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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AWARDS: ASSITEJ/USA Outstanding Play Award
37 pages text
Y T YA
Dramatized by Gregory A. Falls and Kurt Beattie. Produced at the John F. Kennedy Center and nationally applauded in professional productions, this is an action-filled adaptation of Homer’s classic, entertaining to children and adults alike. Fast-moving, entertaining theatre, while remaining faithful to the poetic original. For a versatile ensemble cast implementing masks, songs (in text), mime, and percussive instruments for theatrical effect. Simple set, suitable for touring. CAST: 8 (2 F, 6 M) with doubling, or up to 36 (2 F, 6 M, 28 Either) with roles distributed.
As the goddess Athena introduces the story of Odysseus’s epic journey home from the Trojan War, we see his beautiful wife, Penelope, fending off impatient, would-be suitors. Athena, disguised as an old man, brings news of Odysseus’s journey as the play’s action segues to his fanciful adventure. Captain Odysseus, brave and determined as his sailors are cowardly, cleverly defeats the man-eating, one-eyed Cyclops, then rescues his men from the sorceress, Circe’s spell. Next, he braves the River Styx and resists the hypnotizing song of the Twin Sirens, fainting from exhaustion. While Odysseus sleeps, his famished men embark upon a nearby shore to kill a cow for food. It is one of Apollo’s golden cows, and thus offended, the god implores Zeus to punish the men. Odysseus and his sailors are swept into a storm-tossed sea. Meanwhile, Penelope’s suitors accept a challenge: He who strings Odysseus’s bow and shoots an arrow through the axes wins Penelope’s hand. Only one man succeeds, none other than the returned Odysseus himself, disguised. Odysseus and son, Telemachus, are attacked by the suitors, whom they quickly defeat. Athena declares the end to all violence and the end of this Odyssey.
|OLD DRY FRYE
45 pages text
Approx. Running Time: 60 min.
C Y T
Adapted for the stage by Larry and Vivian Snipes for touring and resident performances by Lexington Chidren's Theatre. Loosely based on the book by Paul Brett Johnson of the traditional folk tale of Old Dry Frye, the late preacher man with the voracious appetite who comes back to haunt his flock! This is commedia American-style with energetic humor, physical gags, bumbling brothers, a cluck-talking chicken and a series of uproarious adventures taken on by 13 vibrant characters that can be played by as few as 1 female and 2 males. Flexible staging. Suitable for touring. Costumes: American Southern rural, realistic or fantasy. Great roles for versatile actors. CAST: 3 (1 F, 2 M) with doubling plus 3 puppets, or up to 13 (6 F, 6 M, 1 Either) with roles distributed.
Little Old Lady and Little Old Feller settle down for some tasty fried chicken when they hear the ghostly voice of Old Dry Frye comin' across the wind. As Little Old Lady sets off for the creek to wash another plate, we are taken back in time to an earlier day when Old Dry Frye used to come regular to Sunday dinner. Folks always set an extra plate, because "Everybody knows Old Dry Frye" and his voracious appetite. As Old Dry Frye visits his flock - always at dinner time - the families of Troublesome Creek try unsuccessfully to hide their food from him. One day, the preacher man chokes on a chicken bone and keels over, kerplop! The whole community then passes the remains of Old Dry Frye off like a hot potato, trying to get shed of the body, lest one of them gets stuck with the blame for his "passing." Physical humor, call and response, and delightful dialect move this play from soup pot to apple crumble in, with a laugh a minute.
|THE OLDEST STORY EVER TOLD (Cinderella) (Play with one song)
43 pages text
By David F. Eliet. Music by Kenneth Kacmar. The oldest and most universal of folk tales is the Cinderella story. Versions come from almost every known culture around the world. Originally written for the Perishable Theatre of New England. Masks and puppets add theatricality. Music score for theme song is included in the script. CAST: 4 (1 F, 3 M) with doubling or up to 15 (10 F, 5 M ) with roles distributed.
The oldest story ever told combines in one telling variations on the Cinderella stories from Africa, India, and China, of which the latter is the oldest. All of the beloved and familiar elements of the story are here, but with highly theatrical variations representing the different cultures. The Cinderella of the Indian tale is a boy, Changez, and instead fo "Fairy God Mothers" these Cinderllas are sided by the King of Frogs, a magic fish, and a bull. Original music by Ken Kacmar, enhance the production, which is highly recommended for children ages 5-9.
|ONE TO GROW ON
51 pages text
By Brian Kral. First produced by the Rainbow Company Children's Theatre in Las Vegas, this play is a touching portrait of a young man's twelfth birthday, spent in the company of his widowed grandfather. Multiple suggested settings. CAST: 7 - 8 (1 F, 2 M, 4-5 B).
Through the course of several disagreements, and a long delayed meeting with his estranged father, a young man and his grandfather come to a deeper realization of what it means to have a family. A powerful biographical play, exploring the similarities between two characters "as different as any two people should be and still be related." By one of America's foremost authors of serious plays for young audiences.
42 pages text
By Madge Miller. An original fable, based on the fallacy that one color is superior to another. Single setting. Fanciful medieval-type costumes suggested. CAST: 6 with option to add extras.
Even the alphabet suffers in Ottoville, ruled by a ridiculous dictator, Otto the Offical. He decrees that orange is the only acceptable hue. The townspeople are further cowed by bearing labels which tell them how to behave: Peter the Prudent, Quilla the Quiet, Stacia the Silly. Only Rozelle the Rebellious refuses to conform - - and dares to bring a blue flower into Otto's orange world. It takes the arrival of an artist, loving all the tints of the rainbow, to paint Otto in his true colors!
|THE ORPHAN TRAIN (Play with a few songs)
Printed Music Score (piano/vocal) for traditional songs in script-optional $10.00
53 pages text
By Aurand Harris. Produced and developed by Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and by New York University, the play tells the story of nine orphans on an "Orphan Train" that left New York City on May 28, 1914, and traveled to U. S. midwestern towns in search of homes for the children. The staging creates a highly theatrical story, moving, amusing, and always tellingly human. Open stage, period costumes of the day. CAST: 24 (8 F, 7 M, 6 G, 3 B), or 11 (1 F, 1 M, 6 G, 3 B) with doubling.
Orphaned, unwanted children, seeking a hope of home, any home, anywhere. There's Mary, Evie, spunky Pegeen, Annie, and Little Lucy, a quiet one. There's Frank (who later becomes Frankie a small girl), Raymond, Lucky, and Danny the song-and-dance boy. And there are the men and women hoping for children. The lonesome whistle wails as the train chugs between encounters of anxiety, laughter, wistfulness, rejection and acceptance. Eight stories unfold, each a memorable surprise. THE ORPHAN TRAIN is a charming heart-warmer, all we expect from one of legendary playwrights for children, Aurand Harris,
47 pages text
By Suzan L. Zeder. The continuation of the story of Jeff, chronicled earlier in DOORS. This play is independent of its predecessor, although a companion production is highly effective. One room. The present. CAST: 6 (4 F, 2 M.)
A year after the seperation of Jeff's parents, the divorce becomes final. Jeff, and his parents, and his Grandmother, with whom he now lives, have survived the break-up in different ways. Now they must be on with the business of living their lives. A fascinating work of keen interest to all, especially young audiences who identify strongly with Jeff.
53 pages text
By Arnold Rabin. An illuminating stage rendering of Mr. Rabin's award-winning television drama concerning the need for understanding which evolves as a young boy and his family search for their identities in a new family relationship. Simple setting. Contemporary costumes. CAST: 7 (3 F, 4 M) with doubling, or up to 10 (2 F, 1 M, 2 G, 4 B, 1 Either.)
On the day before his father's lodge picnic, Walter Newcombe again suffers the stings of his peers because his talents are different from theirs. Although his mother tries to put Walter's feelings into perspective, his father's expectations for him frustrate her efforts. The relations reach a crisis at the outing when Walter trips in a race, and fearing his father's disappointment, absents himself from the other athletic events. With their return home, the family faces the significance of the crisis at the outing and struggles with groping honesty to know themselves and what they mean to each other. A play of such inherent honest and dramatic appeal that it belongs to all ages.
|THE OUTLAW ROBIN HOOD
40 pages text
By Moses Goldberg. Originally produced by the University of Minnesota Theatre, here is a challenging and action-filled play about law and order in Medieval England with contemporary "nerve-endings" . Unit set with five locales. Thirteenth Century costumes. CAST: 20 (4 F, 16 M).
This version of Robin Hood emphasizes the social problems which led to his career in Sherwood Forest. The heroic deeds are seen anew in Robin bedeviled with a dilemma: obey the Law and see people suffer the worst evils of the feudal system; break the Law and cause violence, anarchy and injury to people. There is strong action, dramatic clash, and vigorous confrontation as Robin makes his choices in a solution that is imperfect but aims to avoid future violence. A modern play of ageless appeal. Recommended for ages nine and older.
|O YE JIGS AND JULEPS! (Musical Play)
Printed Music Score (piano/vocal) by Sim Broadfield $70.00
62 pages text
Adapted freely by Don Musselman from the book of the same name by Virginia Cary Hudson that has delighted millions for a quarter-century. Unit set with inserts. Turn-of-the-twentieth century costumes, a flexible cast of adults and children. There are endless possibilities for larger numbers of children and adults. The play lends itself to summer programs, churches, community theatres. A delight for family audiences. CAST: 43 (23 F, 20 M) or 27 (15 F, 12 M) with doubling.
Virginia is a bright eleven year old enjoying life in a small Kentucky town nearly a century ago. With a child's eyes she pieces the petty hypocrisies and enjoys the colorful qualities of the townspeople. She charms all with her shrewd and ingenious comments on life, death, God, cattle, and mint juleps. This humorous play consists of episodes based on authentic essays of this astute child of 1900. With Virginia as guide we tour her school, church, home, and main street, a journey from "Egyptian bondage" to the "Judgment Seat" for a kind of celestial graduation, receiving harps and crowns rather than diplomas.
|OZMA OF OZ: A TALE OF TIME
61 pages text
By Suzan Zeder. Premiered at the Poncho Theatre in Seattle. A contemporary original play, loosely based upon characters from L. Frank Baum's "Ozma of Oz," woven into a timely new story. This modern fantasy explores the relationship between a now teen-aged Dorothy and her elderly Uncle Henry. Flexible casting; minimum twelve scenes; simple or elaborate set pieces. Modern and fantastic costumes. CAST: 12 (4 F, 5 M, 3 Either) with doubling, or 19 (6 F, 7 M, 6 Either) with roles distributed.
Dorothy reluctantly accompanies her eccentric Uncle on his life-long dream voyage to Australia. They argue during a violent storm and are both blown off the boat to Oz, a land where there is no time. Unwittingly, they activate Tic Toc and time begins in Oz. Their adventures lead them to Bill, a giant wisecracking chicken, the wacky Wheelers, the vain and vicious Langwidere, and, finally, to the superstrong, wonderfully wise Ozma. Ozma rescues Uncle Henry from the lapideous lair of the volcanic gnome King; and teaches Dorothy to look beyond Uncle Henry's outward signs of aging to recognize his true competence, energy, and worth.
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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.