18 characters. 6 pages in length. Approximately 6 minutes running time. A short nursery rhyme adaptation by playwright, Mariah Beachboard.

18 Siblings in the Old Woman’s Shoe is an adaptation of Mother Goose’s nursery rhyme, ‘There was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe.’ In this version of the tale, the Old Lady’s eighteen children tell the story about the time a bird suddenly flew into their home. With the old woman away, the children must work together to “shoo” the bird back outside! This short play is perfect for young actors to perform!

Mariah Beachboard has taught acting and directing over 13 years. She directed Mary PoppinsHonk!Scapin, and The Canterbury Tales for CYT Fredericksburg. She performed with Theatre IV, Carpenter Science Theatre Company, the Rude Mechanicals, and Riverside Dinner Theatre in Virginia, and with Theatre Huntsville in Alabama. As co-owner of Spoken Word Events, LLP, she co-wrote and produced marketing videos for the Spotsylvania Education Foundation. Mrs. Beachboard holds a BA from Mary Washington College (MWC) and toured in Turkey with the college’s acting troupe. She apprenticed with the Fredericksburg Theatre Company. She holds an MBA in Marketing from American Intercontinental University. Most recently she was named a finalist in the Rocket City Playwright Series. Currently, she studies voice acting at Hollywood Huntsville. She hopes to work one day with the creative networks Minnow Beats Whale or Night Vale Presents.

Excerpt from the play:

CAST OF CHARACTERS

One: Narrator

Two: Usually optimistic

Three: Easily traumatized

Four: Sardonic

Five: Ready to defend!

Six: A kid who favors action!

Seven: Matter-of-fact

Eight: Dislikes unpleasantness

Nine: Impatient

Ten: A hero

Eleven: Observant

Twelve: Appreciates beauty

Thirteen: Pragmatic

Fourteen: Easily amazed

Fifteen: Sarcastic

Sixteen: A crybaby

Seventeen: A jerk

Eighteen: A cheerleader

(A gaggle of kids are clumped together into 3 or 4 groups. In the center of each of these groups is a board game – minus the pieces)

ONE

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe – with a lot of kids.

TWO

We live peacefully and play nicely together.

THREE

(Laughs) What house have you been living in?!

FOUR

THREE is right. We are a rowdy bunch.

(The kids are noisy for exactly 3 seconds.)

FIVE

We fight over everything!

SIX

That’s my hair tie.

SEVEN

I clearly remember wearing this yesterday.

EIGHT

Nuh-uh! You wore this other black hair tie.

NINE

How do you expect her to remember which is which?

TEN

They are exactly alike!

ELEVEN

I can tell the difference.

TWELVE

Me too! See the frayed part there?

THIRTEEN

SEVEN wears the frayed one.

FOURTEEN

EIGHT wears the stretched one. Oh yeah!

SEVEN

Oh yeah!

EIGHT

Oh yeah!

FIFTEEN

(sarcastic) Well, I’m glad we got that straightened out.

SIXTEEN

Now let’s talk about important things!

SEVENTEEN

Like why you always steal my broth!

EIGHTEEN

Oh brother!

ONE

ONE day we faced a real problem. A HUGE problem.

TWO

It wasn’t so terrible.

THREE

Are you kidding me? I was traumatized.

FOUR

THREE, everything “traumatizes” you.

FIVE

Hey! Don’t make fun of Three!

SIX

Hey knock it off!

SEVEN

ONE is trying to tell a story.

EIGHT

Do we have to tell that story?

NINE

It’s so embarrassing.

TEN

I like it!

ELEVEN

You would.

TWELVE

What does that mean?

THIRTEEN

It means Ten only likes it because Ten gets to be a hero.

FOURTEEN

We were all heroes.

FIFTEEN

Hmm, really? I wouldn’t say Sixteen was a hero. Sixteen screamed like a baby.

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