roosters today chickens tomorrow

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4 characters, 2M, 1F, 1 either. Approximately 5 minutes running time. Short play about the importance of finding meaning in everyday occurrences.

In this delightful short play by Debra A. Cole, a waiting room full of poultry begins to brag about the lives they hope to lead one day. One smart chicken reminds the roosters to not let dreams of tomorrow hold back moments of today.

This script 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:


CONNIE — (F) a hen with a level head
TERI — (M) first rooster who talks a big game
PETRI — (M) second rooster who talks a big game
NURSE — (M/F) a nurse with a small part but very big impact

(The action takes place in modern day in a dentist’s waiting room.)
(Lights come up in a nondescript dentist’s waiting room with a door stage right. Above their heads are photos of healthy chickens and hens smiling on the walls. In three chairs sit two roosters and one hen. The hen sits in the middle chair. All are silently reading magazines with chickens/roosters on the cover. Suddenly, Connie the Hen starts to giggle about what she is reading.)

(giggles) Oh my… The things some roosters will do.
(Teri the Rooster looks over at Connie as if judging her.)

What is SO funny? Are you laughing at me?

(apologetically) Oh… I’m sorry to disturb you as you wait, but this article is talking about grown roosters making coop lists for things to do before they fly. It’s just… funny. (giggles some more)

(irritated) Why, Miss Hen, that is not funny at all. In fact, I myself have BIG plans before I fly the coop.

Big plans, Mr. Rooster-Man? What are your BIG plans that you can’t do right now in your coop at home?

(with pride) I will tell you… (hesitating…trying to find an answer) just give me a minute…

(jumps in with confidence) Well, I don’t know about him, but I’ve got a pretty big list. Why, the first chance I get, I am going to BUNGEE JUMP from the BIG hen house right over the stream below my farm! (jumps up and mimics flying through the air)
(Connie shaking her head in disbelief)

(thinks of one) RIGHT! And before I fly the coop back on that farm of mine, I plan on telling that farmer (jumps up and starts shaking his fist) just how wrong he is about the exact time to cock-a-doodle doo in the morning. (pointing in the air at no one) HE RUSHES IT. HE NEEDS TO RELAX! I’m going to SHOW him! (punching into the air and falling back into the chair)

(shaking her head) You two roosters have BIG talk, but you wouldn’t really do those things. (giggling to herself)

(offended) You are wrong! I just haven’t had an opportunity to be brave yet. BUT I AM GOING TO DO LOTS OF THINGS SOON! (thinks for second) AND another thing, before I fly the coop, I heard that on this little farm down the road, they let roosters jump out of planes and go sailing through the sky! (Pretends to be flying) Can you imagine? I will soon be SOARING like those snotty little hawks that taunt me as I stroll the grounds.

(jumps back up!) EXACTLY, my fellow rooster friend. I have PLENTY of BIG plans! (spreads his hands through the air) IMAGINE… ME… in a scuba suit… hunting… sharks. (everyone looks shocked) That’s right… I said SHARKS! Many don’t think a rooster, and any fowl in general, should be in the water, but I found a guy… who knows a guy… who can make it happen. (standing with hands on hips like a superhero) THAT SHARK WILL BE MINE!

(tries to outdo Petri) Oh, yeah? You think that’s brave? I’ll tell you brave. (whispering to the audience) I heard word about something called a VOLCANO! Well, as I understand it, this thing can BLOW (makes explosions with hands) without any warning, and I plan on hiking one… (hesitates) just as soon as I figure out where one might be located.

(confidently) Oh, yeah? I’ve got you beat! My pen-pal on a farm in Japan…

(trying not to giggle) YOU have a pen-pal?

(defensive) Hey, I am rooster enough to say that I love to write letters!

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