7 characters; Flexible cast; 6 pages in length. Approximately 5 minutes running time. A comedy based on the Japanese folk tale written by Andy Pavey.

The Straw Millionaire is based on the Japanese folk tale about a very unlucky farmhand. One day, he is granted a wish and told that the first thing he touches will make him rich. Unfortunately, he stumbles and lands in some straw. He takes a piece with him on his travels and finds various people in need and exchanges items with them. When he finally meets a true millionaire, he is surprised to see him so sad. The farmhand tells him that he has found happiness by being selfless, working hard, and helping others. The millionaire is impressed and changes the farmhand’s life for the better. This comedy contains a great message for kids of all ages!

Andy Pavey is a commissioned playwright, who writes short plays for Drama Notebook. He is a student who attends UWC-USA. He previously spent nine years with Davenport Junior Theatre, the second-oldest children’s theatre in the United States, where he acted in productions, managed the props building, and wrote plays for young actors to perform. In addition to writing, Andy is an avid backpacker!

Excerpt from the play:

CAST OF CHARACTERS

Narrator
Farmhand
Horsefly
Mother
Horse
Samurai
Millionaire

At rise: the FARMHAND is working his field, planting crops of some sort. A few piles of hay are sitting on the opposite side of the stage.

NARRATOR
Once upon a time, in a faraway kingdom, there lived a hard-working (but unlucky) farmhand. And by unlucky, I mean REALLY unlucky.

The FARMHAND trips over his own feet and falls to the ground.

FARMHAND (sadly)
What are the odds of that…

NARRATOR
You see, this farmhand worked long hours for low wages, but never complained, no matter the circumstances.

The FARMHAND begins inspecting the crops, but notices the HORSEFLY and jumps back, aghast.

FARMHAND
You again! How dare you?! For years I’ve tried to catch you, but you always get away. I would do anything to get rid of you once and for all!

HORSEFLY
Nothing personal. Buzz. Buzz.

The HORSEFLY buzzes offstage before the FARMHAND can snatch him.

NARRATOR
Well, maybe he complained a few times here and there. But it was justified. I think.

The FARMHAND sits dejectedly next to his crops.

NARRATOR
Suddenly, a great voice shouted out from the skies, calling to the farmhand.

ALL (except FARMHAND and NARRATOR)
Your hard work has kept you honest and kind. Make a wish, and it will come true…

The FARMHAND looks around in disbelief, searching for the source of the sound.

FARMHAND
I wish to be rich! I have worked hard for many years. I want to retire in peace.

NARRATOR
Little did the farmhand know, this wish came with a catch. Like all good wishes.

ALL (except FARMHAND and NARRATOR)
It is done. However, the very first thing you touch will make you rich. Choose wisely.

FARMHAND
The very first thing I touch? Uh-oh.

The FARMHAND begins to walk very slowly and carefully across the stage.

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