< >

The Emperor's New Clothes
Large Cast School Play for Kids to Perform

Sound Cues

Script Sample

Running Time: About 45 minutes
Flexible Cast of 37: 2 Male, 4 Female, All others M/F
Easily adapted for larger or smaller cast

Orchestra Members:
Danny Da Drum (M/F, 14 lines)
Zella Bella (M/F, 12 lines)
Horatio Hornblower (M/F, 13 lines)
Ting-A-Ling (M/F, 12 lines)
Tim Whistle (M/F, 12 lines)
Huey Kazooie (M/F, 11 lines)

Peter (M) / Petra (F) the Tailor:
Peter/Petra #1 (M/F, 23 lines)
Peter/Petra #2 (M/F, 28 lines)
Peter/Petra #3 (M/F, 29 lines)
Peter/Petra #4 (M/F, 36 lines)
Peter/Petra #5 (M/F, 20 lines)
Peter/Petra #6 (M/F, 32 lines)

Grandmother (F, total 37 lines):
Grandmother #1 (F, 13 lines)
Grandmother #2 (F, 24 lines)

Fruit Peddler (M/F, 5 lines)
Baker (M/F, 4 lines)
Milkman  (M/F, 2 lines)

Blacksmith  (M/F, 14 lines)

Horse (M/F, significant action)

Empress (F, total 55 lines):
Empress #1 (F, 41 lines)
Empress #2 (F, 14 lines)

Emperor (M, total 65 lines):
Emperor #1 (M, 36 lines)
Emperor #2 (M, 29 lines)

Vicktor (M/F, 4 lines)
Vladimir (M/F, 3 lines)
Vonda (M/F,3 lines)

Igor (M/F, 7 lines)
Ivan (M/F, 7 lines)
Isadora (M/F, 7 lines)

Misha (M/F, 5 lines)
Maxim (M/F, 5 lines)
Milo (M/F, 4 lines)

Tilt (M/F, 3 lines + significant action)
Turn (M/F, 3 lines + significant action)

'With 8 weekly rehearsals we pulled it together."
The Emperor's New Clothes Cast Emperor's New Clothes Sound Cues
Mainstage Playmakers, Grass Valley, CA

"We just had our performance of Emperor's New Clothes! It was a riot and the kids had a blast doing it! I worked with 3rd, 4th,and 5th graders. With 8 weekly rehearsals we pulled it together. I will certainly be back to get next winter's script. Thank you!!!!!"
Tricia Oliver, ACT 2 Instructor, Auburn Area Community Theatre AL


Written especially for young people to perform.
While you may find large cast plays from other publishers, most of those were originally written for adults or professional actors to perform. They often contain difficult dialogue, unfamiliar or complex language, and speeches too long for young children to memorize. They may even contain jokes, innuendos and subject matter that may not be appropriate for children (or their parents).

Easy to understand and memorize.
Dialogue is simple, fresh, quick and humorous, keeping the action flowing without stops and starts between scenes. This keeps young people and young audiences engaged throughout the performance - no awkward pauses, no dead-time, no wiggles!

Everyone participates!
All children are involved throughout the performance. This builds confidence, promotes team spirit and eliminates rehearsal rowdiness. The audience is often asked to join in the fun, and action often spills into the aisles! All of our SCHOOL PLAYS give suggestions on how to divide up large parts (such as Snow White or Cinderella) among several performers so that no one child is the "star".

Familiar stories with upbeat endings.
The story line stays as close as possible to the familiar story the kids already know.  While some authors feel the need to "improve" the story, our SCHOOL PLAYS stay as close to the familiar narrative as possible, making it easier for children - and your audience - to understand.

Feel free to edit!  Go ahead and tape it!
Most publishers insist that no changes may be made to their scripts.  We know that your goal is to engage every child in the most meaningful way and that your needs are unique.  Cut, eliminate, re-assign lines, or add as much as you like!  Also, there are no restrictions on video tapes.  Parents want a tape or DVD to remember their child's big moment.   Go ahead and tape away!


In the past few years we've seen a tremendous increase of confidence in the teachers we hear from.  Most are finding it easier to let the process flow and worry less about the final product.  I firmly believe that the experience will be best for all when you keep a few things in mind:

Free yourself from worry about whether or not it's "good".  No one is paying big ticket prices; no one expects a Broadway success.  The key to making this project meaningful is to put the emphasis on process; realize that rehearsal and practice are as much a part of the experience as the actual performance.  Encourage fun and you will free the children from embarrassment and stress.  If the kids can't learn the lines let them carry a script or use their own words to convey the character's message.  If they seem to wander the stage, let them explore where they want to go - they might surprise you with a wonderful idea.  In every aspect of the process give them the wings to create and think.  Give them a comfortable, supportive place to go and their confidence and self-expression will soar!

Above all else, make sure you are having fun.  If you've never directed a play before, don't worry.  It's all just pretend -- you can't do it wrong!  The quality of your experience is every bit as important as that of the children.  You need the joy of self-expression too, that doesn't go away when we grow up.  So give yourself a break.  And when all else fails, laugh!

The Emperor's New Clothes is one of the first stories I ever adapted for the stage and over the years it has gone through many transformations.  Whether it is performed by a few professional actors or a cast of (almost literally!) thousands, the message is still the same:  Fun, joy  and silliness are their own reward.   Peter the Tailor may have ended up penniless but he sure had a good time along the way.  I hope you and your young friends have a ball.  Break a leg!


"When all else fails, laugh!"
Kids performing Play Fun Costumes for Emperor's New Clothes Scene from ArtReach's Emperor's New Clothes
ArtReach's Emperor's New Clothes - Camp Dancing Birds, El Sargento, BCS Mexico

Cues, sound effects, background music (traditional-classical)

The CD Soundtrack contains special sound effects and background music (public domain traditional-classical) that may be used to greatly enhance the performance. It does not contain music and songs from the popular animated film, nor does it contain music for the performers to sing along with. Cues have 10 seconds of silence at the end - times shown below include silence.
[ Click on [sample] to hear a short sample of the indicated cues ] 

1.  OPENING FANFARE  (0:25)  [sample]

2.  TOWN, MARKET SOUNDS  (1:29)  [sample]

3.  KOSTROMA, PALACE  (1:10)  [sample]

4.  FLOURISH  (0:16)

5.  BUZZING LOOMS  (1:19)  [sample]


7.  FANFARE, PROCESSION  (1:27)  [sample]

8.  END OF STORY MUSIC  (0:43) 

9.  END SHOW, CURTAIN CALL  (1:33)  [sample]

Note: Some teachers choose familiar songs, obtain sheet music and insert these songs into the play.  We recognize that each school has a wide variety of educational needs to fulfill and we invite you to be creative in your use of our scripts; including changes or additions that are appropriate for your students. As author/publisher of our own creative works, we do ask that you obtain proper copyright permission for any additions you might make - that responsibility is up to you.

Music & Sound Resources Available on the Internet
( Sheet Music, Song Books, CDs, DVDs, Sing-along, Karaoke, Sound Effects )

"The kids had a blast!"
School Play for Children to Perform - The Emperor's New Clothes School Play for Children to Perform - The Emperor's New Clothes School Plays for Kids to Perform - The Emperor's New Clothes
Children's Theatre Company, Goderich, ON - Second Youth Theatre, Austin


Peter the Tailor has fast-talked his way into the castle. In this scene, the Emperor meets Peter.

(EMPEROR enters.  He is sleepwalking with his eyes closed and arms extended.  PETER quickly runs to hide behind an audience member.)

EMPEROR:  (Having a bad dream.)  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!  No!  No! Noooooo! It's not true!  I am the Imperial Emperor!  How dare you imply that I am not fit!  No!  No!  It's not true!

(While EMPEROR babbles on, arms flailing, PETER gets a little braver as he realizes the EMPEROR is sleeping.  EMPEROR can ad-lib here as much as needed.  "How dare you say I'm not fit!"  PETER goes up to him, circles around   and finally waves his hand in front of face.   PETER enjoys himself and gets an idea.)

I am a good Emperor.  I am a good Emperor.  My father and his father before him and his father before him have ruled the Empire!  It's not true!  It's not true!

(EMPRESS enters.)

EMPRESS:  Oh, dear.  (Runs to him.)  Your Majesty!  Your Majesty.  (Pats his cheek.)  Wake up! 

(Pats a little harder, still nothing.  Pats very hard, arm extended.  Delivers a fake blow punctuated with cymbal from ORCHESTRA.  This blow should look obviously fake with her arm and hand coming no where near his head.)


EMPEROR:  (Dazed.)  Huh?

EMPRESS:  Dear, you're having another one of your nightmares.


(Wakes, still half dreaming.  He is excited, trembling, out of breath, clings to EMPRESS.)

EMPRESS:  There, there now, that's a good little Emperor.  Did we have a nasty old dream?

EMPEROR:  (Whimpers.)  Uh-huh.

EMPRESS:  Did the little itty bitty Emperor have a bad old dream?

(She comforts, then calls.)

Mirror!  Mirror!  Someone bring the Emperor his mirror!  Quick! 

(No one comes, she sees PETER.)

Well, don't just stand there, young man, bring the Emperor his mirror. Now!

PETER:  Uh.  Yes, sure.  Your Majesty.  Right away, your majesty.

(PETER looks around, cannot find a mirror.)

EMPRESS:  (Snapping fingers.)  Quickly, quickly.

(Finally PETER mimes carrying a mirror before the EMPEROR and becomes the mirror himself, standing before him, "mirroring" his actions.)

There now, here's your nice mirror. 

(EMPEROR has hands over eyes and peeks between his fingers to see himself in the mirror, PETER also peeks between his fingers and continues to do exactly what EMPEROR does.)

See how nice we look in the mirror?

(The sight of his image helps EMPEROR to recover and he begins to stand taller and with more confidence.)         

EMPEROR:  Uh-huh.  (Turns to admire self.)

EMPRESS:  See now, there's nothing to be afraid of.

(EMPEROR performs before the mirror now, getting cocky, struts and poses.)

EMPEROR:  Yes, you're right, of course.  Such a silly dream. Hah!  Who could I ever dream that I am unfit to rule?         

EMPRESS:  You?  Unfit!  Don't make me laugh.        

EMPEROR:  Just look!  Why, I am the perfect specimen of a ruler. 

(He gestures, poses, as PETER mirrors him.)

And just look how splendid my costuming is.  Ah! This mirror tells me so much!

EMPRESS:  (Humoring.)  It tells you things, dear?

EMPEROR:  For instance, if I wear a blue jacket and it happens to match the color of my eyes that day, then I know that it is the day I should raise taxes. 

EMPRESS:  You are a truly... inspired ruler, my dear.

EMPEROR:  I think I shall like to try the purple jacket now.

EMPRESS:  Oh, yes, the purple one.  Dear, do you want the purple jacket with the emerald collar or the one with the diamond buttons?

EMPEROR:  I believe I am in the mood for diamonds. (Flashes smile in the mirror.)         

EMPRESS:  Yes, of course.

(She brings it to him.  She helps him put it on.)

Lovely, just lovely!

EMPEROR:  Yes, it is, isn't it?

EMPRESS:  You know, my dear, it is so splendid that I think that this is the one you should wear in the royal procession next Saturday.

EMPEROR:  Yes, I think you might be right.

(PETER breaks away from being the mirror.    EMPEROR and EMPRESS continue as if he has not moved, looking into mirror, both with hands on chins, frowning as they consider.  PETER stands behind them, puts his hand on chin, frowns, looks into the "mirror" considers, mimicking them.  They stand in this manner for a moment.)

PETER:  (Shaking head.)  Oh, no.  Huh-uh.  That will never do.

EMPEROR:  What?  Who was that?

(They turn to see PETER, who drops into a bow.)

PETER:  I am Peter, sir.  Peter the Tailor, your majesty.          

EMPEROR:   (Irritated.)  How did you get in here?

EMPRESS:  Dear, it's all right.  I let him in.

EMPEROR:  But I don't need another tailor.

PETER:  Oh, I think you do, sir.

EMPEROR:  (Taking offense.)  You do, do you?  And why is that, young man?

PETER:  I couldn't help overhearing that you were planning to wear... (Shows  distaste.)... that... to your royal procession next Saturday.       

EMPEROR:  Well, I was thinking about it...

PETER:  (Looking, examining.)  Hmmm.

EMPEROR:  (Losing confidence.)  What?  What?  Don't you think it suits me?

PETER:  (Walking around, examining with distaste.)    Hmmmm.

EMPEROR:  What?  Doesn't it fit properly?

PETER:  Well, its just that...

EMPEROR:  You know, I was thinking that perhaps it was a little too...  a little too...

PETER:  Ordinary, sir?

EMPEROR:  Yes.  Ordinary!  Of course!  My dear, bring me the one with the emeralds!

PETER:  Oh, I don't think that will do either.

EMPEROR:  No.  No, of course not.  Emeralds are a little too...  too...

EMPRESS:  (Helping.)  Flashy?

PETER:  No...

EMPEROR:  A little too...

PETER:  Ordinary.

EMPEROR:  Yes!  Ordinary!  Of course!  (Thinks.)  Now, see here, young man. Just what do you consider extra-ordinary?       

EMPRESS:  Your Highness, he says that he makes clothes that are...

(Together, PETER making a grand gesture. Magical chimes from the ORCHESTRA.)


Note: This is a sample from the actual script.  To review the entire play, order the PERUSAL SCRIPT (online instant download). Or to save 20% on the full production kit and royalty for one performance, order the SCHOOL PLAY PACKAGE (below) and start rehearsals today!

Cast List

Sound Cues

Script Sample


Teacher Reviews