  (she produces a dull ring and a bell and hands them to Hamish) One year from today, when the time is right, ring the bell and offer her the ring.  She’ll marry you straight away!

HAMISH:
A YEAR?!  You didn’t say it would take a YEAR!

SORCHA:
You didn’t bother to ask!

HAMISH:
Ach!  Oh, very well!  (takes the ring) How do I know she’ll still be, y’know, available in a year!?

SORCHA:
She will be – trust me, I’m a mermaid.  One year -  not a day earlier!  (turns to leave)

HAMISH:
Where are you going?

SORCHA:
Back home, da’s cooking salmon.  I’d invite ye to join but, y’know, you would drown.

[SORCHA exits.  HAMISH inspects the ring and bell.]

HAMISH:

One year is a long time.  But this magic combo is worth it! (holds up ring and bell, smiling, then puts hand on stomach)  Oh, I’m still hungry. (examines net) All torn up from cutting that mermaid free.  All this one’s good for is fishing for bait fish.  Hmm.  If I get enough barrels of bait fish I bet trade it for a proper net at that town clear on the other side of the harborMaybe get candles and some tools, too!

[HAMISH throws net, offstage, then pulls it in.  He can do this two      or three times, to give the impression he is fishing.]

NARRATOR:
And so Hamish fished till he filled all the barrels of bait fish that could fit in his boat.  He sailed off to that harbour town  where no one would recognize him.

[HAMISH gets in his boat and “sails” away, excitedly.]

NARRATOR:
One good thing about being the only person on an island is- when you leave, you know your home will be safe and no one will come to your place while you’re away.

[MORAG enters, moving her arms in a swimming motion.  She then “falls” onto the island, panting heavily.]

MORAG:

At last!  Land!  I’ll be safe here.  (looks around) Safe and alone.  And look!  How convenient-  a shack!

[MORAG looks around the shack.]

MORAG:

What luck - it’s empty! How perfect is that?  My new home!

[MORAG “enters” the shack, by walking behind it.  HAMISH enters, rowing in his boat.]

HAMISH:
Bah!  I had to trade all my bait fish and just got the fishing net!  No other supplies. I need to get to sleep – I’ll be up at dawn to fish tomorrow.

[HAMISH goes over to his shack, only for MORAG to pop out of it.]

HAMISH:
Jings!  A feral (pronounce:  FERR-all) wild woman!

MORAG:
Jings!  An ugly sea monster!

HAMISH:
Wait a second, you’re just a lass!

MORAG:
And you’re just a laddie!

HAMISH:
What are you doing on MY island!  In MY shack!

MORAG:
And what makes you think this is your island?  And maybe it’s MY shack!

HAMISH:
(sternly) I built it, it’s mine!

MORAG:
Oh!  I guess it IS yours, then…

HAMISH:
Wherever you came from, you need to go right back.  Now!

MORAG:
I’m not going back.  It’s awful there!  And besides, I’ve as much right to stay here as you do.

HAMISH:
Where’s your boat?

MORAG:
It sank on the way here.  It’s in pieces!  I had to swim to shore.

HAMISH:
Auuugh!   This is the last thing I need.  But if you’re not going back and your boat’s broke, I suppose you can stay.

MORAG:
Fine! Not that I need your permission.

HAMISH:
Whatever.  Just keep yerself scarce.

 MORAG:
You’ll barely see me, trust me.

HAMISH:
Suits me just fine.  I need space to think.  You’re not the only one who’s had to leave yer home village to be alone, you know.

MORAG:
What?  Did something happen back home to you, too?

HAMISH:
That’s all I’ll be saying about that!

MORAG:
Keep it to yourself then, um…  what’s your name?

HAMISH:
Hamish.

MORAG:
Suit yourself Hamish.  I’m going to lie down for a bit.  It’s been a long day.

[MORAG begins to exit.]

HAMISH:
Wait- what’s, um, your name, then?

MORAG:
Morag.

[MORAG disappears into shack (See Performance Notes for staging ideas).]

HAMISH:
(to self)  Morag.  Hmm.  (remembers the ring and bell)  Oh!  (produces the ring and bell, looks at them) I’d better keep these two treasures safe.

[HAMISH puts the ring and bell in a jar and places the jar by the hut.  He sits down to examine his new net.]

HAMISH:
Grrr – I can’t even fish with this lousy net.  That’s it!  I’m taking it back!

[HAMISH gets up and sails away, exiting the same way he entered.]

[MORAG emerges and stretches.]

MORAG:
Ah, that was a great nap!  (inspects the hut)  Hrmm, this place could do with a little sprucing up.  I know-

[MORAG picks up some colorful bunting and streamers, hidden behind the shack, and drapes them over the shack (See Performance Notes for how to accomplish this).]

MORAG:
There!    We’ll see what he thinks about THAT.

[HAMISH enters, “sailing” back in.]

HAMISH:
I can’t believe they wouldn’t take back the net.  What rotten customer service!

[HAMISH lands on the island and sees MORAG.]

MORAG:
Hamish!

HAMISH:
(not realty paying attention)  Morag.

MORAG:
How was your trip?

HAMISH:
Don’t ask!  Those people know nothing.  I’m so tired, I can’t wait to lay my head down – (sees the shack) Whoa!  What have you done with the shack?

MORAG:
Aye!  While you were gone I thought it needed a bit of – I don’t know, pep?  Okay by you that I spruced it up some?

HAMISH:
Hmm.

MORAG:
Well, think about it.  I’ll turn in now.  Goodnight, Hamish.

[MORAG disappears behind the shack.]

HAMISH:
Harumph!  When did I say I wanted “pep”?  (looks at shack)  Though I have to admit, it’s an improvement.

[HAMISH enters the shack.]

NARRATOR:
That night, Hamish slept more comfortably than he had since he arrived.  He slept so well every night from then on, in fact, that he almost forgot why he had left his home in the first place.  He had no idea where Morag went each night to sleep, only that she woke before him each morning.

[MORAG emerges, stretching and humming.]

MORAG:
Another beautiful morning!

NARRATOR:
Did I mention she mended the fishing net in short order?  After that, Hamish reeled in bigger and better fish than ever.  He’d skin and prepare the day’s catch for their dinner that night.  What’s that busy young lady up to now?

 MORAG:
(looks at shack)  I know just the right touch!  I’ll plant bluebells at the front of the house. First, I’ll have to dig some spots for them…

[MORAG crouches down and pretends to dig with her hands, until she works her way to the side of the shack and sees the jar with the ring and bell in it.]

MORAG:
What’s this – a ring? And what’s this – a bell? (looks around, picks out the ring, and tries it on) Oh, what a lovely ring!  Simply magical!  I wonder what happens when I ring the bell?

[HAMISH comes out of the shack, yawning and stretching.]

HAMISH:
Good morning, Mor- (he sees Morag trying on the ring) WHAT are you doing?

MORAG:
N-nothing!  I mean…!

HAMISH:
(storms over) Take it off!

MORAG:
Okay, okay!  Gosh!  (takes it off and hands it to Hamish)

HAMISH:
(snatches the ring) And don’t you dare touch it again!  Do you understand me?!

MORAG:
Don’t worry, I won’t!  You probably want this bell, too.

 HAMISH:
You got that right. (takes bell)

MORAG:
What’s so special about that ring and bell, anyway?

HAMISH:
I don’t have to explain myself to you!

MORAG:
Just asking, was all.

HAMISH:
Hmph!

MORAG:
It’s for a girl, isn’t it?

HAMISH:
I’m not saying!

MORAG:
So it IS for a girl!

HAMISH:
Weren’t you supposed to barely be seen at all?

MORAG:
Fine, have it your way! Sorry for helping with the chores and making this forsaken place look bearable.  Don’t worry – I’m going to the other side of the island.  I’ll be so out of the way, you won’t see me again!

[MORAG storms offstage.]

HAMISH:
Augh!  Be off with her, then! I should have kept my treasures safer.  Maybe I should hide the jar BEHIND the shack…

[HAMISH picks up the jar and moves around to look behind the cut out of the shack (an area unseen by the audience), but only looking behind it – not going behind the shack itself. He stops and looks shocked.]

HAMISH:
Wha -  what’s this dent in the ground?  The grass is all pressed down here.  Wait a minute… could it be… is this where Morag’s been sleeping?  On the ground each night, out in the open?

[HAMISH looks around and put his face in his hands.  He then steps back out front.]

HAMISH:
Now I get it! Every night she’s been sleeping outside while I’ve been sleeping like a baby in the shack that she fixed up for me!  Ah, I shouldn’t have yelled at her.  I have to make this right.  (thinks for a moment) I know! I’ll build Morag her very own shack to sleep in.  She’ll have a proper place to lay her head.

[He moves around to the front of the shack and pretends to hammer away at the side of the stage.]

NARRATOR:
Hamish worked day and night and built Morag a shack of her very own, next to his.  Soon enough, it all came together.

[HAMISH raises another cardboard cut-out of a house (See Performance Notes for how to achieve this effect) next to his own shack.]

HAMISH:
There!

NARRATOR:
He is quick, I’ll say that!

HAMISH:
Now I just need to go find her…

[MORAG enters.]

MORAG:
Hamish!

HAMISH:
Morag, you came back!

MORAG:
Not back.  Just… checking.  I just heard all this banging and wanted to make sure you were all right.

HAMISH:
You came back to check on me?

MORAG:
What if I did? So, are you all right?

HAMISH:
Aye.  I’m more than all right.  And Morag, I have a surprise for you.

MORAG:
A boat to get me out of here faster?

HAMISH:
No!  Morag, look.  Come see.  (ushers Morag over to the new hut he built)  It’s a proper hut for you.  About time you had a roof over your head.

MORAG:
(pleased)  Oh, my! It’s brilliant.  But, you don’t mind I’ll be so close to your shack?

HAMISH:
I built it here, didn’t I?  So what do you think?

MORAG:
I think- sure.  (walks up to shack and examines it more closely)  I say, YES! (examines room a bit more)  Though I could spruce it up some.

HAMISH:
Figured you’d do that “pep” thing you do.

[MORAG decorates her own hut, as she did the first one. (See Performance Notes for ideas on how to quickly decorate).]

NARRATOR:
Morag went to work brightening up her new room.  She painted a coat of whitewash on the walls, inside and out.  Not to mention curtains on the windows.  Pretty soon those bluebells were blooming.

[STAGE HANDS, who could be the same actors who are HARBORFOLK, run onstage and replace empty pots in front of the shack with potted bluebells (could be cardboard cut-outs), and then quickly run back offstage. See Performance Notes for further suggestions).]

NARRATOR:
As you can see, life on the island became cozy and comfortable.  And not as lonely as either of them thought it would be.

[MORAG and HAMISH come to the front of the stage and sit, pretend to eat, talk, and laugh.  Each has a wooden bowl and wooden cup in front of them. ]

NARRATOR:
Most evenings the two of them would enjoy their fish and potatoes dinner, and wild berries for dessert.  While they ate, they talked and laughed.  Hamish learned why it was that Morag had to flee from her home.

MORAG:
So my da married this new lady. I’m glad he’s happy with her, but he didn’t know how she was acting to me.  She was cruel and awful, refused to feed me at all, most days.  I had to run away, but I’m glad, y’know.  I eat so much better here!

HAMISH:
Who knew this island would be such a step up!

MORAG:
(lifts her wooden cup) To fine living!

HAMISH:
(lifts his wooden cup too, and they clink their cups)  To fine living!

NARRATOR:
Morag learned about Hamish’s bonnie lass, and the mermaid’s ring and bell he kept for the special day, once one year was up.

HAMISH:
I’ve been hankering to marry ‘er for as long as I can remember.

MORAG:
What is it you love about her?  What’s she like?

HAMISH:
Um.  Well.  I’m not really sure.  I can’t explain it.  I just know we are meant to be together.

 MORAG:
So what happened?

HAMISH:
I tried proposing and she turned me down flat. Made me look like a fool in front of everyone.

MORAG:
Ouch!  Why do you think she turned you down?

 

HAMISH:
Who can figure?  But with the mermaid’s ring and bell, she’ll be sure to say “Yes” this time.

MORAG:
Because that’s what you really want, right?

 HAMISH:
Sure.  It’s what I’ve wanted all along.  (pauses)  Say, what is it you want, Morag?

MORAG:
To set up me own shop someday.  I like to knit, that I do.  Sweaters and hats, and the like.

HAMISH:
I could see you doing that.  Well (raises cup again), to each of us getting our heart’s desire!

MORAG:
(raises cup) Our heart’s desire!  (takes a sip)  Well, it’s getting late.

HAMISH:
That it is.  Good night, then.

 MORAG:
Good night.

[MORAG and HAMISH exit, each climbing into to their own shack.]

NARRATOR:
Days and nights came and went.  Before they knew it, the year had gone by.

[HAMISH emerges from his hut.  MORAG emerges from hers.]

HAMISH:
Good morning, Morag!

MORAG:
Morning, Hamish.  You’re awfully chipper today!

 HAMISH:
Um, yeah.  Well, today’s the day (takes the ring out, and speaks in a deadpan voice) The day I’ve been waiting for.  Today, I’ll be off…

MORAG:
Ah, yes, to the bonnie lass.  The beautiful one.

HAMISH:
Aye, she is that! – (looks wistfully into the distance) Her hair like spun gold, her eyes – like pools of emerald water, her ears…

MORAG:
You’re really going to go on about her ears?

HAMISH:
(snaps back from his fog) Aye, no, of course not!

MORAG:
I just can’t believe the year came up so quick.

HAMISH:
Aye.  But here we are.  So, I expect I’ll be moving on now.  (doesn’t move)

 MORAG:
Well, go on then.  Be on your way.

HAMISH:
Right.  (turns to exit, then turns around to Morag)  Will you be okay?  Will you stay here, by yourself?

 MORAG:
Not for long.  Soon I’m leaving the island, too.

HAMISH:
But your boat…

MORAG:
Aye, I’ve been working on a new raft for a while now, and it floats just fine.  Well enough, anyway, to get me back to the village.

HAMISH:
What about your father’s new wife?

MORAG:
I’m going to have to deal with her.

HAMISH:
And if she’s mean to you?

MORAG:
Being on this island, I know I can take care of myself.  Besides, Hamish, it’s not your problem.  Just go to your bonnie lass and live out the rest of your days with her.  And like that.

HAMISH:
Right.  I guess this means good-bye.

[An awkward hug.  HAMISH exits on his boat with MORAG waving after him.]

 MORAG:

Goodbye, Hamish.(to audience) I don’t know why I feel so sad.  It’s not like I didn’t know   this day was coming.  Well, no use standing out here.  I’d better go finish the raft.

[MORAG ducks inside her shack.]

NARRATOR:
And so Morag prepared herself for the journey home, and Hamish went, to the harbor where his bonnie lass waited.  For the first time in a year, the island was completely quiet.

Scene 3 – HARBOR

 

[Stage set: Same as Scene 1.]

[HARBORMEN enter.]

HARBORMAN #1:
Another workweek behind us.  (sniffs himself) I can never get used to me own fishy smell.

HARBORMAN #2:
After all these years?  Drink it in, folks! Cod and the sea! (stands with feet astride and arms wide outward)

[HARBORMAN #1 and HARBORMAN #3 step WAY back, holding their noses.]

HARBORMAN #3:
You fellers should talk!  We’s one and the same, we are, the lot of us.  Mermaid’s perfume.  That’s us -  men of the sea!

HARBORMAN #2:
And men of the land!

 HARBORMAN #1:
Men of the sea AND land!

[HARBORMAN #1, #2, and #3 pound their chests in glee and stomp about.]

[BONNIE, FIONA and HEATHER enter.]

FIONA:
(gestures to the Harbormen)  What IS their problem?

HEATHER:
Will they never grow up?

FIONA:
(sighs) It’s such slim pickins’ on this island.  No wonder none of us has gotten married yet.

 BONNIE:
(tosses head)  Not that we haven’t had TONS of chances.

[HAMISH enters.]

HEATHER:
Hey Bonnie, speaking of which.  Isn’t that one of your old boyfriends?

BONNIE:
Right!  What was his name, again?

HAMISH:
(looks around)  Here I am, home at last!  (sniffs the air)  Ah, the fishy air.  Home, sweet home.

NARRATOR:
(holds nose) I wouldn’t say “sweet”!

HAMISH:
So. (looks around) Where’s Bonnie?

NARRATOR:
(points) She’s over there, can’t you see her?

[HAMISH scans the crowd for a second before actually seeing BONNIE.]

HAMISH:
Hmm, are you sure that’s her?

NARRATOR:
Yes, of course I’m sure!  I only had to listen to you prattle on about her all the time.

HAMISH:
It’s just that I remember her looking special, and now…  Has she changed?

NARRATOR:
Not really.

HAMISH:
Bonnie!

[BONNIE’S friends giggle.]

NARRATOR:
I’ll make myself scarce. (steps back)

HAMISH:
Bonnie, it’s me.  Hamish!

BONNIE:
(approaches Hamish) Goodness, you’ve changed.  Such a tan!  There’s something… different about you.

HAMISH:
Ah, I’ve been… living far away for the past year.  Outdoors.

BONNIE:
Is that right?  What brings you back after all this time?

HAMISH:
Well, you see uh, there’s something important I need to talk to you about – and I need to ask you…

NARRATOR:
Come on, you can do it!

HAMISH:
I need to ask… if you would…

BONNIE:
Aye?

NARRATOR:
Take out the bell!  Ring the bell!  Keep yer head, Hamish!

HAMISH:
If you would … tell me what’s been going on since I’ve been away? I mean, with you?

NARRATOR:
Oh, for goodness sake!

BONNIE:
Nothing, really.  Hanging around the harbor with my friends.

HAMISH:
For the whole year?

BONNIE:
What else is there to do?

HAMISH:
I don’t know, lots of stuff.  Where I was, I was up at dawn each day for fishing.  Then you know, chores.  Tending to things that need doing.

 BONNIE:
Sounds awful.

 HAMISH:
Not so bad.  At the end of the day it was fun because I’d have a heaping fish dinner with... I mean, with...

BONNIE:
With what – the local birds?  Hamish, what is it you needed so bad to tell me?

HAMISH:
Umm… you know what?  I just realized something.  I left something important back home!

 BONNIE:
But you just got here.  What could be so important?  Why not stick around?  We could hang out.

 HAMISH:
Sorry. It was nice catching up with you, really it was.  But I have to go.

BONNIE:
(shrugs) Suit yourself.

HAMISH:
Bye, Bonnie!  Good luck with everything!

 BONNIE:
Whatever.

[HAMISH exits, hurriedly.]

        [BONNIE re-joins her FRIENDS.  They shrug, look confused, and start gossiping again.]

NARRATOR:
What was THAT all about?  After all that, he missed his chance to use the bell.  Well, we might as well follow him.

[NARRATOR exits.]

Scene 4 – The Island

 

[Stage set: Same as Scene 2.]

[HAMISH enters, rowing hurriedly to the shore.  He gets onto the island.]

HAMISH:
(shouts) Morag!  Morag!  Are you still here?!

[MORAG climbs out of the shack.]

MORAG:
(sees Hamish)  Hamish?!  What are you doing back?

HAMISH:
I wanted to talk with you about something.

MORAG:
Well, make it quick.  I’m leaving with the morning tide.

HAMISH:
Morag, I went to claim the bonnie lass.  With the ring and the bell, and all.

MORAG:
I know, I know.

HAMISH:
But something was not right.  And when I saw her, well she’s ok and everything, but I knew what was wrong.

MORAG:
What was it?

HAMISH:
She’s not my own true love.

MORAG:
Now I’m just confused.

HAMISH:
Morag, it’s you.  You’re the one.

MORAG:
What?

HAMISH:
I know this isn’t what the plan was, but I was thinking I have some money saved up from fishing.  I could lend it to you to open your shop.  I could live near you and fish out on the sea.  And I could build us two huts close by, as they are now.  What do you think?

MORAG:
A shop of my own?  My goodness, Hamish.  What can I say?

HAMISH:
And you might as well know what else is on my mind.

MORAG:
What?

HAMISH:
Morag (gets on one knee), you’re the one I want to offer this ring to.  Maybe not right away, but some day. To marry me.

MORAG:
Marry you!  Wait a minute!  Don’t you dare ring that bell!

 HAMISH:
No way.  I just want to know if it’s something that would suit you.

[SORCHA enters, in waves. (See Performance Notes for how to accomplish this.)]

SORCHA:
Och!  Today’s the day but I didn’t hear the sound of me magic ring bein’ used yet!  Hamish, Hamish lad!  The day’s nearly done.  You need to get together with yer own true love.

HAMISH:
I know it.  And here she is!  (presenting Morag to Sorcha)

 SORCHA:
What?!  But this lass doesn’t have bonnie blonde hair!

HAMISH:
Aye, true!

SORCHA:
And she does’nae have blue eyes!

HAMISH:
Those eyes are about as deep a brown as eyes can be.

SORCHA:
Nor is she tall n’ slim!

HAMISH:
Not exactly!  And this one’s on the shorter side.

MORAG:
(playfully punches Hamish on the shoulder- softly, just pretend) Oi!

SORCHA:
Yet she is yer true love?

HAMISH:
No doubt about it!

SORCHA:
Tsk, I’ll never understand humans.  But th’ bargain is kept, ye got what ye asked for. I’ll wish ye the best and be on me way.

HAMISH:
Wait!  (hands Sorcha the bell)  I don’t think I’ll be needing this here bell.  But I will keep the ring, if it’s all right by you.

SORCHA:
(takes the bell)  Good fer you, laddie.  Oh, I’m takin’ this gossip back to the sea!

[SORCHA nods at both of them and disappears back into the sea.]

[MORAG and HAMISH clasp hands.]

NARRATOR:
(takes out an index card and starts to read) Ahem!  So the Fisherlad and the bonnie lass who he waited for the whole year planned to be wed… (looks at Hamish and Morag, then throws the index card on the floor)  This one won’t do me a bit of good.  Ahem.  So the Fisherlad and the young lady he got to know-

 HAMISH:
-and love.

 NARRATOR:
-and love.

 MORAG:
And appreciate, remember.

HAMISH:
Aye, that too.

NARRATOR:
…and appreciate, were brought together by the mermaid’s – (Hamish shakes his head “no”)  Um, were brought together without magic.  Just good old fashioned fate and a regular old ring.  (takes out a second index card) Oh, I can use this one.  .  (reads, loudly)  And they all lived happily ever after!

 HAMISH and MORAG:
The end!

NARRATOR:
Or as they say in Scotland, “Lang may yer lum reek,” which means, “May you live long and stay well.”

 end

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The Goblin's Market Poem

The Goblin’s Market~ Reader’s Theater Script No Reviews Posted.

The Goblin’s Market Reader’s Theater Play Script for Kids

 

CHARACTERS

  • NARRATOR
  • GOBLIN #1 / CHILD #1
  • GOBLIN #2 / CHILD #2
  • GOBLIN #3 / CHILD #3
  • SARAH
  • LIZZIE

 

Scene 1: Forest

[Stage Set: The stage is divided into two sets. At one end of the stage is a forest, and at the other end is the interior of a cottage. A backdrop can be painted to show both locations- a darkish cluster of trees on one side, and a cottage wall made of logs and a window with curtains on the other side. In the forest area there are a few free-standing trees (See Performance Notes for how to make trees) around a table, and at the very forefront of the stage there is a long, crumpled blue sheet to suggest a stream.]

[In the cottage area, place a small table, two chairs, a coat rack, and two beds.  (See Performance Notes for suggestions for how to set up the stage and how to make beds).  There is also a flower pot, which will be used in Scene 5.]

NARRATOR:
Hello, everyone. This play, “The Goblin Market,” is based on a story written long ago by Christina Rossetti (pronounce: rose-ETT-ee) of England. It’s brought to you by Stories to Grow by. A lot of the play will sound like a poem.  There’s a reason for that.  This story IS a poem.

[NARRATOR steps forward.]

NARRATOR:
Morning and evening,
Maids heard the goblins cry…

[GOBLIN #1, GOBLIN #2, and GOBLIN #3 enter, carrying wicker baskets of brightly colored plastic fruit.]

GOBLIN #1:
Come buy the fruit of our orchard.

GOBLIN #2:
Come buy! Come buy!

GOBLIN #3:
(holds out fruit to display such as apples, lemons, or oranges)
Apples and quinces,
Lemons and oranges,

[LIZZIE and SARAH enter, carrying stoneware pitchers. They kneel at the “stream” and pretend to fill their pitchers with water.]

GOBLIN #1:
(holds out a carton of red berries and cherries)
Plump unpecked cherries,
Melons, raspberries

GOBLIN #2:
Fresh grapes in a cluster,
Apples bright and red in luster

[GOBLINS add their fruit to the stand.]

ALL GOBLINS:
Come buy, come buy!

[SARAH stands and turns her head to listen to the GOBLINS.]

GOBLIN #3:
Taste them and try. Come buy.

ALL GOBLINS:
Come buy!

SARAH:
(tugs on Lizzie’s sleeve) Lizzie, look! Don’t those cherries look amazing? (drifts towards fruit stand)

LIZZIE:
Sarah, stop! (rushes after Sarah)

SARAH:
(hovers over the display of fruit) Everything looks… (inhales deeply) and smells divine!

[LIZZIE keeps her eyes cast down, grabs SARAH’s hand, and pulls her away from the stand.]

LIZZIE:
No, sister! Look away! (turns her back to the goblins, squeezes her eyes tightly shut)

SARAH:
(yanks arm away) It’s just fruit, Lizzie. (takes a piece of fruit and turns it around, gazing at it appreciatively) Just. PERFECT. Fruit.

LIZZIE:
(turns with her back against Sarah and facing the audience, searches for her sister with her free hand) Sarah, this fruit is TOO perfect! Each one so round and bright. Real fruit from the earth, exposed to sun and rain, doesn’t grow without a blemish. This is the work of dark magic! Sister, these are Goblin men!

SARAH:
Nonsense! We just don’t get such fine (holds up a piece of fruit and longingly gazes at it) fruit at home. (speaking in a dreamlike state) How sweet even one bite must taste!

GOBLIN #2:
Sweet to the tongue and ripe to the eye. Come buy!

ALL GOBLINS:
Come buy!

GOBLIN #3:
Taste them and try!

LIZZIE:
Sarah, think about it. The season just turned from winter to spring. How could fruit be ripe already? There’s no doubt this is magic—evil magic!

GOBLIN #1:
(offers Sarah a strawberry) Taste them and try!

LIZZIE:
Don’t listen, Sarah! (outstretches her hand to Sarah) Come on, we’ve finished filling our pitchers.  Let’s go home.

[LIZZIE begins to walk away, still averting her eyes.]

SARAH:
I’ll be right behind you. (dreamlike) Maybe I’ll stay just a minute …

[LIZZIE exits while SARAH goes to the fruit stand. GOBLINS, each with fruit in hand, encircle her and dance around, holding a piece of fruit up to her face.]

GOBLIN #1:
(offers Sarah an apple) Come buy!

GOBLIN #2:
(offers Sarah a bunch of grapes) Come buy!

GOBLIN #3:
(holds up a large fruit basket) Taste them and try!

SARAH:
(despondent)
Good folk, I have no coin with which to deal,
To take and not pay would be as to steal.
I have no copper inside my purse,
No silver nor gold. Ah, such is my curse!

GOBLIN #1:
(reaches out to Sarah’s hair, wraps a golden curl around his finger.) From your golden head we can make a deal.

SARAH:
We can?

GOBLIN #1:
Of course. Just pay us with one golden curl.

[GOBLIN #1 motions to GOBLIN #2. GOBLIN #2 pulls out a pair of scissors, and snaps it open and shut. (See Performance Notes for suggestion on how to create an over-sized scissor made of cardboard and foil.)]

SARAH:
(to self) What’s one piece of hair for all of this delicious fruit?  (to GOBLINS)  You’ve got a deal.

[GOBLINS #2 and #3 approach Sarah. GOBLIN #3  holds up out a strand of golden hair and GOBLIN #2 pretends to snip it off.  GOBLIN #3 hold it up, gleefully (See Performance Notes for suggestions on how to accomplish this).]

GOBLIN #1:
(Goblins pile fruit in Sarah’s basket) The deal is done! Now eat all the fruit you want.

SARAH:
All I want? (turns her back to audience and hungrily pretends to devour the fruit, overturning the basket). Mmmh! I’ve never tasted anything this magnificent in all my life!

[While she eats, GOBLINS dance about cackling with glee. GOBLINS pick up the leftovers and the basket, and skip away offstage, unnoticed by SARAH.]

[Still turned away, SARAH lifts her pitcher to her lips, “drinks” directly from the spout, pretends to finish it, and drops the empty pitcher carelessly. She wipes her mouth with her sleeve.]

[SARAH turns around and notices the goblins have gone.]

SARAH:
Good folk? Come back!  (looking around)  They took the rest of the fruit with them! Isn’t there anything left?

[SARAH gets on her hands and knees and crawls frantically around the stage, searching for more fruit.]

SARAH:
There must be SOMETHING left behind. A lemon? A single grape?

[SARAH stops, seeing something on the ground. She pretends to pick it up, and holds it before her on the palm of her hand.]

SARAH:
(as if talking to seed in her hand) One tiny pomegranate seed is all.

 

[SARAH tucks the seed into her apron pocket, picks up her pitcher and hurries offstage.]

 

Scene 2: Cottage

[Stage Set: This section of the stage is the interior of the cottage where LIZZIE and SARAH live. If there is a backdrop, it is painted to show a a log wall with a window is surrounded by curtains, and a fire burning in the fireplace with a pot hanging over the flame. In front of the fireplace is a small table, two chairs, and two beds. (See Performance Notes on how to suggest a bed without using an actual bed.) A coat rack holds one cape, two aprons, and a purse.]

[LIZZIE kneels on her bed, staring out the window, as if waiting for something. SARAH enters. LIZZIE gets up from the bed and rushes to her sister.]

LIZZIE:
Sarah, there you are! What happened to you? I thought you were behind me, and then you were gone!

[SARAH hangs her cape on the coat rack.]

SARAH:
No need to worry, as you see. Not a speck of harm has come to me.

LIZZIE:3
I was afraid you went back to the Goblin Market for a taste of that horrible fruit.

SARAH:
What if I DID happen to stop back there for a few minutes?

LIZZIE:
(distressed) Sarah, how COULD you?

SARAH:
Oh, stop! It’s no big deal.

LIZZIE:
Tell me true. Did you taste the Goblin’s fruit?

SARAH:
Lizzie, it’s not like you think. The fruit was amazing! Everything I thought it would be, and more!

LIZZIE:
(takes Sarah’s chin in her hands) Your lips… they’re bruised. And the skin around your mouth. What are those dry, cracked lines? Sarah, how much of that enchanted fruit did you have?

SARAH:
Hush, Lizzie, don’t be cross. I wish I thought to bring some back for you, but the goblins will be back tomorrow. I’ll get more then. Plums, cherries, figs, icy-cold melons. You’ll love it as much as I do!

LIZZIE:
(exasperated) I don’t WANT any! Have the Goblins so bewitched you that you’ve forgotten what happened to poor Jeannie?

SARAH:
Jeannie?

LIZZIE:
You know this, Sarah! One moonlit night, the goblins lured her to their market to feast on their fruit. (pause) And every evening after that, she pined and pined for more.

SARAH:
(dreamy) More…

LIZZIE:
She couldn’t do anything but search for the Goblin Market. She wasted away. Her hair turned gray. And she never found the goblins again.

SARAH:
She never found them?

LIZZIE:
(shakes her head “no”) Never. And she wouldn’t let any other food pass her lips. By the time the first snow fell, she was gone! Where Jeannie lies buried today, no grass will grow. Sarah, I don’t want this to happen to you!

SARAH:
Don’t worry, Lizzy! That will never happen.

LIZZIE:
How can you be sure?

SARAH:
Because I know how to pay for all the fruit I want. You see (shakes head), I have plenty of golden curls I can trade with the Goblin men.

LIZZIE:
So you admit they’re Goblins!

SARAH:
(off-handedly) Whatever, Lizzie. Let’s stop arguing, okay? Let’s just have supper and enjoy the evening.

LIZZIE:
Of course. Go wash up so you can help me set the table. I made your favorites for supper tonight – curried lamb and for dessert, cider cake.

SARAH:
(grimaces in displeasure) You know what? Actually, I’m not hungry after all. (yawns) In fact, I’m pretty tired. I think I’ll go to bed instead.

LIZZIE:
But you just said we’d have our supper –

[SARAH climbs into bed.]

SARAH:
Good night.

[SARAH covers her head with a blanket.]

LIZZIE:
(to the audience) There is little good in this dark night. Well, I don’t want to eat alone. I might as well go to bed, too.

[LIZZIE climbs into her bed.]

LIZZIE:
I just want to sleep this day away.  (covers her head with her blanket)

 

 

Scene 3 – Cottage, the next morning

[Stage set: as in Scene 2.]

[NARRATOR enters. From offstage, a rooster crows (See Performance Notes for sound effect ideas). As NARRATOR speaks the next few lines, LIZZIE and SARAH rise from bed and pantomime doing chores.  SARAH is obviously distracted, thinking about the market.]

NARRATOR:
When the cock crowed the next morn,
It wailed and moaned as if to warn,
Then Sarah rose with sister Lizzie:
One felt clear-headed, the other dizzy.
Yet together they fetched the honey, milked the cows,
Set the house to rights, and fed the fowls.

SARAH:
(to Lizzie) We’ve done so many chores!  It must be twilight soon.

LIZZIE:
How can that be? The sun is high in the sky, and there’s still much work to be done.

[LIZZIE and SARAH sit down and embroider.]

NARRATOR:
They churned the butter, sat and sewed.
Whipped the cream, dug and hoed.
All day Sarah gazed ahead, as in a dream.
Till evening came and its red light gleamed.

[SARAH looks at the window. Jumps up from her chair, dropping her embroidery materials onto the floor. NARRATOR exits.]

SARAH:
(excitedly) The sun is setting! Soon the moon will rise! Lizzie, let’s take our pitchers to the brook and fetch more water!

[SARAH picks up the pitcher.]

LIZZIE:
What’s the hurry? We have enough water from yesterday.

[SARAH rushes offstage.]

LIZZIE:
Sarah, wait for me!

[LIZZIE picks up SARAH’s embroidery off the floor, places it on the table next to hers, takes the other pitcher, and follows her sister offstage.]

 

Scene 4: Forest

[Stage Set: Same as Scene 1, but without the fruit stand.]

[LIZZIE and SARAH enter. They kneel at the brook, filling their pitchers. When they are done, LIZZIE turns to leave.]

LIZZIE:
Okay, we’ve filled the pitchers. Let’s go home.

SARAH:
(shakes head in disagreement, and looks around) What are you talking about? It’s still early. The dew hasn’t fallen, and there’s no chill in the air yet.

LIZZIE:
Sarah, don’t tell me you’re hoping the Goblin men will come back!

SARAH:
(looks about) Maybe we’re in the wrong spot.

LIZZIE:
We’re exactly where we were yesterday. Sarah, it’s getting dark. Let’s go before–

[GOBLINS call from offstage.]

GOBLIN #1:
Come buy our fruits.

GOBLIN #2:
Come buy!

GOBLINS, together:
Come buy!

LIZZIE:
Oh no, they’re coming!

SARAH:
What? What do you mean?

LIZZIE:
It’s the Goblin men, don’t you hear them?

ALL GOBLINS:
(from offstage, louder than before)
Come buy, come buy!

SARAH:
I don’t hear a thing!

[GOBLINS leap onto the stage. GOBLIN #1 and GOBLIN #2 each have a piece of fruit in hand. GOBLIN #3 holds a basket of fruit. GOBLINS skip in a figure 8, looping around SARAH and LIZZIE. GOBLIN #1 waves his hand in front of SARAH’s face, and she doesn’t react at all. As if she can’t see him.]

GOBLIN #1:
(to Lizzie) Taste one and try!

[GOBLIN #2 pulls out SARAH’s lock of hair and shakes it for LIZZIE to see. LIZZIE grabs SARAH by the hand and pulls her sister toward her.]

LIZZIE:
You goblins, stay away from us!

SARAH:
Goblins? They’re here?

[GOBLINS circle the two sisters. Only Lizzie can see them.]

LIZZIE:
(to Goblins) Go… AWAY! Leave us alone!

SARAH:
(confused) I don’t understand. You can see and hear them? (pauses, then with despair) and I… can’t?

[LIZZIE pretends to push GOBLIN #3. (remember, it’s pretend – safety first!) GOBLIN #3’s fruit basket spills all over the floor (GOBLIN #3 is in control of basket, and the spill is staged). GOBLINS scramble about gathering up the fruit.]

LIZZIE:
(picks up pitcher, takes Sarah by her hand and begins to lead her off stage) Come quick, let’s go. I’ll make us a pot of nice, warm chicken soup at home.

SARAH:
(hysterical) Soup!? Why would I want SOUP?! I want the Goblins’ fruit.  The FRUIT!

[LIZZIE puts her around SARAH’s shoulders and guides her offstage.  Offstage, SARAH puts on a gray wig.]

 

Scene 5: Cottage

[Stage Set: Same as Scene 2.]

[LIZZIE and SARAH enter and lay down in bed,  pretending to sleep. NARRATOR enters.]

NARRATOR:
Day after day, night after night,
Sarah kept a longing watch, in fright
Never again did she catch the goblins’ cry:
“Come buy our fruits; come buy, come buy”–
Each night as the moon waxed large and bright
Sarah’s hair greyed more and lost its light.

[SARAH sits up suddenly. Her hair is now grey (See Performance Notes for how to make her hair gray).]

SARAH:
Maybe today?

[SARAH goes to the window and peers out. LIZZIE remains asleep.]

SARAH:
Nothing!

[SARAH collapses back onto the bed.]

NARRATOR:
She dwindled, as the fair full moon doth turn
To swift decay and then to burn
Until one day, as Sarah’s spirits ebbed away,
She remembered the kernel-seed that lay, waiting in her apron pocket.

[SARAH climbs out of bed, fishes the seed out of the pocket of her apron hanging on the coat rack.]

SARAH:
(in a loud whisper to the seed) Little pomegranate seed. Please grow. Don’t fail me.

[SARAH places the seed in a flower pot, and sets the flower pot on a small table, then paces in circles around it.]

NARRATOR:
She dewed it with her tears, hoped for a root.
Watched and watched for a waxing shoot,
But none emerged, despite wishes strong,
No life, hope gone, after hours long

SARAH:
That was my last chance. Now there’s no hope!

[SARAH, slowly, with sagging shoulders, sits down in the chair by the chimney.]

NARRATOR:
She sat down listless in the chimney-nook
And would not eat. And would not look.

[LIZZIE gets out of bed. Sees SARAH sitting and staring ahead, and drapes a blanket from the bed over her.]

LIZZIE:
Please, Sarah. You must eat or drink something. You’re wasting away! If you don’t, you’ll… (cuts herself off, refusing to finish her own sentence. Speaks again with a brighter tone) I’ll make you anything you want. Mincemeat pie? How about chocolate custard!

[SARAH stares straight ahead, expressionless.]

LIZZIE:
No wait, listen. I’ll make you some hot tea with honey. Lots of honey! (kneels down beside Sarah). Don’t you give up, Sarah. Do you hear me? I won’t let you!

GOBLIN #1:
(from offstage) Come buy fruit from our orchard!

ALL GOBLINS:
Come buy, come buy!

LIZZIE:
(rushes to the window to see where the sound is coming from) Don’t you come near this house! Do you hear me? Stay away!

ALL GOBLINS:
(from offstage) Come buy, come buy!

[LIZZIE quickly walks to her purse hanging from the coat rack. She reaches inside and pulls out an over-sized silver coin, holding it up so the audience can see it. (See Performance Notes on how to create an over-sized silver coin that will be clear to the audience.) LIZZIE places the coin back in her purse, then kisses Sarah on the forehead.]

LIZZIE:
(to Sarah) I’ll be back soon.

SARAH:
Take your time, it doesn’t matter. Nothing does.

[LIZZIE runs off stage.]

 

Scene 6: Forest

[Stage Set: Goblin Market is on stage, as in Scene 1. GOBLINS enter and stand behind the tables. When LIZZIE enters the stage, they rush at her with fruit in their hands.]

GOBLIN #3:
Look at our apples
Russet and dun.

GOBLIN #2:
Bob at our cherries,
Bite at our peaches,
Out in the sun.

GOBLIN #1:
Plums on their twigs;
We grew them and stew them,
Pomegranates, figs.
Lick them and chew them.

LIZZIE:
Good folk. Give me much and give me many. (Pulls the coin out of her purse and tosses it to them. A goblin catches the coin and jumps with joy.) I will take as much as I can carry.

GOBLIN #3:
(snatches up the coin)
Nay, do not take and leave us behind,
Honor us and EAT with us, dine.
You mustn’t leave without a taste
Sit and relax, haste makes waste.

GOBLIN #2:
Such fruits as these
No man can carry;
Half their bloom would fly,
Half their dew would dry,
Half their flavor would pass one by.

GOBLIN #1:
Be our welcome guest, at the very least
Sit with us, partake in our feast.

LIZZIE:
Thank you, but my sister is home waiting for me. I need to get back to her. I will not stay and eat. Just sell me your fruit, or give me back my silver penny.

GOBLIN #3:
(snarls) You are too proud for your own good, girl!

GOBLIN #2:
High and mighty!

GOBLIN #1:
Smarty-pants!

[GOBLINS pantomime physically taunting LIZZIE, pretending to pull her hair, kick her shins, clutch at her dress, stamp on her foot, claw at her arms. GOBLIN #1 and GOBLIN #2 grab LIZZIE’s arms (remember, this is all pretend), while GOBLIN #3 pretends to press a fruit against her lips.  A the same time, LIZZIE spreads raspberry jam on her own face.  (See Performance Notes for how to make this work).]

GOBLIN #3:
Taste and try!

[LIZZIE keeps her lips pressed shut and shakes her head resolutely NO!]

[GOBLIN #1 and GOBLIN #2, let go of LIZZIE’s arms.  GOBLIN #2 and GOBLIN #3 gather up all the fruit from their stands. GOBLIN #1 flings the silver coin back at LIZZIE toward her shoe. GOBLINS exit the stage. LIZZIE picks up the coin, holds it up high for a moment, smiling, and puts it in her purse. She exits.]

 

Scene 7: Cottage

[Stage Set: Same as in Scene 2. SARAH sits in the chair with her head drooping down and a blanket wrapped around her. LIZZIE enters the stage and crouches down near her sister. SARAH’s eyes are closed and her jaw hangs slack open. LIZZIE lifts SARAH’s head.]

LIZZIE:
SARAH, wake up!

[SARAH is unresponsive.]

LIZZIE:
I’ve come back from the Goblin Market.

SARAH:
(opens her eyes, speaks groggily) The Goblin Market?

LIZZIE:
Yes, look at me.

[Still weak, SARAH leans in toward LIZZIE, examining her sister more closely.]

SARAH:
Lizzie, what’s that on your face?

LIZZIE:
For your sake I’ve brought some back for you. Kiss my cheek, taste the juices. (points to the fruit stain on her cheek)

SARAH:
Lizzie, you didn’t eat the Goblin fruit too, did you?

LIZZIE:
Not a speck of it, don’t worry. Go on, go ahead.

[SARAH kisses LIZZIE on the cheek, then stands, still wrapped in a blanket. SARAH puts one hand over her mouth and the other over her throat, like she’s choking, and runs offstage.  Offstage, she removes the gray wig and pulls the blanket up around her head to hide her hair.]

LIZZIE:
(calling after her) Sarah!  Sarah, are you OK?  What is it?  What’s wrong?

[SARAH enters and staggers toward the bed.]

SARAH:
I’ve never tasted anything more dreadful in all my life.

[SARAH collapses onto the bed. LIZZIE rushes to her side, shakes her sister by the shoulders.]

LIZZIE:
Sarah? SARAH! (touches Sarah’s forehead) Oh no, it didn’t work!

SARAH:
(hoarsely) Water…

LIZZIE:
(lifting her head) Sarah? Wait, what did you say?

SARAH:
Thirsty. Please, some water?

LIZZIE:
Yes, yes. Of course!

[LIZZIE jumps up. Pretends to pour water from one of the stoneware pitchers into a cup. She carries it back to her sister, holding the cup to SARAH’s lips. SARAH grabs the cup and pretends to drink it all.]

SARAH:
(lying back down) More please.

[LIZZIE gets up and pours another cup of water. As she walks back, SARAH sits up again. Her hair has returned to a golden blonde (See Performance Notes for how to accomplish this effect).]

LIZZIE:
Sarah, your hair!

SARAH:
Oh, my!  (lifting her ear towards the window)  Do you hear them?

LIZZIE:
No, Sarah. There are no Goblins calling.

SARAH:
(laughs) Who said anything about Goblins? I’m talking about the birds outside our window. Listen…

[Birds tweet from offstage.]

LIZZIE:
It’s beautiful.

[LIZZIE hands SARAH the cup. SARAH takes a small sip.]

SARAH:
I’m hungry.

LIZZIE:
(laughs) What can I make you?

SARAH:
(smiles) I thought you said something about chocolate custard?

[LIZZIE and SARAH laugh together, and exit. Offstage, the sisters quickly don aprons and bonnets to get ready for the next scene. Offstage, an actor hands LIZZIE a baby doll, wrapped in a blanket.]

 

Scene 8 – Years later

[Stage set: This scene takes place in a general, nondescript place, but for staging purposes the characters can step to the very front of the stage to indicate the action is happening in an area that’s not exactly the interior of the cottage.]

[NARRATOR steps forward.]

NARRATOR:
Days, weeks, months, years went by
And afterwards, when both were wives

[LIZZIE and SARAH re-enter, along with CHILD #1, CHILD #2, and CHILD #3. LIZZIE and SARAH are wearing the aprons and bonnets to indicate they are now adults. LIZZIE holds the baby doll.]

[CHILDREN #1-#3 skip around the stage.]

NARRATOR:
With children of their own
Sarah would call the little ones
From their games and chores and runs

[SARAH motions to the three CHILDREN to come to her, and they sit in a semi-circle in front of her.]

NARRATOR:
And tell them how her sister stood
In deadly peril to do her good.

SARAH:
(to Children) For there is no friend like a sister

LIZZIE:
(to the Children) In calm or stormy weather

SARAH:
(to Lizzie) To cheer one on the tedious way,
(to audience) Or fetch one back if one goes astray.

NARRATOR:
You’ve heard of J. K. Rowling, who wrote Harry Potter? Her novel The Cuckoo’s Calling is based on Christina Rossetti’s poetry. But Christina’s most famous story is “The Goblin Market.”
So our tale is told, and you must know
A true sister never lets you go.

end

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1-855-WHOOTIE (946-6843)

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Niels Bohr and the Barometer

Niels Bohr and the Barometer ~ Reader’s Theater No Reviews Posted.

Neils Bohr & the Barometer-Reader’s Theater Play Script for Kids

 

CHARACTERS

  • SLEEPING BOY
  • STUDENT #1
  • STUDENT #2
  • STUDENT #3
  • CLASS CLOWN
  • PROFESSOR
  • NARRATOR
  • NIELS BOHR
  • EAGER BOY
  • HEADMASTER
  • JANITOR

 

Scene 1 – Classroom

[Stage Set: There are two sets on stage – a classroom on one side, and the HEADMASTER’S office on the other.  In the classroom, desks or tables are placed in rows. At front is a large desk for PROFESSOR. Behind this is a chalkboard with these scattered words: “Pythagorean tuning, pure perfect fifth, 3:2, tetrachord, 16th century, 6th century,” along with a few musical notes. (See Performance Notes for suggestions on how to set up the stage.)] 

[Students dressed in uniforms sit quietly, hands folded on their desks. Most struggle to pay attention. SLEEPING BOY is slumped back in his chair, loudly snoring. CLASS CLOWN sits in the corner with a silly cap on his head. Two desks or table spots remain empty.]

[A formidable PROFESSOR points at the chalkboard with a long pointer.]

[SLEEPING BOY stops snoring so the audience can hear the speakers.]

[NARRATOR enters.]

NARRATOR:
Hello, everyone. This story comes from a tale told about Niels Bohr (pronounce: neels BOAR), the famous physicist. Ever hear of Albert Einstein, the genius? Well back in the day, the two of them were good friends.  The two of them would debate together about the universe – What is it?  What is it made of? Where did it come from, anyway?

PROFESSOR:
Class! Faces front. (sighs) Let’s try to pay attention for once, will you?

[All students other than SLEEPING BOY sit up in attention.]

[NARRATOR paces stage addressing all sides of audience.]

NARRATOR:
This story about Niels Bohr takes place when he was a high school student in Denmark. What you are about to hear is based on a true story, and it’s called “Niels Bohr and the Barometer.” You’ll find out about the barometer in just a few minutes.  The play is brought to you by Stories to Grow by.

PROFESSOR:
(exasperated) Do you think you can all look at me and pay attention? (points to blackboard) As you can plainly see here, the Pythagoras (pronounce: pie-THAH-gor-us) theorem is a fundamental relation in geometry–

[The door (if you have one) opens quietly. NIELS BOHR creeps across the room to his desk.]

PROFESSOR:
Pythagoras showed us that musical notes could be translated into mathematical equations by–

[PROFESSOR catches sight of NIELS BOHR just as he reaches his desk. He slams the pointer down on his own desk with a thunderous WAP. All students jump a mile. SLEEPING BOY wakes with a start.]

SLEEPING BOY:
(wakes from dream) Penguins!!!

PROFESSOR:
What?!

SLEEPING BOY:
(wipes at drool on his face) Nothing, Sir.

[Class snickers.]

PROFESSOR:
(turns to Niels Bohr) Niels Bohr.

[NIELS BOHR reluctantly gets to his feet.]

PROFESSOR:
Late again, are we?

[NIELS BOHR lowers his head and stuffs his hands in his pockets, as STUDENTS stifle laughter and whisper.]

PROFESSOR:
Don’t tell me. You were collecting seashells again?

NIELS BOHR:
But you can see Fibonacci’s (pronounce fib-oh-NAH-cheeze) sequence in the shells. You know, where you find a number by adding the two numbers before it. 

[PROFESSOR shoves a pile of papers at him.]

PROFESSOR:
I’m WELL AWARE of Fibonacci’s sequence. That’s not the topic today! Look, make yourself useful. Pass these out.

[NIELS BOHR walks down the aisles passing out the graded homework. STUDENTS show various signs of disappointment, shoulders droop, slump in chair, heads hang, groans, etc., as they each receive their papers.]

PROFESSOR:
As you can see by your grades, your understanding of physics is abysmal! (pronounce: a-BIZ-mahl)

[CLASS is confused by the word “abysmal” in the comments that follow.]

STUDENT #1:
What?

STUDENT #2:
What did he say?

STUDENT #3:
Did you hear?

EAGER BOY:
Something about Pepto-Bismol?

CLASS CLOWN:
Why are we talking about Pepto-Bismol?

PROFESSOR:
Come on, class. SOMEONE must be able to tell us what the word “abysmal” means.

STUDENT #1:
(raises hand) Not so good?

PROFESSOR:
First correct answer today!

[NIELS BOHR takes his seat. He is the only one without a paper.]

PROFESSOR:
(spins around and points accusingly to Niels Bohr) No paper at your desk? Perhaps you WOULD have had your paper returned IF your name had been on the paper. One would think that a boy who can recite the Fibonacci sequence would have the presence of mind to put his own name on his own paper! (glares at Niels Bohr)

[NIELS BOHR shrinks in his seat.]

NIELS BOHR:
Yes, sir.

PROFESSOR:
(to class) Let us review yesterday’s homework assignment, shall we? You (to Eager Boy). Read the assignment.

[EAGER BOY happily stands.]

EAGER BOY:
(reads aloud) “Using a barometer, how do you determine the height of a building?” Professor, I probably should have asked this BEFORE I started the assignment but, uh, what’s a barometer?

PROFESSOR:
(sighs & holds up barometer) (See Performance Notes for how to make a barometer) This! Doesn’t ANYONE listen? A barometer measures the pressure of the atmosphere. It’s used to forecast the weather or calculate the height of the atmosphere. Or to do other things here on land, such as find out the height of a building. Which is today’s topic. (holds up a paper) Neils, no doubt you figured out how to measure the height of a building using a barometer.  Read aloud your homework assignment, and (makes a grand gesture) enlighten us.

NIELS BOHR:
(reads) “Give an example of how to determine the height of a building using a barometer.” (clears throat) This is what I wrote, Professor.  (reads) “You climb to the rooftop. You tie a string to the barometer. You lower the barometer until it touches the ground. Then all you need to do is pull up the barometer and measure the length of the string.”

[CLASS CLOWN applauds. The classroom erupts in guffaws.]

PROFESSOR:
Settle down now! Class, settle down!

STUDENT #1:
That would definitely work!

STUDENT #3:
Why didn’t I think of it?

STUDENT #2:
Here I was doing all this MATH.

STUDENT #3:
I know, right? What’s the point?

[PROFESSOR snatches the paper from NIELS BOHR, rolls it up and uses it to point at the class.]

PROFESSOR:
Math IS the point! You were asked how to measure the height of a building using a BAROMETER. NOT by climbing to a rooftop and dangling a barometer from a string to the ground.

STUDENT #2:
(in a low voice) Uh, why not?

STUDENT #1:
(another low voice) Yeah, it seems like it would work.

PROFESSOR:
(to Student # 2 and Student #3) Because it’s not scientific! (to Niels Bohr) Niels, use that brain of yours. Tell the class the REAL way to measure the height of a building using a barometer.

NIELS BOHR:
No problem. I can think of LOTS of ways.

PROFESSOR:
Do share.  (hands him the barometer)

NIELS BOHR:
It’s simple, really. You set the barometer on the ground on the first floor of the building.

PROFESSOR:
Uh-oh.  (mutters) Why do I have a bad feeling about this?

NIELS BOHR:
(gets more excitedf as he talks) You mark the top of the barometer on the wall, in pencil. Then you turn the barometer upside down and make a new mark. You keep turning around the pencil and marking the new top until the barometer gets to the very top of the building. Then you count all the marks. You know how many inches a barometer is, so that’s how you figure out the height of the building!

[CLASS applauds.]

STUDENT #3:
That would work, too!

STUDENT #1:
Brilliant!

STUDENT #2:
Who knew a barometer could be so useful?

STUDENT #3:
I didn’t!

EAGER BOY:
Uh, what’s a barometer again?

PROFESSOR:
(to the class) Everyone, zip it! (to Niels Bohr) Niels, you know very well that is NOT the methodology what I was looking for–

NIELS BOHR:
Wait! Here’s another one.

PROFESSOR:
(under breath) Here we go…

NIELS BOHR:
You drop the barometer from the rooftop and count how much time it takes to hit the ground. And voila! (pronounce: vwah-LAH) that’s how you can figure the height of the building. (to audience) Though you may go through a lot of barometers that way.

[CLASS laughs again.]

PROFESSOR:
Okay, that’s IT!

[PROFESSOR grabs NIELS BOHR by the collar and *gently* pushes him toward the door. Remember, this is pretend!]

PROFESSOR:
Let’s go! We’re going to the principal’s office. (calls over his shoulder) I don’t want to hear a word out of this classroom!

[PROFESSOR and NIELS BOHR exit.]

[CLASS CLOWN grabs PROFESSOR’S pointer. He mimics the PROFESSOR’S style.]

CLASS CLOWN:
Ladies and Penguins, step right up! We are now going to discuss how to find the height of a building using a penguin!

[CLASS laughs.]

[ALL exit.]

Scene 2 – Headmaster’s Office

[Scene set: A large desk, one chair behind the desk, and two chairs either in front of the desk or beside it. Scattered about are the sort of content you would see in a utility closet — a stepladder, mops, brooms, buckets, etc.]

[HEADMASTER enters, carrying a small paper bag as he carefully makes his way through the mess and trips over various obstacles in his way to his desk nearly dropping his bag. He clutches it close.]

HEADMASTER:
Confound it! Just because the janitor is fixing the leak in the ceiling doesn’t mean he can just leave all his tools around wherever he drops them. Why doesn’t he store all this nonsense in a closet like other janitors do?

[HEADMASTER makes it to the desk and opens his bag taking out a very large pastry. The pastry can also be an exaggeratedly-large cut-out, for comic intent.  HEADMASTER is about to take a bite when there’s a knock at the door. He looks at the door, tries to take a quick bite of the pastry. Another knock and he reluctantly puts the pastry down.]

HEADMASTER:
Come in.

[PROFESSOR pushes NIELS BOHR into the office.  They avoid the mess.]

HEADMASTER:
(stands) Professor? What’s the problem?

[PROFESSOR thrusts NIELS BOHR’s paper into his hand. HEADMASTER reads it and hands it back to PROFESSOR who rolls it up again.]

PROFESSOR:
He is! Niels Bohr is a recalcitrant (pronounce: ree-KAL-se-trint) student!

HEADMASTER:
I see, of course. (rubs chin because he does not know what “recalcitrant” means) And we all know what “recalcitrant” means. Why don’t you tell us, Niels?

NIELS BOHR:
Yes, sir. Pig-headed, stubborn.

HEADMASTER:
Right, I knew that! So– (turns to Professor) What exactly is this student recalcitrant ABOUT?

PROFESSOR:
He is refusing to complete a simple scientific assignment.  Instead, he brings balderdash (Note: “balderdash” means nonsense) to the classroom.

HEADMASTER:
Does he now?

NIELS BOHR:
I answered the question. THREE times!

[PROFESSOR bops him on the head with the rolled-up paper.]

PROFESSOR:
You see what I have to deal with? (to Niels Bohr) You know very well you never answered the question the way you were SUPPOSED to answer the question.

HEADMASTER:
Well then let’s try this again, shall we? Uh, what was the question?

PROFESSOR:
How to determine the height of a building using a barometer.

HEADMASTER:
Right! (under the breath) Easy‒peasy.

PROFESSOR:
(to Niels Bohr) I will NOT accept answers like dangling a barometer from a string, or wiggle-waggling a barometer up the walls, or throwing expensive barometers off the roof.

HEADMASTER:
Absolutely not! Waste not, want not.  Niels, no doubt you can provide your Professor with the real answer to the question.

NIELS BOHR:
Those were real answers. 

[NIELS BOHR sighs. There’s a knock at the door. JANITOR sticks his head in.]

JANITOR:
Janitor here. Just come for the mop is all.

[JANITOR picks the mop and nods to HEADMASTER.]

HEADMASTER:
Be on your way, then.

[JANITOR exits.]

NIELS BOHR:
(looks at where Janitor had exited) Hmm, there’s another way. You go to the basement. You knock on the janitor’s door. And you say: “If you can tell me how tall this building is, I will give you this barometer!”

[NIELS BOHR spins around to face audience and stretches out both arms wide in a victory sign. HEADMASTER puts both hands on his head in despair. PROFESSOR cries “AUGHH!” and falls (carefully!) flat on the stage floor.]

[NARRATOR enters.]

NARRATOR:
This was Niels Bohr as a teenager. When he grew up, he became a famous atomic scientist. He won many awards, including the Nobel Prize in Physics.

NEILS BOHR:
You don’t say?  I’m going to be FAMOUS!

[NIELS BOHR makes victory signs to the audience, first to one section of the audience, then to the other.]

PROFESSOR:
(lifts head up) Wait, you said the Nobel Prize? (stands and brushes off his pants) Niels?  I find that hard to believe.

[HEADMASTER shrugs.]

NARRATOR:
It’s true. And one time you will say to another scientist: “We all agree that your theory is crazy. The question is if it’s crazy enough to have a chance of being correct. My own feeling is that it is not crazy enough.”

NIELS BOHR:
Yeah. I can see me saying that.

[NIELS BOHR returns to making victory signs.]

NARRATOR:
(to Niels Bohr) Time to bow. (Niels Bohr is still making victory signs.) BOW! (Niels Bohr bows) That’s better.

[NARRATOR turns to audience.]

NARRATOR:
And that’s the real-life story of “Niels Bohr and the Barometer.”

[If you have a curtain, close it now. If you do not, fade the lights. If you have no stage lights, all actors come on stage and bow to the audience.]

end

CONTACT US:

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The Young Hunter & the Old Woman of the Woods ~ Reader’s Theater No Reviews Posted.




The Young Hunter and the Old Woman of the Woods Reader's Theater Play Script for Kids

 

CHARACTERS

  • NARRATOR
  • OLEN
  • DEER #1
  • Deer #2 - #6 (can be from 2 to 6 actors)
  • OLD WOMAN

 

 

Scene 1 - Wooded area

[Stage Set: The stage is divided into two halves, with the wooded area being one half and the Old Woman’s House being the other half.  (See Performance Notes for further suggestions on setting the stage.)] 

[In the wooded area there are various trees made from cardboard.  (See Performance Notes for ideas on making the trees.)]

NARRATOR:
Hello, everyone.  Here's a folktale is from northern Finland.  That’s above the Arctic Circle, where snow falls nearly all year round.  A rugged people live there known as the Saams (pronounce: SAAHMS, rhymes with MOMS). This is a Saam’s tale, “The Young Hunter and the Old Woman of the Woods” and it is brought to you by Stories to Grow by.

[NARRATOR steps forward.]

[OLEN enters stage and looks around. A pouch is slung over his shoulder and he holds a bow and arrow in aiming position.]

NARRATOR:
There he is. A young Saam whose name is Olen (pronounced OH-len). A few days ago Olen went deep into the woods to hunt for deer.

OLEN:
(to Narrator) Hey, have you seen any deer?

NARRATOR:
Deer? Why, no I…

OLEN:
(interrupting, then to the audience)  What about you?  Spot any plump deer prancing about?  (waits for a few moments for the audience to respond, and they probably will not)  As I thought!  This hunting expedition has been a waste of time.  There aren't any deer in this forest. Not a single one. (lowers bow and arrow)

NARRATOR:
Are you sure?

OLEN:
Sure, I'm sure. Watch. (hand to mouth) Deer! Oh, deer! Come out, come out wherever you are. Stop playing hard to get, and let’s get on with this. (pauses, looks around) See! No, deer.

NARRATOR:
Who taught you how to hunt?

OLEN:
Why, I’m self-taught, of course. In fact, I come from a long line of self-taught hunters.

NARRATOR:
I’m beginning to see the problem.

OLEN:
The problem is that there are absolutely no deer to be found.

[Cluster of DEER peek their heads out on to stage, unseen by OLEN.]

NARRATOR:
But there are deer, right behind...

OLEN:
None. No deer in any direction.

[DEER sneaks up behind OLEN.]

NARRATOR:
If you’d just look…

OLEN:
(sarcastically) What do you think I’ve been doing the past three days? Looking, looking, and looking! And if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that looking for something is no way to find it.

[DEER prance off.]

NARRATOR:
Then what IS the best way to find something?

OLEN:
I’m not sure. I haven’t taught myself that yet. (stares off to the right)

NARRATOR:
Have you ever considered learning from a successful hunter?

OLEN:
No, not really. (continues to look off to the right, instead of at Narrator) What I AM considering is seeing what’s down that path over there. I see a light.  Maybe an inn.  (points off to the right) Good day!

[OLEN walks about the stage, as if stepping over an overgrown path, then exits.]

NARRATOR:
(calling after Olen) Good luck with i! (to audience) He’ll need it.

[NARRATOR exits.]

Scene 2 - Old Woman's home and Wooded area

[Stage Set: The other half of the stage is the OLD WOMAN'S home.  A rocking chair represents the exterior of the home.  The interior of her home is visible behind the chair- There is a table with a long bench, and a blanket is folded on the bench.]

[OLD WOMAN enters and sits in the rocking chair.] 

[OLEN enters and approaches OLD WOMAN.]

OLEN:
Hello Madam. Might I trouble you for–

OLD WOMAN:
Peur? (pronounced PURR) Peur, is that you?

OLEN:
(surprised) No, I’m Olen, but did you call me Peur? How odd. My great-grandfather was named Peur.

OLD WOMAN:
Was? Has he passed on?

OLEN:
Yes. He died a number of years ago, shortly after his wife.

OLD WOMAN:
Wife? So Peur was married...?  And you are his grandson.  (pause) Come a little closer.

[OLEN steps forward.]

OLD WOMAN:
Closer.

[OLEN steps even closer, still keeping a bit of distance between them.]

OLD WOMAN:
Come on, I won’t bite. Lost all my teeth years ago. Now, let me get a good look at you.

[OLEN comes to stand right in front the OLD WOMAN. She stands up, puts her hands on either side of his face. Turns his face left, right, up down, then points him directly toward her so that their noses are almost touching.]

OLD WOMAN:
(loudly, in his face) You look exactly like him. (coughs)

OLEN:
That's a nasty cough.  (backs away slightly, pulls a canteen out his pack and hands it to Old Woman) Here. Are you all right? (takes out a handkerchief and wipes his face)

[OLD WOMAN drinks and hands the canteen back to OLEN. OLEN sits next to her.]

OLD WOMAN:
Yes, I’m fine. Just overcome with memories. Of Peur.

OLEN:
So you knew him quite well, then? (takes a sip of water) My great-grandfather?

OLD WOMAN:
Very well. If you must know, we might have married.

OLEN:
(sputtering cough) You? And my great-grandfather?

OLD WOMAN:
(nods) Oh, Peur, what a life he and I could have had! If only…

OLEN:
If only what?

OLD WOMAN:
If only he would have listened to me on occasion and not been so contrary. Tell me, did he listen to your great-grandmother?

OLEN:
She was a woman of few words.

OLD WOMAN:
Ah, the perfect match for a man like Peur! Olen, are you like him in that way?

OLEN:
I don’t think so.

OLD WOMAN:
Well, that is a blessing. Because no matter what I said, your great-grandfather would state the opposite. I’d say, “left” and he’d say…

OLEN:
Right.

OLD WOMAN:
Hot.

OLEN:
Cold.

OLD WOMAN:
Raining.

OLEN:
Snowing.

OLD WOMAN:
Exactly!  That’s just what Peur was like.

OLEN:
Although...  Snowing’s not the opposite of raining.  That would be sunny.

OLD WOMAN:
Ha, you even argue with yourself!  (notices his bow and arrow) Are you a hunter?

OLEN:
I’d like to be.

OLD WOMAN:
What do you mean?

OLEN:
For three days I have tried to hunt deer, but this forest has no game in it.

OLD WOMAN:
What are you talking about? This forest is loaded with deer!

OLEN:
(bows his head slightly) With all due respect, my good woman, if there were any deer at all, I’d have found them.

OLD WOMAN:
With all due respect, my over-confident young man, isn’t it possible you just don’t know how to properly hunt?  (stares off to the right in memory) I remember Peur used to lure deer by singing to them. Then, with the wind at his back, he’d approach, taking aim with his bow and arrow.

OLEN:
(to audience) Singing! With the wind to my back!  I’ll try that! I know an old Finnish folk song the deer might like.

[OLEN gets up, unnoticed by OLD WOMAN, pantomimes shooting an arrow, then runs off stage to the right.]

OLD WOMAN:
And that’s why your great-grandfather…(looks around) Olen? (louder) Olen?! (throws her arms up in the air) Yes, yes, exactly like Peur!

[OLEN sings/chants from off-stage.  (See Performance Notes for information about the song and the melody.)]

OLEN:
Tilly, tally, tilly, tally, tanta.
Halla, talla, halla, talla, yanta

OLD WOMAN:
Ah, the same lovely voice as Peur…

[DEER herd enter stage from the left.]

OLD WOMAN:
And here come the deer.

[DEER walk cautiously to center of the stage, lured by OLEN’s singing.]

OLEN:
Tilly, tally, tilly, tally, tanta.

[DEER very obviously sniff the air and prance away in the direction they came.]

OLD WOMAN:
And there they go.

[OLEN sulks back onto stage.]

OLEN:
(to Old Woman) Perhaps over time your memory of how my great-grandfather used to hunt has grown fuzzy. I did everything you said. And it didn’t work.

OLD WOMAN:
Of course, it didn’t!

OLEN:
(confused) But you said my great-grandfather–

OLD WOMAN:
What I was going to say was that your great-grandfather Peur was a terrible deer hunter!

OLEN:
He was? Then what kind of hunting lesson was that?

OLD WOMAN:
A lesson about what NOT to do! But you ran off before I was finished.  That was just like him, too!  He didn’t listen to me either.  That’s why I never married him!

OLEN:
(sits down next to her) I wouldn’t mind hearing what you have to say about hunting.

OLD WOMAN:
(teasing) Wouldn’t you rather just wander around in the forest for days with nothing to show for it but an empty stomach?

[OLEN half-smiles and shakes his head.]

OLD WOMAN:
Oh!  Speaking of an empty stomach, why don’t we start your lesson after supper? How does a nice hot bowl of pea soup sound?

OLEN:
It sounds delicious.

OLD WOMAN:
My cabin’s not much to look at. But I can offer a warm blanket and a floor to sleep on tonight. Beats spending the night on the snow-covered ground.

OLEN:
I'd be grateful.

OLD WOMAN:
When you’re well fed and rested, I will tell you a thing or two about hunting.  Then tomorrow you will bring me home a deer for supper.  Deal?

OLEN:
It's a deal.

[OLEN reaches out to OLD WOMAN. They shake hands, and she leads him inside. She hands him two bowls, which he sets on the table. She pantomimes ladling soup for both of them.]

OLD WOMAN:
Now. Here's what your great-grandfather never stopped long enough to hear. When the wind is at a hunter’s back, the breeze carries the scent of the hunter straight to the deer’s sensitive nose. Make sense?

OLEN:
Yes. No wonder the deer go into hiding or run off.

OLD WOMAN:
Exactly. And, having not bathed in awhile, your scent is - well, how shall I put this? - pungent (pronounce: PUN-jent).

[OLEN sniffs his armpits and makes a face.]

OLD WOMAN:
A bath after supper will take care of that. But to really excel at hunting deer, you can’t just smell clean. You must have no scent at all.

OLEN:
How is that possible?

OLD WOMAN:
Test the direction of the wind to make sure it is blowing in your face. That way the air will carry your scent away. The deer won’t be warned of your approach.

OLEN:
I get it! Wind to my face so they don’t know I’m coming, (pause) Then I draw them in with my Finnish Folksong serenade. (breaks into chant) Tilly, tally, tilly, tally, tanta–

OLD WOMAN:
(interrupting) About that …don’t.

OLEN:
That bad?

OLD WOMAN:
No, that LOUD. Your voice might lure a deer within earshot, but the deer will stay outside the range of your arrow. For the deer to come closer, you must be absolutely silent.

OLEN:
Ah! No scent. A bit of chanting maybe, then silence. No problem. (pause) I’m sorry things didn’t work out with my great-grandfather.

[OLD WOMAN gets up, begins to clear the table.]

OLD WOMAN:
No matter. It’s snow from the past winter -- long gone now.

[OLEN lies down on the bench, unnoticed by OLD WOMAN as she uses her apron to wipe the dishes. OLEN falls asleep.]

OLD WOMAN:
Besides, it’s only because Peur didn’t listen to me that you are sitting here today. Now go wash up while I–

[OLD WOMAN notices OLEN is asleep on the bench. She covers him with a folded blanket.]

OLD WOMAN:
Good night, Olen. Your bath can wait ‘til daybreak. (exaggerated sniffing) But no longer than that.

[OLD WOMAN exits stage. NARRATOR enters from other side.]

NARRATOR:
Olen arose at dawn the next day and took a much needed bath.

[OLEN gets up and heads to the front door.]

NARRATOR:
I said: “Took a much needed bath.”

OLEN:
Oh, right.

[OLEN turns around and exits.]

[OLD WOMAN enters carrying a bowl and spoon.]

NARRATOR:
While he washed up, the Old Woman fixed him a bowl of cloudberry porridge. (That’s an orangey fruit like a raspberry or blackberry.)

[OLD WOMAN stirs bowl with spoon, then sets it down on the table]

NARRATOR:
Olen returned, freshly bathed, and hungrily gobbled down his breakfast.

[OLEN eats with exaggerated quickness. He holds the bowl up to his face, slurps, and bangs on the bottom of the bowl with his spoon to get every last morsel into his mouth. Then he sets it back down on the table. Stands.]

OLEN:
(to Old Woman) Wish me luck.

[OLEN picks up his bow and arrow, which he slings over his shoulder]

OLD WOMAN:
Funny thing about luck, Olen. The more you learn about something, the luckier you get.

OLEN:
I’m feeling lucky.

OLD WOMAN:
Now get out there and bring us home a deer.

[OLEN walks out the front door. OLD WOMAN wipes off the table with a cloth. She grabs a broom and sweeps the floor. NARRATOR enters.]

NARRATOR:
Olen followed the old woman’s advice. Testing the air to see which direction the wind blew.

[OLEN licks his finger, sticks it straight in the air, and nods. He heads away from the house, walking very quietly, almost on tiptoe. DEER #1 wanders onto stage, pauses to sniff the air, then continues across the stage, unaware of OLEN’s presence. As DEER #1 walks off stage, OLEN creeps after it. He raises his bow and arrow towards to off-stage deer, and shoots.]

OLEN:
Did I get it? I think I got it. (exits stage, calls loudly from off-stage) I got it! I got it!

[OLEN (*gently*) pulls DEER #1 by the feet back onto the stage. DEER #1 should keep his or her head up off the stage floor. OLEN goes back to the home of the OLD WOMAN, where she is sweeping. DEER #1 has a comical look of tongue sticking out, hand raised to forehead, to keep the hunting death scene comical. Arrow is tucked into DEER #1’s arm to simulate being struck close the heart by an arrow.]

OLEN:
(to Old Woman) Great-grandmother, look! I did it.

OLD WOMAN:
What did you say?

OLEN:
Look, a deer!

OLD WOMAN:
Yes, I know. But you called me great-grandmother!

OLEN:
Oh. I’m sorry.

OLD WOMAN:
It’s all right. I never had the chance to be anyone’s great-grandmother, or grandmother… So to be called that… sounds nice.

OLEN:
Well, you feel like family to me. Say, you know what? Come back to my village, and live with my family. Who knows what else I could learn from you!

OLD WOMAN:
Ah, such a wonderful offer! But I cannot accept.

OLEN:
Why? I’m listening better now.

OLD WOMAN:
Then hear this, grandson.

OLEN:
Grandson?  I like that.

OLD WOMAN:
Think of it this way.  I'm no different than other aging animals.  As they age, they stick close to their nests or caves, or -

OLEN:
Or their cabin in the woods?

OLD WOMAN:
(nods) You see, I am rooted to my home like an old spruce to the frozen winter ground. I cannot be uprooted. Not anymore. My dear man, I must stay.

OLEN:
I think I understand.

OLD WOMAN:
I’ll miss you, Olen.

OLEN:
No, you won’t.

OLD WOMAN:
Oh not again! Disagreeing with everything I say, just like your great-grandfather Peur!

OLEN:
I mean, you won’t miss me because (pause) if you won’t come stay with me, I’d like to stay here with you awhile. If that’s all right.

OLD WOMAN:
Yes, why YES! Very much all right.

OLEN:
Good. Then I will stay.

[They hug.]

OLEN:
Say, great-grandmother...  Do you know how to make Mojakka (pronounce: MOY-a-kah), venison stew?

OLD WOMAN:
(shrugs) Who doesn’t?

OLEN:
(raises hand) Um, me?

OLD WOMAN:
Tell you what. You bring home a deer, and we will feast on my own special recipe for Mojakka.

OLEN:
Great!  But what I REALLY want to know is…  can you can teach me how to cook it?

OLD WOMAN:
Let's find out!

[NARRATOR enters.]

NARRATOR:
Olen lived with the old woman ‘til the end of her days. The lessons and wisdom he learned from her were passed down through his family, from one generation to the next, to his own great-grandchildren, and beyond.  (pauses, then faces the audience directly)  Are you folks still listening?  Good, because this is -- The End.

[If you have a curtain, close it now. If you do not, fade the lights. If you have no stage lights, all actors come on stage and bow to the audience.]

end

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The Ogre's Feather

Ogre’s Feather ~ Reader’s Theater Script 5/5 (1)

The Ogre’s Feather-Reader’s Theater Play Script for Kids

 

CHARACTERS

NARRATOR
• KING
• 2 BLUE CLOTH STAGEHANDS (non-speaking)
• COURT ATTENDANT #1/VILLAGER #1 (non-speaking)
• COURT ATTENDANT #2/VILLAGER #2 (non-speaking)
• MEDICO (COURT PHYSICIAN)
• COURT ADVISOR #1
• COURT ADVISOR #2
• EROE (YOUNG COURT ADVISOR)
• INNKEEPER (female)
• FERRYMAN
• DUKE
• DUCHESS
• BELAFLORE (Ogre’s Maid)
• OGRE

 

 

Scene 1 – King’s throne room

[Stage set: The stage has two main sections – a KING’s throne room and an OGRE’s cave.  There will be three additional areas set up at the very far front of the stage for future scene: (1) the outside of an Inn,  (2) a river, and (3) the estate of a DUKE and DUCHESS.  More later on these areas as the scenes take place.]

[The play opens in the KING’s throne room.  A long blue cloth drapes over two white columns that flank either side of the throne. (See Performance Notes on how to simulate/construct the columns over KING’s throne.)  Note: The same long blue cloth can double as the river in later scenes.]

NARRATOR:
Hello, everyone.  Have you ever heard of “ogres”?  I’m sure you must have heard of “zombies,” right?  Well, ogres are like zombies and feed on human flesh, but they are bigger, smarter, and quicker than zombies.  And an ogre usually carries a big club.  Some ogres have feathers — the one in this play does, and that’s why the play is called “The Ogre’s Feather.” So, without further ado, here is the “The Ogre’s Feather,” brought to you by Stories to Grow by.

[NARRATOR steps forward.]

NARRATOR:
Our play begins on a big island near Italy called Sicily (pronounce: SIS-uh-lee).   The king of Sicily was known far and wide as a fair and just ruler.

[The play opens to ATTENDANTS bringing blankets and food to KING.  KING ignores their offerings and sits slumped in his throne.  ATTENDANTS enter, bringing blankets and food to KING.  KING ignores their offerings and sits slumped in his throne.  COURT ADVISOR #1 and COURT ADVISOR #2 stand to one side of KING, occasionally stroking their long, distinguished beards or patting the swords at their sides while quietly conversing with one another. ]

[On the other side of KING stands MEDICO, the court physician, who consults a large book. MEDICO pantomimes directing ATTENDANT #1 to mix together a potion and to offer it to KING.]

NARRATOR:a
As you can see, the king is sick…

[KING takes a sip of the potion, sputters and coughs.]

NARRATOR:
…in fact, the king is very, VERY sick…

[KING angrily shoves potion back at COURT ATTENDANT #1, who fumbles the cup and loses his balance. COURT ATTENDANT #2 scrambles in to help support ATTENDANT, then #1 as COURT ATTENDANT #1 pretends to lose his balance.]

NARRATOR:
…well, let’s just say that when the King suffers, everyone around him feels the pain, too..

KING:
(sputters) What are you poisoning me with, Medico? And you, my doctor!

MEDICO:
But, Your Majesty! That was lungwort. The very best tincture in the land for a bad cough!

KING:
This SLIME?! I banish it from my land, forevermore! And I have half a mind to banish YOU as well…

[KING falls into another coughing fit. ATTENDANTS rush over to KING. MEDICO frantically flips through his book.]

MEDICO:
Sire, I am working on a cure, I assure you! (to Court Advisor #1 and Court Advisor #2) Does anyone know what the position of the moon will be tonight?

[COURT ADVISOR #1 and COURT ADVISOR #2 ignore MEDICO’s question.]

COURT ADVISOR #1:
(to Court Advisor #2) In MY day we slayed goblins with a sword to protect the king! We didn’t consult BOOKS on the position of the MOON.

COURT ADVISOR #2:
(draws his sword and waves it about) A goblin is nothing! In MY day, I battled a fire-breathing DRAGON. I would face another in a heartbeat to save my king!  (pantomimes battling the dragon with his sword and yells, “Abbasso!” (pronounced ah-bah-SO)

[EROE, a young court advisor, walks onstage and cheerily greets COURT ADVISOR #1 and COURT ADVISOR #2. Smaller and younger than his cohorts, he seems to struggle a bit with the heavy sword that begins to slide off his belt.]

EROE(pronounced “arrow”): :
Fellow Courtiers, how is our king today?

KING:
(to Medico) Do you let just ANYONE wander into this court? (roars at Eroe) Who ARE you?!

[COURT ADVISORS snicker at EROE for being reprimanded.]

COURT ADVISOR #1:
(to Eroe, in answer to his question) He’s been better.

[MEDICO slams his book shut.]

MEDICO:
A new moon tonight! My almanac clearly states there should be no leeches or bloodletting until the moon is full!

KING:
Keep those bloodsuckers away from me! (shivers) Why am I so cold?  

[COURT ADVISOR #1 puts a cape around KING’s shoulders.  KING shakes it off angrily.]

KING:
I don’t need THAT!  Oh!  (swoons) Why am I so hot?

[COURT ADVISOR #2 puts a cloth on KING’s forehead and tries to fan him. KING slaps away the cloth and falls into another coughing fit.]

EROE:
(worried, to Medico) Is there no remedy?

MEDICO:
(taps his chin in thought) You’re Eroe, right? (Eroe nods) Well, Eroe, there’s pretty much no remedy.

EROE:
“Pretty much”?  There IS a remedy?

MEDICO:
Maybe.  But it’s so impossible, it hardly counts.

COURT ADVISOR #1:
Impossible? Allow me to remind you that you have the (gestures to Court Advisor #2) finest advisors in all of Sicily at your disposal. 

COURT ADVISOR #2:
We laugh at “impossible!”

MEDICO:
Okay then, the cure requires a feather…

COURT ADVISOR #1:
That’s IT?

[COURT ADVISOR #1 and COURT ADVISOR #2 laugh heartily together.]

MEDICO:
…from an ogre!

[COURT ADVISOR #1 and COURT ADVISOR #2 instantly freeze.]

COURT ADVISOR #2:
 An OGRE? 

COURT ADVISOR #1:
Medico, you know as well as anyone there’s not a soul alive who will go near an ogre.   They’ll eat a human as quick as swat a fly! 

MEDICO:
Yes, indeed.  But, truly, a feather 
from an ogre can cure any sickness.

EROE:
Any sickness?

MEDICO:
Bene! (pronounced ben-AYE) Obviously there’s no way an ogre is going to GIVE you one of his feathers.  And you can forget about plucking one and surviving the adventure.  That’s why I said, there’s pretty much no remedy.

EROE:
(suddenly) I will go!

[Entire court, other than KING, gasps.]

EROE:
I’ll go find the Ogre, and bring back a feather!

COURT ADVISOR #1:
(quickly) I WOULD have gone!

COURT ADVISOR #2:
(just as quickly) I would have gone before YOU would have gone!

KING:
Silence, both of you!  (to Eroe)  Very well, whatever your name is. Just go get the feather. if you CAN’T get it, don’t bother coming back!

EROE:
(bows) Yes, Your Majesty.  (to Medico)  Uh, where do I start?

MEDICO:
You don’t have the slightest notion what you’re doing, do you?

EROE:
Not really..

MEDICO:
Never mind.  
(takes Eros by the shoulder and points to the mountains offstage) Do you see those mountains? (Eroe nods) Go to the 7th peak, the one furthest from us. Near the top of that mountain there’s a forest, and in the forest there is a path to a cave.  Follow that to the Ogre’s lair.

EROE:
Okay, thanks.  I’ll be off, then!  

[EROE exits.]

MEDICO:
(to audience)  Not a clue.

 

Scene 2 – Door to an Inn

[Stage set: Stage shows the outside door entrance of an Inn.  Painted or free-standing bushes and flowers are on either side of the door.  The scene is staged at the very front, closer to the audience than KING’s throne room but not hiding it. (See Performance Notes on how to place this scene and options on how to create or suggest a door, including stage hands that can hold up a door.]

[Early morning sounds, such as the chirping of birds and friendly forest chatter. INNKEEPER enters around or through the door, depending if the door is painted or a free-standing prop, and starts sweeping the entryway.]

NARRATOR:
Eroe walked and walked. By the end of the day, he was mighty glad to come across an Inn, and he decided to stay the night. (gestures to Inn)   This is the Innkeeper. (Innkeeper gives a quick wave to audience)   I expect Eroe will wake up soon and start his day.

[EROE enters around or through the door.  He stretches, yawns, and smiles at INNKEEPER.]

INNKEEPER:
Good morning, Signore (pronounced sig-NOR-ee). I hope you slept well.

EROE:
I did, indeed. But Innkeeper, don’t you sleep? You were sweeping this very step late last night when I arrived.

INNKEEPER:
(stops sweeping and rests her chin on her hands, both clasped on top of the broom) Ah, the truth is I have not slept a wink since my daughter, Belaflore, went missing three years ago. That is why I bought this Inn. It keeps me busy and helps still my grief. (sighs and returns to sweeping)

EROE:
I am so sorry to hear that.

INNKEEPER:
What can you do? But tell me. What brings you out here, to this mountain?

EROE:
The King is sick, so I’ve come to fetch a magic feather from the Ogre.  

[INNKEEPER grasps EROE’s arm with fear.]

INNKEEPER:
People don’t “fetch” a feather from the Ogre, no matter how important the mission.

EROE:
I know what I’m doing.

INNKEEPER:
Really?  Then you’ve heard of the hundreds of villagers the Ogre has eaten? About the dragons and trolls he can slay with ONE swing (swings her broom and Eroe pulls back– be careful not to hit the actor playing Eroe!)?

EROE:
Well, not exactly, but… (emphatically) I will do whatever it takes to save our King!

INNKEEPER:
I understand! (shakes head with a touch of fondness) Ah, foolish youth! (turns to audience, brightens when she has an idea) As you are determined to go anyway…

EROE:
I am.

INNKEEPER:
They say the Ogre knows many things. Do you think you could ask him if he knows the whereabouts of my daughter?

EROE:
(nods and sympathetically pats Innkeeper’s arm) If the Ogre is in any mood to answer questions, I’ll ask about your daughter.

INNKEEPER:
Or if not, how about bringing back an extra feather for me, so I may mend my broken heart?

EROE:
Okay, I’ll try.

INNKEEPER:
Thank you, young man. May you stay well.  (to audience)  That means, “stay alive.”  (back to Eroe)  I wish you every success.

[INNKEEPER exits.]

Scene 3 – River

[STAGE HANDS bring on blue fabric and hold it waist high, waving it from each end like a flowing river. From offstage, a recorded sound of tagehands or actors offstage can produce “whooshing” sounds of rushing water, or the audience can help.]

[EROE stops abruptly and cups his hands over his eyes to watch. FERRYMAN enters. He wears a boat costume that hangs from his shoulders. FERRYMAN rows (simulates rowing by moving his arms) across the river toward EROE and stops directly in front of him. (See Performance Notes for boat costume instructions.)]

FERRYMAN:
(eager) Does Signore (pronounced sig-NOR-ee) need a ride across the river?

EROE:
Yes I do, Ferryman. Thanks!

[EROE joins FERRYMAN on the boat by walking beside him. The two “row” slowly across the river while the lonely FERRYMAN speaks rapidly and without thinking.]

FERRYMAN:
I am very glad to have your company, Signore. I’ve been back and forth on this ferry for so long, looking for someone to take across. Why, one day I even took a rat across. He didn’t bring any coins to pay his fare- lousy rat! It could have paid with a nub of cheese, at least. That would have been all right.  Ah, provolone! (pronounced prah-vah-LONE). Or parmesan (pronounced par-meh-ZHAN). Mmh!

[FERRYMAN pauses for a moment and looks EROE up and down.]

FERRYMAN:
I’m curious – what’s your business in crossing to the other side of the river?

EROE:
I need to get to the Ogre’s cave.

FERRYMAN:
(pretends to twists a finger in his ear, as if trying to hear) I’m sorry…I THOUGHT you said you were going to the OGRE’S CAVE?

EROE:
I know, I know! But it’s the only way to get a feather from the Ogre. (leans forward) It’s for our King, who’s sick.

[FERRYMAN frantically begins to “row” them in the opposite direction. EROE and FERRYMAN comically shuffle backwards.]

EROE:
Wait! Stop! What are you doing?

FERRYMAN:
This is a fool’s mission, and I won’t be a part of it! The moment you come anywhere near his cave, the Ogre will smell you. Just like that (snaps fingers) you’re a goner!

[EROE gently places a hand on FERRYMAN’s shoulder. FERRYMAN stops to look at him.]

EROE:
Brav’uomo (pronounced brr-AH-vu-oh-moh), I appreciate your concern. But I AM doing this.  

FERRYMAN:
(shakes his head sadly) Fine! But only because you insist.

[FERRYMAN reluctantly rows EROE back across the river. When they stop, EROE leaps ashore and pays his fare to the FERRYMAN.]

FERRYMAN:
I wish you a safe, eh…encounter with the Ogre, Signore. (sighs and stretches his arms) Ahi (pronounced AH-hee)! How my arms ache from so many years of rowing!

EROE:
I don’t know if I’ll get any feathers, but if I can, how about if bring one back for your arms?

FERRYMAN:
You would do that?  And there’s something else.

EROE:
What?

FERRYMAN:
For years, I’ve been stuck running this ferry without a single break. The Ogre knows many things.  Can you ask him why I can’t leave the boat?

EROE:
Why not? 

FERRYMAN:
Brav’uomo (pronounced brr-AH-vu-oh-moh)!

 

Scene 4 – Path by the Duke and Duchess’s estate

[Stage Set: This is one of the areas set up in the far front area of the stage.  A portable path is laid down. Along the path is a large “rock” on which EROS sits.  (See Performance Notes on how to make the path and the rock).]

[EROE sits on the rock, pulls a piece of bread from his cloak and begins to chew on the food. ]

[DUKE and DUCHESS enter and walk toward EROE.  DUKE hobbles with a crutch to avoid putting any weight on an injured leg.

DUKE:
Disgraceful, my dear, that we should be reduced to such low circumstances.  Walking this road like common peasants.  How our lives have changed!

DUCHESS:
I do miss our carriage. (pats her hair.) And my coiffure (pronounced kwa-FOOR) must look dreadful. What am I to do without my hand-maid to tuck in the frizzy spots in the back?

DUKE:
You are as lovely as ever, Amore Mio (pronounced ah-mor-MEE-Oh). A true duchess in every sense.

DUCHESS:
As you will always be my very own duke.  Despite what’s happened to us.

[DUKE and DUCHESS clasp hands. Just then DUCHESS drops DUKE’s hand and lets out a squeal when she sees EROE. DUKE draws his sword and points it at EROE.  EROE, caught by surprise, at first points his bread at DUKE. After realizing he’s holding out his bread instead of a weapon, EROE drops the roll and pulls out his sword in defense.]

DUKE:
Who are you?! And why are you sitting on our fountain?

[EROE confusedly looks at the rock where he was sitting.]

EROE:
This is a…? I mean…what?

DUKE:
If you are a robber, you might as well be on your way.  (to Duchess) If there’s one good thing in being left with nothing, at least we don’t have to worry about robbers anymore.

DUCHESS:
There is THAT.

EROE:
I am sorry, Your Grace. I had no idea I was on your (looks down at rock) …fountain? I was just resting a bit on my journey.

DUCHESS:
(places her hand on Duke’s to lower his sword) He doesn’t seem dangerous, my dear. (to Eroe) And what is the nature of your journey, pray tell?

EROE:
I am headed to see the Ogre.

[DUKE and DUCHESS gasp.]

EROE:
I know already! But I need a feather to cure the King.

[DUKE sheathes his sword.]

DUKE:
I beg your pardon, Signore. Your mission is noble. I had no idea our King was sick.

DUCHESS:
(smiles sadly) And I’m sure you had no idea you were sitting at a fountain. For it dried up a fortnight ago.

DUKE:
(grim) Only two weeks. Along with our fortune.

EROE:
(points to rock) So this was your fountain?

[DUKE and DUCHESS nod.]

EROE:
Maybe…

DUCHESS:
What?

EROE:
It’s just that people keep telling me the Ogre knows many things.

DUKE:
Indeed, it is known.

EROE:
Why don’t I ask him why your fortune has vanished? (nods at Duke’s leg) And who knows? If I’m really lucky, maybe I can bring back a feather to heal that leg.

DUKE:
You would do that for us?  You don’t even know us.

[DUKE and DUCHESS exchange glances.]

DUCHESS:
(to Eroe) Tell us what you know about the Ogre.

EROE:
I know that he lives in a cave at the last of seven peaks.

DUKE:
If that’s all you know, you are surely doomed!  Listen carefully to my wife, for she knows a lot about the Ogre.

DUCHESS:
Come closer, young man. (Eroe draws nearer) You must wait till after sundown, when it’s fully dark.  Only then a do you approach the Ogre’s cave.  He’ll still be out.

EROE:
Don’t I want the Ogre to be at home? I mean, so I can get the feather?

DUCHESS:
Oh my dear! Is that what you think? (arms up in a gesture of despair) Where do I begin?  The early evening is the only time when the Ogre’s senses are not as sharp.

[DUCHESS pulls a candle from her purse and hands it to EROE.]

DUCHESS:
First, you will need this candle. The Ogre’s forest at night is so dark you will not be able to see a thing, even with a full moon. Knock at the cave door – if you are lucky, the Ogre’s maid will open it.

EROE:
And if the Ogre opens the door?

[DUKE and DUCHESS exchange glances.]

DUCHESS:
Hopefully, that won’t happen.

DUKE:
As long as the Ogre’s maid opens the door, you have a chance.

EROE:
(looks about) It’s almost sundown now. I’d better be off! Thank you!

[EROE exits.]

DUKE:
(to Duchess)  He’ll need all the help he can get.

[DUKE and DUCHESS exit.]

 

Scene 5 – Ogre’s cave

[Stage set: The Ogre’s cave is a stone cave painted to show a dark forest of brambles and thick vines. A rough-hewn table and chair with one place setting sits on to the side of the cave beside a fireplace, and in the fireplace is a three-legged pot and ladle (real or painted). Drape the same blue cloth you used for the river like a blanket over a massive bed. A broom rests against the bed. (See Performance Notes on suggestions for cave design and furnishings.)]

[EROE holds his candle as he cautiously makes his way through the forest and stops in front of the cave entrance. The candle can have a simulated flame, such as an orange cut-out. Or it can be a flashlight. EROE trips on something. He shines the candle on the ground.]

EROE:
(gasps) A pile of bones!

[Howling echoes through the forest. STAGE HANDS or actors offstage can do the howlings

EROE:
What was THAT? Something tells me I must be close!  (shines the light in front of him, steps forward and sees the cave door)  That’s it!

[With a shaky hand, EROE raps at the cave entrance.]

[A dark, hooded figure, BELAFLORE the maid, (face not revealed yet to audience) enters onstage from “inside” the cave and creeps toward the cave entrance. She opens the door.]

[BELAFLORE throws off her hood and EROE jumps back with fearful anticipation. But when he sees the maiden, he looks at her with surprise.]

BELAFLORE:
Signore!  What brings you to this fearful place?

EROE:
Please, Signorina (pronounced seen-or-EEN-a), I am here on a mission. For our King.

BELAFLORE:
Why would the King send you here, to your death? When my master comes home, he’ll eat you alive!

EROE:
I must bring back a feather from the Ogre to cure our king. Then there’s a matter of three other feathers I’ve offered to bring back, too. 

[BELAFLORE grabs EROE and yanks him inside the cave before he can finish. There is a loud crash just outside the cave.]

BELAFLORE:
Ahi (pronounced AH-hee)! Why have you taken on the problems of the whole world? Quick! You must move someplace where he cannot smell you.

[As the crashing gets louder and more frequent, BELAFLORE and EROE comically scuttle around the cave to try and find a hiding place. BELAFLORE grabs a fur off the bed and wraps it around EROE, who then lies flat on the floor in front of the fireplace and opens his mouth as if he’s a bear rug.]

BELAFLORE:
(observes her handiwork) Fiercer!

[EROE opens his mouth even wider making growling sounds and spreads his fingers like claws.]

BELAFLORE:
Hmm, no.

[BELAFLORE escorts EROE off the floor and ushers him under the bed, draping the blue cloth over top.]

BELAFLORE:
With any luck, this blanket may disguise your scent.

EROE:
“May”?!

[Crashes become even louder. BELAFLORE grabs a pillow from the bed and fans the air. Then she dashes over to the pot above the fire. She vigorously stirs the stew and waves her hands about to spread its aroma. Then she scrambles back to the bed and lifts the blanket to reassure EROE.]

BELAFLORE:
I’ll do what I can, because I’ve been waiting for a chance to escape for a long time. But if he senses you’re here, we’re both doomed.

EROE:
Don’t worry. I’ll–

BELAFLORE:
SHH! When I signal, WHISPER your questions to me. I will do my best to get them answered.

EROE:
(loudly whispers) What kind of signal will you–

[OGRE suddenly appears in the forest. BELAFLORE drops the blanket and jumps over to the pot just before OGRE thunders into the cave and looks around.]

OGRE:
Maid! I think I smell a human. (pleased at the prospect and rubs his belly) Mmmh!

[BELAFLORE ladles stew into a bowl. OGRE sniffs different parts of the cave.]

BELAFLORE:
Oh, Master, what human would come here? You’re so hungry you must be imagining things. Here, have some stew.

OGRE:
I know the smell of humans!

[Just as OGRE is about to sniff under the bed, BELAFLORE places a bowl of stew under his nose and leads him to the table.]

BELAFLORE:
(soothingly) You must be terribly hungry after a hard day of running about.  Take a moment to taste my homemade stew.

[OGRE sits at the table and devours the stew.]

BELAFLORE:
There. Don’t you feel better?

OGRE:
(stops looking around and frowns) I still smell it.

[BELAFLORE cleans up OGRE’s bowl and leads him to bed.]

BELAFLORE:
You must be very tired. You’re starting to dream about humans, and you are just THINKING you smell them. Lie down.

[OGRE climbs into bed.]

OGRE:
(yawns) I must be dreaming because the smell of a human seems stronger than ever, as if one were right under this bed. (tries to scratch his back) These feathers are so itchy!

BELAFORE:
I know what will help!

[BELAFLORE grabs the broom and uses it to scratch OGRE’s back. When OGRE begins to snore, BELAFLORE lifts the cover to reveal EROE, who whispers in her ear. BELAFLORE plucks a feather off of OGRE’s back. She drops the feather to the ground, and EROE quickly grabs it.]

OGRE:
Ouch! What are you doing?

BELAFLORE:
Master, did I pluck you by mistake? I must have fallen asleep while I was scratching with this broom.  Then I had the strangest dream.

OGRE:
What was it?

BELAFLORE:
I dreamt of a duke and duchess, not far from here, who lost their fortune overnight. And something about a fountain.

OGRE:
Your dream is a fact. A duke and duchess nearby lost their fortune. If only they knew all they’d have to do is reach under the fountain and pull out a snake that’s plugging the hole. Then, the fountain would spew forth gold and silver!  But they have no idea.  (laughs)

BELAFLORE:
Ah! That’s it, then. Good night.

[As soon as OGRE starts snoring again, EROE whispers the second question to BELAFLORE. She plucks another feather and hands it to EROE. OGRE growls awake and rubs his back.]

OGRE:
That hurt!

BELAFLORE:
(sweetly) I am so sorry, Master. Scratching with the broom must put me into a trance. I was having another dream, and this one’s even stranger.

OGRE:
What is it this time?

BELAFLORE:
I dreamt of a ferryman who’s unable to leave his ferry. He has been stuck going back and forth for years.

OGRE:
Your dreams are true enough tonight! The only way that ferryman can escape is if he carries a customer across the river and jumps out before he is paid. Then the one left on the ferry will be the new ferryman.  Or woman.

BELAFLORE:
Ah, is that right? Well, no matter. Good night then.

OGRE:
You’d best stay awake this time, or I’ll be having maid stew for breakfast!

[BELAFLORE scratches OGRE’s back with the broom until he begins snoring again. She lifts the covers so EROE can whisper the last question but, fearing for her safety, EROE refuses.]

[A silent disagreement ensues between the two, until EROE finally consents and whispers his last question to BELAFLORE. She plucks two feathers from OGRE’s back this time and throws them at EROE.]

[OGRE jumps out of bed and snarls at BELAFLORE.]

OGRE:
By thunder! You will make a tasty pie!

BELAFLORE:
(arms akimbo) And who will bake it for you? There is no one who will make you a flakier crust – or any crust, for that matter!

OGRE:
Fine! But what is your problem tonight? Another dream?

BELAFLORE:
If you must know, yes. I dreamt of an innkeeper. She wonders the whereabouts of her daughter who’s been missing for years.

OGRE:
(scoffs “Ha!”) That’s an easy one. Her daughter is you!

[Before OGRE crawls back into bed he points for BELAFLORE to go away. BELAFLORE lies down on the floor by the fireplace and waits for OGRE to fall asleep.]

[As soon as OGRE begins to snore, BELAFLORE gestures at EROE to come out from under the bed. EROE scurries out clutching his feathers.  OGER sleeps restlessly. EROE and BELAFLORE sneak out the door practically jumping out of their skin each time OGRE moves in his sleep or stops snoring for a moment.]

[When they reach the outside of the cave, EROE grabs BELAFLORE’s hand.]

EROE:
Come. It’s time for me to help YOU now.

[They run offstage. NARRATOR enters front stage.]

NARRATOR:
Luckily, the Ogre slept till dawn.

[OGRE stops snoring, jumps out of bed and sniffs the air.]

OGRE:
I swear that I still smell a human. And I’m not hungry or tired either. So it must be HERE! (looks under the bed) Maid! Maid! (looks about) Where is my maid? MAAIID!

[OGRE realizes BELAFORE is missing and lets out a loud roar. He stomps through the cave and into the forest offstage.]

 

Scene 6 – Duke and Duchesss’ fountain

[EROE and BELAFLORE run down the path from the top of the mountain and stop to greet DUKE and DUCHESS who sit glumly by the broken fountain. They rise in shock to see EROE again, accompanied by BELAFLORE.]

DUCHESS:
Santa Cielo (pronounced san-tah-CHEL-oh)! You have returned safely!

DUKE:
Did you truly see the Ogre, Signore? Or did you (gestures at Belaflore) get distracted by a new interest? Not that I blame you (bows slightly). Good day, Signorina.

EROE:
(smiles at Belaflore) This is the Ogre’s maid…

BELAFLORE:
Well, not anymore!

EROE:
That’s right! This – is Belaflore.

[EROE and BELAFLORE smile at each other. DUKE and DUCHESS share knowing glances.]

EROE:
(to Duke) Thanks to Belaflore, I have something special for you.

[He pulls a feather from his pocket and hands it to DUKE.]

DUKE:
Well, I never!

[DUCHESS snatches the feather out of the DUKE’s hand. She rubs it along his bad leg. DUKE shakes his leg with amazement, then jumps to his feet and pulls off the cloth that was still wrapped around it.]

DUKE:
It’s a miracle! (hops on the leg that had been bound) My leg is perfect! Thanks to you, my brave boy. (to Belaflore) To you both, of course

BELAFLORE:
Glad to see some good come of that Ogre. (to Eroe) We’d better hurry! That monster is sure to be right behind us.

[NARRATOR steps forward.]

NARRATOR:
(to audience) Good idea. He is – and he’s out for BLOOD!

[NARRATOR steps back.]

EROE:
(nods at Belaflore, then quickly to Duke) By the way, the Ogre said if you remove the snake that’s plugging the bottom of that up that fountain, it will spew silver and gold, and your fortune will be restored.

[EROE and BELAFLORE wave as they speedily follow the road offstage. DUKE and DUCHESS stare at the fountain dumbfounded.]

DUKE:
A snake plugging up the fountain!  Why, that’s absurd.

DUCHESS:
Stuff and nonsense!  Say, what’s that?

[DUCHESS, seeing something at the base of the fountain, reaches below, yanks hard, and suddenly falls to the ground clutching a snake in one hand.]

[One STAGEHAND grabs the blue cloth and waves it above the fountain to depict water while another STAGEHAND throws coins in the air above it.]

DUKE:
Well, I’ll be!

[DUKE holds out his arm to DUCHESS and the two do a jig around the fountain that has come to life.]

[OGRE trounces onstage from the mountain pass. He growls when he sees DUKE and DUCHESS dancing around the fountain disgorging silver and gold. He shakes his fists and calls out, “Aughh!”]

[The two remain blissfully unaware of OGRE as he continues on his way to apprehend BELAFLORE and EROE. OGRE exits. DUKE and DUCHESS skip offstage.]

Scene 7– The river

[STAGEHANDS wave the blue cloth from each end, and actors offstage make the sounds of a river, as before.]

[FERRYMAN dozes in his boat on the river. He is startled at seeing EROE and BELAFLORE breathlessly approach.]

FERRYMAN:
(joyful) Signore! You are back! And with a new friend.

EROE:
Yes, we are well, Ferryman. And look what we’ve brought back for you. (hands feather to Ferryman)

FERRYMAN:
Bravo, Signore! My arms feel better already. Would you and your lady friend care for a ride?

[EROE and BELAFLORE enter the ferry.]

EROE:
We would indeed. But please make it speedy.

[FERRYMAN rubs the feather along his arms, stretches them with newfound comfort, and says “Ahhh!” He pretends to row the ferry as fast as he can to the other side of the river.]

FERRYMAN:
I don’t mean to be ungrateful, really I don’t. But is it possible you also have an answer to that little question I asked you?

[EROE shares a look with BELAFLORE.]

EROE:
As a matter of fact, yes! Just…uh…drop us off on the other side first, all right?

BELAFLORE:
Then we will share it with you.

FERRYMAN:
(shrugs) Okay. We’re almost there. Ah, my arms! I feel I could paddle to the skies.  All the pain is gone! Why I’ll zip back and forth across this river in no time. And think about olives. Yes olives and olive oil. Olive oil and fresh bread. Fresh bread and cannoli’s (pronounce can-OH-leez). Ah, cannoli’s!  (lifts one arm in the air)  Come to Mama!

[They reach the other side of the river. EROE and BELAFLORE jump off the boat and immediately pay FERRYMAN his fee.]

FERRYMAN:
So what is it then? What’s the answer to me getting off this ferry?

EROE:
Make sure that when you take your next customer across the river, you jump off the ferry before he pays you. Then HE will be stuck as the new ferryman and you will be free.

FERRYMAN:
Ah. (wags a finger at them) Ah yes! So that’s why you wouldn’t tell me until you jumped off the ferry.

[Just then OGRE appears on the other side of the river. He sees BELAFLORE and EROE and lets out a loud roar. EROE nods at FERRYMAN in OGRE’s direction.]

EROE:
Looks like you have a new customer now.

[BELAFLORE sticks her tongue out at OGRE before she and EROE run down the road and exit offstage.]

OGRE:
Ferryman! Give me a ride!

FERRYMAN:
(smiles) No problem, Signore Ogre. I’ll be right there! (turns to audience and winks)

[FERRYMAN paddles back to OGRE.  STAGE HANDS turn fabric wide, so it hides them as they exit.]

Scene 8 – Inn

[Stage set: STAGE HANDS bring on Inn door.  INNKEEPER wearily sweeps the outside of the Inn.]

[EROE and BELAFLORE walk onstage and head toward INNKEEPER, who moves to greet them. INNKEEPER smiles warmly at EROE, but then realization hits when she gets a closer look at BELAFLORE.]

INNKEEPER:
(shocked disbelief) Belaflore?

BELAFLORE:
Mama?

INNKEEPER:
My baby girl!

[Mother and daughter embrace with joy.]

INNKEEPER:
Belaflore, look at you! You have grown so beautiful.

BELAFLORE:
I am so happy to see you, Mother!

EROE:
I almost forgot! Your feather, Signora (pronounced seen-YOR-ah).

[EROE pulls out a feather and hands it to INNKEEPER.]

[INNKEEPER shakes her head and returns the feather to EROE.]

INNKEEPER:
Keep it! My heart is no longer broken. Now that my daughter is home safe, I will sleep tonight for the first time in three years! (yawns heavily) I mean later tonight, of course. (instantly falls asleep and starts to fall)

[EROE and BELAFLORE catch her before she slides to the floor. They lay INNKEEPER gently on the stoop of the Inn and cover her with the blue cloth, putting a pile of cloth behind her head as a pillow. INNKEEPER snores.]

BELAFLORE:
Go ahead and sleep, Mama. We must go to the King. But we’ll be back as soon as we can.

INNKEEPER:
(drowsy) Back soon, baby girl… My baby’s home… (snores again loudly)

[BELAFLORE kisses her mother on the forehead. She and EROE hurry in the direction of the castle offstage.]

[INNKEEPER slowly gets up and exits.]

Scene 9 – King’s throne room

[Stage set: Same as in Scene 1.]

NARRATOR:
And so Eroe and Belaflore made haste to the King.

[Pantomimed scene behind NARRATOR. COURT ADVISORS greet EROE with astonishment, then enthusiastically pat him on the back when he produces the Ogre’s feather.]

NARRATOR:
But are they too late?

[COURT ADVISORS immediately lead EROE to MEDICO. MEDICO sadly shakes his head as he stands beside KING lying prone and unresponsive, a blanket covering him.]

[EROE pulls out a feather and shows it to MEDICO.]

MEDICO:
A feather! From an ogre?

EROE:
Indeed!

[EROE hands the feather to MEDICO. MEDICO gestures “No,” insisting instead that EROE be the one to do the honors.]

[ATTENDANTS gather around as EROE and brushes the feather against KING’s heaving chest.]

[All watch KING expectantly. KING opens his eyes. Rises. And smiles.]

KING:
(clasps Medico’s arm) I can feel the sickness washing away. (breathes deeply) Everything is coming back! (stands and exclaims loudly to everyone) I am cured!

[Everyone cheers “Viva!” (pronounced VEE-vah) and “Evviva!” (pronounced ee-VEE-vah).

KING:
(to Medico) It took long enough. (to Eroe) You did it!

[EROE bows to KING, then rises and gestures at BELAFLORE, who stands by his side.]

EROE:
Actually, Sire, Belaflore is the one who did the impossible.

[KING raises his eyebrows when he sees how EROE and BELAFLORE smile and interact with each other.]

KING:
You and Belaflore? Indeed! Well then you are both to be commended!

[NARRATOR steps to the front of the stage.]

NARRATOR:
With the King’s health restored, he was once again on his very best behavior.

KING:
Attenti (pronounced ah-TEN-tee)! Now that I am well, I can pick up where I left off ruling the kingdom. I am sure there are many disputes awaiting my just and impartial rulings. Let’s go!

[Enter VILLAGER #1 and VILLAGER #2 in the midst of a pantomimed argument. VILLAGER #1 has an arrow through his head and points angrily at VILLAGER #2, who holds an empty bow. When they see KING, they stop arguing and bow to him.]

NARRATOR:
And so the King presided over disputes and set the kingdom to rights, as before. And Medico…

[MEDICO tries to take the arrow out of the head of VILLAGER #1.]

NARRATOR:
…Eroe and Belaflore…

[EROE and BELAFLORE smile at each other and hold hands.]

NARRATOR:
…and all of Sicily lived happily ever after. Well, almost all… You see, when taking the Ogre across the river –

[STAGEHANDS pull the blue cloth off the thrown and wave it from each end like a flowing river. Recorded sound of rushing water plays from offstage.]

[OGRE angrily walks out on stage by the river wearing FERRYMAN’s boat.]

NARRATOR:
-the Ferryman remembered what Eroe had told him. He jumped ashore before the Ogre could pay him. And guess who was left behind on the boat as the new Ferryman…

OGRE:
Ferryman! Maid! I’m hungry! I want pie!

[OGRE faces the Audience and shakes his fist.]

OGRE:
Say! Would any of you like a ride across this river? (to one member of the audience) It’s really fun! (points to another member of the audience) How about you? I’ll get you across quicker than you think. (to entire audience) Come on, ANYONE? (shakes both fists in the air) AUGHH!

[If you have a curtain, close it now. If you do not, fade the lights. If you have no stage lights, all actors come on stage and bow to the audience.]

end

CONTACT US:

info@storiestogrowby.org

1-855-WHOOTIE (946-6843)

REVIEWS

 

Anonymous

 






5/5

Garabed

 

usa

Testing hello

Anonymous

 






5/5

Pacobear2

 

 

Great!

Anonymous

 






5/5

Me

143

Nun ya

It was really good. So fight me

Anonymous

 






5/5

Omanr

 

 

I think that this book had a lot of feeling and liked it

Anonymous

 






5/5

Damia

 

U.S.A

There was once this young boy and it was just him and father and they lived in a palace and he want allowed to touch the ground until he was 12 years old and he was with a nurse that cared and she heard screams and the kid fell on the floor before his 12th birthday and he just vanished because all of the screams and she ran to the window so he disappered and this young girl went in a haunted room

Anonymous

 






5/5

Anaheim

12

United States

I thought this story was good because it had a lot of emotion, honesty, and love.

Anonymous

 






5/5

Jessie

14

Australia

This story really heped me??

Anonymous

 






5/5

dhedrik

 

 

is a good lesson

Anonymous

 






5/5

Gail

 

USA

A beautiful story about finding what love is and about learning how to love. From the land of one of my relatives. Thank you.

Anonymous

 






5/5

Gvantsa

8

Georgian

I like it

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The Magic Mirror Story

The Magic Mirror ~ Reader’s Theater No Reviews Posted.




magic-mirror-play

The Magic Mirror Reader's Theater Script for Kids

 

CHARACTERS

GABRIELA, older village woman
• LUCIA, older village woman
• VALENTINA, older village woman
• MESSENGER
• BARBER
• LUCAS, an older village man
• SEBASTIAN, a younger village man
• ANA, a younger village woman
• MARIA,
 a younger village woman

• FATHER
• REGINA, a younger village woman
• NIGHT WATCHMAN
• LUCAS
• SEBASTIAN
• KING
• SOFIA, a shepherdess

 

Scene 1 – Medieval town

[Stage set: This is a one-set play.  A backdrop is painted to depict a medieval town.  Show a number of storefronts if you can, including a barbershop with a striped barber pole in the middle.  Or set the stage with town shops made of cardboard, one of them a barbershop.  (See Performance Notes for ideas on painting the backdrop or making shop fronts of cardboard.)]

[NARRATOR enters.]

NARRATOR:
Hello, everyone.  This is a story from Spain, from a city named Grenada.  The story is "The Magic Mirror," and it's brought to you by Stories to Grow by.

[BARBER enters and stands in front of his store sweeping.]

NARRATOR:
Once, there was a barber who was rumored to have a magic mirror.  The barber kept his magic mirror covered, and no one ever saw it.  Until one day.

[NARRATOR exits.]

[Three older village women – GABRIELA, LUCIA, and VALENTINA – enter and gather together.]

GABRIELA:
Valentina, Lucia, did you see the oranges at market today?

LUCIA:
I did - they're the best oranges I can remember!

VALENTINA:
I know, right?  I bought a bushel of them.

GABRIELA:
Isn't that overdoing it?  

VALENTINA:
It's no problem  Whatever's left over can be made into orange juice.

[MESSENGER enters and plays a fanfare on his trumpet. Everyone on the street stops what they are doing and gives their full attention to the MESSENGER.]

MESSENGER:
Hear ye! Hear ye! I have a message from the King!  A message specially for the Barber of Granada!

[BARBER puts down broom and steps toward MESSENGER.]

BARBER:
(full of pride) That would be me, Good Sir! I am the Barber of Granada!

MESSENGER:
Then this is for YOU!

[MESSENGER takes out from under his coat a scroll tied with a ribbon.  With a flourish, he gives the scroll to BARBER. MESSENGER plays another fanfare on his trumpet, and exits.]

[GABRIELA, LUCIA, and VALENTINA inch closer still until they are looking over BARBER’s shoulder at the scroll. BARBER unties the scroll, rolls it open and reads aloud.]

BARBER:
"Dear Barber,
After careful consideration and at the recommendation of my most trusted staff, I have decided it’s time that I take a bride. Please begin the interview process and let me know when you have found a suitable maiden to be my Queen.  You know what I want.
Sincerely,
Your Royal Highness,
The King of Granada"

Well!  I know exactly what the King means.  I'm to help him find a bride!  And I know HOW he means me to do it!

[GABRIELA, LUCIA, AND VALENTINA move to the far front of the stage, away from the Barber.  While they hold the dialog below, Barber silently opens the scroll again, pretending to read it to himself, then rolls it up, smacking his lips in satisfaction.]

[Women all begin to chat excitedly. “I’m definitely queen material.”  “This is my lucky day.”  “I can’t wait to see myself in a silver crown … or should I choose gold?”]

GABRIELA:
There's something very odd here? 

LUCIA:
You're telling me! Why would the King ask the Barber to find him a bride?

VALENTINA:
It makes no sense.  Unless it has something to do with the mirror.  You know - the magic mirror.

GABRIELA:
Of course, the magic mirror!  What do you know about it? 

VALENTINA:
Nothing.

[LUCIA shrugs.  She also knows nothing.]

GABRIELA:
Let's find out whatever we can.

[GABRIELA, LUCIA and VALENTINA approach BARBER.]

GABRIELA:
So, um... congratulations!

BARBER:
It is a great honor!  First, I'd like to thank--

VALENTINA:
(cuts him off)  Right.  So about this magic mirror..?

LUCIA:
It's magic because..?

BARBER:
W
ell, I guess it won’t hurt to tell you.  My mirror IS magic because of its reflection.  Yes,  it's true!  If anyone who is not thoroughly honorable person looks into my mirror, the blemishes on their character appear as so many spots on their faces.

LUCIA:
What?!  Let me understand. The King wants a bride who can look into your magic mirror, who is completely and thoroughly good, whose reflection will have no spots at all?

[BARBER hooks his thumbs in his suspenders.]

BARBER:
Yes, ladies. That's why he called ME!

[Ladies look uncomfortable and chat among themselves worriedly.]

VALENTINA:
Hmm..  Is there an age limit?

BARBER:
Let me check the fine print at the bottom.  (re-opens scroll, peers closely for a moment, then quickly rolls it up again)  Nope!  Any woman 18 years and up is eligible.

GABRIELA:
My, you'll have every woman in Granada lining up! I myself could be Queen!

LUCIA:
You have a husband!

GABRIELA:
Don’t remind me!

VALENTINA:
I could be Queen!

LUCIA:
What would your nine children say about THAT?

VALENTINA:
Ah, so many children!

LUCIA:
You two aren’t in the running, but I’m not married—just think, I could be Queen!

BARBER:
You could indeed, IF you are able to look into my magic mirror without having a single spot appear in your reflection. But I’M not sure that you can—CAN you?

LUCIA:
Are you trying to say that I’m not a good person? (draws back a fist) Why I'll give you a big red blemish on your eye right now!

[LUCIA starts swinging both arms wildly at BARBER as he backs away. BARBER is frightened and holds his hands up to keep LUCIA away from him. GABRIELA and VALENTINA grab her arms and try to pull her back from BARBER.]

GABRIELA:
STOP, Lucia!

VALENTINA:
I guess that settles the question of whether Lucia is good enough to be queen!

GABRIELA:
Let’s get her home!

VALENTINA:
(to Lucia) Calm down! Let me take you to my place.  Come on, I’ll make you tea and tortillas (pronounce: tor-TEE-ah's).

[GABRIELA and VALENTINA pull LUCIA toward them.]

LUCIA:
I will NOT calm down!  (pauses) Though I could use a tortilla.

[GABRILA, VALENTINA and LUCIA exit.  BARBER straightens his clothing and looks after the women with a sour look on his face, then exits himself.]

Scene 2 – Medieval town, the next day

[Stage set: Same as in Scene 1, except in front of the Barbershop there is now a large free-standing mirror (use an easel to construct).  It is covered with a cloth.  (See Performance Notes for ideas on how to create the effect of a mirror without glass.)]

[NARRATOR enters.]

[BARBER enters and paces outside his shop.  LUCAS, SEBASTIAN, GABRIELA, LUCIA, and VALENTINA enter, talking excitedly.  ANA, MARIA, REGINA, and REGINA'S FATHER enter.]

NARRATOR:
The next day, everyone gathered to watch the spectacle. Women had flocked to Grenada from all over, but it was a different story once they heard what they had to do.

[NARRATOR steps back.]

BARBER:
(loudly) Step right up! Step right up! Don’t be shy! Have a look in the magic mirror. .  The King feels sure there must be many women in his kingdom who could present a clear reflection, and the first woman to do so will become Queen of Grenada! It is absolutely free to look.  No purchase necessary! YOU there! (points to Ana) Step up!

[ANA steps closer. BARBER pulls her to the front with him to face the audience.]

BARBER:
You seem like a fine young lady. Wouldn’t you like to take a look in the magic mirror?

ANA:
(looks down at her feet)  Well, uh...

BARBER:
This is your chance to be Queen!

ANA:
I can’t you see, because… I’m already engaged!

[ANA quickly steps down and hurries offstage.]

BARBER:
(to audience) That’s funny! I didn’t see a ring on her finger. (scans the crowd to find a new prospect and points to Maria)

BARBER:
You there! Miss! Please come forward! Who wouldn’t want to wed our handsome and beloved King?

[MARIA steps forward to stand beside Barber.]

MARIA:
(in a haughty voice) You want me to look into the mirror of a lowly BARBER! This is a joke! This whole process is beneath me!

[MARIA flounces away.]

[REGINA'S FATHER pushes REGINA toward BARBER.]

REGINA'S FATHER:
My daughter is single! Let her look in your magic mirror!

[REGINA whirls toward her father.]

REGINA:
And single is how I plan to stay! I have no interest in marrying the King, or anyone else for that matter!

[REGINA charges away from the scene and exits. FATHER calls after REGINA.]

FATHER:
Since when are you not interested in getting married? (to audience) Before today, that’s ALL she’s been interested in!

[FATHER chases after REGINA and exits.]

[NIGHT WATCHMAN enters and rings a bell.]

NIGHT WATCHMAN:
(in a loud, droning voice) Eighhtt o’cllloooocckk and still no QUUEEENN!

BARBER:
Folks, it’s going to be a long night if we don’t find a Queen! I for one would really like to have a peaceful night’s rest without hearing that announcement every hour on the hour! Absolutely NO maidens have looked in the mirror so far.  None of you young ladies have the courage to step forward and reveal yoyur true nature?

[MESSENGER steps smartly onto the stage and plays a fanfare on his trumpet.]

MESSENGER:
THIS JUST IN! By royal decree, the King has declared that NO other citizen of Grenada shall be married until the King has found his bride!

TOWNSPEOPLE and VILLAGE WOMEN:
(groaning) AARRUUGGGGH!

[MESSENGER plays another fanfare and exits. TOWNSPEOPLE and VILLAGE WOMEN groan and mumble amongst themselves as they exit.]

LUCAS
This is SO unfair!

TOWNSPERSON#2
Stop the insanity!

GABRIELA:
Well, I never!

[BARBER is left alone.]

[KING enters.  Everyone onstage bows.]

KING:
(to Barber)  How are you doing?

BARBER:
Could be better.

KING:
How many maidens have looked in the mirror?

BARBER:
Uh.. (looks down)

KING:
YOu're saying none?  Really?

[BARBER shrugs.]

KING:
(dramatically) Ah, Granada! Is there no maiden in this land fit to be the king’s bride? Kings in other lands have no shortage of maidens lining up to marry them.

Barber! Keep trying! I have confidence you shall get me a wife as bright as day, pure as dew, and as good as gold – one who's not afraid to look into your magic mirror!

BARBER:
Your Majesty, (clears throat)  Um... perhaps we might try thinking outside the box.

KING:
Go on.

BARBER:
There is a shepherdess who lives on the mountainside who might be willing to try. But would you marry one as lowly as she?

KING:
Bring her here tomorrow! Tell her about the magic mirror and we'll see what happens.

BARBER:
As you wish, Your Majesty.  (bows)

[KING exits.]

[BARBER exits.]

Scene 3 – Medieval town, a few days later

[Stage set: Same as Scene 2.]

[BARBER enters and paces outside of his shop. His magic mirror is on the easel but we can't see it because a cloth is draped over it. The street is empty.]

[NARRATOR enters.]

NARRATOR:
A few days later, the barber brought the shepherdess, whose name was Sofia, to town.   

[NARRATOR exits.]

[MESSENGER steps smartly onto the stage and plays a fanfare on his trumpet.]

MESSENGER:
HEAR YE!! HEAR YE! Three days and still no queen!

[MESSENGER remains in place onstage. BARBER enters with SOFIA and they stand by the magic mirror, still covered. TOWNSPEOPLE and VILLAGE WOMEN enter from both sides of the stage and gather in front the barber shop and the mirror. ]

LUCAS:
I hear the King is so anxious to get married, he’s giving a shepherdess a chance to be his wife.

GABRIELA:
(points)  That’s her over there.  She's going to look in the mirror.

ANA:
Well, I don't see the big deal.  I could have looked in the magic mirror ... I just didn’t want to.

MARIA:
I could have, too!

REGINA:
I TOTALLY could have looked in the magic mirror!

SOFIA:
(looking around with concern, then to Barber)  My goodness, will you look at this crowd?  You didn't tell me there would be such a fuss.

MESSENGER:
What of it?  Pay no heed.

SOFIA:
Look at all the village maidens - they're so elegant. My dress is shabby, and I smell like sheep! There's no way someone like me can be Queen.  What was I thinking?

[BARBER pats SOFIA’S hand that is still clutching his arm.]

BARBER:
(whispers loudly) Calm down, young lady! Anyway, it’s too late to turn back now. You must go through with the mirror test. The King desires it!  

[KING enters.]

BARBER:
Speaking of the King...

MESSENGER:
(in the voice of a TV announcer) LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I GIVE YOU HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS, THE KING OF GRENADA!

[MESSENGER plays his most elaborate fanfare and moves to the end of the stage.]

[KING joins BARBER at the magic mirror. Everyone onstage bows to the KING.]

KING:
Barber, I have been most anxious! Please introduce me to the maid you have found who is willing to accept the mirror challenge.

BARBER:
Good Sofia. Come here and meet the King.

[KING nudges BARBER away to the left so the he can face SOFIA.]

KING:
So this is the shepherdess.

SOFIA:
(bows)  Your Majesty.

KING:
Don't be shy. I came in person to witness the only woman in the land willing to look in the mirror, come what may.

[KING leads SOFIA to the magic mirror.]

KING:
(gestures to the mirror, still veiled) Now, look. If your character is free from stains and blemishes, your reflection shall be pure.

SOFIA:
(hesitates) Your Majesty, no one is ALL pure.  Everyone makes mistakes!  My goodness, when I think of all the mistakes I've made watching my sheep!  But they must forgive me because I do my best to take care of them.  So what of it?  I will look into your magic mirror, Your Majesty. With blemishes and all, it's the best I can be.  I'm content with whatever is reflected there.

[BARBER unveils the cover and reveals the mirror.  SOFIA turns away from KING and goes to in front of the mirror.]

[As SOFIA looks into the mirror, the crowd pushes forward to see.]

SOFIA:
Ahhh!

SEBASTIAN:
Would you look at that!

LUCAS:
I can't believe it!

SEBASTIAN:
Not a single stain or a blemish!

[LUCIA moves up so that she can see herself in the mirror.]

LUCIA:
Hey, wait a minute! My reflection is just as clear as Sofia’s! (to audience) And I know there are plenty of blemishes on MY character!

GABRIELA:
Tell me about it! Let me see for myself. Hey! My reflection is perfectly clear too!

VALENTINA:
Sisters, if I may? (steps up to mirror) Mine’s perfect, too!

[VALENTINA lifts the mirror from the easel and turns it toward the TOWNSPEOPLE. The TOWNSPEOPLE all cry out with shouts of surprise.]

LUCAS:
Everyone here has a clear reflection!

ANA:
There's no magic in that mirror!

MARIA:
Everyone looks just the same as in every other mirror. We’ve all been tricked!

REGINA:
That magic mirror is a fake! 

TOWNSPEOPLE:
(together, in anger)

BARBER:
No ladies, you have only yourselves to thank. No one’s perfect! If you had been willing to see your own reflection in the mirror, blemishes and all as the shepherdess was, then you'd be standing in her place now.

KING:
(takes Sofia's hand and places it over his forearm) No one's perfect, just as you say. But you were willing to see yourself entirely as you are, and that makes you beautiful for me to behold.

[KING gets down on one knee, takes SOFIA’s hand, and holds out a ring.]

SOFIA:
(to King) Your Majesty, if you take me for who I am, then I shall do the same for you.

[KING and SOFIA embrace and move to beside the mirror and stand hand in hand near MESSENGER.]

MESSENGER:
(in the voice of a TV announcer) LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I GIVE YOU THE ROYAL COUPLE, THE KING AND SOON-TO-BE QUEEN OF GRENADA!

[KING and SOFIA bow.]

KING:
(to Sofia) So, my dear, do you prefer a crown made of silver, or one made entirely of gold?

ALL FEMALES on STAGE:
(throw up arms in despair) AAAAUGHH!

[KING takes SOFIA’ arm to escort her from the stage. MESSENGER begins to play a fanfare and he follows KING and SOFIA through the center of the audience if there is a center aisle. All remaining actors onstage turn toward the procession and bow.]

end

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King Arthur and the Half Man Story

King Arthur & the Half Man ~ Reader’s Theater 4.33/5 (3)

king-arthur-halfman-play

King Arthur & the Half Man-Reader’s Theater Play Script

 

CHARACTERS

NARRATOR
• KING ARTHUR
• WRESTLER #1 / SLAVE #1
• WRESTLER #2 / SLAVE #2
• WRESTLER #3 / SLAVE #3
• WRESTLER #4 / SLAVE #4
• MERLIN
• CONOR
• QUINLAN
• GAWAIN
• MALVIN
• HANNER DYN#1 (to wear three different outfits to indicate growth in three stages – youth, teenager, and young adult)

Scene 1 – Cornwall

[Stage set: The stage is divided into two sections.  One half will serve as the Castle in Cornwall and KING ARTHUR’S ship “Prydwen.”  The other half of the stage will be Hanner Dyn’s island.  See specifics for Hanner Dyn’s island in Scene 2.] 

[On stage a large ring is drawn on the floor with chalk (or it can be outlined with Styrofoam rocks).  KING ARTHUR and WRESTLER #1 are standing up inside the ring and pretending to wrestle. The ring can also be represented by a circle surerounded by netting.]

[Standing around the ring and jeering, are WRESTLER #2, WRESTLER #3, WRESTLER #4, QUINLAN and MALVIN. CONOR is a druid of the court, meaning a wise man. CONOR watches anxiously.]

[NARRATOR enters.]

NARRATOR:
Hello, everyone.  You’ve heard of King Arthur, right? This tale about King Arthur originated in Wales.  The story is called, “King Arthur & the Half Man” and it’s brought to you from Stories to Grow by.

[NARRATOR steps forward.]

NARRATOR:
Ladies, and gentlemen, introducing the rightful King of England, the raging regent, the ruler who’ll school ya – his name is King Arthur!

[Enter KING ARTHUR, with his arms raises victoriously. All characters cheer.]

NARRATOR (cont.):
That’s right, he’s the guy who pulled the sword from the enchanted stone to claim the throne and now, he will prove his kingly might to his subjects! He’s as strong as a herd of bulls. And as you can hear from the clamor, people from all over the kingdom want to challenge him.

[In the background, WRESTLER #1 squares up to KING ARTHUR and they lock into a fight, straining and trying to drop each other to the floor. (Note: this is PRETEND – practice to be SAFE.) WRESTLER #1 falls to the ground and KING ARTHUR wins. WRESTLERS and NARRATOR cheer. KING ARTHUR comically flexes a bicep. Suddenly, WRESTLER #2 leaves the group and he, too, begins grapplings with KING ARTHUR.]

NARRATOR:
But for all the competitors he fought, none could challenge his dominance.

KING ARTHUR:
Give me your worst!

WRESTLER 3:
Give him the Sword-in-the-Stone inverted Facelock hold!

WRESTLER 4:
Give him the Crown Smackdown!

[In the background, KING ARTHUR defeats WRESTLER #2. (Again, this is make-pretend – no one is really touched.) The crowd cheers.]

KING ARTHUR:
(to Wrestlers) Another easy fight.  This is starting to bore me! Surely, there must be a worthy opponent among the lot of you!

[WRESTLERS look at each other, ashamed.]

WRESTLER #3:
A-actually, Sire, you have already bested all of us…

WRESTLER #1:
(on the ground) My legs! I cannot feel my legs anymore!

KING ARTHUR:
(Annoyed) Bah! Begone, you riff-raff! I will not be satisfied until I find an opponent whose strength can match mine, the great King Arthur!

[WRESTLERS exit, heads bowed. CONOR, who remains, approaches.]

KING ARTHUR:
Ah, Conor! My wisest friend. Not counting a certain wizard, of course!

[Enter MERLIN.]

MERLIN:
Did someone call me?

NARRATOR:
Sorry Merlin, you’re not in this story. Shoo!

[Exit MERLIN.]

CONOR:
My liege! You have already proven that you have no match in Cornwall. Can’t you find other things to pursue? I know a forest with a lot of deer…

KING ARTHUR:
Nope. Can’t wrestle a deer.

CONOR:
I didn’t mean- (sighs) How about playing the lute?

KING ARTHUR:
Don’t you remember my last lute solo? I played so fast that it caught on fire!

CONOR:
So it did! Ah, it may be impossible to find you a wrestling challenger who is truly worthy.

KING ARTHUR:
What’s a king to do? I am simply the strongest there is, in all of Cornwall.

QUINLAN:
(off stage) But what about OUTSIDE of Cornwall?

[KING ARTHUR and CONOR look around for the source of the voice.]

KING ARTHUR:
Who goes there? Are you challenging me to wrestle, spectre?

[KING ARTHUR gets in wrestling-ready position. QUINLAN enters.]

QUINLAN:
No indeed, my king. A spectre I am not. My name is Quinlan, an old wrestling master. I have come to–

KING ARTHUR:
(cutting off Quinlan and taking a stand) Ah! A challenger! Let’s have at you, then, Quinlan!

QUINLAN:
No, I mean, I’ve come to tell you ABOUT a challenger, the only one left who is worthy to fight you, Your Highness.

[KING ARTHUR stands back to normal.]

KING ARTHUR:
Oh! (looks around) Do tell, sir, where can I find this man?

QUINLAN:
Not in Cornwall but on a small island to the south, unknown to many. On this island lives a man named Hanner Dyn. He is the champion of those lands, and the wrestler to end all wrestlers…

KING ARTHUR:
Hanner Dyn, eh? What kind of bloke is he?

QUINLAN:
Certainly a sight to behold. He has tracts of land…

KING ARTHUR:
(to audience) So do I!

QUINLAN (Cont.):
…filled with conquered men he has made his slaves!

KING ARTHUR:
(to audience) Zounds! Even I’M not that bad!

QUINLAN:
His abilities are almost (to audience, dramatically) supernatural!

KING ARTHUR:
Sounds like a worthy competitor.

QUINLAN:
Oh, he is, Sire. Who knows? He might even prove more than a match for you!

KING ARTHUR:
What?! We will see about that! (to Conor) Conor! Have my men prepare my ship, Prydwen.  (pronounce: PRIHD-win).

[Stagehands and WRESTLERS begin to transition from Cornwall to Prydwen, bringing the boat on and removing the ring from the stage.  (See Performance Notes for ideas on how to make this a smooth transition.)  (See Performance Notes for ideas on how to make the boat and for ideas on boat props.)]

KING ARTHUR:
We will set sail to find this Hanner Dyn. (to audience, dramatically) And, by my throne, I will conquer him!

CONOR:
As you wish, Your Majesty. (to audience) We may have a problem.  If the King prevails in the match, he will be pleased. But if he does not… oh, why did Quinlan even mention this?

[ALL exit.]

Scene 2 – Hanner Dyn’s Island

[Stage set:  On the stage, four hard-faced and miserable SLAVES are standing towards the back with various tools, working in the field.]

[NARRATOR enters.]

NARRATOR:
King Arthur set out with his men, in search of the wrestler-to-end-all-wrestlers. After weeks of sailing from island-to-island in the waters now known as the English Channel, the brave and bold King Arthur eventually found an old sailor who knew the location of the legendary Hanner Dyn.

[KING ARTHUR, CONOR, and Arthur’s knights, GAWAIN and MALVIN, enter. SLAVES pay them no attention.]

KING ARTHUR:
(looks around) This truly is a strange and beautiful place! It’s hard to believe such a strong fighter would be from somewhere so… flowery. Where could this Hanner Dyn be, anyway?

CONOR:
(points to Slaves) Perhaps it’s one of those hardy men, Sire.

KING ARTHUR:
Perhaps! (shouts to Slaves) You there! Might any of you be the legendary Hanner Dyn?

[Suddenly, all SLAVES stop their work and turn to look at KING ARTHUR.]

KING ARTHUR:
(to audience) So, which of you one is it?

GAWAIN:
I bet we can find out if we ask someone, Your Majesty.

[HANNER DYN enters, skipping around merrily and humming. KING ARTHUR does a double-take as he sees him.]

KING ARTHUR:
(to Hanner Dyn, not knowing who he is) You there, boy! Could you tell me which of these men is Hanner Dyn?

HANNER DYN:
None of them!

KING ARTHUR:
So, he is not here, then?

HANNER DYN:
Oh, Hanner Dyn is most certainly here.

KING ARTHUR:
Gadzooks~! Does this Hanner Dyn have the power to be invisible?

HANNER DYN:
(laughs) No! You see – I AM Hanner Dyn!

[There is a pause as KING ARTHUR, CONOR, GAWAIN and MALVIN all look at each other, before erupting into laughter.]

KING ARTHUR:
There myust be some mistake. I was told that Hanner Dyn was a champion wrestler.

HANNER DYN:
I am all that, and more!

KING ARTHUR:
You’re but a child!

HANNER DYN:
I may be small, I’ll grant you. Still, look at this land, these slaves –all of it is mine.

KING ARTHUR:
Haha, sure it is, child! You may be small in stature but what a big imagination you have. (to Conor) It seems we have wasted our time, Conor.

HANNER DYN:
You traveled a long distance to come here. Don’t go without giving me a try. (starts to weave about, wrestling-style) Come on! If you’re all that confident.

KING ARTHUR:
I think not.  Truly, that would be unsporting. 

HANNER DYN:
I get it now .. you’re worried about an upset. (continues to weave about, wrestling-style) Go on then, if you’re afraid!

KING ARTHUR:
(sighs) Very well.

[KING ARTHUR easily picks up HANNER DYN, turns him around and sets him down. (Note: BE CAREFUL, and PRACTICE THIS!)]

KING ARTHUR:
I think we settled THAT.

HANNER DYN:
(shrugs) So it is, then. Well, as you are here, how about a tour of my island?

KING ARTHUR:
Why not? (to Conor, Gawain and Malvin) Come along with us.

[HANNER DYN takes KING ARTHUR by the hand. CONOR, GAWAIN and MALVIN follow, and they walk around the stage. As NARRATOR speaks the lines below, HANNER DYN gestures as if he is showing KING ARTHUR various parts of the island, and KING ARTHUR nods in response.]

NARRATOR:
And so Hanner Dyn showed King Arthur about the island, showing him the gardens and fields. He also showed the King the rows of men toiling in the meadows and felling trees.

HANNER DYN:
They all work for me.

KING ARTHUR:
Is that so? Someone so young, and you have all this.

HANNER DYN:
Maybe that’s why my nickname is the “Half-Man.” Well, no doubt you must be hungry and thirsty. Come to my house. I have every kind of fruit and beverage you can imagine.

KING ARTHUR:
That sounds most pleasant. But then we must be getting on.

[ALL exit.]

NARRATOR:
So the three of them enjoyed a visit at the home of Hanner Dyn.  Soon, half the day had passed away, and King Arthur and his men, full of good food and good cheer, were ready to travel home.  The Half-Man led King Arthur and Conor back to the ship, where the crew awaited them.

[ALL enter.]

HANNER DYN:
Farewell, King Arthur! Remember, you are always welcome to come back and visit me again!

KING ARTHUR:
I just may do that. Farewell, young friend.

HANNER DYN:
Until we meet again.

[KING ARTHUR, CONOR, GAWAIN and MALVIN exit through the Prydwen side of the stage. HANNER DYN exits to the opposite side.]

NARRATOR:
King Arthur sailed back home with his men. But as the months passed, he began to miss the island and the boy he met there. Before long, he returned to the island of Hanner-Dyn.

[KING ARTHUR, CONOR, GAWAIN and MALVIN enter.]

KING ARTHUR:
(sighs heavily) Oh, it’s great to be back on this beautiful island!

CONOR:
As you have said before, Sire, it’s nice to get away from the castle every now and again.

KING ARTHUR:
Well yes. I wonder where that young Hanner Dyn chap is?

HANNER DYN:
(off stage) Here I am!

[HANNER DYN enters.  He is visibly taller than before, being played by a different actor wearing the same hat.  (See Performance Notes for costume suggestions.)]

KING ARTHUR:
Well, look at you! That’s some growth spurt you’ve had, young Hanner Dyn!

GAWAIN:
Is this even possible?

MALVIN:
Blimey! We must have been away longer than we thought!

HANNER DYN:
Your Highness, I was thinking, now that I’m bigger, I could give you more of a challenge. (starts to weave about, challenging King Arthur to wrestle)

KING ARTHUR:
Hah! Some spirit you have. Well, why not? Give it your all.

[HANNER DYN and KING ARTHUR grapple. They struggle for a bit, but KING ARTHUR still wins. (Another reminder, this is PRETEND. Be careful, and practice!)]

KING ARTHUR:
A noble effort, young man. But you are still no match for me!

HANNER DYN:
(dusts himself down) Not this time, Your Highness. But challenge me in a few months. I promise I will be improved.

KING ARTHUR:
(to audience) Get a load of this kid! (to Hanner Dyn) If you say so, lad. If you’re not careful, you’ll get my hopes up!

HANNER DYN:
(still dusting off) That’s the idea.

[HANNER DYN gives a quick bow to the King. HANNER DYN exits.]

KING ARTHUR:
(to Conor) Come along, Conor. The sooner we return home, the sooner we’ll be able to come back and see how much of a challenge that young man presents.

GAWAIN:
Back to the Pridwynn (pronounce: PRIHD-win) mother ship!

MALVIN:
At once, Your Majesty.

CONOR:
(to King Arthur) Sire, are you sure it’s a good idea to sail out here yet again to wrestle this lad? You have a country to run back home, if you don’t mind my saying so.

KING ARTHUR:
I’m aware of that, Conor! but everyone needs a bit of fun every now and then! You need to loosen up a little, my friend.

[KING ARTHUR exits with GAWAIN and MALVIN following behind.]

CONOR:
(to audience) I worry about the King. He seems to feel compelled to keep coming back here, again and again. But why?

[CONOR exits.]

[NARRATOR enters.]

NARRATOR:
Conor had good reason to worry.  For months, Arthur could only think about his impending challenge – nothing in his life was as important to him as the fight. Finally, the time had come for him to return to the island.

[KING ARTHUR, CONOR, GALWAIN and MALVIN enter.]

CONOR:
Sire, I really don’t think this is a good idea.

KING ARTHUR:
For goodness sake, Conor, you’ve been prattling on about this for three months straight. Can’t you just let me enjoy myself? (shouts) Hanner Dyn! I am here for your challenge. Let me see how much you’ve grown this time!

[HANNER DYN enters and appears full grown (see Performance Notes)]

HANNER DYN:
Greetings, Your Highness! Are you ready?

GAWAIN:
How could this be?

MALVIN:
This is a marvel!

[KING ARTHUR, CONOR, GAWAIN and MALVIN are amazed. KING ARTHUR turns to HANNER DYN.]

KING ARTHUR:
You have grown into your full height, that’s for sure. Yes, I am ready. I have been waiting for this, for months! Let’s do this!

[KING ARTHUR and HANNER DYN grapple. They are evenly matched this time. KING ARTHUR is visibly straining.]

KING ARTHUR:
You certainly have gotten stronger, Hanner Dyn!

CONOR:
Sire, stop! If you were hurt, who would lead your subjects?

KING ARTHUR:
Leave me alone, I can handle it!

CONOR:
No! It’s-

KING ARTHUR:
Conor, you’re throwing me off my game!

CONOR:
Sire, you don’t understand. He’s not merely a boy! Hanner Dyn is…

[They struggle for a little longer. HANNER DYN begins to overpower KING ARTHUR. Just as all hope seems lost, the tables turn. KING ARTHUR pushes HANNER DYN to the ground. (as before, this is pretend so practice for safety!)]

KING ARTHUR:
(raises arms victoriously but he is obviously tired) I did it!

[KING ARTHUR faints.]

CONOR:
He’s passed out! Oh, somehow I just knew this would end badly! (fans the fallen KING) Gawain! Malvin! Help the King back to the Prydwen (pronounce: PRIHD-win)!

[GAWAIN, MALVIN, and CONOR help to lift KING ARTHUR and move him offstage.]

 

SCENE 3 – Prydwen

[Stage set: The flat “boat” which was brought on at the end of Scene 1, is not onstage.  If you have some boating props, you can also bring them onto the stage.  (See Performance Notes for ideas on making the boat and ideas on boat props.)]

[KING ARTHUR lies propped-up against the mizzen mast (note: A mizzen mast is the third of three masts on a sailing ship. It can be simulated by a simple post) in the center of the set. KING ARTHUR faces the audience, surrounded by CONOR, GAWAIN and MALVIN.]

CONOR:
(shakes King Arthur by the shoulder) Your Majesty! Please. Wake up!

[KING ARTHUR rouses. He looks confused by his surroundings.]

KING ARTHUR:
(groggy) Where am I?

CONOR:
(excited) Thank goodness you’re okay! You passed out while fighting Hanner Dyn!

KING ARTHUR:
I did win though, didn’t I?

GAWAIN:
Sire, you won – umm – gloriously!

CONOR:
You did win, Sire. Though if I may say so (glares at Gawain)… barely.

KING ARTHUR:
(angrily) What did you say?

CONOR:
Sire, may I take the liberty of speaking honestly to you?  As your trusted advisor and friend, I mean.

KING ARTHUR:
Speak your mind, old man. You have earned it, after so many years of service.

CONOR:
My liege, do you not see what was happening? Each time you return, the strength of the Half-Man grows. The next match might have been your last. For you may not have noticed, but each slave in his fields was a former opponent … Another poor soul who came back over and over, determined to win.

KING ARTHUR:
What are you saying?

CONOR:
At first, the Half-Man is small and easy to overtake. But each time he gets bigger and more powerful until he is strong enough to defeat his opponent. And then the opponent – that would be you – becomes his slave.

KING ARTHUR:
Those slaves in the fields were his former opponents?

CONOR:
(nods) Your Majesty, don’t you know what the name Hanner Dyn means? It means – “Habit.” And the force of habit, at first weak, grows stronger and stronger each time. Eventually it can conquering even a king!

KING ARTHUR:
(stands) THIS king will never be a slave to Habit. Conor, my wise and trusted friend, we shall leave here and never return to this wicked island!

CONOR:
Music to my ears, Your Highness.

KING ARTHUR:
I still love to wrestle, though. I’m picturing a royal wrestling match back home.  Wrestlers from miles around will come to compete.

GAWAIN:
Indeed they will, Your Majesty.

KING ARTHUR:
And I will no doubt win the match.

MALVIN:
Indeed, Sire.

KING ARTHUR:
For I am the King, am I not?

CONOR:
Indeed.  The healthiest King in the world among healthy men, Your Majesty!

[CONOR, GAWAIN and MALVIN laugh, and bow to KING ARTHUR.]

[If you have a curtain, close it now. If you do not, fade the lights. If you have no stage lights, all actors come on stage and bow to the audience.]

end

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In Search of the Magic Lake Story

In Search of the Magic Lake ~ Reader’s Theater No Reviews Posted.




 

In Search of the Magic Lake Reader’s Theater Play Script 

CHARACTERS

  • NARRATOR
  • Sapa Inca
  • Court Magician
  • Prince
  • Father
  • Chuki
  • Mother
  • Poma
  • Ampata
  • Actor 1# (stands behind mountain cutout #1)
  • Actor 2# (stands behind mountain cutout #2)
  • Actor 3# (stands behind mountain cutout #3)
  • Actor 4# (stands behind mountain cutout #4)
  • Nobleman #1
  • Nobleman #2
  • Noblewoman #1
  • Noblewoman#2
  • Royal Servant
  • Guard #1
  • Guard #2
  • Llama
  • Tree
  • Panther
  • Macaw #1
  • Macaw #2
  • Rattlesnake
  • Scorpion
  • Ants

(note:  ACTORS #1-#4 can also serve as the NOBLEMEN and NOBLEWOMEN.  See Performance Notes for other suggestions on double-casting.)

 

Scene 1 – The palace of the Sapa Inca’s

Note: “Sapa Inca” is the name given to the Emperor of the Inca Empire.

[Stage set: The stage is divided into two areas. On one side is a luxurious room in the Sapa Inca’s palace. On the opposite side is a modest adobe hut.]

[Scene 1 opens in the Sapa Inca’s palace room.  If you have a backdrop, it can be painted to show large windows with nice curtains and tapestries on the walls.  On stage there is a small table with vials and jars, a royal throne and a bed (See Performance Notes on how to set up the table and how to simulate a throne and a bed.)]

[PRINCE lies on the bed, very ill. A table beside the bed is covered with bottles and vials. COURT MAGICIAN hovers over PRINCE, spooning various potions down PRINCE’S throat and muttering. SAPA INCA paces back and forth.]

NARRATOR:
Hello, everyone. This play is called “In Search of the Magic Lake.” It’s a story handed down from the Incas of South America.  Back in the day, the Incan Empire was the largest empire in the world.  The story is brought to you by Stories to Grow by.

[NARRATOR steps forward.]

NARRATOR:
(gestures to the palace room) Here we are at the palace of the Incan Empire. And there he is – (gestures to Sapa Inca) – the Sapa Inca, the Emperor.  That name means he’s the supreme ruler of the land.

SAPA INCA: 
(stops pacing and addresses Court Magician) You must help him!

COURT MAGICIAN:
(looks up from the Prince) I wish I could, Sapa Inca. (bows) It is a difficult case. Your son has not been well since birth.

SAPA INCA:
Don’t I know that? Who needs your excuses? This is my only son! Everything I have – my throne, my land, will be his.

COURT MAGICIAN :
(to audience) If he survives.  (tries to feed Prince another potion and gives up with a sigh) I am afraid the illness has become even worse. (lays a hand on Prince’s forehead, then takes hand away and stands up) Your Majesty, we must understand something.  The fate of the Prince is no longer in our hands.

SAPA INCA:
Speak for yourself! There must be SOMETHING that can be done!

COURT MAGICIAN:
(shakes head) Ah, nothing.

SAPA INCA:
What, nothing?

COURT MAGICIAN:
Ah, nothing!

SAPA INCA:
(goes right up to Court Magician’s face and loudly says) What, NOTHING?

COURT MAGICIAN:
(frightened) Well, maybe SOMETHING.  Only if he were to drink the water from the Magic Lake. I mean, other than THAT (shakes head), there is absolutely nothing that can be done.

SAPA INCA:
Wait a minute! Are you saying if my son drank water from the – what was it, you said? – Magic Lake?

COURT MAGICIAN:
He would be cured, of course. But the Magic Lake is at the end of the earth!

SAPA INCA:
I heard you. So I’ll send someone there!

COURT MAGICIAN:
Oh, Sapa Inca. One cannot truly get to the end of the earth!

SAPA INCA:
Then how do you even know it exists?

COURT MAGICIAN:
Sire, it is known! It has been known about for thousands of years.

SAPA INCA:
If it’s so well known, it must be possible to get there! You must tell me, how do you get to the end of the earth?

COURT MAGICIAN:
Well, if you must know (points offstage), to start, go north. Past all of the mountain peaks. Every one. And still farther on until the peaks become just hilltops. Then beyond the countless hilltops and still farther on till finally, the Magic Lake is there. At the end of the earth.

SAPA INCA:
Tell me something. What gives the water in this Magic Lake the power to heal?

COURT MAGICIAN:
At the very end of the earth, the sky dips so low that it actually touches the lake. When that happens, the lake is sparked with magic healing powers. But of course, no one can actually reach the Magic Lake. The end of the earth is much too far away.

SAPA INCA:
I am the Sapa Inca.  I say it will be done!

[All actors exit.]

Scene 2 – The home of Ampata and her family

[Stage set: A simple adobe one-room home. (“Adobe” means the walls are made of mud-brick that has been sun-dried.) If you have a backdrop it can be painted to simulate the brownish wall of the hut. In keeping with a typical Incan home, this part of the stage has no furniture.  There are only two reed mats on the floor, and props can be kept on the floor out of the way (See Performance Notes for the reed mats and suggestions on where to keep props.)]

[On one reed mat MOTHER and her daughter, AMPATA, are seated. They are husking corn and two baskets are in front of them – one for corn ready to be husked, and the other for peeled corn husks. (See Performance Notes for how to simulate a basket that’s full of corn.) On the second reed mat is AMPATA’s big brother CHUKI and younger brother POMA. There is a pile of sandals on that mat. The brothers pretend to be weaving sandals.]

[FATHER enters.]

FATHER:
I can’t believe what I just learned. (sighs) Chuki (pronounce: CHEW-kee), Poma (pronounce: POH-muh), Ampata (pronounce: am-PAT-uh), come here.

[CHUKI, POMA, AMPATA look up. MOTHER walks over to FATHER.]

MOTHER:
It sounds like the news is not good.

FATHER:
Ah, sad news indeed.  It’s from the palace of our Emperor, the Sapa Inca.  I’m sorry to say.

CHUKI:
(worried) What’s wrong?

POMA:
Is our Emperor sick?

FATHER:
Not that. (all are relieved) But it’s the Prince. (all are worried again) He’s become very ill.  It’s not expected he has much longer to live.

MOTHER:
Oh! That’s terrible!

AMPATA:
Is there no cure?

MOTHER:
I am sure the court doctors and magicians are doing everything that can be done.

FATHER:
Actually, the head court magician said there is one cure, but it’s impossible.

AMPATA:
What do you mean, Father?

FATHER:
He said the Prince would be cured if he drank some water from the Magic Lake at the end of the earth. But that’s the end of the earth. So of course it’s impossible!

CHUKI:
(to Poma, making airquotes) “Impossible”?

POMA:
(holds a hand behind one ear) Do we hear a challenge?

CHUKI:
We do!

POMA:
We’ll take it!

CHUKI and POMA, together:
(high-five their hands together) Let’s go!

FATHER:
Sons, I don’t think you understand–

MOTHER:
(to Father) WHY did you tell them? Now they want to go!

CHUKI:
(to Poma) We’re going to the end of the earth!

POMA:
This is AMAZING!

CHUKI:
Don’t worry, Mother. (puts arm around Poma) We’ll be together!

POMA:
(puts arm around Chuki) We’ll look after each other.

MOTHER:
(sarcastically) Great! At least BOTH of you are putting yourselves in danger.

FATHER:
Your mother’s right. You know how steep the mountains are. You could slip down a crevice, like that. (snaps fingers)

MOTHER:
The mountains go on forever. You’ll get tired. And how will you eat?

FATHER:
Poisonous spiders–

MOTHER:
Panthers and snakes–

FATHER:
(to Mother) AUGHH!

MOTHER:
(to Father) Tell them it’s out of the question!

FATHER:
(to Chuki and Poma) It’s out of the question!

CHUKI:
But Father! Haven’t you always told us our Sapa Inca created the great stone capital city of Cuzco (pronounce: CUZ-cow), the great wonder of the world?

FATHER:
Well, of course he built the capital city–

CHUKI:
And didn’t you say the sun itself shone from inside our Emperor’s heart when he let our people of the inland keep our sacred ways?

FATHER:
A lot of rulers don’t allow that sort of thing, but that doesn’t mean–

POMA:
Mother, don’t you always say it’s because of our good Sapa Inca that every farmer now has land of his own?

MOTHER:
Well, I –

CHUKI:
And why every crafts person has materials for their art? Like how we can make sandals from our very own leather and fabric? (gestures to pile of sandals)

MOTHER:
Once or twice I may have said something like that, but–

CHUKI:
Now the Emperor needs us!

POMA:
We want to serve our Sapa Inca!

FATHER:
(gets in the spirit) Well, of course you do!

MOTHER:
(to Father) Whose side are you on, anyway?

AMPATA:
Father, Mother, please! Let my brothers try. They want to do their part. The Prince will die!

FATHER:
Well, we can’t let that happen.

MOTHER:
(throws up her arms) AH! I cannot fight all of you! Very well!

[CHUKI, POMA and AMPATA cheer. FATHER doesn’t cheer, but looks pleased.]

MOTHER:
Perhaps you won’t be gone for long. No doubt the Sapa Inca already sent his best servants to find the Magic Lake. When you pass the mountain villages, you may find his own servants are returning home with the magic water. So you could come right home.

CHUKI:
(sounds disappointed) I suppose…

POMA:
But we’re headed to the end of the earth!

[CHUKI brightens. He and POMA high-five each other again.]

FATHER:
If you must go, take this spear for hunting. (hands Chuki a spear)

MOTHER:
And this bag of toasted corn and nuts. (hands Poma a cloth bag) May the Sapa Inca himself smile upon your journey.

AMPATA:
(picks up a jar made of pottery) You might want take this so you have something to hold the water. (hands to Chuki) For when you get there.

POMA:
Oh, right!

CHUKI:
Definitely.

[CHUKI and POMA are elated. MOTHER and FATHER put their arms around each other.]

AMPATA:
Goodbye, my brothers. Good luck!

CHUKI:
We’ll be back soon!

POMA:
With the magic water.

CHUKI:
We’ll be heroes!

POMA:
This is AWEsome!

[CHUKI and POMA exit to one end of the stage.]

[FATHER, MOTHER, and AMPATA all look after them, worriedly.  After a moment, they exit to the other end of the stage.]

 

Scene 3 – The Andes Mountains

[Stage set: This scene takes place at the front of the stage, in front of all set pieces.  If you want to make a small backdrop it can be painted to show a mountain range.  STAGE HANDS bring it on to hold it up for the scene.]

[MOUNTAIN #1 enters holding the 1st of four mountain cutouts.  (See Performance Notes for detail on creating the mountain cutouts).  Whichever side MOUNTAIN #1 enters from, that is where all MOUNTAINS will enter from.]

[CHUKI and POMA enter. CHUKI carries the spear. POMA carries the bag of toasted corn nuts and the jar. They are sluggish.]

CHUKI:
(pointing at the mountain cutout) Look! Another mountain we have to cross.

POMA:
ANOTHER one!?

[CHUKI and POMA walk to the 1st mountain and “cross” it.  To “cross” the MOUNTAIN #1 holds the mountain high above his/her head. BROTHERS climb in place while MOUNTAIN #1 gradually crouches with the mountain cut out until it touches the floor. BROTHERS cross in front of the mountain and climb in place again. MOUNTAIN #1 gradually raises the mountain until it is once again above his/her head.]

CHUKI:
(pants) That’s hard work. I’m glad it’s over.

[MOUNTAIN #1 exits the opposite side of the stage from where she or he had entered.  This is where all MOUNTAINS will exit.]

[MOUNTAIN #2 enters with the 2nd mountain cutout.]

CHUKI:
(points at the 2nd mountain peak) Oh, no! ANOTHER one!

POMA:
(tired) Will these mountains never end?

[CHUKI and POMA walk to mountain cutout #2 and “cross” in the same manner as before. They are even more tired.]

[MOUNTAIN #2 exits.]

POMA:
(pants more heavily; stops and covers eyes) Don’t tell me.

[MOUNTAIN #3 enters with the 3rd mountain cutout.]

CHUKI:
(looks at mountain cutout #3) Hate to break this to you.

POMA:
(uncovers eyes) Oh my gosh. It’s the highest one yet!

[BROTHERS walk to mountain cutout #3 and “cross” it. They are exhausted.]

[MOUNTAIN #3 exits.]

POMA:
(collapses on the ground) That’s it! I’ve had it.

[MOUNTAIN #4 enters with mountain cutout #4.]

CHUKI:
Come on, Poma!  One more!  I bet the lake is just on the other side of this one.

[CHUKI helps POMA off the ground, and the two slowly make their way to mountain cutout #4.  They “cross” the same way as before, but much slower.  They are drained of all their energy.]

[As POMA and CHUKI are crossing, two STAGEHANDS enters with a piece of ordinary blue fabric and either hold it up or spread it on the floor next to the mountain. This signifies a lake, however it is not the Magic Lake. (See Performance Notes on suggestions on how to create and differentiate the two lakes.)]

POMA:
(groans) I can’t believe my eyes. Hey, look ahead. Do you see what I see?

CHUKI:
You mean that lake?

POMA:
Yep!

CHUKI:
But it can’t be the Magic Lake. We’re not at the end of the earth. The mountains are supposed to lower into hilltops. Then after THAT we finally get to the Magic Lake. Remember?

POMA:
We’re so far from Cuzco and the palace, maybe water from this lake will be almost as good.

CHUKI:
You think so?

POMA:
Why not? Look, we’ve been at this a long time.

CHUKI:
Our parents and Ampata must be worried about us.

POMA:
Is it really right to leave them home all alone? We have a big maize (pronounce: MAYZE) crop this year.

CHUKI:
We shouldn’t leave them to harvest the corn all by themselves.

POMA:
We ought to be there.

CHUKI:
It’s the right thing to do.

POMA:
And this lake water will probably work, anyway.

CHUKI:
‘Course it will.

[CHUKI and POMA shake hands. They walk over to the lake. CHUKI takes the jar removes its top and pretends to scoop up water from the lake. He puts the top back on the jar.]

CHUKI:
There. Let’s go back to Cuzco.

POMA:
Right behind you.

[CHUKI and POMA exit. STAGEHAND picks up blue fabric and exits.]

 

Scene 4 – The Sapa Inca’s palace

[Stage set: The same palace room as in Scene 1. PRINCE is in the bed.  COURT MAGICIAN and SAPA INCA enter. COURT MAGICIAN fusses over PRINCE. SAPA INCA paces worriedly.]

SAPA INCA:
Any change?

COURT MAGICIAN:
Yes, but I am afraid it’s for the worst.  It seems he is now in a coma.

SAPA INCA:
Oh, what am I to do?!

[ROYAL SERVANT enters.]

ROYAL SERVANT:
Your Majesty. (bows low) I have excellent news. Two of your subjects have returned with water from the Magic Lake.

SAPA INCA:
(stops pacing and becomes excited) That IS excellent news! Let them enter.

[CHUKI and POMA enter looking very nervous. CHUKI has the jar in his hand.]

CHUKI:
(bows low) Sapa Inca.

POMA:
(bows low) Your Majesty.

SAPA INCA:
(gesturing for them to rise) I understand you have brought water from the Magic Lake itself at the very end of the earth.

CHUKI:
Yes, Your Majesty. (holds out the jar)

SAPA INCA:
Give it to the Court Magician.

[CHUKI hands jar to COURT MAGICIAN.]

COURT MAGICIAN:
There is one way to be sure this is genuine water from the Magic Lake.

[CHUKI and POMA look at each other and shrug, worried.]

[All lean in to surround COURT MAGICIAN as she or he pours water from the jar into a basin on the table.]

SAPA INCA:
Well?

COURT MAGICIAN:
Ah! If this were genuine water from the Magic Lake, it would boil and bubble when it’s poured into my magic basin. This is NOT from the Magic Lake! (points to Chuki and Poma) These men are imposters!

[Everyone onstage gasps.]

SAPA INCA:
Guards!

[GUARD#1 and GUARD #2 rush onstage.]

SAPA INCA:
Seize these two fraudsters! Throw them in prison! (to Chuki and Poma) How dare you try to trick the royal family!

[GUARD #1 takes both hands of CHUKI to behind CHUKI’s back and escorts him off stage.]

[GUARD #2 takes both hands of POMA to behind POMA’s back and escorts him off stage.]

SAPA INCA:
You can rot in jail your whole lives long, for all I care!

[COURT MAGICIAN goes over to PRINCE, who is lying down. COURT MAGICIAN raises one of his arms and then when he releases it, the arm drops.]

COURT MAGICIAN:
The Prince can no longer take food or water.  I am afraid he does not have much time left.

SAPA INCA:
This is a dark, dark day! (loudly) I proclaim (gestures) from now on there will be no more celebrations in this land. We will know only grief until my son recovers.

[CROWD murmurs, as below.]

NOBLEMAN #1:
No celebrations?

NOBLEWOMAN #1:
Of any kind?

NOBLEMAN #2:
But the Sun Festival is next week!

NOBLEWOMAN #1:
The royal kitchen has been cooking up a storm for weeks.

NOBLEWOMAN #2:
This is not good! Not good indeed!

SAPA INCA:
Enough! (all are quiet) I have spoken.

 

Scene 5 – The home of Ampata and her family

[Stage set: The same as in Scene 2, but there are much fewer sandals on the mats now.]

[MOTHER enters, crying, with FATHER and AMPATA following, also noticeably sad.]

MOTHER:
(wails) My sons!  To come back from their travels, only to be thrown in prison! How could this have happened?

FATHER:
(tries to comfort his wife) This is a sad time, indeed.

MOTHER:
They may never get out alive!

FATHER:
I’m afraid there’s very little we can do.

MOTHER:
(wails) My boys!

AMPATA:
Mother, Father! I have an idea.

MOTHER:
What, child?

AMPATA:
I must go to the Magic Lake myself.

MOTHER:
(wails even louder) What?! The very words that led us to disaster in the first place? Absolutely NOT! You’re all we have left, Ampata!

FATHER:
Dear daughter, surely you understand. If your brothers couldn’t bring back the water from the Magic Lake, how could you? And they had each other. You’d be alone.

AMPATA:
I am alone here without my brothers. Father, I cannot stay here a moment longer while they waste away in prison.

MOTHER:
Don’t even think of it, Ampata! Our family has already given more than we can afford – your big brother, and your little brother, too.

AMPATA:
Mother, the Prince has fallen into a coma. Surely the end is near! If I bring back the magic water for him, our family’s honor would be restored! I must do it.

FATHER:
Well maybe, but–

AMPATA:
It’s our only hope!

[MOTHER and FATHER look at each other.]

MOTHER:
Why is this making sense?

FATHER:
Well…

MOTHER:
(sighs) All right then. Go on, before we change our minds. Here. Take this toasted corn and nuts(hands Ampata a cloth bag).  And this jar (hands her a clay jar).

FATHER:
And take our llama with you. He will keep you company. And help you cross the passes.

[LLAMA enters and trots to AMPATA’s side.]

FATHER:
I hope we don’t regret this.

MOTHER:
I already do. (to Ampata) My dear girl, come home safely. And quickly!

AMPATA:
Don’t worry, Mother.

FATHER:
Where did I hear this before? (Mother stares at husband) Oh, right.

[They all hug. MOTHER and FATHER put their arms around each other as AMPATA exits.]

Scene 6 – The Andes Mountains

[Stage set: As in Scene 3, this scene takes place at the front of the stage, in front of all set pieces.  If you have a mountain backdrop, STAGE HANDS bring it on again to hold it up for the scene.]

[TREE enters.  Actor playing TREE either represents the tree by them self or brings a cardboard tree on with them (See Performance Notes for TREE options).] 

[AMPATA and LLAMA walk over to TREE.  LLAMA walks on all fours.]

AMPATA:
Look at this nice tree. Let’s stop here for the night.

LLAMA:
(lays down) Cuddle up next to me, child. My fur will keep you warm.

AMPATA:
My dear llama. It’s almost as if I could hear you speak.

[AMPATA and LLAMA sit under the tree and fall asleep. PANTHER enters, prowling for food.]

TREE:
Wake up, you two. Wake up! A panther is coming! He looks hungry!

[AMPATA and LLAMA jump up.]

AMPATA:
What, is the tree speaking?

TREE:
Quick, climb up in my branches!

AMPATA:
I can, but you cannot, Llama! You must run home right away! Go, now! Be safe!

[Llama nuzzles AMPATA for a moment, then runs offstage. AMPATA pretends to climb the tree and then stands behind TREE, as if in the branches.  (See Performance Notes on suggestions for achieve this).]

PANTHER:
(prowls around the tree) Come, down, girl, come, down. I’m not going to hurt you. (to audience) Much! (snickers)

AMPATA:
Just the same, Panther. I will sleep in the tree tonight.

[PANTHER exits. A couple of moments pass, indicating the nighttime. MACAW #1 and MACAW #2 enter and fly around the tree. AMPATA wakes us and yawns.]

AMPATA:
What pretty macaw birds. Such bright feathers. (takes out some toasted corn nuts and munches on a few) Say, have a few of these. (scatters some nuts around here) Come on, over here!

[MACAW BIRDS swoop in and pretend to pick them seeds. They make happy clucking noises.]

MACAW #1:
(munches) Caw! Not bad! Not bad at all.

MACAW #2:
(munches) Caw! Salty crunch!

MACAWS (together):
(happily) Caw! Caw!

MACAW #1:
Look! The human girl is giving us these yummy treats.

MACAW #2:
Why is she here? Humans don’t live in trees.

MACAW #1:
This one does.

MACAW #2:
Lucky for us.

MACAW #1:
(to Ampata) Human, don’t your people usually live in those huts on the ground?

AMPATA:
We do, but I’m traveling now, and last night I was scared by a panther. That’s why I climbed up the tree.

MACAW #2:
(to Macaw #1) Makes sense.

MACAW #1:
(to Ampata) Why are you so far from home?

AMPATA:
I’m going to the Magic Lake. To bring back water to cure our Prince.

MACAW #2:
The Magic Lake?

AMPATA:
Yes. Do you know of it?

MACAW #2:
Who doesn’t? Its water will cure anything. But it’s at the end of the earth!

AMPATA:
I know, but that’s where I’m going.

MACAW #1:
Girl, you can’t get THERE (points offstage) from HERE (points to the floor).

AMPATA:
I have to. It’s the only way.

MACAW #1:
(taps shoulder of Macaw #2) A word, please.

[MACAWS take a few steps away, out of earshot of AMPATA.]

MACAW #1:
Let’s give the kid a break.

MACAW #2:
Just what I was thinking.

MACAW #1:
She’ll never make it on her own.

MACAW #2:
She needed every bit of food for herself. And still, she gave us those nutty treats.

MACAW #1:
Those yummy nutty treats.

[MACAWS turn so their backs are touching. They dance and squiggle, keeping their backs touching. In the process, they let three feathers drop to the ground (See Performance Notes for suggestions on achieving this effect).  They pick up the feathers and go back to AMPATA.]

MACAW #1:
This is your lucky day. (hands Ampata the feathers)

AMPATA:
Oh, how pretty! (puts a feather in her hair)

MACAW #1:
It’s not for that!

MACAW #2:
Careful, don’t break them!

AMPATA:
Oh!

MACAW #1:
You see, our feathers have magic.  If you make a fan of them.

MACAW #2:
The fan will protect you from any danger, and help you out of any trouble!

AMPATA:
Wow, really? That’s amazing! Say, I know how to make a fan of feathers.

[AMPATA takes a ribbon from her pocket and ties it around the bottom of the three feathers.]

MACAW #1:
Clever girl.

MACAW #2:
Industrious.

AMPATA:
Thank you so much. (fans herself lightly with the feathers) A magic fan, this is wonderful. Say, may I ask you something?

MACAW #1:
What?

AMPATA:
Could you actually take me to the Magic Lake?

MACAW #1:
We thought you’d never ask!

AMPATA:
That’s wonderful!

MACAW #2:
Hop on!

[MACAWS flank AMPATA and she flies off with one MACAW on either side. TREE exits.]

[They “fly” around in a wide circle, by walking with arms out.  While they “fly”, MOUNTAIN #1-#4 enter with their mountain cutouts.  As MACAWS and AMPATA approach them, MOUNTAINS lower their mountain cut outs so MACAWS and AMPATA can “fly over” them.]

[MOUNTAIN #1-#4 exit.  MOUNTAIN #1 and #2 prepare to come back onstage with hill cutouts.]

[STAGEHANDS enter with the piece of ordinary blue fabric and hold it up or spread it on the floor next to the mountain. This signifies the same ordinary lake from Scene 3- this is still not the Magic Lake.]

AMPATA:
Oh, there’s a lake!  But it must not be the magic lake… I don’t think we’ve come to the end of the earth yet.

MACAWS:
Nope, not yet!

[STAGEHANDS exit with lake.]

[MACAWS and AMPATA “fly” around again in a wide circle, by walking with arms out.  While they “fly”, MOUNTAIN #1 and #2 enter with two hill cutouts.  These have a rounded top and are lower, representing hills (See Performance Notes for suggestions for the hill cutouts).  MACAWS and AMPATA “fly over” these, as before.] 

[MOUNTAIN #1 and #2 exit.  As they are exiting, two STAGEHANDS enter with a piece of blue fabric.  It should be larger than the first blue blanket, and sparkly. It is the Magic Lake (See Performance Notes for suggestions).]

AMPATA:
Oh my! This must be it – the end of the earth. (looks around) It’s beautiful! (points) And that – why, it’s the Magic Lake?

MACAW #2:
You nailed it.

MACAW #1:
And now, we bid you goodbye.

AMPATA:
Must you go?

MACAW #1:
Places to go.  Folks to see.

AMPATA:
Well then goodbye, my friends!

[MACAWS “put her down” and fly away.]

AMPATA:
(to audience) Oh my goodness, I forgot to ask how to get back. (turns to Magic Lake) But first things first. (takes out jar and goes toward Magic Lake)

[RATTLESNAKE enters.]

RATTLESNAKE:
What’ssss thisss? A tassty girl?

AMPATA:
A girl with a … magic feather fan? (holds it in front of her and braces, closing her eyes)

[RATTLESNAKE lunges for AMPATA. She holds out her fan. RATTLESNAKE freezes and collapses onto the floor, motionless.]

AMPATA:
I don’t believe it, this fan really works! Now to get the water– (steps over Rattlesnake to the Magic Lake)

[SCORPION enters, waving its claws.]

SCORPION:
What’s this? Easy deliciousness! Let me at her!

AMPATA:
Oh no! I hope this works a second time!

[SCORPION lunges for AMPATA. She holds up her fan. SCORPION freezes and collapses on the ground, motionless.]

AMPATA:
It worked again! (steps over Scorpion) Now I must get that water quickly, before another–

[ANTS #1-#4 enter.]

ANT #1:
What’s this?

ANT #2:
A large, fleshy meal!

ANT #3:
She’ll last for a long time!

ANT #4:
Not the way YOU eat!

ANT #3:
Look who’s talking!

ANT #2:
You two, pay attention! This one will last our whole colony for weeks.

ANT #1:
Yum, yum!

AMPATA:
Oh, please, feather fan, do your magic one more time!

[ANTS rush to AMPATA. She holds up the fan. Together in an instant, they all freeze and collapse on the ground. AMPATA runs to the lake, takes out her jar and dips it into the lake.]

AMPATA:
I’ve got it! (to audience) I’m going to try something and I REALLY hope it works. (holds up fan) Please fan, take me to the palace.

[ALL exit.]

Scene 7 – The Sapa Inca’s palace

[Stage set: The same palace room in Scene 1.]

[SAPA INCA, COURT MAGICIAN, PRINCE, NOBLES and NOBLEWOMEN enter. PRINCE, sluggishly, takes his place on the royal sick bed. SAPA INCA takes his seat on the royal throne. Everyone looks worried and murmurs sadly.]

[ROYAL SERVANT enters.]

ROYAL SERVANT:
(wearily) Your Majesty, another of your loyal subjects has brought water from the Magic Lake.

SAPA INCA:
No doubt another waste of time. (sighs) Very well then. Show him in!

ROYAL SERVANT:
Ah, Sapa Inca. This time it’s a girl!

SAPA INCA:
What?!

[AMPATA enters with the pottery jar of water. NOBLES and NOBLEWOMEN looks at her in amazement.]

COURT MAGICIAN:
What is this, a joke?

ROYAL SERVANT:
She insists she has the magic water.

AMPATA:
I do!

COURT MAGICIAN:
Begone with her! The Sapa Inca cannot be bothered with the likes of you.

[ROYAL SERVANT takes AMPATA’s arm to escort her out.]

SAPA INCA:
Wait!

AMPATA:
Your Majesty?

SAPA INCA:
You say you have water from the Magic Lake? At the end of the earth?

AMPATA:
(bows) Indeed yes, Your Majesty.

SAPA INCA:
(to Court Magician) What’s five minutes? Give it a try.

[AMPATA gives the jar to COURT MAGICIAN. He pours it into the same basin on the table. There is a bubbling sound and sparkles. (See Performance Notes for description of how to create this effect.)]

COURT MAGICIAN:
She did it! This is the real water from the Magic Lake!

SAPA INCA:
This is astounding!  Well, what are you waiting for? Give it to my son!

[COURT MAGICIAN scoops a small cup into the basis. He sits the PRINCE up in bed and helps him drink a little of the magic water from the bowl. PRINCE raises his head and sits up in bed.]

PRINCE:
I feel better!

SAPA INCA:
You’re back!

COURT MAGICIAN:
It really worked!

SAPA INCA:
You doubted it?

COURT MAGICIAN:
No, I mean.. It’s only that no one had ever really… I mean– (bows) I am so happy, Your Majesty.

SAPA INCA:
Not half as happy as I. (stands behind Prince and puts his hands on his son’s shoulders) How are you feeling now, son?

PRINCE:
(looking at Ampata) Better and better!

AMPATA:
(bows) It was truly my pleasure, Sire.

SAPA INCA:
(to Ampata) Child, come stay with us. You belong here, at the palace.

[EVERYONE on stage gasps, dramatically. They are impressed.]

AMPATA:
You are very kind. But of course I cannot accept such a great honor, my liege.

[EVERYONE on stage gasps again, dramatically. They cannot believe AMPATA would turn down this royal offer.]

AMPATA:
If I may, instead may I ask for three favors?

SAPA INCA:
Depends.  What are they?

AMPATA:
(bows again) My Sapa Inca. Would you release my two brothers from prison? I’m sure they are sorry for their mistake.

SAPA INCA:
Very well, I shall.  Hopefully next time they do a better job at serving me.

AMPATA:
I know they would like nothing better than to try!

SAPA INCA:
If you vouch for them, consider it done. The second request?

AMPATA:
I’d like to return these magic feathers to the Macaws who helped me.

SAPA INCA:
Magic feathers, eh?

COURT MAGICIAN:
(to audience) I knew it!

[Enter MACAWS. Then flit about, pick up AMPATA’S magic feathers, bow to her, and exit.]

SAPA INCA:
That was easy. Third and last favor?

AMPATA:
Your Majesty, please grant a flock of llamas and alpacas for my parents. And enough land to herd them. So they will not be poor in their old age. My brothers and I will take care of the flock, of course.

SAPA INCA:
I will grant your three requests. However, on one condition.

AMPATA:
Anything, my Sapa Inca.

SAPA INCA:
You must come to the palace frequently, to visit me.

AMPATA:
Of course! (bows) I will be most honored.

SAPA INCA:
And to visit my son.

[PRINCE nods heartily.]

AMPATA:
Both of you. Of course, yes.

SAPA INCA:
And now I declare a feast day! A time for celebration!

[Everyone at court cheers. It’s been a long time with no celebrations.]

[PRINCE stands. He holds both arms stretched out as if in a ‘Victory’ sign. Everyone cheers again.]

NOBLEMAN #2:
Hooray!

NOBLEWOMAN #2:
The Prince is back!

NOBLEMAN #1:
We’re getting a feast, too!

NOBLEWOMAN #1:
Which is better?

NOBLEMAN #1:
I’m not sure!

NOBLEWOMAN #2:
Let’s eat!

NOBLEMAN #2:
Can’t wait!

NOBLEWOMAN #2:
At last!

SAPA INCA:
(to everyone) Enough!

[All are silenced.]

SAPA INCA:
(to Ampata) And you will stay for the celebration, of course.

AMPATA:
Of course, Your Majesty.

SAPA INCA:
After you return with ANOTHER jar of water from the Magic Lake.

AMPATA:
What?!

[Everyone at court gasps in horror.]

SAPA INCA:
(laughs) Just messing with you!

[Everyone at court laughs, relieved.]

NARRATOR:
The Sapa Inca honored Ampata’s three requests. After all, the Prince was well again! When the time came the Prince took the throne, with Ampata at his side as his wife. And the two of them ruled wisely and well, and lived happily ever after.

[PRINCE and AMPATA hold hands.]

[If you have a curtain, close it now. If you do not, fade the lights. If you have no stage lights, all actors come on stage and bow to the audience.]

end

CONTACT US:

info@storiestogrowby.org

1-855-WHOOTIE (946-6843)

REVIEWS

 

 






5/5

Ellen

33

USA

The moral of this story is – We have all made mistakes of varying degrees. But as long as we do not hide these mistakes, and realize everyone makes them from time to time, then we are still good people. It is when you deny your mistakes or try to hide them from others that we become “un-good”. Great lesson for children!

 






5/5

Hank

9

USA

It was a good story!

 






5/5

Kayla

9

USA

I think this story teaches a lesson: It is optional to believe what you hear but when you see it, it may be different than what you have heard of believed in. This story is a perfect example. A rabbit hears a loud voice in his home that tells him that he is very powerful, but he is only a caterpillar.

 






5/5

Garabed

 

us

A very nice story with a lesson about a lion.

 






5/5

Hulauia

11

New Zealand

It is a awesome story

 






5/5

michael

11

WI

awsome

 






5/5

Andrew

65

Jordan

It was a good length and very nice. Loved it

 






5/5

alessandra

10

 

i was so good i love it:].

 






5/5

Chuck

46

USA

This is a wonderful story about being open to new experiences and life’s unexpected blessings. “…all the world is give and take, and who knows but that I may have my apple dumpling yet….” Indeed I may!

 






5/5

Garabed.

 

 

If I don’t hide the search form it remains on the page awkwardly like this!

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The Golden Goose Story

The Golden Goose ~ Reader’s Theater No Reviews Posted.




goldgoose-play

The Golden Goose Reader's Theater Play Script for Kids

 

CHARACTERS

NARRATOR
• OVERTON*
• MIDDLETON* 
• SIMPLETON
• ELF* 
• GOLDEN GOOSE
• INNKEEPER
• AVA
• FAIGA
• UNNA
• FARMER
• MILLER
• WOODCUTTER #1
• WOODCUTTER #2
• PEASANT
• CONTESTANT #437
• PRINCESS
• KING

*Casting suggestion:  OVERTON can also play CROWD MEMBER #1;  MIDDLETON can also play CROWD MEMBER #2;  ELF can also play CROWD MEMBER #3; and INNKEEPER can also play CROWD MEMBER #4

 

Scene 1 – Forest

[Stage set: The  stage is divided into three sections.  The first section serves as a forest and a riverside.  The middle section of the stage is the innkeeper's tavern.  The third section of the stage shows a town square.  Details for the 2nd and 3rd sections are found later.]

[Scene 1 starts in the forest.  Place two to four free-standing trees of different heights.  One tree must be build in a way that SIMPLETON can appear to chop it down.  This tree is also wider, so that GOLDEN GOOSE can hide behind it. (See Performance Notes for set creation ideas.)  Offstage, have two props at the ready for the riverside scene - a blue sheet for a river, and a cardboard rock.]

NARRATOR:
Hello, everyone.  This play is “The Golden Goose.” It's one of the tales of the Brothers Grimm, two brothers from Germany  who gathered fairytales.  The story is brought to you by Stories to Grow by.

[NARRATOR steps forward.]

NARRATOR:
Once there were three brothers.

[OVERTON, MIDDLETON, and SIMPLETON enter.]

NARRATOR:
Overton.

OVERTON:
(waves) Hi.

NARRATOR:
Middleton.

MIDDLETON:
(waves) How’s it going?

NARRATOR:
And Simpleton.

SIMPLETON:
(waves) Hello.

NARRATOR:
And they all had the same job.

OVERTON:
(pulls a cardboard axe from behind his back) We chop down trees.

MIDDLETON:
(pulls a cardboard axe from behind his back) Big trees, and we split them...

SIMPLETON:
(pulls a cardboard axe from behind his back) ...into logs for making houses, planks for making furniture, or just into logs for the fireplace.

NARRATOR:
And if there’s extra wood?

OVERTON:
All the better!

MIDDLETON:
We sell it!

NARRATOR:
(looks at the brothers) They have a flexible revenue model.

[OVERTON, MIDDLETON, and SIMPLETON exit.]

NARRATOR:
(to audience) Every morning the three brothers headed off to the forest to work.

[OVERTON enters, carrying his axe and a basket of food. He sets down the basket and starts chopping one of the trees.  This is not the tree that hides GOLDEN GOOSE.]

OVERTON:
(chants) This beech tree today (swings), will soon become a table (swings). The beams get notched (swings), the seams get fit (swings) till it is strong and stable (swings).

[ELF enters.]

ELF:
Decent rhyme.

OVERTON:
“Decent”?

ELF:
Not too bad.

[OVERTON examines ELF.]

OVERTON:
Can I help you with something?

ELF:
Well, I happen to notice you have a lunch basket…  (gestures to the lunch basket)

OVERTON:
And if I do?

ELF:
Uh, I was thinking maybe you'd share a bit of it with me.

OVERTON:
Why would you think that?

ELF:
The truth is, I could use a bite to eat.

OVERTON:
Do elves like you always make a habit of going up to strangers and demanding a free lunch?

ELF:
I'm just asking because I’m hungry. Please?

OVERTON:
Well I’m hungry, too. AND I'm working hard this morning. Which is than I can say for YOU. So if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to work.

[OVERTON continues chopping. ELF sighs and exits.]

OVERTON:
(resumes chopping)  This wood will make a chair as light as air (swings).  To rock away the whole long day (swings).  (to audience)  Hmm, the cadence (pronounce: KAY-dence) COULD better.

[OVERTON exits.]

NARRATOR:
Meanwhile, Middleton was working in a different part of the forest.

[MIDDLETON enters with a lunch basket and his axe. He sets down the basket and begins chopping a tree.  It can be the same tree that OVERTON had been chopping, since the tree stays up and is not "chopped" down.]

MIDDLETON:
(chants) And a choppa-choppa (swings) ONE. And a choppa-choppa (swings) TWO. Soon this chopping will be (swings) DONE. If this tree doesn’t fall on–

[ELF enters.]

MIDDLETON:
(to Elf) Hey, watch it!

ELF:
No problem. I’m staying back.

MIDDLETON:
(continues chopping) And a choppa-choppa (swings) THREE. And a choppa-choppa (swings) FOUR. (turns around to Elf) Why are you still here?

ELF:
Uh, I have something to ask.

MIDDLETON:
What?

ELF:
Well, you have that lunch basket. (gestures to basket) I assume that you wouldn’t mind sharing some of it with me?

MIDDLETON:
You assume a lot!

ELF:
But–

MIDDLETON:
Move it along, elf!

[ELF sighs and exits.]

MIDDLETON:
(calls after Elf) And don’t call me Shirley! (to audience)  Where was I?  Oh yes.  And a choppa-choppa (swings) FIVE.  And a choppa-choppa (swings) SIX.

[MIDDLETON exits.]

NARRATOR:
The same day, elsewhere in the forest, the youngest brother Simpleton was also chopping wood.

[SIMPLETON enters with a lunch basket and his axe. He sets down the basket and begins to chop a tree.  This could be the same tree as before.]

SIMPLETON:
I chop for Mr. (swings on "Ralf") Ralf the ropemaker, and Mr. (swings on "Schmidt") Schmidt the sailor. For Mr. (swings on "Klein") Klein the carpenter, and Mr. (swings on "Theiss") Theiss (pronounce: TICE) the tailor.  (stops chopping and wipes his forehead on his sleeve)  Whew!  It’s going to be a long, hot morning.  Can’t wait for my noontime schnitzel.

[SIMPLETON puts down his axe and heads towards his lunch basket.]

[ELF enters.]

ELF:
Did someone say “lunch”?

SIMPLETON:
That would be me.  Schnitzel, actually.

ELF:
My favorite!

SIMPLETON:
Nothing like those thin slices of meat fried with batter.   Hey, how about if you–

ELF:
(holds up hand, discouraged) Say no more, I get it! I’ll be moving on. Don’t worry– (turns around and starts to walk away)

SIMPLETON:
(calls after Elf)  You don’t want any schnitzel?

ELF:
(sharply turns around) Say, WHAT?

SIMPLETON:
I said, you don't want any schnitzel?  Why don't you stick around? 

ELF:
I wouldn't be a bother?

SIMPLETON:
What do you mean? I like company.

ELF:
Or maybe you think I don't deserve to eat lunch because I’m not working right now, as you are.

SIMPLETON:
(shrugs) Everyone needs to eat. (sets down his axe, sits, and pats the spot next to him.) Come on, have a seat.  Something good is even better shared.

ELF:
Okay, then. Don’t mind if I do!

[SIMPLETON reaches for the basket and hands ELF some food. They eat together.]

ELF:
This schnitzel is delicious! How do you get the top so crunchy?

SIMPLETON:
Keep it a bit longer under the broiler.

ELF:
Good tip.

[They finish eating and SIMPLETON begins to pack up the basket.]

ELF:
(rubs tummy) Well! (if the actor can burp/belch on cue, now would be a good time to do it) That was very satisfying, thank you. But I’d best be on my way.

SIMPLETON:
Are you passing by this way again any time soon?

ELF:
Probably not. (leans in) But I'll tell you what. I have a tip, too.

SIMPLETON:
Really?  What?

ELF:
Down by the river there's a giant old oak tree next to a very large rock.

SIMPLETON:
I know the one.

ELF:
If you chop it down and look inside, down close to the roots, you'll find something very special.

SIMPLETON:
How do you know this?

ELF:
(wags finger) Ah ah AH! An elf never reveals his sources!

SIMPLETON:
Well, thanks again for the tip.

ELF:
And thanks for yours!

[ELF signals an “okay” sign holding one thumb to the index finger, then exits.]

NARRATOR:
After work that afternoon, Simpleton headed down to the river.

SIMPLETON:
(to audience) It may be nothing, but it doesn’t hurt to check it out, right?

[SIMPLETON grabs the lunch basket and his axe, and exits.] 

[While he does so, a stagehand bring two props from offstage:  the blue sheet to represent a river, and a large cardboard rock.  (See Performance Notes for set suggestions.)  During this time, GOLDEN GOOSE, if not already in place behind the wide tree, can enter now and stand behind the tree.] 

Scene 2 – A riverside

[Stage Set:  Same section of the stage as Scene 1.  A cardboard tree with a swing, a large cardboard rock, and a river are on stage.  GOLDEN GOOSE is hiding behind the tree.] 

[SIMPLETON enters.]

NARRATOR:
The sun was setting by the time he got to the giant oak tree.

SIMPLETON:
Here's the river.  (looks at the widest tree, the one hiding Golden Goose) And there's the giant oak tree the elf spoke of, no doubt.  Okay, here's goes.

[SIMPLETON chops down the tree.  (See Performance Notes on how to safely construction a lightweight cardboard tree that can be "chopped down.")]

[When the tree is chopped down, GOLDEN GOOSE is revealed inside the stump of the tree.  GOLDEN GOOSE wears a yellow costume covered in brown felt to represent dirt.  (See Performance Notes for costume ideas.)]

SIMPLETON:
My goodness, what is that?  (peers more closely)  A goose?

GOLDEN GOOSE:
Squawk!

SIMPLETON:
What were you doing inside this tree?

GOLDEN GOOSE:
Squawk! (brushes off some of the brown felt pieces)

SIMPLETON:
Aren’t you a pretty thing, under all that dirt!

GOLDEN GOOSE:
Squawk! Squawk!

SIMPLETON:
Well, no matter, let's get you out now.  And clean you up. (wipes off the rest of the brown felt pieces) Would you look at that! Your feathers look like they're made of gold!

GOLDEN GOOSE:
(proud) Squawk!

SIMPLETON:
My goodness, no what, really? Real gold…?

GOLDEN GOOSE:
(very proud) Squawk! Squawk!

SIMPLETON:
(thoughtfully) It must have been awfully stuffy being stuck in there.

GOLDEN GOOSE:
(breathes deeply, glad to be in the fresh air)

SIMPLETON:
Come with me!  I'll show you the sights of the town.  After all that time you've been cooped up, you deserve to have a good time.

[SIMPLETON takes GOLDEN GOOSE by the hand (that's the end of GOLDEN GOOSE’s “wing” that covers the actor’s arm) and leads him/her slowly in a path back and forth at the front of the stage, in front of all the set pieces.  SIMPLETON talks while they are walking.]

SIMPLETON:
I bet you'd like the town square.  That's where musicians play.

[GOLDEN GOOSE yawns.]

SIMPLETON:
Uh, did I mention town that's also where bakeries are, making fresh bread every day?

GOLDEN GOOSE:
(excited now) Squawk!

SIMPLETON:
Thought so.  (stops in tracks)  You know, it's getting late.  We should probably find someplace to spend the night and go to town tomorrow. (looks around) There used to be an inn around here somewhere.  I hope it's still here.

GOLDEN GOOSE:
Squawk!  (shakes)

SIMPLETON:
What's that?  Oh, look.  You dropped one of your pretty feathers.

GOLDEN GOOSE:
(kicks feather toward Simpleton) Squawk! Squawk!

SIMPLETON:
Oh, I get it. You MEANT to drop your golden feather.  So I can pay for our room.  Is that right?

GOLDEN GOOSE:
(nods)

SIMPLETON:
(bends over and picks up the golden feather) Well, you are one thoughtful little goose! (bows slightly to Golden Goose) Much obliged.  You must think something good is even better shared, too, don't you?

GOLDEN GOOSE:
Squawk! (rubs head against Simpleton’s leg)

[SIMPLETON leads GOLDEN GOOSE to the middle of the stage, which is where the Innkeeper's tavern is.]

[INNKEEPER enters.]

Scene 3 – Innkeeper's tavern

[Stage Set:  A bed, or simulated bed, is onstage.]

INNKEEPER:
This, here, will be your room. I trust it is satisfactory?

SIMPLETON:
It’s perfect.

INNKEEPER:
Very well.  The charge for staying tonight is one Thaler (pronounce: THAYH-ler) coin.

SIMPLETON:
It so happens I have a feather made of pure gold.

INNKEEPER:
(laughs) No, seriously. Just one Thaler coin.

SIMPLETON:
See for yourself. (hands Innkeeper the feather) I trust this will be sufficient.

INNKEEPER:
(holds up feather and is impressed) Well, WELL!  That it will! (eyes the goose) So many golden feathers on that goose… Say, are you sure you wouldn’t like to stay longer?

SIMPLETON:
Quite sure. We're aim to go to town first thing in the morning.

INNKEEPER:
I see.  Then at least I'll make your one night extra comfortable. If there’s anything you need, don’t hesitate to ask. Oh, and perhaps we can find a nice safe place for the goose. If you’ll just give it to me–

SIMPLETON:
That's quite all right. My goose will stay with me. We’ll be fine.

INNKEEPER:
If you insist. Sleep well.

[INNKEEPER exits.]

[SIMPLETON places the lunch basket next to the bed and settles in. GOLDEN GOOSE settles next to the basket.]

NARRATOR:
As you can imagine, news like this is hard to keep under wraps. Who can blame the Innkeeper for happening to confide in his three daughters that their new guest has a magnificent goose with real golden feathers? Later that night after everyone else had fallen asleep, the Innkeeper's eldest daughter, Ava, decided to sneak a peek.

[AVA enters.]

AVA:
Hmm.  Papa said it was the guestroom on the right.  Or was it the one on the left? (spots Golden Goose) Aha! (to audience) THERE it is! My goodness, Papa was right - the feathers really ARE made of gold!

[AVA moves over to the bed and reaches for the goose.]

AVA:
I’ll just pet it so it knows it’s safe and doesn't wake up its master.

[AVA’s hand touches the goose, but she is unable to remove her hand. One tip is for AVA to clutch the goose’s costume with her hand. That way, she can simulate the “look” of her hand’s being stuck to the goose and can pretend to try to pry herself loose with the free hand. The same technique can apply to each subsequent actor whose hand gets “stuck.”]

AVA:
What?! Oh no! My hand is stuck to the goose!

[AVA tries to remove her hand, but it won't budge. SIMPLETON stirs but does not wake up. AVA is shocked and scared. She lies down on the floor with her hand still on the goose.]

AVA:
Maybe if I just lie here quietly, my hand will come free.

[AVA tries to get comfortable, comically trying a number of different positions before finally falling asleep.]

NARRATOR:
(looks offstage) What is this?  Someone else is coming, too.

[FAIGA tiptoes in.]

NARRATOR:
That is the innkeeper's second daughter, Faiga (pronounce:  FAY-guh).

FAIGA:
(to audience) I’M the one who deserves the golden goose. No one lifts a finger around here except me. (spots Ava and the goose) Would you look at that? Ava got here first. She was probably trying to take it all for herself. Well, we’ll just see about that!

[FAIGA moves to AVA and taps her on the shoulder.]

FAIGA:
Ava, wake up! (realizes her hand is stuck) What's this?! I can’t move my hand. Ava, wake up - my hand is stuck to you!

[AVA snores.]

[FAIGA sighs and lies down next to her sister.]

FAIGA:
This isn’t going the way I planned. I’ll just have to lie here for now, and figure out what to do in the morning.

[FAIGA goes to sleep.]

NARRATOR:
Didn’t I say there were three daughters? And right on cue..

[UNNA enters.]

NARRATOR:
Unna (pronounce: OO-nah), the youngest.

UNNA:
(whispers) Ava! Faiga! Are you in here? Why aren’t you in our bedroom? You know we’re not supposed to disturb the guests.

[UNNA spots her sisters and moves towards them.]

UNNA:
There you are! (to audience) Both of them, sleeping away. (studies their odd sleeping positions) That can’t be comfortable. (taps Faiga’s shoulder) Come on, wake up!

[Like the others, UNNA’s hand becomes stuck and is unable to remove it.]

UNNA:
Oh no! My hand is stuck!

[UNNA tries to let go of FAIGA, but her hand is indeed stuck. SIMPLETON stirs again but does not awaken. UNNA lies down next to her sisters and sighs.]

UNNA:
We’re going to be in so much trouble tomorrow! I wish I were back in my own bed.  Oh, well!

[UNNA stretches with her free hand, yawns, and falls asleep.]

NARRATOR:
Soon, all three girls were sound asleep. (daughters all loudly snore for two seconds) And then it was morning.

[SIMPLETON wakes and sits up. He lets out a big yawn and notices the three girls.]

SIMPLETON:
Well, lookee here!

[SIMPLETON stands and takes GOLDEN GOOSE’s hand (wing). GOLDEN GOOSE stands and all three girls wake up and are pulled to their feet, for they are all still attached.]

AVA:
Whoa!

FAIGA:
Hey!

UNNA:
I was sleeping!

SIMPLETON:
Excuse me, ladies. This is quite a surprise.

AVA:
Good morning?

SIMPLETON:
Well yes. But why are the three of you here?

AVA:
Well, we uh–

FAIGA:
I mean, uh–

UNNA:
What my sisters are saying is, uh–

SIMPLETON:
Hm. That wasn't a very helpful explanation. But in any case, I must be on my way. If I could just have my goose back–

AVA:
I wish you could, but my hand is stuck to your goose!

FAIGA:
And I can’t get free of Ava!

UNNA:
And I can’t get free of Faiga!

SIMPLETON:
Well, this is an unusual turn of events!  I can’t stick around here forever… Ha! Get it? I said stick around… and you’re all stuck…

THE THREE GIRLS:
(sigh) We get it.

SIMPLETON:
I really must be going now.

AVA:
But we can’t get unstuck.

SIMPLETON:
I guess you’ll just have to come along, then.  After all, maybe we will meet someone on the road who can help.

THE THREE GIRLS:
(sigh)  If we must.

NARRATOR:
And so Simpleton left the inn. He and…

[SIMPLETON takes GOLDEN GOOSE by the wing (actor's hand) and tries to exit. He takes a few steps but the three girls are pulled behind him, bumping into each other, hands still stuck.]

NARRATOR:
… his party of four set off down the road.

[SIMPLETON takes a few more steps toward the front of the stage, followed by the three daughters, each one attached and very clumsy.]

Scene 4 – Roadside

[Stage set: This part can take place at the front of the stage, in front of all of the set pieces, like the end of Scene 1.]

[SIMPLETON is walking slowly, back and forth, in figure eights, with everyone following.]

[FARMER and MILLER enter.]

NARRATOR:
Traveling proved to be a bit of a nuisance. In case you’ve never experienced it, believe me that it’s hard to make much progress with three young women stuck to you and staggering behind a goose.  Everywhere they went, the townspeople stared and made comments.

MILLER:
I say! I’ve never seen anything like THAT before.

FARMER:
Are they all stuck to each other? What’s that the young man is holding?

MILLER:
(squinting) Whatever it is, it’s shiny. (peers more closely) Well, count my feathers!  It appears to be a goose!  A goose with golden feathers, yes, I'm sure of it!

FARMER:
No way! I want a piece of that action!

[FARMER runs forward and grabs onto UNNA’s arm. He immediately becomes stuck. MILLER runs forward as well.]

MILLER:
Wait! Don't be greedy!

[MILLER grabs a hold of FARMER’s shoulder but also becomes stuck. SIMPLETON keeps walking as if nothing is going on.]

FARMER:
What's happening here?  I appear to be stuck!

MILLER:
So am I!

[The lineup comprises SIMPLETON, followed by GOODEN GOOSE, AVA, FAIGA, UNNA, FARMER and last, MILLER.]

[WOODCUTTER #1 and WOODCUTTER #2 enter.]

WOODCUTTER #1:
Now THERE'S something you don’t see every day.

WOODCUTTER #2:
You got that right!

AVA:
(sees Woodcutters) Hey!

FAIGA:
(waves with free hand, flirtingly) Yoo-hoo!

UNNA:
Help us, please!

WOODCUTTER #1:
Maidens in distress!  I've read stories about this.  

WOODCUTTER #2:
Coming, maidens!

WOODCUTTER #1:
Ladies, we’re on our way!

[WOODCUTTERS run forward.  WOODCUTTER #1 touches MILLER and immediately becomes stuck.  WOODCUTTER #2 touches WOODENCUTTER #1 and he also becomes stuck.]

WOODCUTTER #1:
Whoa! What's going on?!

WOODCUTTER #2:
We're both stuck!

FARMER:
We're ALL stuck!

[SIMPLETON stops and looks back. GOLDEN GOOSE also stops, and each person consecutively bumps into the previous follower.  (If you want to take it a step further, they can all fall down, one by one.)]

GOLDEN GOOSE:
Squawk!

FAIGA:
(to Woodcutter #1) Welcome to the line.

[Everyone moves to the town square section of the stage.]

Scene 5 – Town Square

[Stage set: This is the third section of the stage.  There is a fountain in the middle of the square.  (See Performance Notes for how to make a fountain out of cardboard).]

[CROWD MEMBERS #1-#4 and CONTESTANT #437 enter.  CROWD MEMBER #1 starts to juggle, CROWD MEMBER #2 starts to dance, CROWD MEMBER #3 hops about on one foot,and CROWD MEMBER #4 makes funny faces.  They perform closely together enough so that PRINCESS and KING can enter, unnoticed by the audience.]

[SIMPLETON and the trail behind him enter.  SIMPLETON is followed by GOLDEN GOOSE, AVA, FAIGA, UNNA, FARMER, MILLER, WOODERCUTTER#1 and WOODCUTTER #2.]

NARRATOR:
Before long, Simpleton came to the town square, dragging his line with him. He noticed a large crowd in the middle of the square.

[SIMPLETON approaches PEASANT.]

SIMPLETON:
Excuse me, but what’s going on? Something important?

CROWD MEMBER #1:
(turns) I’d say! It’s the Princess. All the men of the kingdom are trying to make the Princess laugh.

SIMPLETON:
That’s nice of them. Any special reason why?

CROWD MEMBER #1:
You don't know?  You must spend all your time in the woods.  (Simpleton nods).  I see.  Well the thing is, our Princess hasn’t laughed in years. The King says the first worthy fellow to make her laugh will win her hand in marriage. Look at them all! These nobleman may not get a laugh out of her. But we think it’s hysterical watching them try!

[PRINCESS makes her way out of the crowd and KING follows, looking exasperated.]

KING:
Pumkpin!  Why the sad face, still?

PRINCESS:
Honestly, father. If there’s anything that’s NOT funny, it’s a bunch of over-privileged men competing to get something for nothing!

KING:
Won’t you give the next one a teentsy, weentsy chance?

PRINCESS:
Why bother? You can’t force funny. And no one here is funny.

KING:
I know you've seen hundreds of suitors.  Just one more, okay? You never know. (turns to the crowd) Contestant number 437!

[The crowd shifts. CONTESTANT #437 steps forward.]

CONTESTANT #437:
(stands straight and holds both hands outstretched over head) Imitation: Fork!

[PRINCESS turns. She sees SIMPLETON and his gaggle in a long line behind him, each one fighting to get loose. They are located just beyond CONTESTANT #437. Together, the line-up all falls down in a heap. PRINCESS laughs. CONTESTANT #437, thinking she is laughing at his imitation of a fork, gloats with pride.]

CONTESTANT #437:
I did it!

KING:
(excitedly) Eh?!

[KING turns to see who has made his daughter laugh. His eyes rest on CONTESTANT #437 and he smiles. PRINCESS moves towards SIMPLETON and pushes past CONTESTANT #437. KING finally sees SIMPLETON.]

KING:
(sadly) Oh. (to Contestant #437) Sorry. Not you.

CONTESTANT #437:
(hangs head in disappointment) Awww…

[CONTESTANT #437 turns back toward the crowd.]

[PRINCESS runs back to KING.]

PRINCESS:
Father! Do you see this young man? He's so funny, with his gaggle of followers!

[PRINCESS looks back at SIMPLETON and laughs again.]

KING:
Pumpkin, I said a WORTHY young man. A nobleman from a good family. Not a woodcutter with straw in his hair! What are you thinking?

PRINCESS:
Father, you said the man who could make me laugh would win my hand. Those were your very words!

KING:
Technically, maybe. But you know what I meant.

PRINCESS:
Why do I need to marry a nobleman, anyway? We already have all the riches we could ever want.

KING:
You're missing the point.

PRINCESS:
What YOU'RE missing is that NOT being able to choose my own husband is starting to make me very unhappy again. (frowns and crosses her arms)  

KING:
Pumpkin!

SIMPLETON:
Your Majesty? Please pardon my intrusion. I did not intend to interrupt your festivities. My humblest apologies.

KING:
Quite all right. Now if you’ll just be on your way–

[SIMPLETON starts to turn around and his line behind him moves with him.]

SIMPLETON:
(turns back around to face King and Princess, and the line-up jostles in response) Your Majesty, a thought, if I may?

KING:
(sighs) Go on.

SIMPLETON:
To make up for this (gestures to the line behind him) undue disturbance, may I offer something to the Crown?

KING:
And exactly what would YOU have to offer the CROWN?

SIMPLETON:
A couple of these golden feathers would allow all of us (gestures around the crowd) to dine like royalty. Let’s have a feast! On me! (to Goose) And the goose, thanks to the feathers! (Goose beams with pride)  Like I always say, something good is even better shared.

PRINCESS:
Oh, Father!

KING:
He has a goose with golden feathers? And he’s offering us a feast?

PRINCESS:
Don’t you see?! He’s the only fellow to ever offer US something. Everyone else only wanted something FROM us.

KING:
(to audience) I could live with this. (to Princess) All right then, let’s take him up on his idea for a feast.

PRINCESS:
I knew you’d come around! (running to Simpleton) We’re going to accept your feast. And… I trust you’ll accept my hand in marriage.

SIMPLETON:
Marry YOU, the princess?

KING:
Not so fast. Let’s see that golden goose first.

[SIMPLETON holds up the hand (wing) of GOLDEN GOOSE. GOLDEN GOOSE holds up his other hand (wing). All those attached to each other are released. They fall in every direction. Everybody laughs, but none more than PRINCESS.]

KING:
This IS something! And you are… Well, you have made my daughter happy. Very well, you have my approval to marry her!

[PRINCESS and SIMPLETON embrace.]

CROWD MEMBERS #1-#4, and CONTESTANT #437:
Hurrah!

SIMPLETON:
Now, how about that feast!

CONTESTANT #437:
If I can't have the Princess, I'll settle for schnitzel!

CROWD MEMBER #1:
Paté! (pronounced pat-TAY)

CROWD MEMBER #2:
Fig spread with cheese!

CROWD MEMBER #3:
Oysters!

CROWD MEMBER #4:
I don’t like oysters!

CROWD MEMBER #3:
Who doesn't like oysters?

CROWD MEMBER #4:
Goat cheese?

CROWD MEMBER #3:
Now you’re talking!

CROWD MEMBER #2:
Are we talking spinach soufflé? (pronounce: soo-FLAY)

CROWD MEMBER #1:
Of course – this is a feast fit for a king!

NARRATOR:
And so a great feast was prepared, with all the trimmings. The entire kingdom was invited. Simpleton moved into the castle, along with his brothers.

[OVERTON and MIDDLETON enter. They each carry a new axe.  The newness of the axes can be signified by wrapping the blades in aluminum foil.]

KING:
(still chewing, but speaking to Overton) Quite the brother you’ve got.

OVERTON:
Yep. Simpleton is a good guy.

KING:
He's generous, too!

MIDDLETON:
(holds a new axe upright and gazes at it) Yep.  We each got a new axe.

NARRATOR:
And so Simpleton, his new bride, his brothers, and the golden goose – where are you, golden goose?

[GOLDEN GOOSE, who was hiding behind the fountain, squawks and comes out.  SIMPLETON goes up and pets GOLDEN GOOSE.]

GOLDEN GOOSE:
Squawk! (drops a feather)

NARRATOR:
(picks up the feather) Well, well, isn’t that nice?  A tip is always appreciated.  As I was saying, they all lived happily ever after. And that's the story of the Golden Goose.  Because something good is even better shared.

[If you have a curtain, close it now. If you do not, fade the lights. If you have no stage lights, all actors come on stage and bow to the audience.]

end

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