Plays for Children

Round The World Tales (55 min) This easy-to-stage, highly theatrical and entertaining cycle of three 20 minute plays from world folklores focuses on the themes of generosity and greed. The plays show how greed throws people out of balance with their land and traditions, with each other and with themselves, and how generosity can re-establish balance and connection between people and their world. In the Swedish tale, "The Old Woman and the Tramp", a happy-go-lucky rhyming wanderer ingeniously brews up an outrageous soup to teach an old woman how to enjoy life again. The Japanese "Tongue-Cut Sparrow" shows how a wife's cruelty to her husband's pet ignites magical forces of good and evil to prove that people get what they deserve. In the third play, "The Invisible Hunters" from Nicaragua, two hunters gain the power of invisibility, but instead of using it to feed their village, they upset their tribe's traditional balance with nature. Available from Pioneer Drama Service

The Emperor's New Clothes (50-60 min, 4m, 3f, 9 m or f) A hilarious retelling of the classic story: outrageous shenanigans, surreal verbal seizures, idiocy, imbecility and inanity, an empire ruled by a preening, primping, puffed up peacock. After the conmen Ludwig and Otto escape jail, with the bumbling detectives Boris and Morris in hot pursuit, they trick the clothes-horse Emperor into letting them create the royal garments for his daughters’ weddings. The garments, they say, will not only be of the highest possible style, they will have the magical property of being invisible to fools unworthy of their positions. What fun to watch fools try to prove they are not foolish. Opportunities galore for scene-stealing comic acting. Available from Brooklyn Publishing 

Kidnapped: Persephone in the Underworld (55 minutes, 6m, 6f, 8m or f, simple set) This adaptation of the Greek myth of the origin of the seasons succeeds in being dramatic, extremely funny and educational. It is perpetual summer when Zeus, bored on Mt. Olympus after being grounded by his jealous wife Hera, causes Hades, God of the Underworld, to fall in love with the beautiful Persephone. Hades kidnaps Persephone, forces her to be his bride and struggles to win her love. Persephone’s mother, Demeter, Goddess of the Harvest, in a rage of revenge over the loss of her daughter, brings famine and perpetual winter to the Earth, taking human life to the brink of extinction. All wounded parties seek justice from the Gods. This lively, engaging play portrays the characters of the Greek Gods with a story of the need for balance and change in Nature.