Why Bananas Belong to the Monkeys is a folktale from Brazil following the tale of a village with too many bananas to harvest on their own. An idea to harvest the bananas comes from a very unlikely source, the old woman who lives down the lane. “Why not have the monkeys help us?” she supposes. Come and join the rest of the village (and full barrel of monkeys) to see how the partnership between a little old woman and a monkey trickster teaches us that teamwork is how you make the dream work, even if it turns out a little differently than you expected!
About the Playwright…
Corinna Rezzelle is thrilled to be a playwright on Drama Notebook! Corinna has been an active actor, director, and stage manager since childhood and a theatre teacher for many years. Holding an M.A. in Educational Theatre and a teaching credential, Corinna’s goal is to create engaging theatrical scripts that all students will enjoy performing. You can purchase her other fantastic scripts, Pecos Bill and the Rip-Roaring Tornado, Puss in Boots, and Peter’s Big Adventure, in Drama Notebook’s Script Library!
Excerpt from the play:
Characters (14+speaking, 5+ ensemble possible):
A long, long time ago, when the earth was very young, there was a little village nestled in the Amazon rainforest that had two inhabitants: the humans and the monkeys. Both thought that the bananas that grew in the mighty trees in the forest belonged to them, and both are meeting tonight to come up with a plan to claim the bananas for their own!
(There is a steady drum beat and the monkeys and humans enter and sit on their respective sides of the stage. The Humans are standing in a circle around their Governor and the Magistrate. The Monkeys are sitting casually on the floor in groups, chattering. The Humans are miming talking while the Monkeys are talking and vice versa.)
Quiet, quiet everyone. The annual meeting of the Capuchins has begun.
(There is still a hubbub.)
Thank you. For such a little monkey, you sure do have a great big voice! Now, monkeys, the banana harvest is upon us, and we need to come up with a plan. Those humans try to trick us out of the bananas every year and we’ve got to outsmart them for once and for all.
That’s right! We need the bananas to survive the winter and the humans are taking all of them for themselves…
So, does anyone have any ideas?
(There is hubbub again amongst the monkeys. In a simultaneous meeting across the town, the villagers are gathered.)
Thank you! For such a little, old woman, you sure do have a big voice! Now, villagers, we need to come up with a solution for the banana harvest this year. Our banana trees have been very fruitful. Do you get it? Fruitful?
You are a comedic genius, Governor.
I am! That I am! We need to come up with a plan to collect the bananas BEFORE the monkeys come and take them all for themselves. Magistrate, please give us the specs on banana consumption by the primates.
(holding up a very complicated line chart)
According to this chart, the monkeys have eaten between 1 and 70.2% of the bananas over the course of the last one to five years. We cannot be certain of the actual data.
Excellent fact-finding, Magistrate. Very detailed and very thorough.
(looking to the villagers) Now, who has ideas as to how we can harvest the bananas safely, without interference from the capuchins? Anyone. Anyone?
(The focus shifts back to the Monkeys)
We could throw things at them!
We could tell them the bananas aren’t really there.
(silly, like they’re hypnotizing Monkey 1)
It’s all just a figment of their imaginations.
We could tie them all up with a bunch of vines and take all the bananas for ourselves while they watch!
There’s got to be a better way…a way they won’t expect.
LITTLEST MONKEY AND OLD WOMAN
How about we use the monkeys (humans) to harvest the bananas for us. We make a deal with them. They get to keep half and we get to keep half.
(There is a pause in both groups and then a huge uproar of laughter from both groups.)