Around the Campfire

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5 characters, flexible gender casting. Approximately 5 minutes running time. Comedic ghost story or Halloween play.

“Around the Campfire” by Debra A. Cole, turns the tables on ghost stories. In this case, ghosts sit around the campfire telling, “people stories!” The ghosts tell chilling tales of lollipops, flowers, and puppies. This tongue-in-cheek play will delight students of all ages!

Includes: discussion questions and production notes regarding casting, costuming, and staging.

Debra A. Cole is a celebrated humanities teacher, youth theatre director, and children’s playwright with degrees in journalism, art history, and elementary education. She understands the needs of young performers and their directors and creates pieces that encourage engaging discussion, creative thought, and quirky playfulness. Her goal is that young performers discover the power and delight that theatre brings to actors and audiences alike.

Visit her website:

Excerpt from the play:


SPECTOR — (M/F) scary storyteller
BANSHEE — (M/F) sweet and a bit afraid of the stories
PHANTOM— (M/F) confident
SHADOW— (M/F) argumentative
LITTLE GIRL— (F) innocent and sweet

(The action takes place around a campfire in the woods.)

(Lights come up around a daytime campfire. Four ghosts, actors wearing sheets with holes for eyes and mouths and wearing red scarves around their ghostly, sheet necks, sit roasting marshmallows in the early morning air.)

(sinisterly) Okay, fellow ghost campers, it is time.

(excitedly) YES! I’ve been waiting for it to get light enough to be scary out here!

(timidly) I don’t know. I hate scary stories. Can’t we just eat our marshmallows and chat?

Come on, Banshee. Here at Camp Hallow, scary stories are a part of our history. Campers have been telling these time-tested tales since the beginning of ghost time. GROW UP! You are such a baby!

(hurt) I’m not a baby. I am grown up. For your information, I’ve been dead for 87 years! How long have you been dead, Shadow?

I am proud to say that I have been haunting these woods and surrounding towns for 96 glorious years. So, I am older and braver than you. (sticks tongue out at Banshee)

Enough, you two. It’s storytime. Come in closer.

(All ghosts move toward Spector.)

Once upon a time, in a bright wooded area, just like this one, a small girl sat with a basket of cookies.

(interrupting) Wait… cookies? That is not scary enough. If you are going to tell a REALLY scary people story, do it right.

Okay… okay. Once upon a time, in a bright wooded area, just like this one, a small girl sat with a basket of… puppies.

Much better. Puppies are so scary!

I once had a puppy see me in the basement of the house I haunt, and I almost soiled my sheets!

Hush, Banshee! Let Spector tell his story.

(Shadow sticks tongue out at Banshee.)

(Banshee pouts with arms crossed.)

Well, this little, happy girl and her precious puppy decided to play…

(interrupts – excited) Ring-Around-The-Rosie!

(excited) Hopscotch!

(nervously) Red Rover, Red Rover?

You are all wrong. These two adorable creatures decided to play… Patty Cake!

(Banshee squeals with fear and Phantom and Shadow pretend to scream and then start laughing at Banshee.)

(worried and afraid) Stop it, everyone. I’m really getting scared. Patty Cake is THE WORST! Maybe we should stop.

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