Ken Ludwig's Treasure Island

by  Ken Ludwig, Robert Louis Stevenson

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  9m, 2f

Winner! 2009 AATE Distinguished Play Award, Best Adaptation
"Five Stars! Yo-ho-ho! A Festive Treat to Treasure. Hit Ahoy! X marks the spot of a bona fide festive treat! Treasure Island is the answer to every adventure-starved child's prayers: a racy, pacy, tough-as-old-boots adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's swashbuckling classic! " -The Telegraph
A stunning yarn of piracy on the tropical seas. At the center of it all are Jim Hawkins, a 14-year-old boy who longs for adventure, and the infamous Long John Silver, who is a complex study of good and evil, perhaps the most famous hero-villain of all time.

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Ken Ludwig's Treasure Island

Ken Ludwig's Treasure Island

by  Ken Ludwig Robert Louis Stevenson

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    9m, 2f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

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

    Accolades

    From West End
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences

Additional Info

Based on the masterful adventure novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island is a stunning yarn of piracy on the tropical seas. It begins at an inn on the Devon coast of England in 1775 and quickly becomes an unforgettable tale of treachery and mayhem featuring a host of legendary swashbucklers including the dangerous Billy Bones (played unforgettably in the movies by Lionel Barrymore), the sinister two-timing Israel Hands, the brassy woman pirate Anne Bonney, and the hideous form of evil incarnate, Blind Pew. At the center of it all are Jim Hawkins, a 14-year-old boy who longs for adventure, and the infamous Long John Silver, who is a complex study of good and evil, perhaps the most famous hero-villain of all time. Silver is an unscrupulous buccaneer-rogue whose greedy quest for gold, coupled with his affection for Jim, cannot help but win the heart of every soul who has ever longed for romance, treasure and adventure.
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Accolades

  • Winner! 2009 AATE Distinguished Play Award, Best Adaptation

Reviews

"Five Stars! Hit Ahoy! X marks the spot of a bona fide festive treat! Treasure Island is the answer to every adventure-starved child's prayers: a racy, pacy, tough-as-old-boots adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's swashbuckling classic! " -The Telegraph

"Ludwig invents a new spine to Robert Louis Stevenson's great story of skulduggery and gold-digging on the high seas!" - What's On Stage

"Adapted with savvy showmanship by playwright Ken Ludwig... the show could usefully serve many youngsters as an introduction to the magic of live theater." -Variety

"A gripping yarn with a genuinely rough-and-ready buccaneering spirit. It flies the flag for good-old fashioned ensemble story-telling." - The Telegraph

Videos

  • Meet The Playwright: Ken Ludwig
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Considerations

Performing Groups

  • Jr High/Primary
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Outdoor
  • Large Stage

Cautions

  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $125 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 18th Century
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: Various locations. The action takes place in England and the West Indies. The time is 1774.
  • Additional Features: Animal spot, Stage Combat
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: Folk
  • Vocal Demands: Easy
  • Chorus Size: No Chorus

Casting

9m, 2f
ACTOR ONE – Jim Hawkins
ACTOR TWO – Long John Silver / Jim’s Father
ACTOR THREE – Dr. Livesey / Captain Flint, pirate
ACTOR FOUR – Squire Trelawney / The Bailiff / Job O’Brien, pirate
ACTOR FIVE – Captain Smollet / Black Dog, pirate
ACTOR SIX – Reverend Mainwaring / Jemmy Rathbone, pirate / Ben Gunn, pirate / Josiah Bland, pirate
ACTOR SEVEN – Jim’s Mother / Anne Bonny, pirate
ACTOR EIGHT – Widow Drews / Justice Death, pirate
ACTOR NINE – Bailiff’s son / Israel Hands / Blind Pew, pirate /Calico Jack, pirate
ACTOR TEN – Bailiff’s Son / George Merry, pirate
ACTOR ELEVEN – Inn Guest / Boy with Barrow, pirate / Ezekiel Hazard, pirate / Tom Morgan/ Cut Purse, pirate
ACTOR TWELVE – Bristol Sailor / Billy Bones, pirate
ADDITIONAL PIRATES - as needed
A PARROT
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Expandable casting
  • Flexible casting
  • Local Celebrity Cameo
  • Multicultural casting
  • Room for Extras
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Parts for Senior Actors

Casting Notes

Everyone except Jim Hawkins and Long John Silver doubles, variously, as the customers at the Admiral Benbow Inn, the sailors in Bristol, a lady at the dock, etc. The play can hold as many pirates as the producer can find - doubling can be eliminated or increased if the director can figure out a way to do it. The goal of the production should be wild, rollicking, frightening, breathless and moving. Any means to that end should be embraced, large cast or small. Additionally, there is a parrot in this play, who should not seem prominent or silly in any way.

Resources

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Authors

Ken Ludwig

Ken Ludwig has had six shows on Broadway and seven in London’s West End, and his plays and musicals have been performed in more than 30 countries in over 20 languages. Lend Me a Tenor, which the Washington Post called “one of the classic comedies of the 20th century,” won two Tony Awards and was no ...

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Robert Louis  Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson

The play had its world premiere in May 2007 at the Alley Theatre in a production directed by Gregory Boyd and designed by Eugene Lee and Constance Hoffman.

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