The king is coming to visit, and everyone in the little village wants to impress him. But they are poor. Together, they come up with a solution, but their plan backfires, and hilarity ensues!
This short play is perfect for teaching students about physical comedy and comedic timing. It can also be used as a practice script for Commedia dell’arte. The script includes discussion questions, and director notes regarding casting, costuming, 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.
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Excerpt from the play:
BURGOMEISTER — (M) bossy and arrogant – he believes he alone knows how to greet royalty
KING— (M) open to a new thought process
VILLAGER 1 — (M/F) proud villager
VILLAGER 2 — (M/F) proud villager
VILLAGER 3 — (M/F) proud villager
VILLAGER 4 — (M/F) proud villager
(The action takes place in olden times in a town hall.)
(Lights come up on a small Dutch village town hall with a podium and chairs. The Burgomeister is trying to quiet a noisy room full of villagers talking passionately)
(banging on podium) Quiet down! Quiet down. We will figure this out!
But the King is coming to visit!
We have nothing of value to present to him!
What about roasting a pig?
We have NO pigs to roast! We are a very poor village.
What about a robe made of gold and silver thread?
We haven’t seen gold or silver thread in months! Plain old cotton thread. That’s what we have these days.
We must find something to present him. Something that no other village can provide.
(Burgomeister and the villagers think quietly, and then the Burgomeister finds a solution and is excited.)
I have it! We make the very best rice pudding.
The Burgomeister is correct! My rice pudding is delicious.
Your rice pudding is delicious? Ha! My rice pudding is the very best.
Dream on. My rice pudding is true perfection. (looking around at everyone else) My mom told me so.
We have a solution then! As a village, we will each make our very best rice pudding and present it to the King when he arrives. BUT, as Burgomeister and town leader, it MUST be ME who first presents.
What? Why you?
(puffs chest out to answer) Well, first of all, I am Burgomeister. That means I am in charge of everything that happens in this town. Second, I know the ways of dealing with royalty. Most of you have never met a king. There is very specific etiquette when meeting royalty. I will lead the way.
Well, what are we waiting for? The King arrives tomorrow! EVERYONE TO THEIR KITCHENS!