Ten minutes long. Parts for 16+ actors. Best suited for ages 9-13, however, this story is really ageless and may be performed by children all the way up to adults.
The Selfish Giant can be found in a book entitled “The Happy Prince and Other Tales” by Oscar Wilde. This is a script based on the story.
A giant owns a beautiful garden that he wishes to keep all to himself. The garden flourishes with life. Birds sing, trees blossom and bear golden fruit, and flowers dance in the grass. While he is away, a group of children steal into his garden to play. One day he returns and chases all of the children out. Soon, spring arrives, but in the garden of the Selfish Giant, it remains winter. Without the children, the trees forget to blossom and the birds don’t care to sing. Snow, Frost and Hail arrive, and stay, all through spring, summer and autumn. The giant is puzzled by this. But one day, he hears birds again in his garden; he believes summer to have finally come, but it is only because the children have returned to the garden. The giant realizes that it is the children who bring life to his garden, and decides to tear down the garden wall and let the children share his garden.
Excerpt from the play:
Five Children (Can be expanded)
Narrator One: Once upon a time, there lived a giant who had a lovely garden that he kept hidden behind a wall of stone.
Narrator Two: It was filled with lovely flowers that bloomed like stars over the soft green grass.
Narrator One: And there were twelve peach trees that in the springtime broke out into delicate blossoms of pink and pearl.
Narrator Two: And in the autumn, bore rich fruit.
Narrator One: The birds sat on the trees and sang so sweetly that the children used to stop their games to listen to them.
A group of children enter and hear sounds of exotic birds coming from the garden.
Child One: That doesn’t sound like any bird I’ve ever heard before.
Child Two: Let’s go see what it is!
Child Three: We can’t go in there. A giant lives there, and he’s built a wall to keep people out.
Child One: I think he’s gone. Here, lift me up.
Narrator Two: And so, the children climbed over the wall and played in the garden.
Narrator One: And every day after school, the children would play in the garden.
Narrator Two: Now, it so happens that the giant had been away for seven years, visiting his friend, the Cornish Ogre.
Narrator One: But one day, he grew bored of his friend, and so he returned.
Giant: Who’s that in my garden! What are you children doing in here? My own garden is my own garden. I will not allow anyone to play in it but myself!
The giant chases the children out of the garden, yelling at them and the children ad-lib apologies, etc. Giant carries out sign that reads: TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED! and places it on the wall. The children stay onstage, they stand in a group either downstage left or right near a narrator.
Child Four: Now where are we going to play?
Child Five: Just this old dusty road, I guess.
Child Two: We can look for rocks in the dirt.
Child Three: It was far more fun in the garden.
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