Children's Theatre Plays
Great Play Scripts & Musicals for Kids!



Background on stories & themes of ArtReach's plays

Jack & the Beanstalk: Fun with Giants!
Let's Talk About Famous Giants!

Get your kids talking about the big stuff!  Can they think of any other big characters/giants in books, movies or TV?  Discuss the personality of the most well-known giants.  If you were a giant, would you be good or bad?

Jack’s Giant: Often the first concept of a giant children are exposed to, nearly everyone knows the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. The story’s origin is somewhat murky, with some scholars pointing to early Norse tales. There are dozens of different versions of the story, but most include Jack climbing a magic beanstalk to steal golden treasure and, eventually, murder the giant that lives at the top, thus living happily ever after.

Bigfoot: The Bigfoot, or the Sasquatch, is an animal which might exist but for which little to no scientific evidence exists. Described as ‘ape-like’, this ‘missing link’ stands well over six feet tall, prowling the wilds of America, particularly the Pacific Northwest. Often the only clue left behind by the Bigfoot are the enormous impressions of his feet, many of which – if they are fake – are extremely realistic hoaxes.

Fee! Fie! Foe! FUN!
Old Dan Tucker Jack and the Beanstalk!  School Play Musical for Children to Perform! Little Kids become Giants!
Jack and the Beanstalk!  School Play Musical for Children to Perform!

Paul Bunyan: First documented in the stories bandied about by French-Canadians, Paul Bunyan is a giant lumberjack. A larger than life character in the tradition of many such tall tales, Paul played a role in various creation myths, such as dragging his axe behind him to cleave out the Grand Canyon. Bunyan is always accompanied by his pet, a blue ox named Babe, of equal enormity. Giant statues of Paul and Babe have become a roadside staple in dozens of towns around America.

Frankenstein: The monster, which remains nameless throughout Mary Shelley’s gothic masterpiece, is described as being eight feet tall and clad in transparent yellow skin, hideous beyond comprehension. Victor Frankenstein tacks his beast together out of spare parts taken from graveyards and slaughterhouses, and he is forced to make it huge because of the inherent difficulty of replicating the tiny, intricate parts of the human body.

Jolly Green Giant: The mascot of the Green Giant vegetable company (a subsidiary of General Mills), the Jolly Green Giant has been the subject of innumerable television commercials, concluding with his trademark "Ho ho ho.” Upon his debut in 1928, the giant was a stooped, menacing creature, but subsequent versions have been increasingly genial, adopting a frock of leaves and an always present grin.

Goliath: Arguably the most famous of all giants, Goliath was a massive Philistine warrior who faced off against the Israelite army in the Valley of Elah. Offering to defeat any Israeli in one-on-one combat, Goliath was rebuffed, until the challenge was taken up by young David. Eschewing armor, the smaller combatant knocked Goliath down with a stone hurled from his sling, securing victory for the Israelites and proving himself, by his valor and faith in God, to be the one true king.

The Legend of Mulan Story
The young female warrior of ancient China

The Legend of Mulan is based on an ancient Chinese poem that has been the inspiration for countless films, books and television productions around the world.   It tells the story of a girl who wishes to save her father from forced conscription in the Chinese army.  Dressed as a boy, she becomes a distinguished warrior and heroine.   Mulan’s spirit of adventure and courage makes it a beloved story for children everywhere.

The play begins with the Ancestors of the Fa family describing the country of China and its philosophy of "Yin and Yang”.  The Chinese Emperor is introduced and his assistant Momo instruct all in this presence to offer "respect and honor”.  The Emperor says that he has information that the country will be safe if they trust in him.

The Ancestors direct us to a valley where Mulan and her Little Brother are playing at sword fighting. Mulan is much better than her brother and dreams that one day she could grow up to be a soldier.  Father and family love her but disapprove of her aspirations and wish that she conduct herself with more feminine modesty that will lead to marriage.  Though she promises to do better, Mulan asks her father if her dream will ever come true.  Her father promises that it will.

But war is stirring up in the country and the Emperor issues a decree that every family must send one adult male to the army.  Little Brother is too young and Father is too old.  Mulan begs the family to let her go but they tell her it is against the law for a girl to serve.  Father is resolved to join, though the prospect of military life cannot be safe for him since he is in a frail state of health.

Mulan begs the Fa Ancestors to help her save her father.  They tell her that she must go and introduce her to the rabbit Pika, and the Dragon Imoogi, who will help her on her journey.  Imoogi tests the girl in martial arts and determines that she is worthy of the task.  In the morning, the Fa family wakes to see that Mulan has taken the horse and fled to take her place in the army.

Mulan, with Pike and Imoogi, travel to the Imperial Army camp.  Pika attempts to teach Mulan how to be like a man but Imoogi objects.  The dragon tells her that the way to convey strength is to summon the spirit of the sword within her own heart.

The army Captain Cheng attempts to ready his men for war.  Momo, the Emperor’s assistant is with Captain Cheng and believes the soldiers are of poor quality.  Captain Cheng says his problem is that there are not enough men.  Mulan introduces herself and shows him her superior ability to use a sword.  She tells him her secret is that she trusts in her heart as well as her head.  Captain Cheng is impressed and asks her to fight by his side in the coming battle.

The Huns are headed by General Lu Bu who believes that Captain Cheng has secret plans and sends one of his men to discover them.  Captain Cheng has sent Momo with orders to the Emperor to send more troops.  The Hun soldier Yu Fie stops Momo on his journey, takes the orders and reports back to General Lu Bu.  With this information, the Huns now feel confident that they will win the battle.

But the Huns had not expected to encounter one such as Mulan (going by the boy’s name Me Lang).  Imoogi helps her and the audience conjure a chaos inducing storm.  Captain Cheng despairs and believes the storm will destroy his battalion’s chances.  Mulan reminds him to use his heart.  With Mulan’s encouragement he wins a sword fight with General Lu Bu.  Then, Mulan commands the army (audience) to rise and raise their weapons to the Huns, forcing a retreat.  Mulan is hailed as a hero.

However, Captain Cheng has been injured by General Lu Bu’s sword.  As Mulan nurses him to health, the Imperial soldiers tell her that she has been summoned to the Emperor, who wishes to honor her bravery.  Terrified that this event will reveal her secret, Mulan runs away.

At the golden Imperial Palace the Emperor asks to meet Me Lang but is told that the heroic soldier will not appear.  At last, Mulan does appear and finally reveals to all that she is not a male soldier named Me Lang, but a woman named Mulan.  Momo insists she be punished, but the Emperor prefers to honor her anyway.  He offers her gifts and honors but Mulan says she just wants to go home.

After the painfully long absence, Mulan returns to her beloved Father and the rest of her family.  They are overjoyed to see her again.  After greeting her they ask who is the person standing beside her.  It turns out that Captain Cheng has followed Mulan from the Imperial Palace to her valley home.  He asks her father for permission to marry her but Mulan says she has made up her mind.  Though she respects her father’s wishes this is her own decision.  She has decided to marry Captain Cheng.

The Ancestors welcome the couple into the Fa home and into the family that they represent.  They speak of the Chinese belief in yin and yang, offering their approval of the couple to be wed.

"The firm, the enduring, the simple, and the modest are near to virtue."
-- Confucius, The Confucian Analects

History Comes Alive for School Students
Drama brings the lessons of history into your heart

History is rich in drama and intrigue – perfect for children’s theatre scripts.  World famous playwrights, from Shakespeare to Arthur Miller, have used the events of true stories as a basis for their most exciting plays.

ArtReach’s plays AMELIA EARHART, ANNIE OAKLEY and LEWIS AND CLARK are just a few examples of plays that bring history alive for young audiences.  Very popular, reaching thousands of school students throughout the country, are the Cherokee plays YOUNG CHEROKEE and TRAIL OF TEARS.  These plays bring to life the myths of the ancient tribe and tell the tragic story of their removal from their native lands.

One Act Children's Plays - Young Cherokee
Western Carolina University Theatre in Education, Cullowhee, NC

ArtReach plays are well researched, fast paced, with exciting audience participation.  Many of the plays come complete with Study Guides to give teachers the resources for meaningful classroom activities that give a deeper understanding of history.

Looking for a subject for your next school tour?  Turn the pages of time and discover a world of thrilling drama!

The Story of Sadako
ArtReach’s A Thousand Cranes is based on a true story!

Sadako Sasaki was a Japanese girl living in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb was dropped on Japan (August 6, 1945). In 1955, at age 11, Sadako was diagnosed with leukemia, a type of cancer caused by the atomic bomb.

While in the hospital, Sadako started to fold paper cranes. In Japan, there is a belief that if you folded 1000 paper cranes, then your wish would come true. Sadako spend 14 months in the hospital, folding paper cranes with whatever paper she could get. Paper was scarce so she used the paper from medicine bottles, candy wrappers, and left over gift wrap paper. Her wish was that she would get well again, and to attain peace & healing to the victims of the world.

Sadako died on October 25, 1955, she was 12 years old and had folded over 1300 paper cranes. Sadako’s friends and classmates raised money to build a memorial in honor of Sadako and other atomic bomb victims. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial was completed in 1958 and has a statue of Sadako holding a golden crane. At the base is a plaque that says:

This is our cry
This is our prayer
Peace in the world

Fold A Thousand Cranes for Sadako
School Play for Children - A Thousand Cranes A Thousand Cranes - True Story of Sadako Sasaki
John C. Fremont Charter School, Merced, CA - Lansing Middle School, NY

Although Sadako died at a very young age, her legacy continues. To this day, the paper crane is probably the most recognized origami model. The paper crane is often given as a wish for peace.

Sadako's brother (Masahiro Sasaki), who is now over 70 years old, saved five of the original paper cranes folded by his sister when she was in the hospital. He hopes to donate the remaining 5 cranes to the the five continents of the world.

1990: In Seattle, Washington, USA, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Dr. Floyd Schmoe, built a life-size statue of Sadako. The statue was unveiled on August 6, 1990, 45 years after the bombing of Hiroshima. The statue is in the Seattle Peace Park and often has paper cranes draped over it. [Photo from] Unfortunately, not everyone is at peace; the statue was vandalized in 2003 and again in 2012. The statue has been repaired.

Why School Plays are Vital for Education
It's vitally important -- not an option

Almost every day we hear it from one of our teachers – my school is cutting back on the arts!   Now it’s your job to tell the powers that be why you absolutely must produce a school play this year!

Creative Thinking and Useful Play!  Kids learn how to use their own imaginations to confront daily issues and learning experiences.  Learning how to perform a fictional character and how to convey ideas on stage light a kid’s mind on fire.  An exciting rehearsal will spark inspired participation in class.

Teaches Kids to Work Together!  Kids learn to take time and show patience and cooperation with their classmates and friends that may never happen in a classroom sitting at their desks.  Students read, move and think together.  Rehearsing a play invites everyone to put down their phones and really listen to and enjoy interaction with others.

Builds Confidence!  Real confidence comes from real accomplishments.  Nothing is better for a child’s self-esteem than applause.  During rehearsal, otherwise shy kids may trigger positive reactions from fellow classmates.  Laughing, clapping, participating together helps kids find self-assurance and acceptance.

Improves Reading Skills!  Some kids are never going to sit down a read a novel.  But they will read a script because the script includes them!  Maybe a child is not clever and witty in real life, but for a moment he can be those things in front of an audience.  Suddenly they love good writing and reading.

School plays bring theatre into kids’ lives and improve their ability to learn and enjoy life.  This is not an option.  It’s vitally important to every child’s successful education.

Jack and the Beanstalk Play is Full of Folk Music
History of the Songs in ArtReach’s Jack and the Beanstalk

Froggy Went a Courting: This great old story song has quite a history. Some people claim that it goes back 400 years to England, and that the frog is actually a French Duke while the mouse is Queen Elizabeth I. It has been popular in America since colonial times, and it seems to change a little with each person who performs it. In some versions of the lyrics include "uh-huh”, some "mm-hmm”, some "hey hey”. Look the song up and you will find there are so many versions with so many verses you could sing this song all day!

Old Dan Tucker was a Mean Old Man!
Tale Tellers and Music Makers
"Old Jack he went a running and he did run, uh-huh!" - Tale Tellers!

Polly Wolly Doodle: This familiar American song dates back to the Civil War where it was a favorite in minstrel shows. It came to be used as a "walk-around," often the finale of the show in which each performer would step out to do a verse, answered by the cast and audience, leading to a final verse with everyone joining in clapping and dancing. Polly Wolly Doodle appears in the existing manuscript for Laura Ingalls Wilder's These Happy Golden Years.

Buckeye Jim: Made popular by Burl Ives in the 1950’s, Buckeye Jim was first recorded around the time of the Civil War. There are many versions and some believe it belongs in a category with "Limber Jim” songs. It may have come from the slave culture of the south since it expresses a wish for escape and flight. It was heard most recently in the animated film "Fantastic Mister Fox”.

Old Dan Tucker: Published in 1843 by Dan Emmett (the author of "Dixie”) who also claimed authorship, Old Dan Tucker may have evolved from a popular slave song about a part-time minister who lived near Elberton, Georgia. The song was popular around Northern and Southern campfires during the Civil War. In later years it became a standard for bluegrass and country music with recordings by Pete Seeger and most recently, Bruce Springsteen.

On Top of Spaghetti: A well-known parody of "On Top of Old Smoky” deals with the loss of a meatball "when somebody sneezed." It is a well-known children’s song. The song appeals to kids because it’s about an inanimate object that comes to life. A meatball defies expectations, and defiance—within reason—is usually celebrated in children’s literature.

"All music is folk music. I ain't never heard a horse sing a song."
-- Louis Armstrong

The Story of ArtReach’s Play The Jungle Book

 "Now this is the Law of the Jungle
—as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper
but the Wolf that shall break it must die.

As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk,
the Law runneth forward and back;
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf,
and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.”

Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle BookRudyard Kipling’s classic books, The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book have been read and loved by generations of children and their grownups. It can be argued that the main story is about a Mowgli, a boy who was raised by wolves in the Indian Jungle. The greater meaning of the story seems to be a call for peoples of every kind, animal and human, to overcome life’s cruelties and work together to order themselves and their actions in a way that serves the greater good. ArtReach’s new School Play version of the story uses audience participation to bring everyone together to create their own unique Jungle world.

The play begins with the storytellers – the Jungle-People – reciting the law of the Jungle. They then begin the story of how Mowgli was found one dark night. A Man-Father was traveling through and was attacked by a tiger, the legendary Shere Khan. Bagheera, the panther, witnessed the attack and also saw that a human boy had been abandoned as a result. Bagheera takes the baby to wolves Akela and Raksha to raise along with their own four cubs. At first hesitant, Akela resolves to keep the Man-Cub but must gain the permission of all of the pack at Council Rock. At Council Rock, the wolves of the pack give permission and Bagheera promises to educate the boy in the ways of the Jungle.

Baloo helps Mowgli in The Jungle Book

Years later Bagheera teaches Mowgli the Master-Words and the Hunting Call. He also cautions Mowgli against noticing the Bandar-log or Monkey-People. Though Mowgli is interested in learning, he is a typical boy who loves to climb and swim and doesn’t take his lessons as seriously as his teacher would like.

A bad time comes to the Jungle in the form of drought. All of the animals are starving and Akela calls everyone to the Peace Rock. This is a rock that is exposed in the river when the waters dry up and leave only a little water for the animals to drink. Because the animals are starving, Akela calls a Water Truce, meaning that they may all drink from the small supply of water but must not hunt each other during the time of the Truce. All the kinds of animals agree and the Truce is sealed by a prayer from Hathi the great elephant with a chant of "Peace, Peace, Peace!”

None of the animals are happy to see the great tiger Shere Khan arrive at Peace Rock because he seldom cares about the greater good and acts only for himself.

Shere Kahn tells the group that Mowgli the Man-Cub endangers all Jungle creatures because when he grows up he will be a Man, the enemy of the Jungle. The animals see the truth of Shere Khan’s words, even though Raksha begs them to let her son stay. Finally, Bagheera says he will take the boy to the Man-Village and Mowgli makes his tearful goodbyes.

On the journey, Mowgli defies his teacher Bagheera and runs away from him.

Kaa, the Rock Python, appears and uses her large, shining eyes to hypnotize Mowgli. The Man-Cub falls for her charms and is almost eaten when Baloo, a big bear, ambushes the snake chasing her off and saving Mowgli’s life.

Mowgli loves his new friend, Baloo, who is easy going and funny. The two of them hit it off and develop a friendship. Soon, Bagheera appears and convinces Baloo that the boy must be taken to the Man-Village in order to save his life and keep the Jungle safe from Man. Mowgli feels betrayed and leaves them both, running off alone.

As he travels alone in the Jungle, Mowgli is captured by the Monkey-People who swing him among the treetops and have fun with him like a toy. They take him to their leader, the Golden Queen of the Bandar-log. The Queen tells Mowgli that she wants him to go to the Man-Village and bring her the Red Flower, which is a word the animals use for fire. The Golden Queen tells him that Akela, the boy’s wolf father, has been killed by Shere Khan.

Coming to Mowgli’s aid, the vulture Chil flies in and restrains the Monkey-People so that Bagheera and Baloo may rescue the boy. They tell Mowgli the sad truth, that Akela has indeed been defeated and killed by Shere Khan. Once again the boy defies his friends and runs away. Only now Mowgli runs straight for the Man-Village with the goal of securing the Red Flower for his own use.

When Mowgli reaches the Village he encounters a woman who seems to be the mother he left when he was a baby. Mowgli begins to understand that he is not Wolf or Man, but he is both, becoming another kind of Jungle-Creature. The Villagers recognize the value of Mowgli’s mission and give him the Red Flower.

Mowgli runs back to the Peace Rock in the Jungle and when he gets there, the tiger Shere Kahn is waiting. Mowgli knows that he must fight the tiger in order to earn his place in the Jungle. All the animals gather to see the struggle between the two and recite the Law of the Jungle. Mowgli uses the power that his human relations have given him, the Red Flower, to defeat Shere Kahn. But unlike the tiger, Mowgli is generous and lets the tiger live.

Classic Play from Kipling!

When they are free of Shere Khan the animals realize that Mowgli has earned his place among them and cry out "All hail, Mowgli!” and again recite the Law: "The strength of the Wolf is the Pack!”

ArtReach's Version of Kid Frankenstein
Compare ArtReach’s Kid Frankenstein to Mary Shelley’s Novel

Mary Shelley published her most famous book name="ref163626">Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus in 1818 and it has been fascinating readers ever since.  The story of a scientist who created a living being from inanimate tissue has inspired an unending parade of satires, movies, novels, cartoons and comic books.  ArtReach’s play Kid Frankenstein is a light-hearted satire, comedy and fantasy, very loosely based on Shelley’s novel, which is intended for kids to enjoy and perform.


The play begins with students, Kidz, introducing the weird and spooky event that happened at their school.  They begin their story by explaining that the Science Fair was coming up and their friends Frankie and Irving had big plans for their project.

Frankie and Irving are regular kids with very vivid imaginations.  We see them in Frankie’s basement, pretending to be scientist and assistant.  It all seems like a silly fantasy until a package arrives.  The box has been sent from Transylvania and contains a book by Dr. Frankenstein, explaining how he accomplished the amazing feat of creating a living being.  Frankie is delighted to have a blueprint for his extravagant science project.

Frankie and Irving are late for school the next day and are presented by the principal Mr. Klondike to Mrs. Newton, the science teacher.  Troublemakers, T-Bone and his Gang of Bonez make Mrs. Newton’s job difficult.  She introduces two locals who are making donations for the science lab:  Mr. Spots brings a monkey’s brain and the nearsighted Mrs. Magillacutty brings her late dog’s brain.

Mrs. Newton assigns Helga to be partners with Frankie and Irving in their science project.  The three friends pretend that they are in the laboratory where Frankie has assembled a being made from stuff he found in his mom’s freezer.  He directs Irving and Helga to get the monkey’s brain to complete the project.

At night, Irving and Helga attempt to sneak into the school to get the brain but are caught by the Gang of Bonez who try to disrupt their plans.  In the comic fracas, the monkey’s brain is dropped.  Irving and Helga get the dog’s brain and take it to Frankie – but they don’t tell him that they had to switch the brains.

Frankie has rigged his laboratory with everything needed to bring his creation to life.  They are very excited when they flip the switch to give the creature a life inducing jolt of electricity.  However, the creature does not move.  Frankie believes all is lost.  The kids leave to eat dinner feeling that their experiment is a failure.

But in their absence, slowly the Monster comes to life, dances around the laboratory and escapes to explore the world.  The town is in an uproar as there are several sightings of a creature that cannot be explained.  The Monster comes to Mrs. Magillacutty’s house.  She cannot see him clearly and assumes he is a local school student who would like some chicken soup.  When she goes to light the pilot light on her stove the Monster goes crazy at the sight of fire, and runs away.

Meanwhile, Frankie and his crew find the Monster.  As Helga distracts him by playing her violin, the boys drop a net over him, capturing him.  They take him back to the laboratory where they prepare him for the Science Fair.

Principal Klondike is keen to get the Science Fair underway to distract the frightened population from the worry of a Monster running loose.  T-Bone and his Gang of Bonez present their less than impressive Volcano experiment which fizzles.  At last, Frankie is thrilled to present his creature – the Monster who makes a show of himself by dancing to Helga’s fiddle.  Surprisingly, the Bonez’ volcano erupts belatedly, scaring the Monster.  The kids wrestle him to the ground and bring him back to the laboratory.

Learning the brain he has used is the dog’s brain, Frankie decides he must perform brain transference.  He hooks his head up to the Monster’s head but at the last moment, Mrs. Newton appears and stops him.  It turns out, Mrs. Newton was much like Frankie in her youth and she knows what Frankie is up to.  She knows that he must stop now.  Finally, Mrs. Magillacutty arrives, insisting that the Monster is really her late dog and insists on taking him home.  The Monster loves the idea and everyone agrees.

All are gathered in the laboratory when Mrs. Newton gives a strong defense for kids who love science as Frankie does.  She shares old stories with Frankie as they depart and Irving flips the electric switch one last time.

At last the town is safe and Kid Frankenstein has ceased his experiment.  The Kidz end their spooky story with a happy: "The End”.

"Imagination does not become great until human beings,
given the courage and the strength, use it to create.”
-- Maria Montessori

A Christmas Wish from Lewis Carroll
To All Child Readers of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll, 1871

Dear Children,

At Christmas-time a few grave words are not quite out of place, I hope, even at the end of a book of nonsense - and I want to take this opportunity of thanking the thousands of children who have read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, for the kindly interest they have taken in my little dream-child.

ArtReach’s Alice in Christmas Land
Creative staging makes Alice in Christmas Land easy for schools! Perfect Alice in Christmas Land for kids!
Golfshore Playhouse, FL - Brandenburg Elementary School, Irving, TX

The thought of the many English firesides where happy faces have smiled her a welcome, and of the many English children to whom she has brought an hour of (I trust) innocent amusement, is one of the brightest and pleasantest thoughts of my life. I have a host of young friends already, whose names and faces I know - but I cannot help feeling as if, through "Alice's Adventures" I had made friends with many other dear children, whose faces I shall never see.

To all my little friends, known and unknown, I wish with all my heart, "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year". May God bless you, dear children, and make each Christmas-tide, as it comes round to you, more bright and beautiful than the last - bright with the presence of that unseen Friend, who once on earth blessed little children - and beautiful with memories of a loving life, which has sought and found the truest kind of happiness, the only kind that is really worth the having, the happiness of making others happy too!

Your affectionate Friend,
Lewis Carroll
December 25, 1871

Love Transforms: Beauty and the Beast
Lessons From a Story Old as Time

By Joseph Dispenza and Dr. Beverly Nelson

The ageless children's story Beauty and the Beast is one of the finest parables we have about the transforming qualities of love -- and about one of life's most important lessons: things are not always what they seem.

Storybook Magic for Your School
Beauty and the Beast!  Large Cast Play for Kids to Perform! Children's School Play - Beauty and the Beast
Dana Elementary School, Santa Maria, CA  - Solano Youth Theatre, CA

Here are some lessons from Beauty and the Beast about choosing truth over appearances -- and love over fear.

Avoid judging. Virtually all spiritual literature warns us against judging people and conditions. The reason is that when we judge someone or something, we immediately put them in a kind of prison of our opinion -- a prison which they cannot get out of and which we cannot get into. If you think of a person as a thief, for instance, the person is labeled forever -- and your judgment actually can make that person act like a thief. Stay away from judgment: it limits perception and keeps you in fear.

See the beauty. Beauty is all around us, everywhere and at all times. But it is up to us to actually see and appreciate beauty. Many people go through life choosing to regard their reality as ugly and unsatisfying. They look at the half-full glass and see it as half-empty. When all of life is seen only as an opportunity to confirm the human experience as a vale of tears and troubles, then it certainly becomes that! See life for the beautiful journey it truly is, and watch miracles happen.

Stop complaining. Complaining is another form of judging. When you complain, you are automatically saying that people and situations are imperfect, defective, and even ugly. Try to head off a complaint by taking a second to question and reconsider your initial response. Even a brief moment will give you the chance to see things in a different way. A complaint is a comment that comes from a willful ego. Life will go much smoother if you trade a complaint for a compliment.

Move beyond the appearance. Things are not always what they seem. In fact, things are almost always different from how they appear to the eyes and how they sound to the ears. If you will find the truth about people and things, move beyond appearances -- entertain exactly the opposite of what you are seeing and hearing. The truth, like the prince, lies behind the wall of the physical senses, in a place where only the heart can discern.

Choose love. When given the choice between fear and love, choose love every time. If the culture is presenting you with fearful visions, you can personally dispel them by deciding to leave fear behind and go toward love. In this way, by raising your own consciousness into a loving place, you are lifting all of Consciousness with you. This is how wars are stopped or prevented -- and how people and situations in 'terminal' conditions are healed unconditionally.

The lessons of The Beauty and the Beast are everywhere in this enchanting fairy tale. We encourage you to surround yourself this month with the energy of its transformative teachings: love transforms everything, elevates everything, and reveals your life as the truly beautiful experience it is.

ArtReach’s Cinderella is an Ageless Classic
Charles Perrault – The Classic Cinderella

Charles Perrault was born in Paris in 1628 to a wealthy bourgeois family. He attended the best schools and studied law before embarking on a career in government service. He took part in the creation of the Academy of Sciences as well as the restoration of the Academy of Painting. When the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres was founded in 1663, Perrault was made secretary for life.

Storybook Magic for Children to Perform
School Play for Children - Cinderella
Solano Youth Theatre, Fairfield, CA

At the age of 55 Perrault tried his hand at children's literature and in 1697 he wrote his famous Contes de ma Mere L'Oye – Tales of Mother Goose. Its publication made him very popular and marked the beginnings of a new literary genre, the fairy tale. He used images from around him such as the Chatename au Ussé for Sleeping Beauty and in Puss-in-Boots, the Marquis of the Chateau d'Oiron.

Perhaps because of his age, Perrault did not sign his own name to the collection, but published under the name of his 17-year-old son. Ever since, there has been some dispute whether father or son wrote it, but the tendency of scholarly opinion is to attribute it to the father.

The Contes were instantly successful on their first publication and have remained enormously popular ever since.  Although the style of the tales in the original French suggests the sophistication of the courtly audience, by the time the tales were translated into English (by Robert Samber in 1729), they were clearly directed toward a child audience.

In England, the fairy tales became widely available through chapbooks (cheap, inexpensive books sold by traveling peddlers) as well as other, more reputable publications. The first American edition was not published until 1794, although the tales may have been available to colonial readers through imported books.

Perrault's most famous stories are still in print today and have been made into operas, plays, movies and animated films.  Some of Perrault's best known stories are:

  • Blue Beard

  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • Puss in Boots
  • Cinderella
  • Little Thumb
  • Donkey Skin 

Charles Perrault died in Paris in 1703.

Frankenstein is 200 Years Old!
The world's most famous monster's birthday

Even National Public Radio is celebrating the world’s most famous monster’s birthday!  Frankenstein still fascinates kids of every age!

Today on NPR:  "Two hundred years ago, a 20-year-old English author anonymously published the tale of a scientist – obsessed with the impossible – creating life. The story evolved into a classic. A masterpiece. Revered alongside Shakespeare. Byron. Melville. The book was decades – centuries, even – ahead of its time. Raising deep, existential questions about who we are, our responsibility in science, and our ethical obligations. This hour, On Point: Frankenstein rises again 200 years on. -- Jane Clayson”

Welcome to My La-bor-ra-tory!  Ha-ha!
Kid Scientists love 'Kid Frankenstein'! Frankenstein play for young people.
Three friends try to follow Doctor Frankenstein's instructions!

Frankenstein was written by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.   She started writing the story when she was 18, and the first edition of the novel was published anonymously in London on 1 January 1818:  It is still available for kids today:  Frankenstein (Junior Classics for Young Readers)  Discover Books, Dalmatian Press.

Critics have responded positively to Frankenstein positive since the mid-20th century. Director Guillermo del Toro describes Frankenstein as "the quintessential teenage book", adding "You don't belong. You were brought to this world by people that don't care for you and you are thrown into a world of pain and suffering, and tears and hunger. It's an amazing book written by a teenage girl. It's mind blowing."

Frankenstein200 is a transmedia project, studying the learning that occurs when people participate in a combination of hands-on activities and immersive digital experiences. The Frankenstein200 kit includes seven hands-on activities that encourage creativity and reflection about responsible innovation.
Check it out here:

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Script is Kid-Friendly
Halloween Script is Full of Hilarious Comedy

You might be surprised during the first few minutes of ArtReach’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.   Rather than recoiling in horror, you’ll be laughing your socks off!

ArtReach’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow has been adapted especially for kids and family audiences.  Irving Washington’s famous American tale takes center stage, with his story and language in tact.  The bumbling school teacher Ichabod Crane woos his heart’s desire, the plumb and blushing Katrina, never suspecting that he is the butt of his rival Brom Bones’ practical joke.  Katrina has no intention of dropping her brawny beau for the school teacher, she just plays coy until Brom wins the match.

The Ride of the Headless Horseman!  The Legend of Sleepy Hollow! Great Roles for Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers!
The Ride of the Headless Horseman!  Great Roles for Middle, Jr/ High School.
Never too scary for the little ones!

Laughs and audience participation make this a great play for Halloween entertainment.  Clearly drawn instructions for building a Headless Horseman costume are included in the Teachers Guide, making it easier for you concentrate on comic timing.  Don’t hesitate to assure your young audiences that, though there will be moments of thrilling fright, they’ll leave the theatre laughing.

Mark Twain Loved Childrens Theatre
Every Child Deserves Theatre in School

"Children's Theatre is a great educational feature.  The time ought to come when a child's theatre will be a part of every public school in the land.”
Mark Twain (The New York Times) August 10, 1909

The occasion of Mark Twain’s quote was the closing of East Side Playhouse due to lack of funds.  Just one year earlier Mr. Twain had delighted in a performance of an adaptation of his book, The Prince and the Pauper, produced for a young audience.   Our most beloved American author knew more than a century ago what we all know now, children’s theatre should and must be a staple of feature of education.

For many years, we would hear from teachers who lamented the fact that there could be no drama club at their schools because they had no stage.  Sometimes they would say their school could only afford a few dollars toward the expense of a theatrical production.   Without sewing machines there could be no costumes.  Without a work shop there could be no scenery.   But anyone who has read or seen an ArtReach play knows that none of these things are needed to put on a wonderful show that will light kids’ imaginations and make their parents fairly burst with pride!

Peter Pan for a Large Cast of Kids!
Librarian Nancy Hammer, Peter Pan Cast, Shoultes Elementary School (WA)

At ArtReach we encourage educators to concentrate not on what they don’t have, but what they do have in abundance!  Every teacher and every student has a deep well of imagination that can be called on to delight, dazzle and enchant.   ArtReach’s plays are designed to coax out the treasures that already exist in the hearts and minds of every student, young or old.

One of ArtReach’s biggest fans, Sarah Ackerman-Hale writes:

"Directing plays inspired me to go back to school to become an elementary teacher. As I've completed my schooling, I've come to really understand and appreciate your philosophies about the emphasis being on the process, not so much the completed ‘product’.”

As you might have guessed, Sarah’s recent production of ArtReach’s TREASURE ISLAND was huge hit.  Mark Twain would have loved it!

The Importance of Being Tinker Bell
Why is Tinker Bell one of children’s theatre’s most beloved characters?

In the play PETER PAN, Tinker Bell is Peter’s best friend and constant companion.  She tags along with him to the Darling house, helps Peter find his shadow and sprinkles pixie dust on the children to help them fly.  She may even be in love with Peter though he doesn’t know that since he’s only a little boy.  Before it’s all over Tinker Bell has saved Peter’s life by drinking the poison that was meant for him.  And in a way, she has saved us -- the audience, by inspiring us to "believe”.

Tinker Bell is a child’s ultimate imaginary friend.  One who loves Peter no matter what and will help him in life’s struggles and even save him from death.

Tinker Bell is a fun part for shy kids!  Peter Pan! Great Parts for Young Kids!  Peter Pan!
Tinker Bell from Shoultes Elem (WA) & Welsh Hills Granville (OH)

In the original production of PETER PAN, Tinker Bell is seen only as a reflected light and heard only as the tinkling of bells.  ArtReach’s production allows the Tinker Bell to come fully alive onstage.  Instead of a light, a real performer uses only a kazoo and body language to communicate, which retains the effect of her original otherworldliness while allowing the young actor to fully embrace and enjoy Tinker Bell’s unique fairy/pixie character.

At ArtReach we often point out that Tinker Bell is a great role for kids who love to act but have trouble learning lines.  That doesn’t mean that this is a simple role to perform -- only that a playful, imaginative child can truly convey Tinker Bell’s rare and magical gifts.

Why is ArtReach’s Wizard of Oz so popular?
It’s not hard to understand why teachers all over the world recommend ArtReach’s version of WIZARD OF OZ over all others.

This script is one of the most beloved because it stays true to L. Frank Baum’s original book.  This no need for gimmicks, stage tricks or elaborate effects.  There are no long speeches or complicated sequences.  Just as Baum gave kids a safe place for dreaming in his classic book -- this version uses the written word as a structure for kids to hang their dreams on.  It uses the child’s innate impulse to play and invent – the essential elements that make the story so endearing.  Using creative play as its base, kids are allowed to be silly, to day dream, to explore a land of Oz that is distinctly their own.  Why just watch a storm appear?  Why not become the storm yourself?  Why should Toto stay in his basket when he has so much to do and say?  Why does there have to be just one Dorothy?  Why can’t everyone who wants to play the girl from Kansas have her own special moment?

 Creative Script Sparks Kids' Imaginations!
Fun Characters for Lots of Children to Perform!  The Wizard of Oz! Several kids get to play Dorothy and Scarecrow!  The Wizard of Oz!
Stage Kids (CA) & Shoultes Elem (WA) - Up to 4 Scarecrows!

ArtReach’s version of THE WIZARD OF OZ was written just for kids.  Fun, freedom and creative joy are infused in every page of this script, inviting children and directors to create a play that is meaningful for their special kids.  No hassle, no fuss and no demands.  Whether you are a professional or a first time director, you can’t go wrong with ArtReach’s WIZARD OF OZ.  The script takes you by the hand and lets you and your kids find your own yellow brick road.

Peter Pan is Theatre – Not TV
So you didn’t like the TV Special PETER PAN LIVE?  Almost nobody did.  Here’s why.

The TV Special Peter Pan Live! had hardly begun before twittering folks all over the country were sharing their displeasure.  It seemed everyone was disappointed in this most anticipated production.  Why?

Allison Williams and Christopher Walken gave heartfelt performances.  The scenery and costumes were unique, colorful and imaginative.  The songs were the same great songs we remembered. So why did so many folks feel let down when they watched this beautiful and exciting TV event?

At ArtReach, we realized long ago that a live performance never translates to video or TV.  Television productions are written, acted and edited for television’s unique platform – a screen.  A stage performance is a once in a life-time event, and its magic depends entirely on the interaction and participation of a live audience.  When we watch live people pouring their hearts out on stage we engage, sympathize and feel invested in the success of the performance and performers we are watching.  We are as exhilarated as the performers because for just a short while we are sharing an extraordinary moment of human connection.

 Children's Christmas Musicals from ArtReach!  A Christmas Peter Pan! A Christmas Peter Pan!  Children's Musical Christmas Plays for Large Casts of Kids!
ArtReach’s Peter Pan, North Shore Children's Theatre, Salem, MA

J. M. Barrie wrote PETER PAN specifically for the stage.  He didn’t write his novel PETER AND WENDY (which is now in the public domain) until long after the stage play’s spectacular success.  Never was there a story that depended more on the delicate interaction between actor and audience.  Try as they might, the best actors directors and designers in the world cannot save PETER PAN from looking bland and lifeless on a TV screen.

People reacted negatively to the TV Special Peter Pan Live! simply because they instinctively wanted more.  They could feel in their bones that this would be terrific if only they were actually there to expereince it.  That’s why no matter how many media screens we own on our TVs or our phones; we will still seek out live theatre performances.  Peter Pan will always fly into our hearts, as long as theatre lives.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: Scary story or practical joke?
Washington Irving’s classic story is just a fun, practical joke!

Hollywood and many contemporary storytellers like to link The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to stories like the contemporary Friday the Thirteenth or The Walking Dead, with lots of terrifying ghosts and gory un-headings.  In fact, Washington Irving’s story is about nothing more than a practical joke played by one man upon his rival; an attempt to secure his intended lady’s hand.

The Headless Horseman!
The Ride of the Headless Horseman!  The Legend of Sleepy Hollow! Small & Large Cast Halloween Plays for Children - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
( Instructions for Headless Horseman Costume in Teacher's Guide )

Katrina is wise to Brom Bones’ joke.  She knows that the hills of Sleepy Hollow are not haunted any more any other place in the new republic.  She enjoys watching as participating as Ichabod Crane is scared into believing in ancient haunts.  He is nothing more than an unwitting participant in her dance of courtship with the brawny Bones.

 Brom Bones, sensing that Katrina’s head is momentarily turned by the "sophisticated” school teacher from Connecticut, attempts to show her what a coward he really is.  Katrina plays along, seeming to be convinced of Ichabod’s superiority, until at last she gets "her man”.

Though Johnny Depp and the producers of the movie, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, want to offer a scary Halloween thrill, Washington Irving’s original story is considerably less bloody.  Irving’s character Brom Bones is successful in scaring his rival Ichabod Crane from the Hollow, securing his pact with the lovely Katrina who happily joins her darling Brom in an enthusiastic trip down the chapel aisle.

What Can Dragons Teach Us About Bullying?
The Reluctant Dragon Takes on the Bullies

Kenneth Grahame’s classic story strikes a chord with contemporary readers because it stirs in us a natural compassion for others.  In The Reluctant Dragon we meet a dragon who is a misfit among mythical beasts – a peaceful soul who just wants to enjoy life with friends.  Similarly, the boy who meets the dragon is misunderstood and longing for excitement.  We cheer at the end because we are pleased to see the underdog triumph.

Train Your Dragon in Three Easy Steps!
Train you Dragon Play for Kids! Widget trains his dragon - The Reluctant Dragon!

In ArtReach’s version of The Reluctant Dragon, Widget and Hairytoes are plagued by the neighborhood bullies, the Grody Gobsters.  As members of a group who consider themselves superior to others, the Gobsters have none of Widget’s insecurities or yearnings.  As a result they tease and pester our heroes and even call for the destruction of their beloved dragon.   Though this play is set in a fairytale world with lots of laughs and a satisfying final solution, we know that similar stories in life do not always end so happily.

Have your students read Grahame’s classic short story.  Then read the first in the popular series of books How to Train Your Dragon, which was inspired by the classic.  Have them discuss the similarities and differences in the stories.  How is the theme of bullying used in order to make the story more contemporary?  Then use the discussion of this literature to launch a deeper discussion on bullying in your school.

Broadway Plays v. ArtReach Plays: What’s the Difference?
Are ArtReach’s plays better than a Broadway Musicals for kids?

Broadway plays are written for professional adult actors who have spent long years studying their craft and have already proven their exceeding talent.  Professional actors have trained to deliver long, difficult speeches and have spent years learning the most advanced vocal and physical moves.  Broadway plays also rely on expensive and state-of-the-art technical stagecraft.  These scripts are usually quite long with elaborate scene changes and an intermission.  Also, since big productions are star vehicles, the spotlight will always linger on the star of the show rather than the team of performers who support the project as a whole.  Though some of your most talented kids may clamor to do the original, is it really the best choice for your school?

Everyone has a Role in ArtReach’s Peter Pan
Peter Pan for a Large Cast of Kids!
Peter Pan -- Shoultes Elementary School, Marysville, WA

ArtReach’s School Plays are written just for kids to perform.  There are no long speeches or difficult scenery requirements.  Peter Pan, for instance, allows up to four kids play the coveted role of Peter Pan so that not one child is the star.  Even better, each and every other role has a distinct name and at least a few lines to give them their big moment to shine.   Special kids and kids in wheelchairs may be cast and given the chance to fit right in with the team of performers.  No one is discouraged, no one dreads rehearsals.  Best of all, you have the right and ability to change the play – write lines, characters, songs – in order to serve your unique group of superstars!

 Ask yourself, do you want to start out with a script that may be too difficult for many kids?  Do you want to encourage only the brightest talents, or do you want to allow everyone to have the most positive experience?   Do you want to bring out the best in each every child in your cast?  Check out any of ArtReach’s School Plays and you’ll soon see the difference.

Theatre is Daydreaming in Motion
Any child can ride a giant crane or become a princess!

Like all artistic expression, theatre is a celebration of life’s experiences.  For children it is even more. It is a reaching for the future, an exploration of what is to come, a lovely excuse to dream about the path that lies ahead.   Any child can ride a giant crane or become a princess, a wizard or a knight in shining armor.  Any child can kick around all the reasons why princesses do what they do; experience all the obstacles and triumphs involved in slaying that pesky dragon.  Navigating through a theatre world is daydreaming in motion.  And it can be a wondrous and nurturing place to grow.


ArtReach Plays offers lots of information and suggestions to enhance the learning experience and many tips on directing.  You can pick and choose what makes the most sense for you and your students.  You know what to do with it – you’re the teacher!

Our children have a long dream ahead of them.  This is the place for them to test their creativity, explore their farthest limits, and to begin to understand the place they will take in the real world.   All the things that might worry you, the things you might think are important – costumes, scenery, learning lines, getting it right, making it "good” – have very little to do with the blossoming that is going on in a young player’s mind.

Every ArtReach school play has been written to take the emphasis off of all that, leaving you to concentrate on what really matters.  It’s the process - that feeling around in the dark - that means the most.   Place your emphasis on the joy of creation.  At every bump in the road choose the path of fun and exploration.  Give your young friends a safe place to "play” and imagine.  Give them roots and wings&ldots; 

And guess what?  I promise you – the play will be better than your wildest dreams!

The Velveteen Rabbit: The Power of Love
What does Margery Williams tell us about love in her wonderful Christmas Classic?

Margery Williams’ beloved classic seems to tell us that love makes us Real.  Since The Velveteen Rabbit longs to be Real and eventually becomes a wild bunny, it’s easy to miss the deeper meaning.

The Boy loves his toy rabbit so much that the toy shows its age and becomes shabby.  But is Williams really talking about how much a Boy loves a toy?

The Velveteen Rabbit - Christmas Musical for Kids! Classic Story for a Musical Christmas
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

As we age we become shabbier just like the Velveteen Rabbit and his mentor the Skin Horse.  We may suffer a few bumps and scrapes along the way, but sooner or later we go out of doors and find our own path in a wild new world.

Just as Michael (The Boy in ArtReach’s version of The Velveteen Rabbit) recovers from illness and begins to pursue his dreams, so do we all break free of the trappings of childhood and find strength in the past to begin a new future.  Although, Margery Williams’ story will bring a tear to your eye, it is really a very hopeful story about a Boy who is stepping out into his own new world and finding the courage to pursue a happy adulthood.

As the play ends, everyone gathers around the Christmas tree.  Michael realizes that love of family and friends (real and imagined) has carried him through the difficulties of childhood and he is now prepared to face the future.

Alice in Wonderland is a Christmas Play?
Read The Story of Alice in Christmas Land

"Curiouser and curiouser!” 
-- Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

If you thought Wonderland was curious, wait until you visit Christmas Land!  Alice in Wonderland is one of the world’s most famous and beloved classics for children.  Alice in Christmas Land gives the familiar story a musical holiday twist.

The play begins as Lewis Carroll calls for Alice who must be hiding.  While he looks the Storytellers begin the story describing merry old England at Christmas time.  When Alice finally presents herself Lewis sees that there are not 1 but 6 Alices!  He asks 5 of them to sit down and wait their turn to play the part as the play progresses.

Lewis Carroll is determined to take photographs of Alice with his fancy camera.  But Alice is reluctant because she would rather decorate the Christmas tree.  Mr. Carroll agrees and Alice unpacks the ornaments.  To her surprise each ornament represents characters in the stories that Mr. Carroll has told her.  She discovers the Queen of Heart’s heart ornament and Mr. Carroll tells her that this is the most important ornament of all because it represents the spirit of love and kindness which is the center of holiday spirit.

At last Alice poses for a picture but as she does she becomes sleepy and drifts into a dream.  The next thing she knows, a White Rabbit has entered and wakes her up.  But this not the White Rabbit she remembers from the story, this rabbit is dressed in a Santa costume and carries a great sack on his back.  However, the White Rabbit seems to have no understanding of who Santa is and what Christmas is all about.   The Christmas White Rabbit says "Mustn’t be late!” and disappears down his rabbit hole.

Alice follows the rabbit and finds herself in a very unusual place.  Little does she know that she has fallen into Christmas Land where every inhabitant has a very strange idea of Christmas.  She finds a bottle that says "drink me”.  When she drinks from the bottle she grows very small, as small as a cupcake.  A Caterpillar comes along and tells her that tasting the cupcake will make her grow.  One taste of the icing and Alice’s head is in the clouds!

Along come Tweedledum and Tweedledee, two little boys who are flying through the air, lofted up by the propellers on their hats.  Alice asks them to take her flying and together they soar up so high they see the Christmas star!  Alice then asks them to help her become the right size for a little girl again.  They give her a gingerbread man and tell her to eat part of it to grow down.

Next Alice meets the grinning Cheshire Cat who is now a Christmas Cat with green and red stripes.  The Cat has the habit of disappearing and reappearing during their conversation.  The Cat sings a version of "Deck the Halls” that seems crazy to Alice.  The Cat tells her, "We’re all mad here,” and sends her along to the Mad Hatter’s tea party.

But the Mad Hatter refuses to serve tea, claiming his party is really a tree decorating party.  But Alice doesn’t see any tree and has an absurd exchange with the Hatter about his tree that isn’t there.  Dormouse sings a Christmas carol that is just as silly as the Cat’s song.  Alice declares, "No one here knows anything about Christmas at all!”

The Mad Hatter sends Alice along to the garden of the Queen of Hearts where Alice finds decorators throwing away yesterday’s Christmas tree ornaments and putting up new ones.  Everyone seems terrified of the Queen and indeed when the Queen appears everyone runs away.

The Queen asks Alice to play croquet and Alice agrees.  But this is not like any croquet game Alice has played before.  The mallets are flamingos, the arches are people from the audience and the balls are hedgehogs.   After an attempt to play the game, Alice tells the Queen that she cheats.  This prompts the Queen to sing of her own virtues and call for Alice’s head.  Alice calmly informs the Queen that there must be trial first.

At the trial the Queen accuses Alice of sending a Christmas card, claiming the fact establishes Alice’s guilt.  At last, Alice pulls the heart ornament that Mr. Carroll has given her and presents it to the Queen.  Alice tells the Queen that she should represent love and kindness, symbolized by the heart, because that’s what Christmas is all about.  If she did, Alice tells her, "All of your subjects would understand Christmas a great deal more than they do now!”

The Queen is outraged and cries "Off with her head!”  All the Alices appear together and demand that they should like to see the Queen’s head off.   All Alices ask for the audience’s help and together they drive the Queen away.

Soon Alice is sleeping as before and awakens to hear Mr. Carroll and everyone singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”  As Alice tells Mr. Carroll about her dream, each of the characters appears before her.  The Queen appears, demanding her heart.  Alice says "With this, you can be the very best Queen there ever was.”  When the Queen wishes everyone a Merry Christmas, the crowd shouts, "All hail the Queen of Hearts!”

Mr. Carroll tells Alice to keep each Christmas in her heart for all are precious, prompting everyone to join in singing, "We Wish You a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!”

"If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense.”
-- Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

A Christmas Carol, the World’s Favorite Holiday Story
About A Christmas Carol by Charles Diskens


I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me.  May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.

    Their faithful Friend and Servant, C.D.
    December, 1843

Already the successful author of Sketches by Boz, Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop, Barnaby Rudge and American Notes, Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was one of the best-loved novelists of the time when he wrote this short novel, which was completed in a mere six weeks in tandem with the production of the eleventh episode of the serially published Martin Chuzzlewit.

Originally published on December 17, 1843, the book was rapturously reviewed and became an instant success, the first 6,000 copies of its initial print-run being sold out by Christmas, with 2,000 further copies from the second printing snapped up by the 6th of January. While obviously enormously popular from the outset, it has remained Dickens’ most widely enjoyed work, with hundreds of further reprints and adaptations.

Dickens was completely responsible for the entire production of the book, and he commissioned John Leech (1817-1864) to produce a series of hand colored etchings and wood engravings to illustrate the volume (six shown below).


ArtReach Children's Theatre Plays
Great Play Scripts & Musicals for Kids!