Nobleman Kane has always gotten his way by ordering others around…that is, until he meets Astrid. Astrid is a head-strong farmer’s daughter who tricks the nobleman, and teaches him to honor the needs of others, not just of himself. Great script to use for Commedia dell’arte practice or performance!
This play includes discussion questions, and director’s notes about casting and costumes.
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Excerpt from the play:
KANE — (M) a lonely and awkward nobleman who listens to others instead of himself
FARMER — (M) a humble farmer who wants to honor his landowner
ASTRID — (F) a beautiful and clever daughter who will not be bullied
ANDOR — (M/F) servant – pushes Nobleman Kane to greatness
DAG — (M/F) servant – a believer in true love and kindness
NILS — (M/F) servant – follows Andor and believes in noble power
PIG — (M/F) LARGE farm animal at Bonde Farm
VILLAGERS — (M/F) audience at the noble wedding
(The action takes place in Medieval Norway on a simple farm and at Slott Kane. SLOTT is a Norwegian word for castle.)
(Scene opens in Slott Kane – an ornate Norwegian castle. The sad Nobleman Kane sits on an elaborate and decorative chair looking very unhappy. Three servants, Andor, Dag, and Nils stand at attention – ready to serve)
(to the other servants) Nobleman Kane is not himself today.
He is without a wife. A true partner in life would lift his spirits.
But he is a nobleman. All he has to do is ask, and any woman in Norway would be his.
Ask? All he has to do is just take! It is his birthright! Any woman in the village or country would be honored to join him here in Slott Kane!
Take? I don’t think that is a good idea. Love is kindness. Love is compromise. Love is mutual respect. Love is…
(Nils and Andor look at Dag as if he/she is crazy)
… well… it is….
Nonsense. He is a man with great wealth and power. He should take what he wants.
Perhaps we should remind him of this. (moves toward Nobleman Kane) Nobleman, Kane, as your servants, we are here to be of assistance.
Is it a wife that would make you happy?
(the idea pops in his head) A wife! That is the answer to my loneliness. How is it that you knew?
Love is the meeting of two souls, seeing both the light and the dark….
(Nils and Andor look irritated again – Dag notices)
You need a wife, sir. I have heard word of a local farmer with a daughter as fair as morn. His name is Farmer Bonde, and his daughter Astrid is certainly a prize to take.
You should head into the country and ask for her hand in marriage. Perhaps she is your soulmate.
Ask? Ha! You should demand she be yours, for you are a nobleman. Who of right mind would refuse you?
Show her that strong chin. (Nobleman Kane pushes chin out) Flex those muscles. (Nobleman Kane flexes awkwardly)
Show her the keys to your grand Slott! (Nobleman Kane grabs keys out of pocket and twirls them around – they ultimately hit the ground)
Farmer Bonde, you say? Why, I own the deed to his land. This will be easy. You are right. I am lord of this Slott, and any woman would be honored to be my wife. Wait until the villagers see what a beautiful bride will be mine.
(Nobleman Kane exist stage right)
This is not going to end well. Mark my words.