The Sleepy Bear

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6 characters, 1F, 5 any gender. Approximately 10 minutes running time. Comedic play by Debra A. Cole about natural disasters.

The town of Chaosville is dealing with a strange series of natural disasters. All the townspeople are too busy to investigate, so little Maggie decides to solve the mystery. When she discovers the surprising cause, it is up to her to save the day.

This adorable play helps students start conversations about natural disasters and their effect on communities. Includes discussion questions and director notes regarding casting, set and costumes.

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.

Visit her website:

Excerpt from the play:


MAYOR — (M/F) pompous and full of himself/herself
BAKER — (M/F) always worried about baked goods
TEACHER — (M/F) a bit controlling
INNKEEPER — (M/F) always ready for guests
MAGGIE — (F) clever and brave
BEAR — (M/F) so, so tired

(The action takes place in any time period in a small town and in the woods just outside of town.)

(Lights come up on a small town with store signs all askew. Signs read Town Hall, Bakery, School, and Inn. The Baker, Teacher, and Innkeeper all run onto stage.)


(visibly shaken) What was that?

(out of breath) That shook my entire classroom! My students had to hide under their desks! This is outrageous!

(angry) My guests were enjoying warm soup in our dining hall, before turning in for the night, when all of a sudden, the earth started to move! I thought we were going to fall right through the ground! How will I make money without satisfied guests?

You think you have problems? In order to bake the perfect cake, I need my oven to NOT MOVE! Now I have cake batter everywhere! Batter is life! What on earth was that?

(The Mayor enters from stage right.)

Mayor! Do you know anything about what just happened?

As Major of Chaosville, I decree that we just had an earthquake!

Earthquake? We don’t have earthquakes here in our town.

Yeah. There is not a single fault line nearby. What on earth could be causing an earthquake now?

(Maggie enters stage left. She is whistling a tune.)

I can find out.

(Everyone turns and looks at this little girl.)

You? What on earth can you do?

You are just a little girl. Leave this to the grownups. Get back to class.

Where is your mother, little one? Shouldn’t you be safe at home?

The rumbling started in the woods nearby. Let me find the source. These earthquakes are not safe for Chaosville. By the way, who decided what the name would be for our town? Bad choice, if you ask me.

She does have a point. Nonetheless, more earthquakes could cause quite a bit of damage for everyone. Kid, if you want to explore, knock yourself out! I am heading back to an important meeting. Busy, busy, busy. (Mayor quickly moves off stage)

I have rolls to make. This town needs it bread! (Baker takes off)

My guest beds won’t make themselves at the inn. Money doesn’t make itself! (Innkeeper takes off)

Well, little lady, it looks like you are the only one left who can solve this mystery. Be careful and use your head. I’ve taught you well. It is time to be the clever girl I know you can be.

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