America’s Secret is a short play about the amazing women in American history. From the disguised Revolutionary soldier, Deborah Sampson, to first lady, Abigail Adams, students will learn about the female ingenuity and heroism that shaped the New World. Over thirty historical figures can be performed by ten actresses or an entire class! This comedic play makes learning about female heroism inspiring and fun!
Laura Rohrman is is a playwright and actress who grew up in Northern California and moved to New York City to pursue playwriting many years ago. She is the founder of Playwriting for Kids, a specialized program where kids write and perform their own plays. Laura’s plays have been produced all over the world. She is published by Smith and Kraus. MFA: New School for Drama. Link to her work: www.laurarohrman.com or https://newplayexchange.org/users/1786/laura-rohrman
Excerpt from the play:
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Native Americans (3)
Music plays as the entire cast enters in a line.
Hello, folks, this is a little bit of history of America.
Before we had women’s rights, we had some founding women we’d like to talk about.
So this is the story of our founding mothers.
The women who paved our way came from all over.
But some came from right here. Some of the most important women in our story were born here.
Some were brought here as slaves and that was a very harsh life.
Some were born into wealthy families and could read and write.
They could cook, sew, weave, plant and run a household.
These days we all enjoy things like cupcakes and candy.
And conveniences like McDonalds.
And women can vote!
We’ve got Starbucks and Nintendo Switch.
We have roads, railroads, bridges and tolls.
CHILD 3 & 4:
We have cars.
And bikes and —
You Tube! Kids YouTube and cupcakes.
You said that.
And Apple Pencil for digital drawing. It’s so cool.
And skyscrapers and public bathrooms that flush.
Flushing toilets — I can’t imagine.
But before all of that. We had a beautiful country before us with trees, mountains and rivers and all kinds of animals.
Kids act like animals.
The Europeans came and found The New Land!
Hello! I’ve found this new land, with trees, chirping birds, and rivers. It’s ours.
Hey, there were people here, too. Hello.
What? Who? Oh, you? Hello, I’m John Smith — I came here on a boat. I want to start a colony…right here and…what should we call this place? It’s lovely. Let’s trade.
It was 1609 when John Smith Landed and the English Colonies began.
At first they were friendly with their neighbors.
Oh yes, I really like this food. You don’t mind a little disease do you?
(Running with a blanket and passing them out, she sings) Blanket, blanket…
CHILD 4 & 5
Who wants a blanket?
I want a blanket. Thanks.
He’s so nice.
Girls start to act sick and fall over.
The Native people living here didn’t have immunities to all the diseases the white people brought with them.
You know those shots we get from the doctors. They protect us from all kinds of diseases.
The group of Indians fall over.
We have no immunities.
But soon, we realized that the new white people just wanted more.
And more and more and more…
You don’t mind if we just take this little bit of extra space do you?
Or cut down that tree –I need a house.
And a store!
The chief is getting angry with folded arms.
Hello, I’m Pocahantas. The first woman of note. That’s right. You know what I did?!
I saved that white man who wanted our land – John Smith. John Smith?
You must leave at once. My father will kill you.
Leave this new land that is so abundant?
Just leave the area, I guess. Get out of the way…
Was that an arrow? Oh my. Let me get my guns.
Indian group shoots arrows.
Well, I saved him didn’t I? And they kept coming and coming and coming…
The setting for the Revolution!
Oh, hello, everyone. I’m King George, as in king of England and owner of so many countries… including the Americas. So great we got that one wasn’t it, darling? There’s lots of trees there.
Yes, dear. Sure was. Too bad we cut down most of our tress.
They dance to ball music. Everyone joins in.