16+ characters. 5M, 7F, 4+ Either; 13 pages in length. Approximately 10-15 minutes running time. A fractured fairy tale for children and teens written by Karleen Hayden.

The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk is a hilarious adaptation of the classic story and perfect for a large cast production. In this fractured fairy tale, Jack’s mother sends him out to sell a toilet plunger so they can buy some food. Yes, a toilet plunger. Along the way, Jack meets and barters with many other favorite fairy tale characters and even meets the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus! Never arriving home with the cash they need, Jack’s mother is furious and tells him not to return until he has it. Will he and his mother starve? Will Jack ever stop trading for silly items? Will Goldilocks become his new sweetheart? This comedy is just right for children and teens! 

Karleen Hayden is a retired first grade teacher who has come to playwriting late in life. She has over 20 years of experience with children’s theater, working as Director, Stage Manager, Costumer, Kid and Dog Wrangler, and general go-fer. Karleen is a founding member of the Matinee Theater Players of the Sand Lake Center for Arts, a group dedicated to taking live performances to local schools, assisted living centers and nursing homes, and is the director of Circle of Friends Players, a group of multi-talented “differently abled” adults. Several of her plays have won awards in one act festivals, and she is also the recipient of the Theater Association of New York State Excellence in Writing Award. Karleen currently works as a dog trainer and competes in Rally and Agility. Her favorite role in life, however, is being Grandma!

Excerpt from the play:

CAST OF CHARACTERS

NARRATOR 1
NARRATOR 2
JACK:  Young boy
MOTHER:  Jack’s stern mother
PAPA BEAR:  Bear family patriarch
MAMA BEAR:  Papa’s wife
BABY BEAR:  Young bear
GOLDILOCKS:  Maid for the Bear Family
RED RIDING HOOD:  Young girl, forest dweller
BIG BAD WOLF:  Big, furry creature
LITTLE BO PEEP:  Local shepherdess
FAIRY GODMOTHER:  Granter of wishes
TOOTH FAIRY:  Local tooth collector
SANTA CLAUS:  Most famous Christmas guy
MAYOR: Mayor of The Village
MRS. MAYOR:  Mr. Mayor’s wife
TOWNSPEOPLE: as many townsfolk as needed

SETTING:  Inside a Fairy Tale; a cottage with 2 chairs and a cooking pot

PROPS:  Cooking pot and spoon (for the cottage); Toilet plunger (should be new); Feather Duster (Goldilocks); Grain bag; Walking stick or cane Large pliers; 2 scrolls (Santa’s lists)

AT THE RISE:  There are 2 plain wooden chairs (stools, blocks) center stage. Between the 2 chairs is a cooking pot with wooden spoon sticking out. Jack and his mother are sitting and staring dejectedly into the cooking pot.

NARRATOR 1
Jack and his mother are very poor.

NARRATOR 2
They have no money and have run out of food.

MOTHER
Jack, we’re out of money and food. We have to sell something.

JACK
What’s left? (looks around in disbelief)

MOTHER
This! (reaches down beside her and pulls out a toilet plunger)

JACK  (horrified)
A TOILET PLUNGER?

MOTHER
Well, it’s very useful and it’s all we have left. Go to town and sell it.

JACK
You’re joking.

MOTHER
Listen, Jack, we’re poor and starving. We’ve sold everything but the cooking pot

JACK  (reluctantly takes plunger)
Yuck! Well, ok.

MOTHER
And don’t come back here without some money.

JACK  (Starts to leave; hesitates)
Hey, wait. Aren’t I supposed to trade a cow for some beans or something?

MOTHER
That’s a fairy tale, Jack. This is real life. Now, beat it.

(Jack leaves the cottage and begins “walking” to town)

NARRATOR 1
Jack takes the plunger and heads for town.

NARRATOR 2
As he walks over hill and dale and hill and dale, he meets some very strange characters.

(Enter Three Bears and Goldilocks)

JACK
Hello! Who are you?

PAPA BEAR
How do you do? (shakes hands with Jack) I’m Papa Bear.

MAMA BEAR
And I’m Mama Bear. (curtsies)

BABY BEAR
Hi, I’m Baby Bear.

ALL THE BEARS
We’re the Three Bears!

GOLDILOCKS
And I’m Goldilocks, the maid. I make the beds. You know…The bed that’s too big, the bed that’s too small, the bed that’s just right. BOOOOOORRRRRING.

PAPA BEAR  (pointing to toilet plunger)
What do you have there, son?

JACK
Oh…Um…Well…(can’t believe the bears don’t know what it is) This is a toilet plunger.

BABY BEAR
What does it do?

GOLDILOCKS  (to audience)
Can you believe these guys?

JACK
Well, it’s for, um…(pantomimes plunging a toilet)

MAMA BEAR  (grabs plunger away from Jack and holds it up to admire it)
Papa! This would be perfect for stirring my porridge!

GOLDILOCKS
EWWWW! GROSS!

BABY BEAR
Yum! Porridge!

JACK  (looks at audience and grins; he thinks he can sell the plunger to the Bears)
How much will you pay me for it?

PAPA BEAR
PAY you? This is a fairy tale, Jack. We don’t have any money.

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