It’s not hard to find good free scripts for kids to perform: the first place to look is among the many scripts whose copyright has now lapsed, typically 50 or 70 years after the writer’s death. This includes many classic plays and though these may be challenging for younger children to perform, many of the plays of Shakespeare, for example, are will within the reach of high school aged kids. Shakespeare collections can be picked up cheaply in second hand bookshops and popular plays such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream and many others are available for free as Kindle downloads.
You could also consider writing your own script, either as a group using improvisation or as an individual.
There are also scripts by writers who have decided to make their work available free of charge – though be aware that just because of script appears online or otherwise for free does not necessarily mean you can print it and the writer may have reserved performance rights – so always check this out before using a script. A good source are the plays of D.M. Larson which are available both in print and online – a number of his plays are featured below.
Before using any script, and especially before performing one publicly, please check and comply with any conditions that the writer may have set-out in print or on their website.
Beauty IS a Beast by D.M. Larson
Beauty might be beautiful on the outside, but she’s ugly on the inside. See what happens when her fairy godmother turns her inside out. Check out this “Taming of the Shrew” tale. Children’s Comedy – flexible casted extras.
Cinderalla by K I D S I N C O based on the story Cinderella by Brothers Grimm
The classic tale of Cinderella who, aided by a fairy godmother, breaks away from the cruelty of her step-sisters sisters to go to the palace ball where she enchants the prince. All looks lost when she must return home at the stroke of midnight before the price learns her name, but all ends happily when the prince tracks her down using her abandoned shoe. Suitable for younger kids; requires a cast of 7.
Holka Polka by D.M. Larson
Join a good little witch who sets out to save Fairy Tale land with the help of the Big Bad Wolf and Cinderella. This a Fairy Tale Mystery that puts a new twist on some famous fables such as Humpty Dumpty, Pinocchio, Little Red Riding Hood, The Wizard of Oz and Hansel and Gretel – 6+ female, 2+ male, 11+ either and optional extras
Children’s Musical/ 4 Characters, 2 Men, 2 Women/ One Act
Synopsis: A musical version of the classic tale about a boy who must travel to the fair to sell his beloved cow. After a run-in with some buyers who think his cow is too scrawny, Jack meets an Old Woman who buys the cow for three beans. The beans, she promises, will allow him to ascend to the sky, where he’ll find a giant’s castle full of riches stolen from his late father.
When Jack angrily throws the beans aside, they grow into a giant beanstalk, which he climbs. At the top, he meets the Giant’s Sister, who hides him just in time: The Giant comes home and demands that his treasure — a goose, a purse filled with gold, and a singing Harp — be brought to him. Listening to the Harp, he falls asleep, and Jack and the Giant’s Sister escape down the beanstalk.
Home again, Jack is overjoyed to discover that his cow has been returned to him and, even better, they all learn a wonderful secret about the Giant’s Sister!
Comedy/ 9 characters, 5 Men, 4 Women (double/extra casting if desired)/ Full Length, Two Acts
Synopsis: Written for a family audience, with plenty of humour and some added twists to the traditional story. It intertwines the favourite elements of the Robin Hood legend with less known myths, such as the witch Mother Maudlin and an evil Raven and equates Robin with the English folk-lore figure, The Green Man.
John has written three epics for Lancaster Dukes Promenade Seasons – Tales of King Arthur, Jungle Book and The Three Musketeers, and several pieces for/with young people at Manchester Youth Theatre and M6 where he was also Resident Writer.
The City Mouse and the Country Mouse from K I D S I N C O based on the classic tale by Aesop
The classic tale of two cousins, who live very different lives. They both explore life in the country and the city and each learns that things are not always as they first seem.
Cast of 3 required