This is an adaptation of the classic Hans Christian Andersen story. It is not the Disney version. Poetic and tragic, this is the story of a mermaid who sacrifices everything in her quest for true love and immortality.
There are parts for 17+ students, however there are six mermaid princesses, and the script does call for a degree of simple dance and choreography. The script would work best with a pre-teen or teen group of students who have some movement background.
If you are looking for a shorter, serious play to perform with your teen students, this classic story in play form is lyrical and melancholy. The script itself is 16 pages or about 20-25 minutes in runtime, depending on how much dance/choreography you add.
Also included are:
- Study guide with thought-provoking discussion questions about the themes in the story and more.
- Four movement activities to help your group warm up for any dance-type rehearsals.
- Three writing activities that are relevant to the story.
- Two pages of suggestions for how to stage the show.
The Drama Notebook Scripts+ Activities are unique to Drama Notebook. The scripts are written to accommodate a flexible number of cast members, and the extension activities and study guides are designed to help students develop a connection to the lessons in the story and to deepen their understanding of the text.
Excerpt from the play:
Sea King’s Mother
Adella, the little mermaid
Settings: A magical land at the floor of the ocean. A palace near the sea. A ship.
(The chorus is made up of actors who tell the story, narrator-style. They wear all-green and blue and have filmy chiffon scarves that float off them as they move. They may also wear wreaths of leaves and flowers. Chorus members move like dancers, fluid and graceful as they recite their lines. As the play begins, the chorus members take up the whole stage. Once the Sea King, his Mother and the Princesses enter, the Chorus moves to one side of the stage, arranged in a tableau with some kneeling, lying down, standing, etc. The actors take up the other side of the stage. Read ‘Production Notes’ included with this play for more ideas.)
Chorus: Far out in the ocean, the water is as blue as the petals of the loveliest cornflower and as clear as the purest glass.
Chorus: Deep below the glittering surface, there is a world where the sea folk live.
Chorus: Trees and flowers grow there. They dance when the water stirs.
Chorus: Fish, large and small dart among the branches, just as birds flit through the trees on land.
Chorus: From the deepest spot in the ocean rises the palace of the Sea King. Its walls are made of coral and the roof is made from mussel shells that open and shut with the tide.
Chorus: The Sea King was a widower. He lived in the palace with his six daughters.
(The Sea King enters. The chorus moves to one side of the stage and forms a tableau.)
Sea King: Where are my daughters?
Sea Princesses: Here we are father!
(The six daughters enter and dance downstage in a circle, holding hands.)
Sea King: My beautiful daughters. (The Sea King sits on his throne. The princesses each curtsey to him and then sit at his feet as he calls out their names.) Coralia! Miranda! Ondine! Sabrina! Oceane! And my dearest little Adella!
Chorus: The Sea King could not hide the fact that his youngest was his favorite.
Chorus: She was the most beautiful and the most loving and kind.
Chorus: The other princesses didn’t mind, for they loved her as well.
Sea King: What are you going to do today?
Coralia: We are going to play in the halls of the castle, father.
Miranda: Yes, and we will tend to our gardens.
Ondine: My flowers are dark blue, father. Have you seen them?
Sea King: Yes, they are splendid, Ondine.
Sabrina: My garden is shaped like a whale.
Oceana: Mine is shaped like a mermaid!
Adella: I’m planting a rose-colored weeping willow by my statue today, father.
Coralia: She has a statue of a human boy in her garden.
Sea King: So I’ve been told!
Miranda: The fish are here for their breakfast!