You don’t always have a large cast of actors to cast. In this situation many plays, especially musicals and the classics become a real problem because of the number of characters. You can sometimes get around this by careful cutting of the script and by doubling-up actors. But if you only have a handful of actors and want to keep things simple then you need a play that needs only a small number of actors.
The plays on this page can all be produced with a small cast – see the play page for more details on each script.
Alex and the Warrior by Ann Coburn
Alex wants Grandad home from hospital for Christmas, so he makes a foolish wish. In spite of Cat’s warnings, he asks his favourite computer game character to come and help. But when The Warrior steps out of the screen, with a large sword and a lot of attitude, Alex begins to wonder what he’s let himself in for.
The Warrior’s deadly enemies, the Skarg, soon follow, trying to fit in as human beings in a world they don’t really understand. Alex and Cat struggle to keep The Warrior under control as they head through the winter streets to rescue Grandad, defeat the Skarg, conquer Karaoke and explain carol singing, all on one hectic and exciting adventure. Alex and the Warrior is a quest full of magic and danger, music and laughter: Dickens meets The Terminator in this modern fairytale for all the family.
Cast of 5 required
by Judith Viorst & Shelly Markham from Judith Viorst
Alexander has just received some really bad news from his parents … His dad has taken a job in a city a thousand miles away, which means that he and his mom and his dad and his bossy older brothers, Nick and Anthony, are going to have to move to a whole new city.
And even though his mom says, “Wait, you’ll like it,” Alexander already knows that he’ll hate it. He’ll hate it because he’ll never have a best friend like Paul again. And he’ll never have a great sitter like Rachel again. And he’ll never again have his soccer team or his car pool or kids who know him or…
Anyway, he can’t bear to leave the people and places he loves, so he decides that he won’t move. First he tries to live with three different neighbors. Then he tries to build a tent so he can live by himself. Then he decides he’ll hide so that his parents’ll never find him, but that doesn’t work out either.
While Alexander barricades his bedroom door, his mom and dad and even his brothers find some special ways to make it easier for Alexander to leave. They also help him to understand that home is “where your family is, where you’re with the people who love you best of all”.
Finally Alexander agrees to leave, but warns that — Do you hear him? He means it! He’s not not not not not not going to move again!
Commissioned and premiered by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Unit set – runs about an hour
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Simon Reade from Lewis Caroll
When Alice falls down a mysterious rabbit hole she stumbles upon a magical fantasy world where anything can happen …
Take tea with the Mad Hatter, meet the White Rabbit, grin with the Cheshire Cat, and play croquet with the Queen of Hearts
But whatever you do …
… don’t lose your head!
Lewis Carroll’s classic characters spring to life in an enchanting show for the whole family, bursting with music, madness and mystery
Simon Reade’s adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s much-loved fantasy classic is a witty and brilliantly inventive re-working
6 Male, 2 Female
Among Friends and Clutter by Lindsay Price presents a montage of characters who experience the most important relationships in life: friends, family, and love.
Starting with seven classmates, the play explores what they imagine their lives will be, and shows what their lives eventually become. They grow, succeed, and sometimes fail.
Students love this play for its well-rounded characters and its wealth of comic and serious moments.
For children from 7 – 13, here is a treasure chest of excerpts from a rich and exciting variety of sources.
Scenes and monologues come from such plays and films asThe Diary of Anne Frank, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Curse of the Starving Class, The Secret Garden and Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
And, most appropriately, from writings by children themselves.
This Collection of hilarious festive comedy offers a wonderful alternative to the traditional seasonal play. The five short (10-15 minutes) comedy plays humorously comment on holiday themes – family, the nativity, Xmas cards, and elves!
The 5 Plays are …
Going Home – M1,F1
Newlyweds Greg and Cheryl have resolved to spend Christmas together alone in their tiny apartment for the first time
The Christmas Witch – M2,F1
Two dudes find their relationship challenged when an ex-girlfriend with a penchant for breaking hearts and feasting on human flesh shows up on Christmas Eve
Xmas Cards – M1,F1
Every year, prosperous, conservative couple Ned and Nelly fill out their Christmas cards together. Or rather, Ned tries to fill them out and Nelly slowly drives him insane. Why should this year be any different?
Nativity – M2,F2
Two strangers – one dressed as Mary, the other as Joseph for separate upcoming holiday pageants – meet in the waiting room of the Bethlehem, PA Fertility Clinic one Christmas Morning …
The Student – M2
Winner of the 2009 Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival
A two-character holiday comedy about a burnt-out, adult education writing teacher who rediscovers his passion in one of the strangest student-teacher conferences of all time
“Four Stars! Touching and inspiring … a favorite!” ~ Indianapolis Performing Arts Examiner
Whether it’s for a competition, an audition or for class, these monologues will help get the job done.
Specifically geared for students, this collection contains a wide variety of characters, genres and lengths.
All the monologues come from plays published by Theatrefolk and include approximate timing, character/story background, and performance suggestions.
It offers a total of 40 Monologues – 19 Men, 21 Women
There is also a second volume available, Competition Monologues Book Two.
‘Drama Start’ is a collection of drama activities, including games, role playing ideas, action poems, plays and monologues, suitable for children between the ages of 3 and 8. It can be used in Early Years’ settings or in primary schools, up to and including second class. This book is also suitable for people working with children in any setting where drama is used such as community groups, out of school care facilities, therapeutic group work and so on.The book is accessible and easy to follow. It is divided into three parts – Drama Games, Plays and Monologues. Each section provides educators/teachers/leaders with a variety of creative and imaginative ideas for stimulating drama activities in many different settings.
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!
Jack and the Giant Beanstalk by Linda Daugherty
There is much more to this play than Jack and a Beanstalk.
Of course, there’s the proverbial giant, but there is also the giant’s overworked, over-wrought wife, an aria-singing harp, a golden-egg-laying chicken with performance anxiety, and a blue-eyed stranger who looks surprisingly like Jack’s long-lost father
Naturally, there’s the village at the foot of the Beanstalk and the giant’s home in the sky, but there is also, 10 years earlier, a sailing ship caught in a storm off the coast of Pago Pago (“or was it Bora Bora”) with its blue-eyed master pulled mysteriously from the wreckage by a giant hand
Certainly, there’s Jack’s distressed mother and the peddler who sells Jack the magic beans, but there is also the peddler’s story of having bought the beans from a blue-eyed stranger; the Ladies Plum and Pomegranate, who provide the comic relief in Jack’s village; and Jack’s pals, including a rough and ready tomboy named Adelaid
With all the familiar ingredients in the mix, plus so much more, and with fresh and witty dialogue, this will be a re-discovered delight for actors and audiences alike
Runs about 65 minutes – 4 male, 5 female
This is something of a rarity and, as far as we are aware, now only available second-hand.
Based around Michael Bond’s popular Paddington Bear books, this book of seven short play scripts is intended for young children to perform.
The scripts were based on the play The Adventures of Paddington Bear published by Samuel French.
The plays included are:
- The arrival of Paddington
- Paddington paints a picture
- Paddington has a holiday
- Paddington visits the dentist
- Paddington goes to the launderette
- Paddington goes to hospital
- Paddington turns detective.
The book also contains costume notes and the lyrics (but not music) of two songs: I try so hard, and Paddington Bear.
Play Time by Julia Donaldson
From the best-selling and much-loved author of THE GRUFFALO and other classic picture books, eleven fun-to-act short plays for primary-aged children (Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2) complete with helpful, simple guidance on target age, running time and cast! Ranging from adaptations of traditional tales (eg, the legend of Persephone and Three Billy Goats Gruff) to original and contemporary short plays, Julia Donaldson has produced an entertaining, simple, satisfying play collection.
About the Author
Julia Donaldson MBE is the Children’s Laureate and author of many bestselling books for children, including the acknowledged modern classic THE GRUFFALO, which has won the Smarties Prize and the Blue Peter Award for the Best Book to Read Aloud. Julia has also written many children’s plays and songs, and runs regular storytelling and drama workshops. She lives in Glasgow with her family.
Playscripts for Primary Schools moves beyond the traditional end-of-year or Christmas production to show that working together with variously sized groups of pupils can be a valuable curricular activity. The author’s playscripts can be used for many purposes e.g. to reinforce or introduce history topics, for group writing exercises, to build co-operation and problem-solving skills and a way of opening up discussions on any range of topics. The playscripts can also be customised to suit individual schools and location, and to include opportunity for improvisation.
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 Adventures of a Bear Called Paddington – A Musical Play for Children by Alfred Bradley from the books by Michael Bond
Anyone familiar with Paddington, who was found in Paddington Station by the Browns and adopted by them, will welcome this play.
These stories have been favorites with children for years and this series of playlets has been woven together to make a play that will delight young (and not so young) audiences everywhere.
Some of his notorious adventures are dramatized here – with plenty of scope for audience participation in the action and the singing
Certain to appeal to young and old audiences alike.
Casting: 5 Male, 3 Female
The BFG: a set of plays by David Wood, adapted from Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl fans will rejoice at the opportunity to bring their favorite books and characters to life. Five of Dahl’s hugely popular, beloved books have been adapted into winning plays for children.
With useful tips on staging, props, and costumes, these plays can be produced with a minimum amount of resources and experience.
Teachers, parents, and children everywhere will recognize Quentin Blake’s appealing classic cover art and will find these easy-to-perform plays to be a great source of entertainment!
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
You don’t need a real train to stage this version of the much loved classic – though that’s what they had at Waterloo Station for a smash-hit production. The most powerful prop is the imagination of the audience, the most effective tool, the skill of the actors. This version of The Railway Children is eminently suitable for schools, youth theatres and drama groups – anywhere, in fact, where the cry of ‘Daddy! My Daddy!’ is likely to provoke a tear.