3 characters. 2F, 1M. 4 pages in length. Approximately 5 minutes running time. A short play for children about a gift for a princess written by Phyllis J. Perry.

The Best Birthday Ever is a short play for three children. It is getting close to the princess’ birthday and the king and queen don’t have any idea what to give her. They assume she’ll want a new crown or a pretty new dress but decide to ask her just to be sure. When they find her working in her vegetable garden, she tells them the two things she would really like to have and it will surprise them both!

This play is also included in Plays For You And A Friend Or Two, a compilation of twelve short plays, each with 2 or 3 characters, and simple staging. The plays are written for elementary school children and include: THREE STICKS; LOST AND FOUND; THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER; THE MAGIC HAT; PIRATE TREASURE; CALYPSO, THE ROYAL DRAGON; TWO FUSSY FROGS; IN THE CAVE; GLOOMY, RAINY DAY; NEVER EMPTY STEW POT; HICCUPS; and FOR YOU OR FOR ME?. These fun plays are full of friendship, humor, fantasy, and magic and children will love to perform them in class or on stage!

Phyllis J. Perry lives in Boulder, Colorado. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, holds a Masters Degree from San Francisco State, and a doctorate from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has been active in three community theaters. Phyllis is a retired teacher who writes for children and adults. She writes fiction and nonfiction books, poetry and plays. A list of her 92 books can be found on her web site, www.phyllisjperry.com.

Excerpt from the play:

CAST OF CHARACTERS

THE PLAYERS:
King, Queen, and Princess

SETTING:
The throne room of the palace

PROPS:
A full skirt for the princess to wear in the opening scene over her long pants, a hat, gloves, a toy dog with a bow around its neck, paper crowns for the king and queen with towels pinned over their shoulders for capes, and two chairs to serve as thrones.

AT RISE: The king and queen are talking together while sitting on their thrones.

QUEEN
Your majesty, I cannot think of a suitable present to give our daughter, the princess, for her birthday, which is in just two days.

KING
That shouldn’t be hard. Why not a doll, a ball, or a book?

QUEEN
All very good ideas, your majesty. But she already has many dolls and balls and books. I was hoping to give her something different.

KING
Hmmm. (He rubs his chin and thinks hard.) How about a new crown? Crowns are always shiny and pretty. You can never have too many of them.

QUEEN
Your majesty, it would hard for the royal jeweler to make one in just two days. Besides, she already has a lovely crown and you know she seldom wears it. She is always running about, chasing butterflies, or digging in the dirt with the gardener.

KING
Yes, yes. You are quite right, my dear. Hmmm. (He rubs his chin again and thinks hard.) Perhaps the thing to do is to simply ask her what she wants.

QUEEN
But then it won’t be a surprise!

KING
True, but it will be something she really wants.

QUEEN
Quite right, my dear. Let’s go ask her. Perhaps she is in the library reading.

(King and Queen walk to the library and look, but the princess is not there.)

KING
Could she be in the stables? You know how she loves to be around the animals. (King and Queen go and search in the stables.) Well, she’s not here, either.

QUEEN
She might be out in the garden. She’s always digging there. (King and Queen go search in the garden.) Ah! Here she is.

(Princess is startled to see the King and Queen out in the garden. She curtsies.)

PRINCESS
Oh, your Royal Fatherness and your Royal Motherness. I’m so happy to see you. Did you want to speak with me?

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