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AUTHORS: Retold by Elaine L. Lindy & Adapted by P. J. Rittiger
COUNTRY: Canada
GENRE: Fairytales




CINThe Native American Cinderella Reader's Theater Play Script for Kids

[toggle title="CHARACTERS"]

NARRATOR
• STRONG WIND
• RUSHING WATER
• FEATHER BRAID
• WHITE FOX
• CHIEF
• WILD THORN (oldest daughter)
• DARK MOON (middle daughter)
• BLUEBIRD (youngest daughter)

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Scene 1– Native American village

[Stage Set: A Native American village. The backdrop shows a forest and a village scene with several wigwams. If you’re able to draw people in the backdrop, show maidens weaving blankets, grinding corn, or stringing beaded jewelry, and braves polishing their bows or making arrows. Onstage, one wigwam is in front of the backdrop. This is the wigwam for STRONG WIND and RUSHING WATER in Scene 1, and also serves as the wigwam for CHIEF and his three daughters in Scene 2. (See Performance Notes on suggestions for creating a wigwam, and converting it accordingly.)]

[NARRATOR enters.]

NARRATOR:
Greetings, everyone. Welcome to “A Native American Cinderella,” a folk tale from the Abenaki (pronounce: AH-beh-nah-kee) tribe of eastern Canada and New England. Many versions of the Cinderella story are told around the world, and this one from the Abenaki people is brought to you by Stories to Grow by.

[NARRATOR steps forward.]

NARRATOR:
On the shores of a wide bay there once lived a great Native American warrior whose name was Strong Wind, the Invisible. That's what he was called because he could make himself completely invisible.  If he wanted, he could also make himself visible to just one person. Strong Wind lived in a wigwam near the sea with his sister, Rushing Water.

[STRONG WIND and RUSHING WATER enter and sit on the floor in front of their wigwam. STRONG WIND leans back, relaxed]

NARRATOR:
Strong Wind was generally happy with his life - except for days like today.

[NARRATOR exits.]

STRONG WIND:
I’ve been thinking, my sister.

RUSHING WATER:
What’s on your mind, Strong Wind?

STRONG WIND:
I'm thinking things aren't right.  It’s time I settled down and had a family. I would live with them in a wigwam, with a fire on cold nights.

RUSHING WATER:
(looking at his relaxed position) You seem pretty settled right now. You have family (points to herself). As for the wigwam (gestures around to wigwam), what do you think this is? And if you’re cold, build a fire.

STRONG WIND:
No… that’s not what I mean. (stands up) The truth is, I need a wife, and children.

RUSHING WATER:
Oh, THAT kind of family! Well my brother, you don’t have to look far. Any number of maidens in our village would look favorably at you, if you don’t mind my saying so.

STRONG WIND:
I know that. But there’s something I need, something important.

RUSHING WATER:
What’s that?

STRONG WIND:
To be sure that, deep down, that she's an honest woman.

RUSHING WATER:
How can you be sure who’s really honest and who is not? You can’t see inside their hearts.

STRONG WIND:
I won't need to.  I have a plan.

RUSHING WATER:
Do tell!

STRONG WIND:
(places hands on Rushing Water’s shoulders, gently) I’ll need your help.

RUSHING WATER:
I’m all yours.

STRONG WIND:
First, I’ll become completely invisible.

[STRONG WIND pulls in front of himself two sheer curtain panels – one blue and one white. The two panels are STRONG WIND’s invisibility cloak. (See Performance Notes for how to easily attach the two panels so they can be unattached in one movement, and easily re-attached.) When he holds both curtain panels up, and with the blue one showing to the audience, that is the signal that STRONG WIND is completely invisible. When he holds up only the white sheer curtain panel, this shows the audience that STRONG WIND is making himself visible to one person only. STRONG WIND holds both panels, with the blue one facing the audience.]

RUSHING WATER:
I love how you do that. I can’t see you at all!

[STRONG WIND moves to beside RUSHING WATER.]

RUSHING WATER:
(looks in the opposite direction to where Strong Wind stands) Where are you?

STRONG WIND:
Boo!

RUSHING WATER:
(startled, laughs and turns around) Like I said, it’s pretty cool how you do that.

STRONG WIND:
Now I’ll make myself visible only to you.

[STRONG WIND drops the blue sheer layer and he holds only the white sheer curtain panel in front of him.]

STRONG WIND:
You see me now, right?

RUSHING WATER:
Clear as day. Are you sure no one else but me can see you?

[FEATHER BRAID and WHITE FOX enter, pretending to talk to each other. They walk behind STRONG WIND and RUSHING WATER.]

FEATHER BRAID:
(to Rushing Water) Why are you talking to yourself, Rushing Water?

RUSHING WATER:
Oops - bad habit!

FEATHER BRAID:
(shrugs and leans toward White Fox) Rushing Water always has been a little weird.

[FEATHER BRAID and WHITE FOX exit.]

[STRONG WIND drops the white sheer curtain panel.]

STRONG WIND:
So here’s the plan. As a maiden passes by, tell her I will be visible only to the woman who I’ll marry. But really, I’ll be completely invisible. If she says she can see me, ask her what I’m carrying in my arm.  And ask her how I'm pulling the loaded sled behind me. We’ll know by her answers if she’s telling the truth.

RUSHING WATER:
The very first maiden that comes by, huh? What if she can’t cook?

STRONG WIND:
If she answers truthfully (with one arm raised), I’ll marry her!

RUSHING WATER:
What if she’s can’t mend your buckskins?

STRONG WIND:
(keeps arm raised) I’ll marry her!

RUSHING WATER:
What if she is has a big wart on her nose?

STRONG WIND:
I’LL STILL MARRY HER! – wart and all!

RUSHING WATER:
Okay, brother, you’re on! (looks offstage) Hey, we can start right now. Feather Braid is coming back. Quick, make yourself completely invisible.

[STRONG WIND holds the two sheer curtain panels in front of himself, with the blue one facing the audience.]

STRONG WIND:
Done!

[FEATHER BRAID enters. She walks to center stage carrying a basket. Try to find a round basket, since that is typical of the Abenaki people.]

RUSHING WATER:
Hi, Feather Braid. What’s in the basket?

FEATHER BRAID:
Fish. I’m just coming from the beach.

[FEATHER BRAID shows RUSHING WATER the fish she has caught. The fish “smell.” RUSHING WATER holds her nose and turns away for a moment.]

RUSHING WATER:
Nice catch. Speaking of nice catches, you like my brother, right?

FEATHER BRAID:
What girl doesn’t? He’s our finest warrior, and so dreamy! (sighs) Is he home?

RUSHING WATER:
He is. As a matter of fact, my brother just told me he’s ready to settle down and get married.

FEATHER BRAID:
(very interested) REALLY?

RUSHING WATER:
He’s invisible right now, but is visible only to the woman who will be his bride. If she can see him, she’s the one he will marry.

FEATHER BRAID:
Just like that?

RUSHING WATER:
Seems kind of random to me, but that's what he wanted. It just so happens you’re the first maiden who’s passed by.

[FEATHER BRAID drops her basket and claps her hands to her cheeks.]

FEATHER BRAID:
I can’t believe my luck!

RUSHING WATER:
So can you see him, Feather Braid?

[STRONG WIND moves to directly behind FEATHER BRAID.]

[FEATHER BRAID looks to the left and the right. It is clear that she does not see STRONG WIND even though he is standing right behind her. Finally, she points in front of her.]

FEATHER BRAID:
Oh, yes! I see him over there! Clear as day!

RUSHING WATER:
Is that right? Tell me what he’s carrying.

FEATHER BRAID:
What he’s carrying? Um, a bear hide?

RUSHING WATER:
Okay, Feather Braid. See you later.

FEATHER BRAID:
No, wait. A MOOSE hide!

RUSHING WATER:
Later, Feather Braid.

[FEATHER BRAID sighs and exits. STRONG WIND puts his palms against his cheek and sways as if he cannot believe what FEATHER BRAID just said.]

RUSHING WATER:
We’re down one. Here comes White Fox, let’s try again.

STRONG WIND:
Yep.

[WHITE FOX comes up to RUSHING WATER , smiling. She also carries a basket, this one filled with ears of corn (See Performance Notes on how to create a basket that looks full of corn.)]

RUSHING WATER:
Hey there, White Fox!

WHITE FOX:
Hi, Rushing Water. Beautiful day, isn’t it?

RUSHING WATER:
Sure is! (looks at basket and backs up) Yeah, you aren’t carrying fish in that basket by chance, are you?

WHITE FOX:
No, it’s corn (tips basket to show Rushing Water). I’ll grind it today for cornbread tonight. Say (looks around), your brother likes cornbread, doesn’t he? I wouldn’t mind bringing him a loaf later on. Personally.

RUSHING WATER:
There’s another way you can meet my brother. Did I mention he’s decided he’s ready to find a bride?

WHITE FOX:
You didn't! (to audience) Omigosh!

RUSHING WATER:
Yes, all he needs is for a maiden to be able to see him. He’s around here, right now.

WHITE FOX:
(puts down basket and looks dramatically to the right and left) Wait. He’s right here?

RUSHING WATER:
Right here, right now. The first maiden who can see him is the one who will marry him. Just like that.

WHITE FOX:
(turns around in a circle and points out toward the audience) I don’t believe my luck! There he is!

[STRONG WIND throws his arms into the air in despair.]

RUSHING WATER:
Good, White Fox! Now that you see him, you can tell me what he’s carrying.

WHITE FOX:
Oh! Well, I’m pretty sure he’s carrying a net full of fish.

RUSHING WATER:
Not exactly. But I'll give you another chance. Tell me what he's using to draw his sled.

WHITE FOX:
(pretends to peer more closely) Draw his sled? Right. Oh of course, it’s a pole!

RUSHING WATER:
This isn’t going to work out, White Fox.

WHITE FOX:
No, I meant he’s drawing the sled with a cord. A great thick CORD!

RUSHING WATER:
Better luck next time, White Fox.

WHITE FOX:
But–

[WHITE FOX sulks and leaves the stage.]

[STRONG WIND drops the two sheer curtain panels and is fully visible.]

RUSHING WATER:
(to Strong Wind) There you are! This is turning out to be more fun than I thought.

STRONG WIND:
(folds invisibility cloaks) We’re narrowing the field, that’s for sure.

RUSHING WATER:
True. Though at this rate we may run out of maidens.

[STRONG WIND and RUSHING WATER exit.]

Scene 2 – Chief’s wigwam

[WILD THORN, DARK MOON and BLUEBIRD are seated around the entrance to the wigwam (See Performance Notes for ideas on how to make the transition from STRONG WIND’s wigwam to CHIEF’S wigwam.) WILD THORN and DARK MOON pantomime talking together. BLUEBIRD is in rags. Her face is dirty. She is grinding corn in a wooden bowl.]

[CHIEF enters.]

CHIEF:
Wild Thorn, Dark Moon, Bluebird! Come here, my daughters. This is important!

[WILD THORN, DARK MOON and BLUEBIRD gather around their father.]

CHIEF:
Bluebird! What happened to you? You're a mess!

BLUE BIRD:
I was clean this morning, Father. But my sisters pushed me down in the dirt, tore my clothes, and rubbed ashes on my face and–

CHIEF:
Your sisters would never do such a thing. Show some respect to them, and to me!

BLUE BIRD:
But they grabbed me and threw me down and–

CHIEF:
Not another word! You are the Chief’s daughter. I expect you to look presentable at all times. Now step back! This is news for my two PRESENTABLE daughters to hear.

WILD THORN:
(to Bluebird) Step BACK, Bluebird!

DARK MOON:
You heard him!

[WILD THORN and DARK MOON crowd out BLUEBIRD.]

CHIEF:
Wild Thorn, Dark Moon. I have learned that Strong Wind – I don’t have to tell you he is the finest warrior in the tribe–

[WILD THORN AND DARK MOON swoon.]

CHIEF:
- has decided to marry.

[WILD THORN and DARK MOON swoon, more dramatically.]

CHIEF:
One of you must be his bride!

WILD THORN:
That would be ME.

DARK MOON:
Uh, that would be ME!

WILD THORN:
Wait a minute…!

CHIEF:
Girls, quiet! Whichever way, it must be a daughter of mine. And we must leave nothing to chance. Bluebird!

BLUEBIRD:
Yes, Father.

CHIEF:
Make yourself useful! Your sisters will need an extra-special garment to wear. With blue and white beads. You know what I’m talking about.

WILD THORN:
And a spray of roses in my hair. That’s what I’m thinking.

BLUEBIRD:
Yes, Wild Thorn.

DARK MOON:
I’m picturing a necklace made of dozens of lilies. With a crown of petals in my hair to match, of course.

BLUEBIRD:
(sighs) Of course.

CHIEF:
Bluebird, after you finish stitching the garments, be sure to bake some of your special plum pudding.

BLUEBIRD:
(to audience) I add a touch of maple syrup, that’s my secret. (to Chief) Father, I’ll do all this. But how will I have time to ready myself, too?

CHIEF:
It won’t matter, you’re not going! You should have thought of that before you let yourself fall into THAT (gestures to Bluebird with dismay) condition!

BLUEBIRD:
But–

WILD THORN:
You should have thought of THAT.

DARK MOON:
Yes, why didn’t you think of THAT?

[The sisters high-five each other discretely so the CHIEF doesn't see.]

BLUEBIRD:
(throws arms in the air in despair) Aughh!

 

Scene 3 – Wigwam of Strong Wind and Rushing Water

[Stage Set: Wigwam is returned to the appearance it had in Scene 1.]

[STRONG WIND and RUSHING WATER enter and flop down in front of the wigwam. They look tired.]

STRONG WIND:
So far, no candidates. If I have to, I’ll go to another village.

RUSHING WATER:
How would that look? There must be ONE woman who suits you from our own village!

STRONG WIND:
(looks offstage) Who’s coming? Ah, the Chief’s daughters! We haven’t seen them yet.

RUSHING WATER:
They look nice. Word is definitely out.

STRONG WIND:
Ready, Rushing Water?

RUSHING WATER:
Let’s do this.

[STRONG WIND holds the two sheer curtain panels as his invisibility cloak. The blue one faces the audience.]

[CHIEF, WILD THORN and DARK MOON enter. They take turns gently nudging each other toward STRONG WIND and RUSHING WATER.]

WILD THORN:
Yoo hoo! PPPSSSSTTT! Could I speak with you, Rushing Water?

[RUSHING WATER gets up slowly to face WILD THORN. STRONG WIND steps back until he is behind his sister and off to the side.]

RUSHING WATER:
Sure, Wild Thorn.

WILD THORN:
I understand your brother Strong Wind, the bravest of the brave, is looking for a wife. (preens)

RUSHING WATER:
He is. (walks slowly around Wild Thorn, admiring her dress and hair) I like those roses in your hair, Wild Thorn, it's a nice touch. Say, I don’t imagine YOU would be interested in becoming Strong Wind’s wife?

WILD THORN:
(offhand) Oh, I wouldn’t mind. (then eagerly) YES! I would make the best wife! I can dance and I am a very good cook… Just try some of my very own plum pudding.

[WILD THORN hands basket to RUSHING WATER.]

RUSHING WATER:
Mmh! That smells wonderful! (pretends to taste it) Wow, it’s delicious!  I bet Strong Wind would love this, too.

CHIEF:
She’s not a bad singer, either.

RUSHING WATER:
Well, let me tell you something. Strong Wind says the first maiden who can see him is the one he will marry. He’s right around here, Wild Thorn. So tell me – do you see him?

WILD THORN:
(puts a hand over her eyes and looks all around the stage and out toward the audience and points to a spot in the front of the room or auditorium) YES! I see him there! Look at how tired he is from hunting all day. He’s a little grimy, but–

[RUSHING WATER taps WILD THORN’S shoulder.]

RUSHING WATER:
Now that you see him, tell me what is he is carrying.

WILD THORN:
Well, he is a little far away, you know. I can just tell that he’s… he’s carrying … a tomahawk. Yes, definitely carrying a tomahawk.

RUSHING WATER:
It looks like we’re not going to be related, Wild Thorn.

[DARK MOON rushes forward. Gently, she moves WILD THORN out of the way. She also shades her eyes from the sun and looks to the spot where WILD THORN said she could see STRONG WIND. At the side of the stage, CHIEF places an arm around WILD THORN, who is weeping.]

DARK MOON:
I CAN SEE HIM! I CAN SEE HIM! My older sister was always a little nearsighted. Let me see… he is carrying a canoe. Th-at’s it! How could my sister miss that? A whole CANOE!

RUSHING WATER:
Wonderful thought, Dark Moon. Unfortunately, he isn’t carrying a–

[BLUEBIRD rushes in, out of breath.]

BLUEBIRD:
I’m sorry I’m late. I came as soon as I could.

CHIEF:
Bluebird! I told you not to come here. HOW DARE YOU DISOBEY ME? GO BACK HOME.

[RUSHING WATER puts her arm around CHIEF's daughter, BLUEBIRD. Both girls move to center stage. RUSHING WATER looks at CHIEF.]

RUSHING WATER:
Hey, Chief, give the girl a break! (leans toward Bluebird as if she is whispering) I've always thought you were the most interesting one in your family.

BLUEBIRD:
Thank you. (to Chief) Father, I mean you no disrespect. I cleaned our wigwam, ground the corn, cooked dinner and mended the buckskins. I helped my sisters prepare to meet Strong Wind. (to Rushing Water) And did they?

RUSHING WATER:
Not exactly. He will marry the first maiden who can see him, and my brother is right here, but it didn’t work out for either of your sisters. They just couldn’t see him.

BLUEBIRD:
(looks all around) Then it looks like I'm out of luck, too. He’s nowhere to be seen.

RUSHING WATER:
Let me see if I understand this. You’re saying you can’t see him?

BLUEBIRD:
I wish I could. But really, I can’t.

[STRONG WIND drops the blue sheer curtain panel so only the white one remains. He is visible only to BLUEBIRD.]

BLUEBIRD:
Oh! (points to Strong Wind) Now I see him. There he is!

RUSHING WATER:
(to the audience) Let’s be sure she is telling the truth. (to Bluebird) If you see him, you can tell me what my brother is carrying.

BLUEBIRD:
This is enchanting - he is carrying a rainbow!

RUSHING WATER:
And what does he use to pull his sled?

BLUE BIRD:
The Milky Way. It’s unbelievable!

[(See Performance Notes for suggestion on how to create an effect of STRONG WIND’s holding a rainbow, and carrying his sled with the Milky Way. As will be revealed when he drops the two sheer curtain panels shortly.)]

RUSHING WATER:
You're going to be a bride before long - that you CAN believe. Bluebird, welcome to the family!

[STRONG WIND drops the white curtain panel and is now visible to everyone.]

[WILD THORN and DARK MOON dramatically gasp in shock and disappointment.]

BLUEBIRD:
Are you saying what I think you're saying–?

RUSHING WATER:
Indeed I am.

[STRONG WIND clasps hands with BLUEBIRD.]

STRONG WIND:
First, my love, there is something I must do.

[STRONG WIND goes up to WILD THORN and DARK MOON. He waves his hand in front of them and they become trees. The actors lift their arms and twist their bodies until they sort of look like trees. (See Performance Notes on how to indicate the two sisters become birch trees.)]

STRONG WIND:
They will be birch trees forevermore. I know what those two did to you, BlueBird. No one will ever be cruel to you again. (to Bluebird) You may not know why, but you have proven yourself to me. Will you be my wife?

BLUEBIRD:
Yes, for as long as stars shine.

[CHIEF steps forward.]

CHIEF:
Since everyone’s telling the truth, Bluebird, I have a confession to make, too. I thought you were telling lies about how your sisters treated you, but you weren't.

BLUEBIRD:
Father, it’s all right.

CHIEF:
You were the one who prepared the special garments. You made the plum pudding that your sister offered to Rushing Water.

STRONG WIND:
(to Bluebird) Wait a minute. Bluebird, you’re the one who made that plum pudding that smells so delicious?

BLUEBIRD:
Yes, my very own recipe.

STRONG WIND:
(takes hand of Blue Bird) I knew our union will be strong, but now I have something extra to look forward to.

RUSHING WATER:
(to audience) And that’s the truth!

[NARRATOR enters.]

NARRATOR:
The Abenaki were called “The People of the Dreamland.” Maybe that’s because of their vivid imaginations. Or because they lived by the sea on the east and were the first to see the sunrise. Anyway, I know they would wish you "sweet dreams," too. And that's the end of “The Native American Cinderella.”

 

end

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5/5

Abbeu

78

florida

Amazing








4/5

Bella

USA

This play script was very interesting. I liked it because it was nice and interesting to me and I think a lot of people would like it.

 

 

 

 

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SOURCE

Originally based on "The Indian Cinderella" from Canadian Wonder Tales, by Cyrus MacMillan, published by John Lane, 1918, and adapted for the Stories to Grow by story collection by Elaine Lindy, ©1999. Further adapted into a play script by P. J. Rittiger ©2005 and updated ©2015  from a story of the same name found at  https://www.storiestogrowby.org/story/native-american-cinderella/ and further described at the end of the story. ©2005 Elaine L. Lindy. All rights reserved.


FOOTNOTE