6 m, 4 w
Edgar Allan Poe is called an American literary genius and here are three of his short stories dramatized for Reader's Theatre. “The Masque of the Red Death" is a fantastic tale of how, after half the people of his country have died, Prince Prospero gathers knights and ladies to his castle and locks the doors to avoid the devastating “red death” disease. In "The Cask of Amontillado" we find that if a man seeks revenge, there are many ways to do it. In "Lionizing" Poe mocks authors who get recognition when they write nothing but trivia and nonsense in flowery a...
14 m, 3 w, and courtiers, attendants and servants.
One of Shakespeare's greatest "Breeches Parts" plays. Viola finds herself shipwrecked on a strange coast where she must disguise herself as a young man to get along in society. An intricate plot that retains its intricacy but not its confusion. This tale of love and courtship, mistaken identity, pride, and practical jokes is edited to 90 minutes. The actions flows quickly and the archaic terms are eliminated. This is a fine version for actors from junior high school through college to perform.
6 m, 5 w doubling possible to 4 m, 3 w
This powerful one-act is based on the first pages of Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables." The year is 1815 and Jean Valjean has been imprisoned nineteen years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's starving family. Now, after being released, Valjean finds it impossible to find lodging or food. Society has treated him like an animal and he feels like one. Finally he finds refuge at the Bishop's home. The clergyman welcomes him with kindness and even trust, using his best silver candlesticks at the evening meal, much to the dismay and warnings of the susp...
13 m, 12 w, 8 flexible
In this adaptation of Frank L. Baum's book, "Tik Tok of Oz," the Queen begs her old friend Dorothy to take the mechanical man, Tik Tok, and rescue the Wizard of Oz who has been kidnapped! The journey will be long and perilous, but Dorothy will do anything to save her old friend. Along the way, Dorothy and Tik Tok meet other colorful characters, all of whom decide to find the Wizard in the hope that he might be able to solve each of their problems. But even after the kidnapper, Ruggedo, is defeated, the fearful group must enter the Metal Forest to find the Wiz...
11 m, 13 w, 4 flexible, much doubling possible
Adapted from the novel by Wilkie Collins. It's the late 1800s and young Walter Hartright, on his way to a new teaching position, meets a mysterious woman dressed in white. Terrified, she asks him the way to London and mentions that she once was very happy at the very house Walter is going to. Later, Walter meets his pupils: Marian Halcombe and her half-sister Laura Fairlie, the latter who strongly resembles the woman in white. Walter soon falls in love with Laura, but his happiness is dashed when he finds out her engagement to Sir Percival Glyde has been arra...
4 m, 4 w, 3 flexible
In this rowdy farce, the ambitious, but foolish, Monsieur Jourdain wants to socialize with the nobility, even though he knows nothing of proper language or social graces. From his highbrow music, dancing, and philosophy teachers to his obsequious tailor, Jourdain makes a fool of himself with his ludicrous attempts to be important. His behavior even allows him to be exploited by an unscrupulous friend who continues to borrow money. Happily, Jourdain’s weakness is played to full advantage when, after an elaborate masquerade, he finally gives his daughter’s hand...
11 principal roles, numerous supporting. Doubling possible.
Magic, morals and music highlight Pinocchio's many adventures in this hour-long show. When Geppetto carves a wooden puppet which magically springs to life, the old toy maker is thrilled by the prospect of having a real son. But the innocent Pinocchio needs to learn so many thing, and he learns them all the hard way! First he meets Sly Fox, who steals his coins then the greedy carnival master Calzoni, who tries to keep him a prisoner. He escapes only to encounter the thieving Rachel Weasely, followed by the evil witch Consuella on Party Island where playful ch...
9 m, 8 w, 5 flexible, extras
Adapted from the play by William Shakespeare. A ship at sea is suddenly swept up in a fierce tempest. The King of Naples, the Duke of Milan, and others become shipwrecked upon a mysterious island. Unbeknownst to them, the island is ruled by Prospero and Prospera, the rightful Duke and Duchess of Milan. With their magical powers they have cast the royals upon the island with an ultimate plan. But will Prospero and Prospera's scheme be cut short by their own prisoner/slave, Caliban, who along with the drunken butler, Stephano, have hatched a scheme of their own...
Ensemble cast of 6 to 27
The magic of theatre now weaves three tales from around the world together into more than an hour of captivating entertainment for young audiences. In a Chinese play, Little Red Maiden and her older brother learn that riches do not always bring joy. Too bad the selfish dragon learns the hard way! In a native American play, the Cinderella story is retold as Little Burnt Sand endures the cruelty of her sisters before becoming the bride of the new Micmac chief. In a delightful English fairy tale, we find that too much curiosity can be a mite unhealthy. Show the ...
Flexible cast (minimum 6)
Ever wonder why people whistle in a graveyard? Because it scares away the bogeyman. Here's a little gang of stories that, far from scaring the bogeyman away, invites him in and sets a place for him at the table! Listen, gentle reader, while the Caretaker introduces spooky tales from the haunted graveyard that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat and sometimes have you laughing out loud when some of the spectres don't behave exactly as they should. Watch as one couple decides what to do with an old uncle who vowed he'd come back from the dead, and wa...
Flexible cast of 7 to 18
A lonely boy receives a wonderful Christmas gift and a toy rabbit learns some valuable lessons about life and love. In this humorous and touching adaptation of the children's classic, the Velveteen Rabbit encounters the antics of toys and wild rabbits in his faithful quest to be "real." About 40 minutes.
flexible cast (minimum 11 with doubling)
The adventures of the resourceful Rat, trusty Mole, gruff Badger, and the ever frivolous Toad are intermingled with the actual story of how "The Wind in the Willows" came to be written in this beautiful full-length musical. To entertain his son, Kenneth Grahame wrote stories about the rich Mr. Toad, who steals a car and ends up in jail. The story's villains, the Weasels and Foxes, take over Toad's estate in his absence. Badger, Rat, and Mole come to the rescue, conquer the Weasels, and save Toad Hall from ruin. Interspersed with the animals' adventures we see...
3 m, 2 w
Helen Stone, a frightened and distraught young woman, has come to Sherlock Holmes for help following the recent death of her twin sister Julia. The young women were living with their stepfather, the austere and heartless widower, Dr. Roylott. They had returned from India to Stoke Moran, his family’s dilapidated country mansion, where wild exotic animals and gypsies now wander the grounds. Helen tells Holmes and Dr. Watson that the night Julia died, her sister had run from her bedroom screaming “the band, the speckled band.” Julia was soon to be married and wo...
Large, Flexible cast
Welcome to the mythical Forest of Fables, home of the Tortoise and the Hare, the Ants and the Grasshopper, the Lion and the Mice, and many other colorful creatures. This realm is also the home of Aesop, the friendly storyteller from Ancient Greece. The animals and two immortal Muses prepare for Aesop's surprise 98th birthday party, until they realize that they have no music for their upcoming celebration. The problem is solved when a nervous Donkey, a vain Cat, a hopeful Rooster, and a dim-witted Dog join forces and ensure that old Aesop gets the party of a c...
Flexible cast 20 - 60
Here are three comic plays based on the work of the Roman playwright Titus Maccius Plautus. The first play is "The Pot of Gold," in which Euclio, a miser, goes to great lengths to hide a secret fortune from his family and neighbors. In "The Brothers Menaechmus," identical twins who were separated at birth cause confusion when one of them coincidentally arrives in their hometown on the day of his brother's wedding. The collection concludes with "The Haunted House" as a clever servant concocts a tale of the supernatural to aid his master in marrying a slave who...