R Rex Stephenson

R. Rex Stephenson earned his Ph.D. in educational theatre at New York University. Rex has more than a dozen plays published, has won two major play writing contests, the American Alliance for Theatre and Education and the National Archives Play Writing Contest. In 1996 he received the Jean Ritchie Fellowship to research and write plays on John Wesley, the founder of the United Methodist Church. He was awarded the 1997 East Central Theatre Conference's Award for "Theatrical Excellence." In 2007 he was awarded the prestigious SETC Sara Spencer Child Drama Award. Stephenson is considered one of the most published children's playwrights in Virginia. Rex lives in Ferrum, VA, and has three daughters, Janice, Jessica and Juliet.
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  Life on the Mississippi

Classic by R Rex Stephenson

64 pages

Company of between 18 - 35 actors


Here is a combination of three of Mark Twain's books blended into one story that continues Huck and Tom's great adventures. Huck and Tom are called to Arkansas because something mysterious is happening to Uncle Silas. As only Huck and Tom can, they set about solving the mystery that involves twin brothers, the maniacal Widow Dunlap and her nere-do-well son. This story is as poignant and humorous as Huck Finn, but without any of the racial overtones that in some areas has made Twain a controversial author. About 90 minutes.

  Too Free For Me

Drama by R Rex Stephenson

59 pages

6 m, 7 w


The drama is based on an actual trial that occurred in Franklin County, Virginia in 1851. Indiana Choice, a black woman, claims that she and her three children are free. She sues Gresham Choice, her alleged owner, for not only her freedom but that of her three children. Gresham, a prominent citizen with political aspirations, denies Indiana is a free black. The events of the trial are recalled by Margaret Oxley who attended this trial as a child. Oxley is especially fond of Jubal Early, the lawyer for Indiana. As the trial progresses, a variety of witnesses a...

  Jack in the Blue Ridge Mountains

by R Rex Stephenson

56 pages

Flexible cast: 9-30 actors.


Gather ‘round, friends. Here are four Appalachian folktales your audiences will love … and your actors will love performing, too! Our favorite folk hero, Jack, appears in all four stories: “Jack’s Mother’s Second Marriage,” “Jack and the Mean Old Man,” “Foolish Jack,” and “Soldier Jack.” All four tales are fast paced and humorous, and still hold true to the oral traditions of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In fact, playwright R. Rex Stephenson gathered some of the material from the archives of the WPA Virginia Writer’s Project and some tales from interviews with l...

  Jack's Adventures with the King's Girl

by R Rex Stephenson

32 pages

Flexible cast from 10 - 24 actors.


This play opens when a woman who is collecting mountain folktales asks the Gentry family to tell her one. But they do better than that! They act out for her the story of "Jack and the King's Girl." When a Princess has a "witchin'" put on her, Jack decides to save her and collect the reward. It isn't an easy task, especially when he has to sleep over in a haunted house. Along the way he makes some friends who have special skills, however, and ultimately they help him meet every challenge the old witch throws at him. Of course Jack saves the Princess! The widel...

  Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

Classic Comedy by R Rex Stephenson

57 pages

Flexible cast of 15, extras, doubling


Adapted from the novel by Mark Twain. Sir Boss, a computer wiz, is transported back in time to the age of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. After proving his "magic" is more powerful than Merlin's, Sir Boss begins to modernize Camelot. The new TV station has Morgan La Faye as chief newscaster and Merlin as the "predictor" of the weather; the Knights of the Round Table form a basketball team, the Camelot Pacers; and everyone is getting e-mail. All goes well until King Arthur and Sir Boss travel through Camelot, disguised as peasants, so the King ...

  Mark Twain's the Prince and the Pauper

Classic by R Rex Stephenson

71 pages

4 m, 2 w, 9 girls, 2 boys


During the last years of his life, Mark Twain, entertained a group of young girls that came to be known as the Angelfish Club. Twain told his young friends stories, provided snacks for them, and seemed to have become a grandfather who loved to share his home with the group. Several years before, when Twain was living in New York City, Albert Bigelow Paine was selected to take dictation as Twain recalled the events of his life for his autobiography. Twain often became a bit cantankerous, making Paine shoot billiards, or eat with him before he would dictate. Th...