The True Gift (Chicken Soup Series)

by  William Meade, Zoe Sarnak

Short Musical, Comedy  /  6f, 7boy(s)

What happens if everything that you hoped for doesn’t work out and in front of the whole school? This story is about discovering what really matters and being sensitive to everyone no matter who they are. 

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The True Gift (Chicken Soup Series)

The True Gift (Chicken Soup Series)

by  William Meade Zoe Sarnak

License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    6f, 7boy(s)
  • Duration


    40 minutes
  • SubGenre


    Fantasy, Theatre for Young Audiences, Period
  • Audience

    Target Audience

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

Additional Info


It’s time for the annual Secret Buddy Week and all the students at Penfield High School are overflowing with excitement. It is the biggest social event of the year where students anonymously give cards and small gifts to one special Secret Buddy every day of the week. Even though the gifts are supposed to be small, all the students’ fantasies of getting the latest and greatest gifts can’t be contained. Eva is a senior and she believes with all her heart that she it is her turn to get the most expensive and flashy gift ever so that she can show it off to everyone. But something is wrong, Eva’s Secret Buddy gives her friendly cards but nothing compared to anyone else. When the tension finally reaches the boiling point, Zoe discovers a part of herself that she is not proud of. The True Gift is story about self-discovery and empathy. It’s about finding out what really matters in life and being sensitive to other people’s feelings no matter who they are. 

This show comes with a teaching guide that will highlight relevant themes from the story and encourage students to closely examine their own personal values. 

The Chicken Soup For the Soul Musical Series is a growing collection of mini-musicals based on real stories with a positive message. The story that is the basis for this show was selected from the Chicken Soup catalogue of over 25,000 stories and written specifically for teens by an award winning creative team. 
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  • Introducing a brand new series of musicals based on the stories of Chicken Soup for the Soul
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Performing Groups

  • Jr High/Primary
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups
  • Youth/Camp Programs


  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.



  • Time Period: Contemporary, Present Day
  • Duration: 40 minutes
  • Setting:

    The True Gift was created to be flexible to your individual performance parameters. The show takes place in and around a typical high school and moves from the hallways, a classroom and a bathroom. 

    One of the key dramatic moments in the show takes place in a girls bathroom where one girl emerges from a stall revelaing that she has overheard a conversation. This can be adapted so that she is hidden in the background and just not seen by the other girls. 

    The sets can be as simple or as elaborate as fits your needs but in their design please be authentic to your own school's enviroment. 

    All of the costumes are street-wear and should relect what students would wear in your school.

  • Additional Features: No intermission
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


  • Musical Style: Contemporary Broadway
  • Vocal Demands: Moderate
  • Orchestra Size: Piano Only
  • Chorus Size: Medium

Song Samples

Present Company


6f, 7boy(s)
Characters: 6 Female/7 Male 
1.     Eva- strong vocals, comedian
2.     Ruby- strong vocals, sensitive
3.    Robert- sarcastically funny
4.    Alex- simple and funny
5.    Devon- self centered
6.    Lydia- over achiever
7.    Bella- self centered
8.    Sarah- simple and funny
9.    Austin Lenter – Morning Announcer Voice 
10.  Chloe Ritter- Morning Announcer Voice
11.  Adam- simple and funny
12.  Henry- self centered 
13.  Linda Marcus- Morning Announcer Voice
14.  Brad Connor- Morning Announcer Voice

Chorus- 4 Female/4 Male (can be expanded)
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Cast Attributes

  • Role(s) for Asian Actor(s)
  • Role(s) for Black Actor(s)
  • Role(s) for Latino Actor(s)
  • Ensemble cast
  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Expandable casting
  • Roles for Teens
  • Flexible casting
  • Multicultural casting
  • Room for Extras
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

Casting Notes

The Chicken Soup for the Soul Musical Series was written specifically for teens and as a result there are no adult characters parts. The shows were created to be “casting-flexible” and so any of the parts can be cast multi-racially. In addition, it is our goal to involve as many students in the productions as possible and so you are encouraged to expand the chorus to whatever size works for you.


Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package

Full Package:
18 Libretto/Vocal
1 Performance Tracks

Available Services



William Meade

WILLIAM MEADE (BOOK and THEATER SERIES PRODUCER) Conceived and produced the Chicken Soup for the Soul Theater Series along with Chicken Soup for the Soul's Artistic Director Amy Newmark. A Grammy nominated producer with over one hundred recordings his credit including Hello Dolly starring Carol Channing, The Best Li ...

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Zoe Sarnak

ZOE SARNAK (COMPOSER/LYRICIST) Award-winning composer and lyricist. Her work has been developed and produced at Second Stage, The Public, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Village Theater, Roundabout, The Transport Group, Goodspeed, Eugene O’Neill Artist Residency, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, Geffen Playhouse, New ...

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