I have taught Drama for the eighteen years and in my experience children love acting out a play whether it is reading aloud in a classroom or performing in front of a large audience. Stage Start Two provides children with the opportunity to have lots of fun and enjoyment as well as helping them to develop reading, comprehension and communication skills.
The first two plays in this collection are short and simple. They are based on two very popular nursery rhymes – Humpty Dumpty and Little Bunny Foo Foo. Rudolph, The Missing Reindeer tells the story of Rudolph’s disappearance before Christmas and how Santa Claus has to call on a variety of nursery rhyme characters to help him in his search for his reindeer. The next five plays – The Three Little Pigs, The Elves and the Shoemaker, The Magic Porridge Pot, The Stone Soup and The Pied Piper of Hamelin are based on traditional tales, familiar and well loved by children all over the world.
King Midas is a Greek myth where the greedy king Midas wishes that everything he touches turns to gold – but be careful what you wish for! The Tiger, Old Man and the Jackal comes from an old Indian legend. The terrible tiger is outwitted by the small but very clever jackal.
The following five plays are based on stories by famous children’s authors. Peter Pan is a about a boy who lives in the magical world of Neverland where he never grows up. Pinocchio, written by Italian novelist Carlo Collodi, is about a wooden puppet who longs to be a real boy. How the Elephant got his Trunk is based on the Elephant’s Child from Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories. The Happy Prince is based on Oscar Wilde’s well-loved fable and it focuses on loyalty and kindness. Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland follows Alice as she goes on wonderful adventures in Wonderland where she meets extraordinary characters like a talking White Rabbit, the March Hare and the very horrid Queen of Hearts. The final five plays in this collection – Home for Christmas, A Night Out, It is Better to Forget, The Body and Saint Bernadette have fewer characters and can be used in smaller drama classes or with smaller groups.
Each play lasts between five and twenty five minutes. Each play’s cast list is flexible and more characters can be added or existing characters can be changed or omitted easily depending on the requirements of the group or class. All suggestions for stage directions are in included in brackets and italics. I hope you enjoy reading or performing the plays in this collection.
The following is an example of one of the plays.
Cast of characters (14): Humpty Dumpty, Egg 1, Egg 2, Egg 3, Egg 4, General, King’s man 1, King’s man 2, King’s man 3, King’s horse 1, King’s horse 2, King’s horse 3, King and Servant
(Stage directions: There is a big wall upstage and there is a group of eggs playing outside the wall. They accidentally throw the ball over the wall.)
Egg 1: Oh dear, what will we do now?
Egg 2: Well, one of us will have to climb over the wall and get the ball.
Egg 3: Humpty Dumpty will do it.
Humpty Dumpty: Why do I have to do it?
Egg 4: Because you are bravest egg of all eggs.
Egg 1: Don’t tell us you are scared.
All: Scaredy Egg! Scaredy Egg!
Humpty Dumpty: Alright, alright, I’ll do it.
(Humpty Dumpty starts to climb the wall. He is shaking because he is so scared. He gets to the top but he is too frightened to move.)
Humpty Dumpty: I can’t move. What shall I do?
General: What is going on here?
(All the eggs run off.)
Humpty Dumpty: I climbed the wall because we threw the ball over the wall and I wanted to get it back for all my egg friends but now I’m stuck and I can’t get down.
General: I’ll get a ladder and help you get down. (General mimes getting a ladder but Humpty Dumpty starts to wobble and falls off the wall.)
Humpty Dumpty: Help me! I’m broken. (Humpty Dumpty is lying on the floor.)
General: Don’t worry, I’ll call all the King’s men to come and help put you back together again.
General: (gets out his phones and dials the King’s men) Please come quickly: a giant egg has fallen off a wall.
(King’s men come galloping in on their horses. They look at Humpty Dumpty on the ground.)
King’s man 1: Oh dear, this looks very bad.
King’s horse 1: I don’t think we are going to be able to fix him.
King’s Man 2: Don’t give up; we can try.
King’s Horse 2: Look, everybody: where do you think this goes ? (He holds up an arm.)
King’s Man 3: I think that might be his leg. (They all try hard to put him back together. They circle him so the audience can’t see while they are working on him. Then after a few minutes they stop.)
King’s Horse 3: We tried our best but there is nothing we can do. (They all put their heads down.)
(Trumpet blows and the King’s servant enters.)
Servant: The king is coming: everyone bow. (They all bow as the King enters and sits at the table.)
King: I’m so hungry. (rings bell) What is for dinner tonight, servant?
Servant: Lots and lots of scrambled egg.
All: (come out to the centre stage and recite the Humpty Dumpty rhyme)
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
They tried to push him up.
They tried to pull him up.
They tried to patch him up,
But couldn’t put him back together again.
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