Two princesses and a brave knight are on a quest to free Prince Peter the Wise from a locked dungeon. The princesses fight over their “true love” behind the guarded door, but what awaits them may not be everyone’s true destiny.
This short play challenges traditional gender stereotypes in a humorous way. With colorful characters and vibrant dialogue, it is sure to delight students and audiences alike!
This play includes discussion questions, and director’s notes on casting 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.
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Excerpt from the play:
BRAVE KNIGHT — (F) strong, smart, and clever
PRINCESS JAEL — (F) aggressive and greedy
PRINCESS ARABELLA — (F) beautiful and not so bright
GUARD #1 — (M/F) stoic and faithful
GUARD #2 — (M/F) stoic and faithful
PRINCE PETER — (M) quiet and a big reader
(The action takes place in fairy tale times outside a locked castle dungeon door.)
(Lights come up on stage with a dungeon door stage right. The space is dark and full of torch lights in order to see. In front of the door stand two castle guards. Enter stage left holding more torches, one brave knight in full regalia accompanies two elaborate, decorative, and tacky princesses. The audience cannot see much of the knight except for the face. They are just out of sight of the guards standing watch over the dungeon door.)
We must rescue Prince Peter the Wise. (worried) But look at those guards! They are the last two obstacles keeping me from true love that is rightfully MINE!
(confidently) Jael, dear sister of mine, this prince is for me. I am the fairest in the land, so rightfully, a catch like Prince Peter the Wise, should clearly be MINE! (blows out like she had been holding her breath) Whew! That sounded good, right? I heard someone say that once. A princess does marry a prince… right?
(gives a “duh” look) Your prince? What a laugh, dear sister Arabella! Prince Peter the Wise is not looking for a soft and forgetful princess. He is looking for a bold, wild, and sassy princess like myself.
(Both princesses glare at one another.)
Dear sisters, the right princess will receive her just rewards and Prince Peter the Wise’s proposal, but first, we must free him from this dungeon.
Oh, thank you! (to herself) Yes… a princess needs a prince. I don’t know why I keep forgetting that.
While you two stand here and do NOTHING, I am going to visit that Guard over there! (pointing to Guard #1) I am sure I can manipulate him into letting my prince go!
Dear Sister, Princess Jael, let me do this. I have a plan, and I know it will work. I have given much thought to Prince Peter the Wise’s freedom.
(pushing the brave knight out of the way) Out of my way, brave knight, plans are for GEEKS! I’ve got this.
(Princess Jael moves aggressively toward Guard #1 and says loudly and powerfully.)
Okay, Mr. Guard, I am Princess Jael, and I am here to save my prince. STAND BACK!
Excuse me? Did you just tell me no?
Now, YES is an answer I am used to! Out of my way, guard. My destiny awaits behind that door, and no one is going to stop me.
Okay, pal. I’ve been relatively kind up to this point, (screaming) BUT. I. WANT. MY. PRINCE!
(Discouraged, Princess Jael stomps back to Princess Arabella and the Brave Knight.)
So, how did that work out for you?
Uh….not so well. (stomps foot) BUT why won’t that mean guard listen to me? I am Princess Jael! I ALWAYS get what I want because… well…I’m a princess!