Spiceplays!

 

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PLAYS FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES


ALADDIN
2 W, 3M, 1 genie
Simple set
Fifty minutes

Aladdin, a street urchin, falls in love with the beautiful Princess but the evil Madi kidnaps her and throws Aladdin in a cave. Rubbing the lamp, he finds a genie like no other, except Groucho Marx!

COMMENTS: Written for an inner-city audience, this lively version of the story (nothing to do with Disney!) delights with its active heroine and hero, its fast action, and its remarkable Genie.


THE AMAZING ANIMALS BAND
4 W or M
No set
Fifteen minutes

A chicken, a rabbit, and a cat encounter the Magic One, a witch who speaks entirely in limericks. What to do? Teach it – with the help of the audience – to laugh and dance and sing!

COMMENTS: Created as a play to be toured to hospitals, etc., although it can as easily be performed on a stage, or anywhere. It contains audience interaction. The same play – with different animals! – is included in The Bremen Town Musicians.


ASK MR. AESOP
Musical
4 or more W or M
Minimal set
Fifty-five minutes

A musical dramatization of over twenty of Aesop’s fables, both famous and less familiar. A melodic and varied score complements the fast and funny action. A great value.



THE BREMEN TOWN MUSICIANS
Musical
7 either W or M
Flexible set
Fifty five minutes

A dog, a cat, and a donkey, all mistreated by their owners, run away with a nice human and decide to become a band. Before they do, though, they’ll have to get past a band of robbers… and a witch!

COMMENTS: This show contains one of the nicest scores to grace a children’s musical, if we do say so ourselves. Lessons about treating animals right, and realizing individuals’ gifts, are taught through action, not lecturing. Opportunities for controlled audience participation.



THE CHRISTMAS VISIT
See details under "Pageants"



FIVE KINDS OF CHRISTMAS
By Kirk Woodward and Mona Hennessy
Musical
From 4 W or M up
Simple staging

Stories include a Giving Tree, a rich man and a poor cobbler, a man who discovers the meaning of Hanukkah, another very greedy rich man and a magic hat, and a Wishing Tree!

COMMENTS: This widely performed show (and its companion piece Waiting for Christmas) was designed for touring, so its set requirements are minimal – just a tree that lights up! One song unites the show, with different verses introducing each scene. A delightful look at Christmas and Hanukkah traditions and tales.


THE GHOST IN THE BASEMENT
2 W, 1 M
Very simple set
Twenty minutes

Two friends are looking for a costume, but… somebody’s in there among the clothes! A ghost or a very real person?

COMMENTS: The only set piece required is a rack of coats! Originally written for touring, fast-paced and easy to stage. A nice, silly choice for Halloween.


GRIMM’S FRIZZLED FAIRY TALES
From 6 W or M up
Flexible set
Fifty five minutes

Two video-game obsessed children find themselves sucked into the screen and they have to “play their way” out of wild versions of five of Grimm’s stories, including “The Frog Prince”, “Hansel and Gretel”, “The Shoemaker’s Shoes”, “Rumpelstiltzkin”, “Rapunzel”, and “The Raven.” Along the way they learn the joy of reading!

COMMENTS: A terrific way to present the familiar stories. Kirk Woodward wrote the script based on the improvisations of a group of actors, for whom he is the copyright holder. A play for children that reflects how they actually live. A keeper! See sample dialogue.


HALLOWEEN HOUSE, or, What The Ghost Wore
4 W or M
Forestage, and a room in an old house
Fifty minutes

Competition between students over a science project brings them to a supposedly haunted house where people take on the characteristics of the costumes they wear. The house is scary… the students get scared… so, maybe, do we!

COMMENTS: There aren’t many Halloween plays written, for some reason. This one connects the scary events of Halloween with the scarier parts of being in school, making it a play children (grades 4+) can relate to.


KATIE BAR THE DOOR
7 W
One set – inside of a store in Revolutionary War times
Fifty five minutes

It’s 1781 and British troops are coming dangerously close to the little general store in Guilford Courthouse. Some of the women in the store support the rebels, some the British; some don’t care; but the one who rises to the challenge is Katie, the scorned minister’s wife, assisted by a moody teenager who catches her courage. At the end Katie leaves to warn the American troops that the British are on the way.

COMMENTS: One of our best. Strong situation, varied characters, and a look at the Revolutionary War from women’s viewpoint. Excellent for audiences of older children and adults, too.


LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW (new!)
2M, 1W, 1W or M
Flexible setting - may be simple
Fifty-five minutes

We all know the conclusion to Washington Irving's story about Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman, but the rest of the famous tale may not be so familiar. This lively adaptation structures the original story to keep the attention of a young audience, while demonstrating conclusively that it's not good to scare yourself! A great choice - both literate and fun.


THE LITTER SHOW
By Kirk Woodward and Mona Hennessy
Musical
4 or more W or M
No set required
Fifty minutes

A series of sketches and songs devoted to teaching audiences not to litter. Originally designed as a touring show. Its songs are lively; the jokes are outrageous; the point is much needed.


NURSERY RHYME HEAVEN
Musical
Four or more W or M
Thirty five minutes

A musical for younger children with offbeat looks at some favorite nursery rhyme characters. Very easy to stage.


SHAKESPEARE CIRCUS
By Kirk Woodward and Mona Hennessy
Musical
4 or more W or M
No set required
Fifty minutes

On with the Shakespeare circus! Welcome to lively excerpts from The Tempest, The Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, plus assorted histories and tragedies.

COMMENTS: Originally designed for touring. One fast, funny song. A great introduction to Shakespeare for children. Let your imagination run wild!


SHERLOCK SAVES SANTA’S SIGN
2 M, 5 or more either W or M
Village exterior set
Fifty five minutes

Santa’s sign is missing, and Santa enlists Sherlock Holmes’ help in finding it. The great detective tracks it amid the inhabitants of the North Pole, all of whom have their own, somewhat skewed ideas of how to celebrate Christmas. The sign is found, safe and sound, where it ought to be.

COMMENTS: A gentle satire on different attitudes toward Christmas. Very popular with children’s audiences, and gives adults a teeny bit to think about too. Contains a telling of the Biblical Christmas story.


TWELFTH NIGHT (Shakespeare)
5 W, 4 M
Flexible staging
Fifty-five minutes

Feste, acting as narrator, introduces the characters of the play: the Duke, in love with Olivia, who falls in love with Viola when she visits her dressed as a boy while pretending to be a servant of the Duke, with whom she falls in love, all to the displeasure of Malvolio, who works for Olivia. The pot stirs and boils until Shakespeare finally makes everything right again.

COMMENTS: An excellent introduction to the play for young audiences. The dialogue is all Shakespeare’s except for a few speeches by Feste; as a result there is no royalty for this play, but please give credit for the acting edition in the program. Tunes and chords available on request.


WAITING FOR CHRISTMAS
By Kirk Woodward and Mona Hennessy
Musical
4 or more W or M
Minimal set
Fifty-five minutes

A highly melodic score links stories of Santa as a child; the Poor Count’s Christmas; “The Night Before Christmas”; a Hanukkah story; and two children locked in a church on Christmas eve!

COMMENTS: Like its companion play Five Kinds of Christmas, this show, originally designed for touring, has been enjoyed by numerous audiences. Children learn about holiday traditions along the way.


THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS
Musical
Book and music by Ken Jennings
Lyrics by Ken Jennings and Kirk Woodward

Six or more W or M
Flexible set
Fifty-five minutes

This delightful adaptation of the Kenneth Graham story gives us Mole and Badger, Toad and a very fast car, and a stirring fight against the Stoats and Weasels.

COMMENTS: A production of this excellent script and score toured the country for several years. One of the most charming of the many available stage versions of the story.