The Beggar's Opera (Jeffries/Knight)

by  John Gay, Charles Jeffries, Jerry Knight

Short Play, Comedy  /  8m, 7f

A ragtag company of beggars in Victorian London tell the bitter tale of the predatory outlaw known as Macheath. He secretly marries the daughter of an underworld boss, but is soon betrayed by his sinister in-laws and sent to prison.

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The Beggar's Opera (Jeffries/Knight)

by  John Gay Charles Jeffries Jerry Knight

License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    8m, 7f
  • Duration

    Duration

    40 minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Adaptations (Literature)
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    State Winner - UIL Texas
  • Suggested Use

    Suggested Use

    • UIL Approved
    • Competition or audition material
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences

Additional Info

A ragtag company of beggars in Victorian London tell the bitter tale of the predatory outlaw known as Macheath. He secretly marries the daughter of an underworld boss, but is soon betrayed by his sinister in-laws and sent to prison. After being freed by the police chief's daughter, he is again betrayed -- this time by a prostitute -- and sentenced to death. In a witty epilogue, the actors protest this unhappy ending and as an alternative finale, the players set Macheath free and into the hands of his many angry wives. "So think of this maxim, and put off your sorrow: the wretch of today may be happy tomorrow!" This is a perfect showcase for directors and actors alike and has done exceedingly well in competitions.

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Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups
  • Church / Religious Groups

Cautions

  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $45 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Not Applicable
  • Duration: 40 minutes
  • Setting:

    An open stage with misc. props.

  • Additional Features: Audience Participation/Interactive, No intermission, Physical Comedy, Play w/ Music, Stage Combat
  • Features / Contains: Elaborate / High Volume Costumes, Fantasy Costumes, Period Costumes

Casting

8m, 7f
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Expandable casting
  • Flexible casting
  • Room for Extras
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

Casting Notes

It is a "company of players"....it has been done by all female...and all male....

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Authors

John Gay

John Gay

Charles Jeffries

Charles Jeffries

Jerry Knight

Jerry Knight

The Beggar's Opera was originally produced by MacArthur High School in San Antonio, Texas.

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