Mystery Play Script for Kids-Rainforest Murder

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14+ characters. Flexible casting. 5 pages in length. Approximately 5-10 minutes running time. An action-packed adventure for children and teens by Barbara Henderson.

Rainforest Murder is a short play about two rival teams of nature photographers. Exploring the rainforest in search of the elusive parakaribar, a jealous photographer pushes another out of their helicopter causing it to crash. The survivors will be forced to fight off poisonous frogs and thieving monkeys, but they’ll have to work together to rescue their photographer from a terrifying tribe! A short, action-packed play that teaches the value of teamwork.

Barbara Henderson is a German-born novelist and playwright and has lived in Scotland since 1991. She acquired an MA in English Language and Literature, a husband, three children and a shaggy dog along the way. She now teaches drama, although if you dig deep in her past you will find that she has earned her crust as a puppeteer, relief librarian and receptionist among others. Barbara is the author of Fir for Luck and Crystal-Kite, the shortlisted Punch, both historical novels for children, and children’s eco-thriller Wilderness Wars, all published by Cranachan. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and has won several national and international short story competitions. She lives in Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland. You can find her other plays:The Magic Necklace, A Brief Christmas Carol, A Fly in the Eye, Captain Stragglybeard’s Apprentice, Dare to Remember, Everything Leaves a Mark, Here We Come, Read Me, Roll of the Dice, and Weird World of Weather here in Drama Notebook’s Script Library.

Excerpt from the play:


Explorer 1: the photographer for Team 1.
Explorer 2: the photographer for Team 2.
Team 1: Includes Explorer 1 with 2-3 others.
Team 2: Includes Explorer 2 with 2-3 others.
Poisonous frogs
Tribal people
Journalists: 1-4, plus extra if needed.

NOTE: POISONOUS FROGS, MONKEYS, and TRIBAL PEOPLE are onstage but do not have any lines.

(Opening music SFX)

Scene 1: Plane

High in the skies above the dense rainforest, a helicopter flew. On board were two groups of photographers, explorers of places like these. (different uniforms)

Altitude just over 1000 feet.

Don’t lean out too far. You definitely don’t want to land down there.

Yes. Poisonous creatures, savage tribes, and no civilisation for hundreds of miles.

Look at these photographs! (turns round)

Team 1

Look at these photographs.

Team 2

I’m so upset that the rival magazine journalists are on the same flight. I bet they are also trying to catch the golden grail of nature photography. Never been captured on camera before, a parakaribar in full flight.

Team 2
There! A parakaribar in full flight! Take a pic!

What? Come on, camera, switch on!

(Taking photos) These images will make us a fortune.

I’m missing the opportunity of my career!

This is the opportunity of my career.

(looking down) It’s gone.

EXPLORER 1 and Team 1

EXPLORER 2 and Team 2
A triumph!

EXPLORER 1 glares.


EXPLORER 1 pushes EXPLORER 2 out of the helicopter. Shadow puppetry model falls out of helicopter.

Team 2
You pushed him out

Team 1
And the problem is…?


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