5+ characters; Flexible cast. 9 pages in length. Approximately 10 minutes running time. An Brothers Grimm fairy-tale adapted by Janea Dahl.

The Fisherman and His Wife is an adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy-tale that tells the story of a poor fisherman, his greedy wife, and a magical fish. When the fisherman is granted a wish by a magic fish, his wife just isn’t satisfied and orders her husband to ask for more. This timeless tale teaches the importance of appreciation and gratitude and is the perfect addition to a festival of Grimm’s Fairy Tales!

Janea Dahl is the creator and author of Drama Notebook. She has a BA in theatre and spent twelve years working in professional theatre. She was the founder of The Young Players, the largest drama outreach program in her state. For nearly a decade, The Young Players served over a hundred schools, and employed over thirty teaching artists each year. Thousands of public school children and teens participated in her award-winning workshops. In 2012, Janea sold Young Players to Northwest Children’s Theatre and School to serve teachers full-time on Drama Notebook. Janea originally created the material in Drama Notebook to support The Young Players teaching artists. She was aware that most drama teachers could easily teach children’s theater workshops without any additional curriculum, but that having access to a vast amount of new material could greatly improve the quality of the classes while keeping things exciting and fresh for her teachers. Janea also develops custom curriculum for Kaplan Early Learning and for Destination Imagination.

Excerpt from the play:

CAST OF CHARACTERS

NARRATOR ONE
NARRATOR TWO
FISHERMAN
WIFE
FISH

(Optional ladies in waiting, guards, soldiers, etc.)

NARRATOR ONE
Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, there lived a fisherman and his wife who lived in a pigsty not far from the sea.

NARRATOR TWO
The fisherman would go out all day long a-fishing. One day, as he sat with his line in the sparkling waves, his line began to pull and he caught a huge flounder.

NARRATOR ONE
To his great surprise, the flounder began to speak.

FISH
Please let me live! I am not a real fish, I am an enchanted prince. Put me in the water again and let me go.

FISHERMAN
You can save your breath. I will have nothing to do with a fish that can talk.

NARRATOR TWO
So, the fisherman went home to his wife in the pigsty.

WIFE
Did you catch anything today?

FISHERMAN
No. I did catch a flounder who claimed to be an enchanted prince, but I let him go.

WIFE
Did you make a wish?

FISHERMAN
No. What in the world would I wish for?

WIFE
Look around you. Living in a pigsty is dreadful. The stench is disgusting. You could have asked for a little cottage. Go back and tell him to give us a little cottage. He’s sure to give us one.

FISHERMAN
How am I supposed to find him again?

WIFE
Go to the water’s edge and call out. He’s bound to come to you, for you granted him a favor.

NARRATOR ONE
So the husband did as he was told, as husband’s often do. When he got to the edge of the sea, he called out.

FISHERMAN
Flounder, flounder in the sea! Rise on up, swim here to me. My wife Ilsebill will have her own will and has sent me to ask a favor of thee.

NARRATOR TWO
The fish immediately came swimming to him.

FISH
What does she want?

FISHERMAN
My wife tells me that since I managed to catch you, I should have also made a wish. She’s tired of living in a pigsty and she’d rather live in a little cottage.

FISH
Just go on home then. She’s already living in it!

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