Caddie Woodlawn

by  Tom Shelton, Susan C. Hunter

Full Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy  /  7m, 8f, 9boy(s), 10girl(s)

Carol Ryrie Brink’s Newbery Award-winning novel Caddie Woodlawn is brought to exuberant life as a musical. Caddie - the iconic, high-spirited Wisconsin pioneer girl beloved by generations of readers - learns invaluable lessons about reconciling the head-strong child she’s been, and the responsible adult she is soon to be.

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License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    7m, 8f, 9boy(s), 10girl(s)
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Adventure, Adaptations (Literature), Theatre for Young Audiences
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences

Additional Info

Carol Ryrie Brink’s Newbery Award-winning novel, Caddie Woodlawn, is brought to exuberant life as a musical. Caddie (the iconic, high-spirited Wisconsin pioneer girl beloved by generations of readers) leads her willing siblings in a series of thrilling adventures, not always with the approval of her traditional Bostonian mother. Her father, however, encourages her antics, that she might thrive amidst the new, tougher ways of the West. In a dramatic climax, Caddie single-handedly diffuses a potentially deadly clash between the terrifi ed settlers and the local Dakota tribe through a daring and dangerous act. But her action only deepens her conflict with her mother. Ultimately, Caddie learns invaluable lessons about reconciling the head-strong child she’s been, and the responsible adult she is soon to be. Through it all, the sacredness of tradition – passed from one generation to the next – is powerfully dramatized. As one wise friend tells Caddie: “Families – they’re our link to forever, lass."
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Reviews

REVIEWS

"As cream rises to the top, so did Caddie Woodlawn..." – Wisconsin News-Leader

"Young audiences adore Caddie Woodlawn!" –Springfield News-Leader

"A fine family yarn..." –Milwaukee Journal

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • Elementary School / Primary
  • Jr High/Primary
  • High School/Secondary
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Youth/Camp Programs
  • Outdoor
  • Large Stage
  • Church / Religious Groups

Cautions

  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Wild West, American Civil War Era, 19th Century
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting:

    In and around the Woodlawn House, Dunn County WI. Several scenes can take place WHILE the set is being changed if necessary. Can be realistic or minimal.

  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: Classic Broadway
  • Vocal Demands: Moderate
  • Orchestra Size: Medium
  • Chorus Size: Large

Song Samples

Wisconsin Welcome
0:00
Wisconsin Anthem
0:00
Graveside Hymn
0:00
We Are We
0:00
Tom's Tall Tale
0:00
The Oath
0:00
Quaint and Rustic
0:00
The City of Boston
0:00
Breeches and Clogs
0:00
Waiting
0:00
O'Grady's Fiddle
0:00
A Change in The Wind
0:00
Paddy's Lament
0:00
Epilogue
0:00

Casting

7m, 8f, 9boy(s), 10girl(s)

CADDIE WOODLAWN – a young girl, 13 years old
ROBERT IRETON – a cheery Irishman, taken to singing, dancing, and handing out good advice
JOHN WOODLAWN – Caddie’s father, handsome and gentle, with quiet strength
HARRIET WOODLAWN – Caddie’s mother, refined, wants the same for her children
TOM WOODLAWN – Caddie’s mischievous older brother, full of fun and pranks, about 14 years old
WARREN WOODLAWN – Caddie’s younger brother, about 10, always trying to keep up with the other two, full of energyv
CLARA WOODLAWN – Caddie’s older sister, takes after her mother, very lady-like and sweet
HETTY WOODLAWN – about 7, a tattletale and tag-along
MINNIE WOODLAWN – 5 years old, sweet-faced and happy (can double as LITTLE HETTY and littlest child)
ANNABELLE GRAY – cousin to the Woodlawns, a graduate of finishing school, finds Wisconsin “quaint and rustic”
MRS. HYMAN – a snoopy neighbor
REVEREND TANNER – The Circuit Rider, hails from Boston (can double as CHARLIE ADAMS and MR. WOODLAWN’S GRANDFATHER [dancer])
KATIE HYMAN – about Caddie’s age, quiet and very shy
JOHN – Caddie’s friend, a Native American
MELVIN KENT – an ignorant bigot
MISS PARKER – the local schoolteacher (can double as MR. WOODLAWN’S MOTHER [dancer])
OBEDIAH JONES – a large, hulking bully about 14 years old, can double as JOHN’S friend
LITTLE TOM – Tom at age 9 (can double as SILAS BUNN)
LITTLE CADDIE – Caddie at age 8 (can double as LIDA SILBERNAGLE or JANE FLUSHER)
LITTLE WARREN – Warren at age 5 (can double as SMALL CHILD SOLOIST)
LITTLE HETTY – Hetty as a small child (can double as MINNIE)
MARY WOODLAWN – a sickly child (can double as JANE FLUSHER or be a baby doll)
NATE CUSTIS – a friend of Melvin Kent
EZRA MCCANTRY – a friend of Nate Custis (can double as SETTLER 1)
MAGGIE BUNN – Caddie’s best friend (can double as MILDRED ADAMS or GIRL)
LIDA SILBERNAGLE – a know-it-all
ASHUR JONES – Obediah’s oafish brother (can double as BOY, and MR. WOODLAWN AS A BOY)
SILAS BUNN – Maggie’s little brother, a clown
MRS. MCCANTRY – a settler (can double as MRS. ADAMS and SETTLER 2)
JANE FLUSHER – one of Caddie’s friends
CHARLIE ADAMS – a new settler
MILDRED ADAMS – Charlie’s daughter (can double DAKOTA CHILD)
MRS. ADAMS – a new settler
VARIOUS CHILDREN, SETTLERS, NATIVE AMERICANS including: GIRL, BOY, LITTLEST CHILD, SETTLER #1, SETTLER #2, JOHN’S FRIEND, DAKOTA CHILD, MR. WOODLAWN AS A CHILD (DANCER), MR. WOODLAWN’S MOTHER (DANCER), MR. WOODLAWN’S GRANDFATHER (DANCER)

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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Expandable casting
  • Features Children
  • Features Teens
  • Flexible casting
  • Roles for Children
  • Room for Extras
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
  • Parts for Senior Actors

Casting Notes

Can be double and triple cast for a smaller cast size as noted in character descriptions.

Can also be expanded with a larger chorus.

 

Resources

Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package

10 Piano/Vocal scores

Flute
Clarinet
Trumpet
Percussion
Accordion
Harp
Banjo
Violin
Cello
Bass

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Authors

Tom Shelton

Tom Shelton is an accomplished writer, composer, musical director, teacher and actor. He is the author along with long-time collaborator Susan Hunter, of the award winning musical Caddie Woodlawn and The Boy Who Ruled the Moon and the Sun, commissioned by the San Diego Opera. He has also written a series of successful ...

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Susan C. Hunter

Susan C. Hunter

Caddie Woodlawn was first produced by The Missouri Arts Council at the Landers Theatre on March 26, 1992, directed by Mick Denniston.

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