The greedy Buncharot, a blustering tycoon, treats his son and daughter like servants while his wife clucks over him and dotes on the fortune he has amassed. Sent out to search for strawberries, the children go off to the forest, where they befriend two enchanting gnomes, Peri and Ponke, who guard the treasure of glittering jewels from which Nature draws its brilliant colors. The gnomes give their new friends a gigantic emerald, and Buncharot, once he lays eyes on it, realizes that the children have stumbled across the richest treasure in the world. He and the unscrupulous Reverend Archer plot to seize all the jewels and, for a time, they apparently succeed. But the children, along with Peri, Ponke and their woodland allies, soon outwit the thieving adults—restoring Nature's Treasure to its rightful guardians while teaching Buncharot and his cronies a lesson they will not soon forget.
Commissioned by the New York State Council on the Arts for production by New York City's noted Circle Repertory Company, this highly original and stimulating play brings bright humor and professional skill to its tale of selfish parents taught a lesson in life by their children. "So much of children's theater is earthbound and derivative, it dulls rather than stimulates the imagination. Therefore it is refreshing to come upon such a fanciful play as John Heuer's CAVERN OF THE JEWELS." —NY Times.