ONCE UPON A PLAYHOUSE: Synopsis of plays by Martha Horstman-Evans
NOTE: The author is not concerned with age, gender, race or disability. The kids can even change the name of their character if they want to. They can also be played by adults.
Below are a few examples.
MAGIC, MOONLIGHT & MARDI GRAS
(24 kids, 1 adult)
After winning a YouTube contest featuring a kid magician, a group of enthusiastic participants from The Society of Young Magicians get to hold their annual convention and kid magic contest in magical, mysterious New Orleans. Fuzz is on the committee, but because of problems at home, she isn't sure she believes in magic anymore. "Just because you know how it's done, doesn't mean it isn't magic," claims Ramses known as the "greatest kid magician in the world." Several groups of kid "acts" arrive some eager to show their skills, some forced into going to the overnight "Magic Camp" so that their parents can spend some quality time at Mardis Gras. The youngest act, called "The Circle of Seven,” succeed in making themselves invisible, after following the instructions in an ancient book of spells they found in the trash. In an effort to make them reappear, the Young Magicians learn what it means to be filled with a sense of wonder, even when they were sure they knew "every trick in the book."
FRIDAY NIGHT AT THE DREAM CAFE a musical
(16 children, 7 adults, 1 senior citizen)
The kids from the town of Sleepyville waken to the news that Rose’s cousin from Hollywood is coming to spend the summer. Pitou Girard, a young movie star, demonstrates that “show biz” is not all that it is cracked up to be. The ending provides a surprise twist, that delights the audience.
(This script is a musical with a cast that includes adults.)
TO EARTH, WITH LOVE
(13 children, 1 adult voice)
The play takes place on the invisible planet of Kannukah, located in the “no vibration zone” in the earth’s galaxy. The planet is an education facility for Kannukan kids who are studying Earth culture.On earth, two kids from the Pure Harmony School of Music get transported to the planet when they start to improvise. They accidentally riff on the “forbidden chord” (Known as the “Devil’s Chord” in Music).At the same time, some mischievous Kannukan kids have switched on the Vibratone Communication and Transportation Keyboard which accidentally aligns with the forbidden chord coming from Earth and the Earth Kids Appear on the planet.The problem is, they don't know how to get them back.
THE STRANGE VIRUS OF RHYMIN’ SIMON
Three youngsters seek to find a cure for a virus that makes them communicate in rhyming poetry.
NICK NEATNESS AND HIS AMAZING BIKE THE CLEAN MACHINE
(10 children’s voices)
A radio play (with handheld sound cues) that takes place in Tidy Town USA, where a young environmentalist seeks to prevent his nemeses Garbage Face and Messy Bess from polluting the harbor.
THE FINANCIAL FOLLIES OF FONZI FIGG
(12 children, 1 senior citizen)
After a young New Yorker experiences his family’s financial ruin due to a Ponzi scheme, he must move out of the city to a small town in Nebraska. Embittered by his circumstance, he seeks revenge on the unsuspecting kids of his new hometown by conjuring up some schemes of his own.
EL PUEBLO SIN TALENTO (The Town without Talent)
(9 children, 1 senior citizen)
Cursed with a legacy of untalented citizens, folks from a legendary town find themselves competing for a ticket to Hollywood when America’s Idol shows up seeking contestants.
(13 children, 1 senior citizen)
An after school program participates in an experiment to give up all electronic devices. In the middle of the experiment, they are given “old fashioned” devices to play with and try to figure out.
THE SCENT OF PATCHOULI
(25 children, 1 senior citizen)
At a prestigious school for science, young scientists perfect a time machine by using aromatic concoctions that transport the passengers to another place and time. Landing in Las Vegas in the 60’s, a young girl mistakes a copy cat act of The Beatles for the real thing, and brings them back to the present time.
LA LUNA DI GALILEO ( The Moon of Galileo)
(14 children, 1 senior citizen)
As a descendant of Galileo Galilei, a young boy seeks to find a spot in a girls’ astronomy team, as they aspire to win a contest that will send them into space.