7 characters. 3M, 2F, 1 Either; 10 pages in length. Approximately 10 minutes running time. A twisted fairy tale for children and teens written by Karleen Hayden.

Beauty Inside Out is a hilarious twist to the classic story Little Red Riding Hood. In this version, Red has a crush on Max the Axe and longs for him to take her to the Woodchoppers Ball. Big Brad Wolf offers to help by pretending to have eaten Granny so that Red can play the hero in front of Max. It seemed like the perfect plan until something unexpected happens and makes Red rethink her feelings for Max. This wonderful play teaches children about prejudgment and what truly makes someone beautiful.

Karleen Hayden is a retired first grade teacher who has come to playwriting late in life. She has over 20 years experience with children’s theater, working as Director, Stage Manager, Costumer, Kid and Dog Wrangler, and general go-fer. Karleen is a founding member of the Matinee Theater Players of the Sand Lake Center for Arts, a group dedicated to taking live performances to local schools, assisted living centers and nursing homes, and is the director of Circle of Friends Players, a group of multi-talented “differently abled” adults. Several of her plays have won awards in one act festivals, and she is also the recipient of the Theater Association of New York State Excellence In Writing Award. Karleen currently works as a dog trainer, and competes in Rally and Agility. Her favorite role in life, however, is being Grandma!

Excerpt from the play:

CAST OF CHARACTERS

Narrator
Director
Red Riding Hood
Granny
Big Brad Wolf
Max the Axe
Beast

SETTING: A small cottage in the forest; a rocking chair, 2 small wooden chairs, fake fireplace, fake potted flowers in front of “cottage”.

PROPS: Knitting for Granny, quilt, fake axe or hatchet for Max, empty frozen pizza box, basket, Macy’s shopping bag (or bag from any well-known store – dialogue can be changed to suit the shopping bag).

AT THE RISE: If there is a curtain, the Narrator can step through the curtain and the dialogue between the Narrator and Director can take place in front of the curtain, and the curtain can then open on Granny sitting in her chair. If there is no curtain, Granny can be seen sitting and knitting, and the Narrator/ Directordialogue can take place either SL or SR. 

NARRATOR
Good afternoon (evening/morning), I am The Narrator. The Narrator is a very important. character in any fairy tale or, in fact, in any tale ever told. The Narrator lets the audience know what’s going on, they fill in the gaps, and they keep the action going. But in every fairy tale, story or play, we are known simply as The Narrator. I really don’t think that’s fair. I think I should like to have a name in this play and I shall be called (theatrically) Ricardo!

(Director can step out from behind curtain or enter SL or SR. He/she is clearly not happy. Director and Narrator pantomime a “heated,” whispered conversation in front of the audience. After only a few seconds, Narrator sighs in resignation and turns to audience while Director stomps off in anger.)

NARRATOR
Well, apparently, Ricardo is not acceptable to the Director so for now I humbly remain…The Narrator. And now, let our story begin.

(Scene opens onto or segues into the cottage scene. Fake potted flowers are placed “outside” the cottage. Granny is sitting and knitting. There is a fake fireplace to one side of her and 2 small wooden chairs on the other. On one of the chairs is a quilt. A bench may be subsituted for the chairs, and the quilt can be placed on it.)

NARRATOR
Once upon a time…well, how else would we start a fairy tale? Once upon a time, in a small cottage in the woods, there lived a little old lady. She had a granddaughter whom she adored. Everyone knew the granddaughter because she always wore her favorite accessory – a red cape with a hood. Apparently, proper accessorizing is very important, even in fairy tales! The granddaughter’s real name was Ethel Snootmeyer but everyone in the village called her Little Red Riding Hood. Oh! And here she comes now!

(Enter Red Riding Hood. She is carrying a basket containing a frozen pizza. She mimes knocking on a door.)

RED RIDING HOOD
Knock, knock! Granny? Anybody home?

GRANNY
Why, good morning, dear! Do come in! And what did you bring me today?

RED RIDING HOOD
Well, (looks in basket) Ma made me bring you some bran muffins and prune juice.

GRANNY
EWWWWW!

RED RIDING HOOD
I know, right? But don’t worry. I stopped by The Three Pigs Market and got you your favorite frozen pizza! Ta da! (takes pizza box out of basket)

GRANNY
Oh, bless you, dear! That’s why you’re my favorite grandchild! And you got pepperoni, too!

RED RIDING HOOD
Granny, I’m your only grandchild.

GRANNY
You are a delight in my old age, child! Put the pizza on the fire and we’ll have it for lunch.

(Red Riding Hood looks at the fire, then at the pizza box, then back and the fire and finally just shrugs and tosses the box into the “flames.” Granny rolls her eyes and shakes her head. Red Riding Hood sits in one of the wooden chairs.)

RED RIDING HOOD
What are you knitting, Granny?

GRANNY
I’m making a scarf for my friend, Big Brad Wolf. When I’m done I’m going to make a matching one for his son, Little Brad Wolf. They’re so kind to me, always helping with chores or bringing
me flowers or rabbit stew.

RED RIDING HOOD
That is nice, Granny!

GRANNY
Yes. But it’s so sad the way everyone who doesn’t know him is always afraid of Big Brad Wolf. He might look big and scary but really, he’s such a kind soul. People shouldn’t judge others by their looks.

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