AUDIENCE MATURITY: C=Child, Y=Youth, T=Teen, YA=Young Adult
Descriptions of plays sorted by title alphabetically. CLICK letter below.
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|EAST OF THE SUN, WEST OF THE MOON
AWARDS: AATE/UPRP Award
50 pages text
C Y T
Adapted by Brian Kral from the Norwegian folktale. A young girl battles supernatural forces to free a young man from a terrible spell. 5 flexible settings, suitable for either procenium or arena. CAST: 9(5 F, 4 M) with doubling, or up to 15 (8 F, 7 M).
The audience follows Karen on her quest into a dark Scandinavian wilderness, populated by magical trolls, mysterious hags, and talking gargoyles. Without hesitation she struggles to save a young man from the curse that makes him "a bear by day and a man by night." Humor and heroic adventure accentuate this adaptation of the epic of a girl achieving adulthood.
|THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER
42 pages text
Dramatized by Nora MacAlvay and Charlotte B. Chorpenning. Lovable, elfin versions of the old fairy tale. One set. Peasant costumes. CAST 12 (8 F, 1 M, 3 Either) (Suitable for all-female cast.)
A young Elf, just beginning to learn Elf duties, is accompanied by two experienced Elves, who take him to the Shoemaker's Shop for his first assignment. Here they find a scene of distress, as the Shoemaker is gone to war; and his wife and daughter are in danger of losing the shop for debt to the greedy Heckla, if they cannot make her a pair of shoes for the morrow. Late that night the Elves make the shoes, and return the next day to see their success. But Heckla has intercepted the money to pay off the debt, and is about to take possession. Again the Elves are obliged to come to the rescue, to make it possible for everybody to live happily ever after.
|THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES
58 pages text
Approx. run time: 50-55 min
By Judith Baker Kase. A play in two acts based on the tale by Hans Christian Andersen as retold in Japan, most delightfully and faithfully in the fashion of the Kabuki or Noh drama. A platform stage. CAST: 12 (6 F, 6 M.)
Made thoroughly and appropriately Japanese, the beloved tale is spiritedly brought to life and given further perspective in the Island Empire of Japan. Cynical courtiers and idealistic rogues act out their destiny to everyone's recognition and laughter. The result is an oriental tapestry of theatrical pleasures.
|THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES
34 pages text
Approx. run time: 50 min
C Y T
Dramatized by Jeanine Dwinell Henry and Meg Bryant Davenport, based on the tale by Hans Christian Andersen. A fairy tale setting but contemporary language style, this energertic ensemble play also involves audience participation. Setting: Simple, suitable for touring. CAST: 5 (F or M) with option to add extras.
A delightful, funny re-telling of the Hans Christian Anderson story. The vain and childish Emperor is duped by two schemers who convince him they can make him a unique suit of clothes that is not only beautiful, but magicalit can only by see by those who are honest. Afraid he won't be able to see the cloth himself, the Emperor enlists the aid of his two ministers, who complicate matters when they are aftraid to admit they cannot see it.
|THE ENCHANTRESS OF IPSWICH
95 pages text
C Y T
By Beverly Sturgill. It is 1692 and New England is consumed with witchcraft fever. A magically wise Grandfather and his enchantress Granddaughter brilliantly contrive to save the village of Ipswich from the terrors of nearby Salem, and all ends happily. Two settings, at Faerie Glen and the village common of Ipswich. Costumes of the time. CAST: 18 (9 F, 9 M.)
In the summer of this year, little Ipswich is caught up in superstition. Grandfather, the Wise One, and his granddaughter, Megan, an Enchantress first class, come from the Glen in the Land of Faerie to help the village. Soon entangled in the dishonesty and prejudice of the villagers, the unlikely pair are resolved to use their good magic only as necessary, Megan, not used to humans, and short on temper, complicates the situation. Eventually, out of many turns of plot, the villagers learn a valuable lesson about bigotry, and the love story of Megan and Nat ends happily, thanks to the wise magic of Grandfather. A delightful adventure story for all.
|ESTHER THE QUEEN
Also available in Religious Drama: A Classic Quartet anthology
T YA Family
Dramatized by Orlin Corey.This adaptation of the epic story of the orphaned Jewish girl who became the wife of the mighty Persian King Ahasuerus (Xerxes), faithfully sustains the narrative flow of the masterful text from the King James English translation. Production is viualized on an open platform, whether in temple, cathedral or theatre, with nearly 180 degrees of accessible openness for staging the interweaving of scenes with sweeping props and costumes in processional. Cast: 50 roles which may be performed by as few as 17 (6 F, 11 M) actors.
The story portrays a crisis of the Israelites, already scattered by defeat by the Persians, again facing the threat of annihilation. Esther, a secret Jewess, confronts the necessity to act to save her people. She does so courageously, with the guidance of her wise uncle Mordecai, utilizing her dazzling beauty and influence on the King to outwit their adversaries who are plotting the death of all the Jewish people within the 127 provinces of the sprawling, fifth-century B.C. Persian empire. In due course, the pogrom against the Jews is foiled and diverted back on to the enemies. The joyful Feast of Purim, celebrates this deliverance.
Also available: An Odyssey of Masquers-The Everyman Players for design illustrations.
|EZIGBO The Spirit Child (Play with Music)
AWARDS: AATE Distinguished Play Award
Cassette Rehearsal Tape: Dialect/chants/songs $10.00
69 pages text
Approx. run time: 60 min+ (full length version)
Shorter version, adapted by author, also available.
Y T YA
Dramatized by Max Bush from an Igbo story as told by Adaora Nzeilbe Schmiedl. Successfully premiered at Circle Theatre, Grand Rapids, Michigan, this play is “told” with Nigerian native songs, dances, chants and games, but the heart of the story is universal the value of children and the struggle to keep them safe. One set. Native costumes or pieces. Both the author and the story teller suggest the play can be performed by casts of mixed races. CAST: 8 (7 F, 1 M) with doubling, or up to 11+(8 F, 3 M) with roles distributed. Extras may also be added.
Long ago, when human beings and spirits were still close, the wife of a powerful chief longed for a child. The woman could have children, but her womb was possessed by the spirit of an Ogbanje. An Ogbanje (a forever-chld) is an invisible spirit-child that lives among the people. Sometimes this spirit wants to become part of the human world, but when the child is born, it longs for the spirit world and the comfort of its friends. The River Spirit comforts Mother by telling her she will have a child, and seven market weeks later she gives birth to Ezigbo, “the good one.” As Ezigbo grows, Mother, Medicine Woman, and Ngozi, Ezigbo's best friend, struggle to keep her in the human world, while the Ogbanje try to call her home.
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Musicals & Plays with music
BOOKS & ANTHOLOGIES
KEY TO DESCRIPTIONS OF MUSICALS AND PLAYS WITH MUSIC:
Musical = American Musical Style
Musical Play = Play and Music tell the story
Play with Music = More play than music
Play with Some Music = Less music, 1-4 songs
Play with Incidental Music = Few or no vocalized songs. Music is dramatic incidental or background scoring.
Non or Optional = music is not required, or lyrics may be spoken, not sung.