The Velveteen Rabbit is a short adaptation of Margery Williams’ story about a young boy’s toys that have come to life. In this version, the toys fight over who is the boy’s favorite. Cowboy is certain that he is most loved but when the boy becomes ill, he finds him cuddling with the velveteen rabbit. The doctor orders all the toys to be incinerated when the boy is diagnosed with scarlet fever but the velveteen rabbit hides under the bed. Later, the boy returns and finds the rabbit and tells him how much he meant to him. This is a sweet play for children about how the love of a child can make any toy real!
Andy Pavey is Drama Notebook’s resident playwright. Andy has written over 40 plays for Drama Notebook’s Script Library and each one will have you laughing out loud. Andy hails from the tiny riverside town of LeClaire, Iowa. Andy enjoys writing (of course), reading, backpacking, and riding his bicycle. After studying for two years at UWC-USA, an international residential school in New Mexico, he returned to his home state to attend Grinnell College. 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. Enthralled with creative writing since he was very young, he is thrilled to be working with Drama Notebook to inspire others to think outside the box.
Excerpt from the play:
CAST OF CHARACTERS
A child’s bedroom.
The TOYS sit in the BOY’s room alone, scattered around. There is a bed and a doorway that leads off-stage. The DOCTOR stands to the side, occasionally narrating the events of the play.
Once upon a time and all that jazz, a band of misfit toys sat in their owner’s room and talked about the events of the week.
So, anyone have any good stories to tell from this week? The boy was at school most of the time, but I bet you all still got some good play-time in, right? (to the audience) None as much as me, I’m sure…
The other day, Cowboy and I tracked down some bandits, brought them to the sheriff’s office and collected the prize money! It was pretty exciting. The boy played with us all day.
Well, to be completely fair, he was really just playing with me. You were more of a set piece, friend.
The HORSE rolls his eyes.
POGO STICK (hopping between each word)
I’m – more – of – a – summer – toy – myself – so – I – am – just – waiting – for – the – weather – to – change.
Sure, we’ve all heard the “summer toy” excuse before, Pogo. Remember beach ball? He “waited for the weather to change” for three years before he deflated completely. That was a dark day. It makes me so sad. (getting teary-eyed) I think I might cry…
Oh dear. Here she goes again.
BABY DOLL (crying)
I put out an imaginary fire yesterday. Impressive, right? You should have seen me in action! Man, I am just the greatest, don’t you think?
VELVETEEN RABBIT (sarcastically)
You’re also the single most humble person I’ve ever met. Congratulations.
The toys didn’t much like the Velveteen Rabbit – he was far too homely and plain compared to their flashiness.
At the very least, can we all agree that our dear old pal, the Velveteen Rabbit, gets played with the least?
Oh, definitely. The last time they carted him out was for that cheesy Easter family photo. When they were done with him, back into the toy box he went. (to the VELVETEEN RABBIT) Believe me, I’m genuinely sad for you. My condolences. I can cry if that would make you feel better.
No, no thank you. I appreciate it though. (to the group) And y’know what? That was a very tasteful photo, and I was happy to be a part of it.
FIRE ENGINE (clapping the VELVETEEN RABBIT on the back)
Face it, pal! You were just a prop and nothing more.
How does one even play with an antique stuffed rabbit, anyways? You can’t do anything. You just sit there. All the rest of us are smart, or strong, or fast, or at least somewhat useful.
The baseball mitt is correct. It would probably be best for them to throw you up on a bookshelf and use you as a conversation piece or something.
COWBOY (with a sly smile)
Face it, rabbit. The boy has moved on.
The VELVETEEN RABBIT looks dejected.
PARENT (from off-stage)
Okay, it’s time for bed now. Let’s get you tucked in.
When the TOYS hear them coming, they drop to the ground, suddenly lifeless. They look around comically, even though their bodies are frozen.
The BOY and the PARENT enter through the doorway.
My goodness, your room is a mess again. (exasperated, to the audience) How does this happen every day, without fail? (to the BOY, smiling) Sometimes I wonder about you, kiddo.
The BOY climbs nervously into bed.
I’ve told you, it’s really not my fault…
Well, then whose fault is it? I certainly don’t rummage through your room day in and day out and wreak havoc on your toy box. I’m no helicopter parent.
It’s not that simple… I’ve told you before, my toys move around at night. It’s scary.
I’m sure your toys just need to stretch their legs a little! With you away at school so much, they probably don’t get many chances to have fun anymore.
I never thought of it like that. Maybe you’re right. Good night.