New-Traditions

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5 characters, 2F, 2M, and 1 flexible. Approximately 10 minutes running time. Short play by Debra A. Cole about a Princess who doesn’t want to be rescued.

It has always been tradition that the princess is captured by a dragon, and a brave Prince comes to rescue her. But the princess in this play has been practicing sword-fighting and wants to fight the beast herself. Meanwhile, the dragon merely inherited the job and has no interest in hurting people. And the prince? He’s more of a numbers guy who dreams of a life in accounting.

This adorable play challenges archaic traditions and stereotypes in a fun, upbeat way!

This play includes discussion questions, and director’s notes about casting, costumes, and simple set design.

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:
www.debraacole-playwright.com

Excerpt from the play:

CHARACTERS

PRINCESS CATHERINE — (F) strong and confident – not a fan of old-fashioned traditions
PRINCE PHILLIP — (M) open to a new thought process
DRAGON — (M/F) just wants to be loved and appreciated
KING — (M) powerful and believer in tradition
QUEEN — (F) loves her husband but secretly is rooting for her daughter
STUDENT 1 — (M/F) minor role but earns sword combat
STUDENT 2 — (M/F) minor role but earns sword combat

(The action takes place in olden times in a royal chamber, Dragon’s cave, and Sword’s Point Studio.)

(Lights come up in a royal chamber complete with two regal chairs. Both a king and a queen sit with the Princess Catherine standing next to them.)

SCENE 1

PRINCESS CATHERINE
(irritated) But, father, why must I?

KING
It is tradition, daughter. All princesses must go to the dragon’s cave, be captured, and then allow a handsome prince to rescue them.

QUEEN
(grinning awkwardly) That’s how your father won my heart. Tradition.

PRINCESS CATHERINE
Why can’t I just fight the dragon and save myself? I am excellent with a sword. Wait… better yet… why be captured by a dragon in the first place? This is archaic!

KING
I am King. Your mother is Queen. You are a princess. There is a system. We play by the rules, and the rules say you must be captured by a dragon and saved by a prince.

PRINCESS CATHERINE
Which prince?

QUEEN
(nervously, but holding it together) One cannot be picky, dear. The right prince will appear. It’s tradition.

KING
Your mother is right. The bravest, smartest, and most handsome prince will arrive to save you. It’s how it has always worked. Fathers and mothers of princesses all know that the dragon never really hurts princesses; it just houses them. But the rule is that a sword fight must occur, so the legend of your peril will reach the right prince for you, and he will come running to save you.

PRINCESS CATHERINE
Mother! Isn’t there anything you can do? Surely you didn’t want to go through this whole ridiculous routine when you were my age.

(King looks harshly at Queen, and she shrinks into the correct answer.)

QUEEN
(with a fake smile on her face) It is tradition, my dear daughter.

(lights out)

SCENE 2
(Lights come up outside of Dragon’s Cave. Princess Catherine is standing, waiting                with her sworn drawn to face the dragon.)

PRINCESS CATHERINE
(confidently) Okay, I know what father and mother said, but I will not go willingly as a captive to this fiery, evil dragon. I’ve read about these beasts, and I will not let it just… take me. (prepares her body for battle and coaches herself) Sword in hand. Head up. Show no fear. You’ve got this, Catherine.

(A fierce roar can be heard from inside the cave. The sound shakes Catherine,                              but she recovers.)

So, we’re going to play it THAT way, huh? Okay, here we go! Okay, Dragon, my name is Princess Catherine, and I am here NOT to be your prisoner, but to fight you for my freedom. Come out and face my sword.

(Out walks a shy, scared dragon looking very worried.)

DRAGON
Don’t hurt me, princess. I mean you no harm.

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