Why The Bullfrog Croaks

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9 characters. Flexible casting; 7 pages in length. Approximately 10 minutes running time. An comedy for children about humility written by Karleen Hayden.

Why The Bullfrog Croaks is the story of a very conceited bullfrog. Bullfrog imagines himself to be the finest opera singer in the land, and that no other forest friend has talents to match his own. He sings his off-key way through life, being tolerated by his friends because they are too kind to point out what an awful singer he really is! That is until one day, he goes too far and has too much fun pointing out everyone else’s short-comings. He sings until his voice becomes nothing but a…croak! A fabulous play for children about humility and kindness!

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
Bullfrog (sings but doesn’t have to have a great voice)
SNAKE
DEER
BEAR
RABBIT
CROW
SQUIRREL
WOLF

SETTING: Woodland forest (trees, flowers, stumps, etc.)

AT THE RISE: Snake, Deer, Rabbit, Crow and Squirrel are busy in the forest, gathering nuts and berries or just chatting amiably. As the Narrators enter and take a seat on either side of the stage, all of the animals move apart to separate places on stage but continue searching for food, smelling flowers, etc.

NARRATOR 1
A very long time ago, long before human beings were invented, all the animals on Earth got along with each other very well. They had learned to cooperate, and enjoyed working, eating and playing together.

NARRATOR 2
They admired each other’s talents and complimented each other on their beautiful fur or feathers or how well they could gather nuts or berries. All except for one fellow, that is.
(Bullfrog enters singing his lines – can be off-key but should be operatic) !

BULLFROG
Hellooooooo, friends! Here I am! I’m here to brighten your day with my beautiful voice to which none can compare!
(Other animals cover their ears, grimace, roll their eyes, etc.)

NARRATOR 1
None of the other animals thought Bullfrog’s singing was pretty or melodious but they were too kind to say so.

NARRATOR 2
But it was obvious that Bullfrog’s singing was getting on their nerves.

BULLFROG
(Singing; goes to Snake) HA HAAAAAA! There is Snake, lowly snake who can only crawl. What a shame! (normal speaking voice) Snake, don’t you wish you could sing like me? All you can do is hiss and wiggle. (Singing) No talent at aaaaaaaallllllll!

SNAKE
I have talent! I eat nasty bugs and keep them from biting you and making you itch! I keep bugs out of the garden and I..!

BULLFROG
(Still singing) No talent! No talent!

SNAKE
One of these days, Mr. Bullfrog, you will regret all your bragging!

BULLFROG
(To audience) Hah! He’s just jealous! (Sings nonsense syllables quietly and dances around during Narrators’ dialogue throughout the play)

NARRATOR 1
Bullfrog skips around, still singing in his terrible, off-key voice.

NARRATOR 2
He is singing and dancing when he sees his friend, Deer.

BULLFROG
(Singing, dancing and acting very stuck-up) I am the best singer in all the world and I know you’re jealous of my beautiful talent! LA LA LA LA LAAAAAAA! (Stops as he sees Deer; normal voice) Hello, Deer. Isn’t my voice marvelous today? Don’t you wish you were as talented as I am? Tell me, Deer (begins operatic singing), what is so special about yoouuu?

DEER
Well, since you ask, I have beautiful, big brown eyes that are so pretty…

BULLFROG
(Operatic singing) HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAA! Nice eyes! Big deal! That cannot compare to me and my beautiful voice!

DEER
But…But…Everyone says that my eyes are the most beautiful in the forest! Surely even you must admit that!

NARRATOR 1
All the animal friends shake their heads sadly. Poor Bullfrog, they think. He has no idea how silly he sounds.

NARRATOR 2
Bullfrog’s friends are too kind to say anything to him. They hope that someday he will see the error of his ways.

BULLFROG
(Still singing) There’s Bear! Hey, big Bear! Lazy old Bear! (normal voice) Listen to me sing, old Bear. You’re jealous, aren’t you?

BEAR
Jealous? Oh, no. I love my beautiful black fur that keeps me warm all winter long. You have to sleep in the mud at the bottom of a pond in the winter! Go away!

BULLFROG
(Operatic singing) Fine! Fine! Fiiiiiine! I don’t care, lazy old bear! Goodbyeeeeeeeee!

BEAR
Good riddance, I say! Go bother someone else!

NARRATOR 1
Poor Bullfrog. He dances and sings his way around the forest, not knowing that his friends are becoming tired of all his bragging.

NARRATOR 2
Bullfrog sees cute little Rabbit nibbling on some tasty grass.

BULLFROG
(Operatic singing) Hey there, Rabbit! Silly creature! (Normal voice) You don’t do much all day. I bet you wish you could sing as beautifully as me! (Operatic singing) I’m so wonderful and talented! LA LA LA LA LA LAAAAAAA! What’s so special about yooooooouuuu?

RABBIT
(Enthusiastically) Well! Since you asked, I can hop very fast and I’m going to race Turtle tomorrow and I’m sure to win and…

BULLFROG
(Operatic singing) Oh, poooooo! So what? I shall sing the Forest Anthem and all eyes will be on meeeeee! I’m so wonderful!

RABBIT
But I can hop really, really fast! You should see me! No one can beat me when it comes to speedy hopping!

BULLFROG
(Operatic singing) Hush, hush! I must sing! HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAA!

NARRATOR 1
Bullfrog sees Crow sitting on a stump. He thinks Crow’s voice is loud and harsh and that his own voice is more beautiful than Crow’s.

NARRATOR 2
Poor Bullfrog. He has no idea how he sounds.

BULLFROG
(Operatic singing) Crow! Crow! Noisy, silly, plain black crow! (normal voice) So sad that you only got that awful croaking sound instead of my singing voice. (operatic singing) Is there anything special about yooooouuuuu?

CROW
(Preening) Just look at my gorgeous feathers, Bullfrog! They’re coal black and glisten in the sun! And I’m smart, too, and…

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