The Enormous Turnip Royalty-free Play Script for Schools-

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9 characters; Flexible cast. 3 pages in length. Approximately 1-5 minutes running time (depending on casting). A Russian folktale for children with study guide adapted by Janea Dahl.

The Enormous Turnip is a Russian folktale about a farmer and his very large vegetable. In this story, the poor farmer doesn’t have the strength to pull the turnip out of the ground. He asks his wife to help but, together, they STILL can’t pull it out! It will take a lot of help and teamwork from the others on the farm. Winter is coming! Will they ever pull that ginormous turnip out so they’ll have something to eat?

Also included are:

  • The history of the folktale including the original story
  • Discussion questions
  • Pantomime and tableau activities
  • Improvisation activities

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:


Narrator One
Narrator Two
Old Woman

Setting:  A Field.

Time:  Autumn.

SCENE: A farmer plants a seed, sprinkles something on it, and watches as the imaginary turnip grows and grows.

Narrator One
A wise old farmer planted a turnip. He sprinkled magic fertilizer on it, and the turnip grew to be enormous.

Narrator Two
When it was ready to be picked, the old man started to pull the turnip out of the ground. He pulled and pulled, but couldn’t pull it out.

I’m going to need some help! Wife! Wife!

What is it? I’m busy fixin’ your dinner!

We need to get this turnip out of the ground, otherwise, there won’t be any dinner come winter.

Narrator One
So, the old woman took ahold of the farmer and the farmer took ahold of the turnip.

Narrator Two
And they pulled and pulled and pulled, but they couldn’t pull it out.

We’re going to need some help! Granddaughter, granddaughter!

What is it? I’m busy braiding my hair.

We need to get this turnip out of the ground or there won’t be any dinner come winter!

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