Treasure Island-A Radio Play

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18 characters. 28 pages long. Approximately 30 minutes running time. Radio play version of the classic book by Robert Louis Stevenson. (5 credits)

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson is a classic tale of a young boy named Jim Hawkins who finds a map of a pirate treasure island in the mid-1700s. He and his compatriots find the island, overcome a crew of mutinous pirates and return to England with the treasure.

This radio play adaptation stays true to the original story/dialogue and gives young performers an opportunity to explore this theatrical style!

Ruth Landowne-Giordano is pleased to join the writers at Drama Notebook.  She has been active in the performing arts since early childhood ballet, teen years on – and backstage at the Brown Ledge Camp theatre, College years following the urge to perform at the O’Neill Memorial Theatre Center. Facing adulthood, she turned to costuming and then took time out for family. Years later: adapting plays and stories for radio drama. Producing and directing both live shows and recordings-for-broadcast in Taipei, Taiwan. Recently returned to Massachusetts and learning more about audio recording as a means to preserve radio dramatic works.

More plays by Ruth Giordano…

Jack and the Beanstalk Radio Play
Stone Soup Radio Play
A Tree Called Aesop

Excerpt from the play:

CHARACTERS

STUDIO ANNOUNCER — opens and closes the performance.
JIM HAWKINS – The first-person narrator of almost the entire novel. Here, he tells the story of his adventure as a teen.
YOUNG JIM is present in flashback.
BILL BONES – The old seaman who resides at Jim’s parents’ inn. Billy, who used to be a member of LONG JOHN SILVER’s crew, is surly and rude.
MOTHER – Jim Hawkins’ mother. Proprietor of the Admiral Benbow Inn
DR. LIVESEY – The local doctor. Dr. Livesey (pronounced LIV-cee), is wise and practical, as his name suggests. DR. LIVESEY represents the steady, modest virtues of everyday life rather than fantasy, dream, or adventure.
BLIND PEW – An old, blind beggar and pirate. Pew can be seen as an angel of death, foreshadowing the many pirate deaths in the novel.
PIRATES – DIRK & JOHNNY, SEAMAN, MERRY & MORGAN
SERVANT
SQUIRE TRELAWNY
– A local Bristol nobleman. Trelawney arranges the voyage to the island to find the treasure. He is associated with civic authority and social power, as well as with the comforts of civilized country life.
OFFICER
CAPTAIN FLINT– the parrot “what belongs to LONG JOHN SILVER”
LONG JOHN SILVER – The cook on the voyage to Treasure Island. Silver is the secret ringleader of the pirate band. Silver is a powerful mixture of charisma and self- destructiveness, individualism and recklessness.
CAPTAIN SMOLLETT – The captain of the ship on the voyage to Treasure Island

OPENING MUSIC

STUDIO ANNOUNCER: Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to the [name of school or club] Radio Hour. Today, we’ll bring you a tale of adventure on the high seas, a beloved tale of pirates, secret maps, buried treasure and revenge: “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson.

MUSIC

JIM HAWKINS:(right mic) Squire Trelawney and Doctor Livesey having asked me to write down the whole story about Treasure Island, from the beginning to the end, keeping nothing back, I take up my pen in the year of grace Seventeen Eighty-Three and go back to that time nineteen years ago when my mother kept the Admiral Benbow Inn…and the brown old seaman with the saber cut on his cheek first took up his lodging under our roof. I was fourteen – but I remember him as if it were yesterday…

BILL BONES:(approaching mic, singing)
Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest—
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil have done for the rest;
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!

MOTHER:(calling, off mic) Jim, there’s a man coming up the road. Go out and see what he wants.

YOUNG JIM:(off mic) Yes, Mother.

FOOTSTEPS WHEELBARROW ON GRAVELunder:

JIM HAWKINS:(right mic) He came plodding to the inn door, his sea-chest pushed behind him on a hand-barrow. He looked a sight, a tall, strong, heavy, nut-brown man, his pigtail falling over the shoulders of his soiled blue coat, his hands ragged and scarred, and the saber cut across one cheek, a dirty, livid white; singing that old sea-song.

BILL BONES:(singing the big finale; arriving at CTR mic)
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!

KNOCK ON DOOR

BILL BONES:Yo! Open up in there!

DOOR OPENS
FOOTSTEPS

BILL BONES:(ctr) Now then, boy!

DOOR CLOSES

YOUNG JIM:(left mic) Yes, sir?

BILL BONES: What do you call this place?

YOUNG JIM: The Admiral Benbow Inn, sir.

BILL BONES: Admiral Benbow, eh? Nice, lonely-lookin’,
pleasant sittyatedgrog-shop. Folks don’t come here much, do they, boy?

YOUNG JIM: No, sir. Not many customers to our door, alas.

BILL BONES: No? Well, then, it’s the berth for me. I’ve a mind to stay here a bit.
(calls off mic) Here, you, matey. You with the wheelbarra. Help up my chest.

PIRATE: (distant) Aye-aye, Cap’!

BILL BONES:(to YOUNG JIM) You, too, boy – it’s heavy.

YOUNG JIM:(with effort) Yes, sir.

BILL BONES: Call me Captain, boy! Captain!

YOUNG JIM:  Yes…

SETTING DOWN HEAVY BOX

YOUNG JIM:Ooof …Captain.

FOOTFALLS. JIM STARTING TO LEAVE UNDER:

BILL BONES: Just one thing more.

FOOTSTEPS STOP

YOUNG JIM: Yes, Captain?

BILL BONES:Y’ain’t seen him, have ya?

YOUNG JIM: Seen who, Captain?

BILL BONES: A seafarin’ man. You mighta seen him somewheres, yacan’t tell. Lemme know if you do, boy.

YOUNG JIM: Yes, sir.

BILL BONES: With one leg.

YOUNG JIM: Yes, sir.

BILL BONES: CAPTAIN!

YOUNG JIM: Yes, Captain.

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