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
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.
Cinderella (short, for younger kids)
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.
Dragon Trouble by D.M. Larson
Susie Sally Sassafras and her fairy friends like to make a lot of trouble. They decide to create problems in the peaceful kingdom of Chalupa. The play has a flexible cast with anywhere from 8 characters to dozens of parts.
Watch a video of this play here.
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
Jack and the Beanstalk
Jack and the Beanstalk — Libretto by Marcy Telles, Music by Jason Sherbundy
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!
We also have other scripts based on Jack and the Beanstalk for large and small casts.
Oakshot Complete Works of William Shakespeare
The complete works of William Shakespeare in Kindle format, free to download and use.
The ebook is specifically formatted for kindle devices and tested with all Kindle 5 way navigation functions and Kindle table of contents button. Ebook comes with main table of contents and interlinked sub table of contents.
Supplemental prose materials (biographies, criticisms) now contain paragraph indentation on all works. Apart from two works which contain line spacing instead. However all works now clearly distinguish paragraphs to make it easier for the user to read.
•Each play Illustrated with Illustrations unique to this release, over 350 Illustrations in total.
•Biography and literary critique includes annotated inline footnotes.
The Comedies of William Shakespeare.
•All’s Well That Ends Well. (Illustrated)
•As You Like It. (Illustrated)
•Comedy of Errors. (Illustrated)
•Love’s Labour’s Lost. (Illustrated)
•Measure for Measure. (Illustrated)
•Merchant of Venice. (Illustrated)
•Merry Wives of Windsor. (Illustrated)
•Midsummer Night’s Dream. (Illustrated)
•Much Ado about Nothing. (Illustrated)
•Taming of the Shrew. (Illustrated)
•Troilus and Cressida. (Illustrated)
•Twelfth Night. (Illustrated)
•Two Gentlemen of Verona. (Illustrated)
•Winter’s Tale. (Illustrated)
The Histories of William Shakespeare.
•Henry IV, Part 1. (Illustrated)
•Henry IV, Part 2. (Illustrated)
•Henry V. (Illustrated)
•Henry VI, Part 1. (Illustrated)
•Henry VI, Part 2. (Illustrated)
•Henry VI, Part 3. (Illustrated)
•Henry VIII. (Illustrated)
•King John. (Illustrated)
•Richard II. (Illustrated)
•Richard III. (Illustrated)
The Tragedies of William Shakespeare.
•Antony and Cleopatra. (Illustrated)
•Julius Caesar. (Illustrated)
•King Lear. (Illustrated)
•Romeo and Juliet. (Illustrated)
•Timon of Athens. (Illustrated)
•Titus Andronicus. (Illustrated)
The Sonnets of William Shakespeare.
The Poems of William Shakespeare.
The Biographies of William Shakespeare.
•Some Account Of The Life Of Mr. William Shakespeare By Nicholas Rowe.
•Shakespeare His Life, Art, And Characters By Henry Norman Hudson.
•The People For Whom Shakespeare Wrote By Charles Dudley Warner.
•Life Of William Shakespeare By Sir Sidney Lee.
•Shakespeare’s Family By Mrs. C. C. Stopes. (Inline Footnotes)
•The Man Shakespeare and His Tragic Life Story by Frank Harris.
•Shakespearean Playhouses: A History Of English Theatres Joseph Quincy Adams, Jr. (Illustrated / Inline Footnotes)
The Critical Works of William Shakespeare.
•Notes To Comedies By Samuel Johnson.
•Notes To Tragedies By Samuel Johnson.
•A Study Of Shakespeare By Algernon Charles Swinburne.
•Preface To Shakespeare And Notes On Plays By Samuel Johnson.
•Eighteenth Century Essays On Shakespeare By D. Nichol.
•Shakespeare’s Attitude Toward The Working Classes By Ernest Crosby.
•Shakespearean Tragedy by A. C. Bradley. (Inline Footnotes)
•Leo Tolstoy on Shakespeare – A Critical Essay. (Inline Footnotes)
•Shakespeare By Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
•Characters of Shakespeare’s Plays by William Hazlitt.
Robin Hood and the Raven’s Revenge by John Chambers
Robin Hood and the Raven’s Revenge by John Chambers
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
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