Play script for kids-Pirate Treasure

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3 characters. Flexible casting. 4 pages in length. Approximately 5 minutes running time. A short play for children about a pirate adventure written by Phyllis J. Perry.

Pirate Treasure is a short play for three children. While fishing in the sea, a band of pirates hook a bottle with a message inside. It will launch them on an adventure that could lead them to riches beyond their wildest dreams, as long as they can avoid some hungry crocodiles!

This play is also included in Plays For You And A Friend Or Two, a compilation of twelve short plays, each with 2 or 3 characters, and simple staging. The plays are written for elementary school children and include: THREE STICKS; LOST AND FOUND; THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER; THE MAGIC HAT; PIRATE TREASURE; CALYPSO, THE ROYAL DRAGON; TWO FUSSY FROGS; IN THE CAVE; GLOOMY, RAINY DAY; NEVER EMPTY STEW POT; HICCUPS; and FOR YOU OR FOR ME?. These fun plays are full of friendship, humor, fantasy, and magic and children will love to perform them in class or on stage!

Phyllis J. Perry lives in Boulder, Colorado. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, holds a Masters Degree from San Francisco State, and a doctorate from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has been active in three community theaters. Phyllis is a retired teacher who writes for children and adults. She writes fiction and nonfiction books, poetry and plays. A list of her 92 books can be found on her web site,

Excerpt from the play:


Three children: The Captain, First Mate, and Second Mate.

The children are in a boat which can be a blanket laid out on the floor. They are anchored in a bay close to an island and are fishing. They use yardsticks or branches for fishing poles, with string tied on as a fishing line. One string has a bottle with note in it tied to the end of its line. On the nearby beach are several objects, including cardboard boxes for rocks, and branches for shrubs and palm trees.

a pirate hat or scarf, toy shovels, costume jewelry, a branch to serve as a palm tree, and a large box to be the rock, and a small box to be the treasure chest. Two notes, one has the clue written on it, and one has a treasure map drawn on it.)

AT RISE: It is early morning and all three players sit in the boat fishing. One, wearing a hat, is the captain of the crew.

Aaar! The fish ain’t biting today. I wonder why.

I’ll tell ye why. There be crocodiles here that are scaring the fish away.

Yer daft. I haven’t seen any sign of crocodiles.

That’s because they keep below the water. Or maybe they’re invisible. But deep in my bones I can feel that crocodiles are near. See those bubbles over there? (points.)

Aye, I see bubbles, but I don’t see any crocodiles.

Avast! Shiver me timbers! I think I’ve caught something.

(Captain pretends to be landing a big fish. When he pulls in his line, they see that he has hooked a bottle with a note inside. They crowd close together as the captain pulls out the note.)

Yo, ho, ho! What could this be? Look! There be skull and crossbones on it. I think it may be a message from some other pirate. Maybe one who came to this island long ago. (The captain unfolds the note.)

What does it say?

(Starts to read the note aloud.)
Our ship sank here in 1703.
All men were lost in the storm except me.
I buried our treasure. I made a map.
I won’t last much longer, I know that.
So I’ll toss this bottle into the sea
for other brave pirates who follow me.
Lucky ye to have found this clue.
Follow it to riches awaiting you.


Aye, riches. A buried treasure.

Avast! Listen to the clue, mateys.
(Continues reading)
Look around for a rock that’s really big,
And on its north side, start to dig.
Once the treasure map you’ve got,
Remember, that X marks the spot.

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