Has your group used one or more of these scripts? Please send me feedback!
As part of our first day program, children of the Southern Illinois Society of Friends performed these plays in the fall and winter of 1997-2005. The Life and Times of Lucretia Coffin Mott was performed in St. Louis as well as Carbondale in the spring of 2001, to an enthusiastic audience, much larger than the ones we were accustomed to. All in all the plays were very successful, some attended by townspeople as well as meeting regulars, with varying degrees of staging, props, etc., much of which, as can be inferred from the script, is left up to the performers.
We wish you well with these. Feel free to use them. I would like to know where and when they are performed, but I have no desire to restrict that. I did most of the groundwork in terms of historical reading, etc., and have kept true to what I knew as history, although in some cases that knowledge was somewhat shallow or uninformed. My desire was really to give the children some sense of Friends' history and some sense of fitting Quaker values into the various times that people lived in. It was a great way to do education, and the input and direction of the children themselves, ranging from 1 year old to sixteen, cannot be understated.
106 S. Lark St.
Carbondale IL 62901 USA
|The White Feather. Ohio family accord with Indians.
6 parts, 10 minute run time
The Story of Benjamin West, Quaker Artist. 6 parts, ten minute run time
The Life and Times of John Woolman, Quaker of Colonial Times. 9 parts (some for young children), 15 minute run time
The Life and Times of Lucretia Coffin Mott. 10 parts (some for young kids), 20 minute run time
Turning Point: the Story of the Bombing of Sterling Hall.
9 parts plus any number of Protesters, 30 minute run time
Quakers Rock the 17th Century. Mostly historical -- Fells, Penns, Fox, King Charles II, Locke. 9 parts, plus 3 bit parts for younger children, 45 minute run time
Thou Heardest My Voice. A story set in modern war-torn Iraq based on the Book of Jonah. 19 parts (some for young children), 35 minute run time
Production notes: these plays can be performed with very simple props and costumes. Children can make signs indicating locations or dates. A hat (crown, helmet, scarf, bonnet) is usually enough to represent a costume. Capes, sport jackets, black or white shirts, shawls, fake glasses, or simple props such as a book, sword, gun, scepter, protest sign, or archery bow will help a child take on a role.
At quakerbooks.org you can find copies of Peaceful Heroes I ($3) and Peaceful Heroes II ($2), a total of 24 one-act plays. These are the titles. Asterisked titles have the most promise.
Peaceful Heroes I
Bewitched, 12 parts
*The Man in Leather Breeches, 5 parts plus offstage carolers
*Mary Fisher and the Sultan of Turkey, 10 parts plus sailors, passengers, courtiers, attendants
Admiral Penn and Son William, 4 parts plus servants
The Seven Sisters (Gurney/Fry), 7 female parts
An Ear of Corn, 13 parts plus servants
*Master John (Woolman), 13 parts, some marked "Negro" in this book
Slave Wedding (Woolman), 8 parts plus slaves
Tomahawk (Woolman), 10 parts plus Indians
*Leather Thief, 6 parts
Jungle Doctor (Schweitzer), 7 parts plus stretcher bearers
*Rufus Jones and the Gestapo, 12 parts (but not quite as long as some of the other plays)
For Europeans Only! (South Africa), 10 parts plus crowd
Bad Mother (1950's nuclear protest), 13 parts including a 6 and 2 year old
Peaceful Heroes II
Meeting at Macroom Castle (Penn), 6 parts plus neighbors
The Wedding of William Penn, 13 parts
Washington Rock (George Washington visits Quakers in 1777), 8 parts
A Quaker School on Constitution Day (U.S. Constitution), 17 parts plus "others"
Richard and the Runaway Slave, 7 parts
Prudence Crandall, 11 parts plus "crowd"
*The Easter Present (post-WWII Paris), 8 parts
*Gandhi and the Untouchables, 6 parts
*Destination -- Moscow (1961 peace pilgrimage), 11 parts plus "worshippers"
*The Visit of the Three Kings, 7 parts plus three groups of children & women