Dolly the Polka Dotted Llama and the Mackindo Zoo

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15+ characters of any gender. Approximately 20 minutes running time. Dolly has a hard time fitting in because she looks different, but it is her uniqueness that ultimately saves the day. Comedy for all ages by Chuck Novatka.

Dolly the Polka Dotted Llama has a hard time fitting in because she looks different, but it is her uniqueness that ultimately saves the day. This play was created in complete collaboration with second grade students who explored the idea of how our differences make us special. If you are looking for a fun story with a simple and timeless message that anyone can understand, then this is a great script to play with. There is plenty of opportunity to add or change the animals depending on the size and tastes of your young actors.

Chuck Novatka is an actor, writer, director, and educator who believes that the dramatic arts are the richest place to build a child’s self-confidence. Many of his writings are inspired through the collaborative work with his students, which he feels gives them a shared quality for audiences of all ages. When Chuck is not writing plays, he enjoys thinking up stories that can be told from a father’s perspective. His greatest audience is his two children and his wife Mary (especially because of their brutal honesty).

Excerpt from the play:


ZOOKEEPER, young boy or girl, friendly operator of the Mackindoo Zoo
BARNABUS, cranky lion and self-professed “king” (or queen) of the zoo
JAOQUIN, Spanish-speaking, sassy, and giggling Hyena
TIBERIUS, a hawk, Barnabus’ spy and messenger
DOLLY, a friendly, polka-dotted llama, new to the zoo
MONKEYS, four silly monkeys
RALPH, a penguin that falls asleep when he gets nervous
PAULIE, a beautiful peacock
SPEEDY, the tortoise, wants to make friends with Dolly, but is afraid of Barnabus
ZOE, young girl who is having a birthday
ZOE’S MOM, loving parent who doesn’t want her daughter’s birthday to be ruined
NEWS REPORTER #1, male or female anchor
NEWS REPORTER #2, male or female anchor
MRS. LOONEY, mother of one of Zoe’s classmates
CLASSMATES 1-4, Zoe’s school mates/attendees of her birthday (can add more students if needed)
VARIATIONS: All the characters can be played by male or female actors.

Have you ever been to a costume party, wearing a wonderful costume, only to find out you have arrived a day early? Well, that is exactly how Dolly the polka dotted llama felt when she arrived at her new home, the Mackindoo Zoo.

Good morning my animal friends! I have wonderful news. We have a new friend who is going to be living with us. Her name is Dolly, and she is coming all the way from Machu Pichu, Peru. She has the most wonderful polka dots on her body. I want you all to welcome her and make her feel at home. I will be painting the polar bear exhibit until she arrives. (She exits)

If any of you animals so much as look in that llama’s direction, you’re going to have to deal with me.

(under his breath) Anger manage much?

What did you just say to me?

(backtracking) Um, I said your mane looks really beautiful in this particular light.

All right everyone, scram! And remember what I said, no talking to that freak!

(all of the animals exit except for Tiberius the hawk)

Tiberius, I want you to fly overhead and watch to see if any of the animals disobey me and try to talk with that llama. Report back to me in a few hours. It’s time for a little cat nap.

You got it boss!

And so, a little while later, right before lunch, Dolly finally arrived.

Oh, hello Dolly. Welcome to the Mackindoo Zoo. We are so glad to have you come live with us. You are simply going to love it here. The animals are so warm and friendly.

Thank you for welcoming me. I am so excited to start making new friends.

I have to go finish with some painting in the polar bear exhibit. Head down that path and your space is the next to last one on the left. If you get to the kangaroos, you’ve gone too far. I’ll be by later to see how you are settling in.

(Dolly begins to walk down the path and comes upon the monkey cage)

Hello there, monkeys. My name is Dolly, and I am new here. Would you like to be my friends?

(Monkey 1 puts his hands over his eyes, 2 puts his hands over his ears, 3 puts his hands over his mouth, and Monkey 4 shoves a banana in his mouth and another in his ear)

Oh, I get it, it must be your lunch time. I’ll come back and introduce myself again later. Bye.

(Dolly continues down the path, just as Paulie Peacock is coming up the path from the other direction)

Oh, look at you! What beautiful feathers you have! My name is Dolly, would you like to be my friend?

(Paulie turns his back on Dolly and fans out her feathers. Dolly assumes that perhaps he did not hear her, so she makes another attempt by moving in front of Paulie’s path)

Hello there, beautiful bird. My name is Dolly, care to be friends?

(Once again Paulie turns his back and fans his feathers. Before Dolly can speak…)

(Pointing behind Dolly) CROCODILE!!

(Turning to look behind her, but as she does Paulie has scooted away) Oh, well that’s strange. I don’t see a crocodile at all.

(She continues down the path until she comes to the penguin exhibit, where she sees Ralph the penguin)

Hello there Mr. Penguin. My name is Dolly, and I am from Peru, it doesn’t get very cold in Peru.Do you know where Peru is?

(No response from Ralph who has that deer in the headlights look)

Well, Peru is in South America, so it’s very far from here. Would you like to be friends?

(Ralph stares at her for a second and then falls asleep and tips over)

Oh my, I hope you’re okay Mr. Penguin. You sure can fall asleep quite quickly. Maybe it’s your nap time. I will come back later after you’ve gotten your rest. Bye Mr. Penguin.

(Dolly next approaches Joaquin in the Hyena exhibit)

Why hello there Mr. Hyena.

No hablo Ingles (I don’t speak English)

Esta bien. Yo hablo Espanol (That’s good. I speak Spanish)

(Joaquin begins to laugh hysterically)

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