Vol I: Tall Tales
These delightful plays are great for children, 8-11 years old. The plays have a running time of around 30 minutes, with flexible casting of 20-30 actors and opportunities for double casting. Please note that although these scripts are in one place, they are not royalty-free; contact information to get permission to produce these plays is at the end of the book. This collection includes:
1. The Adventures of Pecos Bill
In the wild Southwest, Pecos Bill trains the Lawless Canyon gang to be cowboys and cowgirls so Texas can become respectable, while the Longhorns enjoy a little relaxation. Pecos and Slue-Foot Slew save the cowpokes from the Bad Canyon gang and a tornado.
Running time: about 35 min. Cast: 5 male, 5 female, 16 either, doubling possible.
Songs: Lawless Canyon Gang, Keep Your Horns on Straight, Pecos Bill Says
2. The Encounters of Paul Bunyan
Paul Bunyan is a giant of a man who logs for a living. After Paul signs on a crew, they find a spot to camp so they can get to work the next day. Unfortunately they have Troubles following them: the Whistling River, the Blue Snow, Giant Mosquitoes, and more. Paul and his crew deal with all the Troubles that come so they can log and replant.
Running time: about 35 min. Cast: 1 male, 23 either, doubling possible.
Songs: Paul Bunyan’s Crew; The Troubles Song; Chopping Down Trees (chant); Molasses (chant); Being on Paul Bunyan’s Crew
3. The Legend of Annie Christmas
Annie Christmas, an African-American woman, is the strongest, toughest keelboat person around, making a living hauling goods up and down the Mississippi. In her hometown of New Orleans, she’s something of a hero—she doesn’t let bullies bother decent folk, adding a pearl to her necklace every time she teaches a bully a lesson. She decides to take her first vacation after a little coaxing from her crew and boards a steamboat. But when a storm comes, Annie is back to work, saving all the other passengers.
Running Time: about 35 min. Cast: 14 male, 13 female, doubling possible
Songs: Strolling ‘Long the Banks, Home Free, Annie Christmas
4. It Could’a Been
There are three short tall tales in this play: Johnny Appleseed, Sal Fink, Febold Feboldson. Johnny Appleseed lived in the wild where the animals were his friends. He planted apple trees then gave saplings to pioneers as they traveled west. Sal Fink worked a keelboat just like her father. She was called the Mississippi Screamer because of her loud yell. Febold, the Swedish Farmer, watched lots of pioneers head west but he was alone on the plains and had an idea to get some new neighbors.
Running Time: about 20 min. Cast: 11 male, 11 female, 8 either, doubling possible
Songs: Hardy Women and Men, Johnny Chapman, Sal Fink, Febold the Swedish Farmer, Hardy Women and Men (reprise)
5. When Elvy Caught the Rainbow
A modern tall tale about a creative young girl. Elvy and her friends wonder how they’re going to have fun since it’s raining. Then Elvy has an inspired idea: she is going to climb a rainbow. With help from family and friends, Elvy climbs a rainbow, which makes the Colors upset, and tosses colors down to the others where they all have a rainball fight. Even the Colors have fun.
Running time: about 25 min. Cast: 2 male, 3 female, 15 or 21 either (there are 6 Colors but this group can be doubled, so 12 Colors possible)
Songs: Catching a Rainbow, Got to Think, Absolute Quiet, Reach for It, Catching a Rainbow (finale)