13 characters; 4M, 6F, 3 Either; 32 pages in length plus a 9 page study guide. Approximately 35 minutes running time. A a spoof on traditional fairy tales written by Sandy Barker.(3 credits)
This short play is a spoof on traditional fairy tales written for performers aged 11 to 16, depending on ability and maturity of the cast. It will play well to audiences of peers, as well as teachers/parents. Thematically it addresses traditional gender roles, loyalty, status/class, as well as exploiting and exploding fairy tale archetypes.
- Production notes with suggestions for casting, costuming, staging
- Study guide that helps students relate the theme and characters to their own lives.
- Extension activities
Sandy Barker started writing plays for her students some time ago and is pleased to be able to share them with other Drama teachers across the world. As a playwright and Drama teacher, she strives to provide meaningful parts for a large cast of mixed abilities. Additionally, her one-act plays are simply-staged and draw on themes that are relevant to the performers and audiences. Sandy has a degree in Theater Arts and English Literature from Curtin University in Australia, as well as a post-graduate degree in Education, and started teaching high school Drama in 1994. Before moving to the United States in 2008, she was Head of Drama at Brigidine College in Sydney. From 2001 to 2004 she taught an extra-curricular Drama program to children aged 4 to 16 through the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy. From 2005 to 2008, she was an examiner for the high school Drama performance exams for New South Wales.
Excerpt from the play:
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Queen Alice – her mother
King Sebastian – her father
Lady Prue – lady-in-waiting to the princess
Lady Delilah – lady-in-waiting to the princess
Fairy God Sister
Two-headed Evil Witch (played by 2 actors)
Suki the Dragon Slayer
Trevor – the witches’ houseboy
The Master of the Guards
A child walks on stage SL with a book and sits down to read. Narrator walks on stage SR and sits in a chair, reading aloud from his/her own copy of the same book.
Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, there was a beautiful princess named Alexandra.
How boring! This begins like every other fairy tale I’ve ever read. (Child starts to close the book)
(Talking to the book) It’s me. The reader. I’m going to put this book back on the shelf. (Child starts to get up)
No wait! I can make it better, I promise. Start reading again.
Okay, but it’d better be good. I’m a busy kid, you know. I don’t have time to read boring books.
Okay. Here we go. Once upon a time…
(Speaking very fast)…there was a rather attractive princess who was bored with her privileged life and craved adventure.
Much better! Highly original.
Her name was Alexandra, and she wasn’t very happy.
Alexandra’s bedroom. Alexandra is on her bed looking into a mirror
I suppose I should be happy, being rather attractive and living in a huge castle, and all, but I am SO bored.
There is a knock on the door.
Princess! Time to get up.
Two Ladies-in-Waiting enter and start fussing about the room. As they speak, they get the princess ready for her day.
(Sarcastically) Oh goodie!
Ready for a fabulous day?
What’s on the agenda Lady Prue?
(Producing and reading from a Filofax or Tablet) Breakfast meeting with your husband-to-be. Manicure at 10. Luncheon with girlfriends at 12. Judging the “Village Idiot” competition at 2, and then your swordplay tutorial at 3. Should I pencil in croquet practice at 4:30?
Hang on. What was that first thing again?
(Reading over Lady Delilah’s shoulder) Breakfast meeting with your husband-to-be.
(Groaning) Not another one! I wonder what prize prince my parents have picked out for me this time.
Well, I heard the cook talking to the coachman and she said the her best friend’s cousin was once engaged to his brother’s best friend, and apparently he’s not very tall, but he dances well and has good hair.
If he survives any longer than the others it will be a miracle.
Yes, you have had a run of bad luck, I must say. Seven intended husbands, seven dead princes.
(Snapping) Well, it’s not my fault Lady Delilah. The princess is supposed to send the prince on a dangerous quest to win her hand. So that’s what I did.
Perhaps the quests were a little too dangerous.
Oh please. Who wants a husband who can’t climb to the top of the highest mountain, swim to the bottom of the deepest sea, and slay the fiercest dragon? Besides, without exception they were all dull and boring, droning on about nothing and never showing the slightest interest in me. I had to send them on adventures, so we would at least have something to talk about when they got back.
Would it not be easier to have a conversation with a live prince, than a dead one?
I think she means that you might go easier on this one.
Hmph. We’ll see.
Well, we must see to breakfast. See you in the dining room.
Alexandra watches them go, and when she is sure she is alone, gets her diary from its hiding place. She begins writing.
(Voicing Alexandra’s thoughts)
Mom and Dad, in their infinite wisdom, have found me yet another prince. I’m surprised there are any left in these parts – considering my track record, that is. But, why don’t they understand that I want to choose my own husband? I want to fall in love – not be set up on a life-long blind date by my parents! Besides, there are things I want to do before I get married
travel, have some adventures of my own…
You go sister!
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