Nature's House

by  Donal Davoren, Frank Nelson

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  4m, 5f

A story about an imaginative girl's visit to a sorcerer's magical abode where she learns about our planet's ecosystem.

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    4m, 5f
  • Duration

    Duration

    40 minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Fantasy, Theatre for Young Audiences
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences
    • Adult
    • Children (Age 6 - 10)
    • Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13)
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

A one-act musical play for young performers and audiences. Original songs and music add fun and impact to a story about an imaginative girl's visit to a sorcerer's magical abode where she learns about our planet's ecosystem. The play may be performed with adults and young people or entirely by children with imaginative costumes and hand props. An audio tape is available with all lyrics on one side as an aid to learning the songs, and background music on the other side for performances.

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Considerations

Performing Groups

  • Jr High/Primary
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Outdoor

Cautions

  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance
  • Mandatory Music/Media Fee: $15 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary, Present Day
  • Duration: 40 minutes
  • Setting: The setting can be realistic or fanciful or as minimal and suggestive as you please, with only a painted background drop or screen. The original production was toured with only a two-fold screen and a three-step step ladder, all appropriately and colorfully painted to represent the following, as described in the playbook. "The action takes place before and within a rambling but strange old house. It seems to have no real entrance door and the windows are shaped rather like clouds. Some interior rooms are visible, as in a cut-away view. These are equipped with unusual furnishings which appear to be fashioned of unlikely substances, such as mist or snow, or streams of water, or tree branches and colorful leaves or flowers, swarms of insects, or even live animals, reptiles or birds. A little cockeyed weather vane, a real one, is attached to the roof.
  • Additional Features: Mime, No intermission, Physical Comedy, Play w/ Music, Puppetry
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Fantasy Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: Folk
  • Vocal Demands: Easy
  • Orchestra Size: Piano Only
  • Chorus Size: Small

Song Samples

Magical Window
0:00
Nature's House
0:00
The Oxmolly Trio
0:00
Born to Swim
0:00
I'm a Tree
0:00
Change in Weather
0:00
Why Does Everything Keep Changing?
0:00
Nature's House (Reprise)
0:00

Casting

4m, 5f
POKIE BRONAKOWSKI - A very independent little girl with a highly developed sense of curiosity.
POKIE'S FRIEND - A schoolmate, not as adventurous as Pokie. May be played by the same actor who plays C.C. Otter and the Weatherperson
MR. CHANGE - A bizarre character played by a female actor. It is quite obvious she is only pretending to be a gruff old man, perhaps the caretaker of Nature's House. She wears a peculiar costume festooned with an assortment of masks tied on with ribbons, and wears one or another of these masks at all times until the very end of the play. The masks depict the many moods of "faces" of nature: bright and sunny, dark and stormy, bland or sleepy, beautiful, aloof, sorrowful, furious, etc.
OXMOLLIES ONE, TWO and THREE - The OXMOLLY TRIO; three oxygen molecules, all in black but with iridescent globes over their hands which are used as hand puppets.
C.C. OTTER - A fastidious fellow, champion swimmer, terrific dancer, and master of the waltz. He is a French Canadian sea otter.
MA HOGANY - A wise old tree, any tree, all trees, all forests. May be played by the same actor who plays Aunt Helios.
AUNT HELIOS - A wonderously energetic individual who motivates everyon with her super sunny cheerleader attitude.
WEATHERPERSON - A "talking head" weather announcer.
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Cross gender casting
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Expandable casting
  • Features Children
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
  • Features Teens
  • Flexible casting
  • Multicultural casting
  • Roles for Children
  • Room for Extras
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)

Casting Notes

Can be performed by as few as three actors, two of them playing a number of different roles. It was originally written to be taken on tour and performed by such a minimal cast in school classrooms. Or a youth theatre cast can number nine or more, with any number of "extras" joining in during the musical numbers.

Resources

Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package

Lead Sheets 
1 Accompaniment CD

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Authors

Donal Davoren

Donal Davoren is a nom de plume used by E. A. Moore when writing for young people. Mr. Moore has worn many theatrical hats for more than forty years, having worked as set, lighting and costume designer, actor, director, stage manager, you name it, in numerous regional theatre and professional companies in the United St ...

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Frank Nelson

Frank Nelson

Nature's House was commissioned in connection with a two-year teacher training institute at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). The institute, called Project COPE (Change On Planet Earth) dealt with the earth sciences and problematic changes to the planet's ecosystems and environment. The play was first performed at UCSD for Project COPE teachers on October 12, 1991. It subsequently was taken on tour and performed in a great many elementary and secondary school classrooms throughout the San Diego County school district.

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