This version of the play was written in 1921 and opens with Carroll explaining the game of chess to his niece Alice. She soon falls asleep and is transported to Wonderland where she has many wondrous and bizarre adventures with illogical and strange creatures. She encounters several queens, joins a mad tea party, listens to poetry, and is accused of stealing the Queen’s tarts. This is a traditional telling of the beloved story of Alice in Wonderland with all the characters you know and love.
About the Playwright:
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is an English novel, written by Lewis Carroll in 1865. The sequel, “Through the Looking-Glass”, was written in 1871. This script version combines the two stories and was written by Alice Gerstenberg and published in the book, A Treasury of Plays for Children, in 1921.
More versions of Alice in Wonderland on Drama Notebook:
Alice in Wonderland for Early Readers
Alice in Wonderland in 20 Minutes
Alice and Wonderland Seussical Style
Excerpt from the play:
Queen of Hearts
Knave of Hearts
King of Hearts
Followers of the Queen of Hearts
Five-Spot of Hearts
Seven-Spot of Hearts
Nine-Spot of Hearts
Gardeners—named as followed:
Two-Spot of Spades
Five-Spot of Spades
Seven-Spot of Spades
ACT 1, SCENE 1
The scene takes place in Alice’s home. Lewis Carroll is playing chess. Golden-haired Alice, in a blue dress, with a black kitten in her arms, stands watching him.
That’s a funny game, Uncle. What did you do then?
A red pawn took a white pawn; this way. You see, Alice, the chess board is divided into sixty-four squares, red and white, and the white army tries to win, and the red army tries to win. It’s like a battle!
Yes, here are the Kings and Queens they are fighting for. That’s the Red Queen and here’s the White Queen.
How funny they look!
See the crowns on their heads and look at their big feet.
It’s a foot apiece, that’s what it is! Do they hump along like this?
Here! You’re spoiling the game. I must keep them all in their right squares.
I want to be a Queen!
Here you are (He points to a small white pawn); here you are in your little stiff skirt!
How do you do, Alice?
And now you are going to move here.
Let me move myself.
When you have traveled all along the board this way and haven’t been taken by the enemy you may be a Queen.
Why do people always play with Kings and Queens? Mother has them in her playing cards too. Look! (Alice goes to the mantel and takes a pack of playing cards from the ledge) Here’s the King of Hearts and here’s his wife; she’s the Queen of Hearts—isn’t she cross-looking? Wants to bite one’s head off. (Carroll moves a pawn) You’re playing against yourself, aren’t you?
That’s one way of keeping in practice, Alice; I have friends in the University who want to beat me.
But if you play against yourself, I should think you’d want to cheat!
Does a nice little girl like you cheat when she plays against herself?
Oh! I never do! I’d scold myself hard. I always pretend I’m two people too. It’s lots of fun, isn’t it? Sometimes when I’m all alone I walk up to the looking-glass and talk to the other Alice. She’s so silly, that Alice; she can’t do anything by herself. She just mocks me all the time. When I laugh, she laughs; when I point my finger at her, she points her finger at me; and when I stick my tongue out at her she sticks her tongue out at me! Kitty has a twin too, haven’t you darling? (Alice goes to the mirror to show Kitty her twin.)
I’ll have to write a book someday about Alice—Alice in Wonderland, “Child of the pure unclouded brow and dreaming eyes of wonder!” or, Alice through the looking-glass!
Don’t you wish sometimes you could go into a looking-glass house? See! (Alice stands on an armchair and looks into the mirror) There’s the room you can see through the glass; it’s just the same as our living room here, only the things go the other way. I can see all of it—all but the bit just behind the fireplace. Oh! I do wish I could see that bit! I want so much to know if they’ve a fire there. You never can tell, you know, unless our fire smokes. Then smoke comes up in that room too—but that may be just to make it look as if they had a fire—just to pretend they had. The books are something like our books, only the words go the wrong way. Won’t there ever be any way of our getting through, Uncle?
Do you think Kitty would find looking-glass milk digestible?
It doesn’t sound awful good, does it; but I might leave her at home. She’s been into an awful lot of mischief today. She found sister’s knitting and chased the ball all over the garden where sister was playing croquet with the neighbors. And I ran and ran after the naughty little thing until I was all out of breath and so tired! I am tired. (She yawns and makes herself comfortable in the armchair)
(Replaces the playing cards on the mantel and consults his watch) Take a nap. Yes, you have time before tea.
(Half asleep) We’re going to have mock-turtle soup for supper! I heard mamma tell the cook not to pepper it too much.
What a funny little rabbit it is, nibbling all the time! (He leans gently over the back of her chair and seeing that she is going to sleep puts out the lamplight and leaves the room. A red glow from the fireplace illumines Alice. Dream music. A bluish light reveals the Red Chess Queen and the White Chess Queen in the mirror)
(Points to Alice and says in a mysterious voice) There she is, —let’s call her over.
Do you think she’ll come?
I’ll call softly, —Alice!
Hush—if she wakes and catches us—
Alice, come through into the looking-glass house! (Their hands beckon her)
(Rises and talks sleepily. The Queens disappear. Alice climbs from the arm of the chair to the back of another and so on up to the mantel ledge, where she picks her way daintily between the vases) I—don’t—know—how—I—can—get—through. I’ve tried—before—but the glass was hard—and I was afraid of cutting—my fingers—(She feels the glass and is amazed to find it like gauze) Why, it’s soft like gauze; it’s turning into a sort of mist; why, it’s easy to get through! Why—why—I’m going through! (She disappears)
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