Alice in Wonderland Theater Script
by Lewis Carroll, adapted for stage by Jeannette Jaquish
''My name is Mouse. Just Mouse! Must you abuse my name as well as my tail??? ''
- COST: $30 first performance, $15 addtl., or $90/year. Emailed. You print the scripts.
- MUSIC CD: $23
- PRO QUALITY POSTER ART: $20, or Free Poster Art included.
- CAST: At least 23 with most doing multiple parts, or up to 40 playing 1 part.
- TECH NOTES: Lots of set changes, lots of costumes and props. Fast set changes.
- EFFECTS: Many inexpensive techniques described to make Alice grow and shrink.
- Optional extra scenes: Tweedles & Walrus and Carpenter, Humpty & White Queen & her Retinue
- Playwright Jeannette Jaquish will adapt the script to suit your cast, stage, length if possible.
Order the script, music CD, Pro Poster Art
Music CD for this Alice script
Pro Quality Poster Art
Tech Drawing of Giant Alice in White Rabbit's House
Costume Rental / Contact Playwright
See ALL the Scripts at www.TheaterFunScripts.com
Contact playwright Jeannette Jaquish
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This is the best stage adaptation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland that you are going to find.
Columbus School for Girls performance of this script -->
"Alice in Wonderland is wildly popular because Carroll wrote a logical plot that is framed in nonsense and splattered with symbolism which becomes a celebration of language and childhood imagination. It reminds all of us to believe in the extraordinary as well as in our own dreams. The adaptation by Jaquish has stayed true to the characters, plot, mood, and intellectual humor of the book."
Photos of Adams College in Colorado's production of this script
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Alice grows until her head, arms and legs stick out
the chimney and windows of the White Rabbit's House in this photo
from the Firehouse Theater in Fort Wayne, Indiana. -->
"I stink, therefore I am" -- Duchess
"Either you, or your head, must be off!" -- Queen
"The beach is here. Wish you were lovely." -- Mad Hatter's post card
Main stage scenes alternate with shorter scenes in front of the closed curtain to allow set changes behind curtain.
Ingenious low tech special effects allow Alice to grow and shrink.
Alice is played by three actresses: small, medium and tall (we used age 7, 11 & 16 for example) with a size-changing experience between each. At a performance directed by the author, a young child in the audience upon seeing all three Alices onstage for the first time during bows, was overheard saying, "Look, Mom, there's three of them!"
Each actor can play multiple parts, except the Alices and the White Rabbit, making your cast size flexible.
LINK: Other Theaters' Performances of this Alice script.
This script FOLLOWS LEWIS CARROLL'S STORY!
It is NOT a jam-packed song & dance extravaganza with every character from the whole play dancing to modern songs shoe-horned into the script. The only songs are those in the original, sung by the Mad Hatter, Duchess and Mock Turtle & Gryphon, and the music CD includes them plus mood music for scene changes. You may add more song and dance if you like.
STORY SUMMARY: When her sisters get to go to the fair with Prof. Charles Dodgson, Alice throws a tantrum at her strict tutor over memorizing the preachy poems children were required of as part of their moral upbringing in the 1800's when the story was written -- the same poems that Lewis Carroll lampoons later in the story.
She runs off and falls down the Rabbit Hole, grows and shrinks in the Hallway of Doors, falls in her own Pool of Tears, meets the ill-tempered Mouse, panicky wet creatures and the Pompous Dodo while the newly invented blind Mole and creepy Horsefly characters add humor.
She grows too big for the White Rabbit's House, kicks Bill the Lizard out the chimney, extracts some information from the aloof Caterpillar and recites "You are Old Father William" as it is acted out.
-- Optional scene: Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee / Walrus and the Carpenter.
At the Duchess's house she encounters pepper, flying kitchen objects and a flung crying baby whom she rescues only to have him turn into a little pig that runs through the audience.
She gets direction from the Cheshire Cat, matches wits with the wacky Mad Hatter snobby March Hare and a groggy Dormouse. She witnesses an absurd table dance and impertinent banter, and storms off insulted.
In an easy special effect she finds the key, eats mushroom and shrinks, and finally can slip through the little door to the beautiful garden. She rescues the guards painting the roses red, and plays croquet with a flamingo.
Optional scene: Alice runs to warn the Duchess that the Executioner is coming and bumps into Humpty Dumpty who laughs so hard he falls off the wall, leading to a Gilbert and Sullivan style song-debate between the Red and White Queens and their retinues as Alice and Hedgehogs repair Humpty.
Alice escapes a mass beheading, hears the Mock Turtle's sobby sad story, stands up for the Knave at a sham trial and starts a revolution against tyranny!
Alice begins the play as an impulsive, self-pitying, stubborn young girl, but finishes it as a witty, brave, thoughtful young lady.
The playwright, Jeannette Jaquish, has selected the best scenes from the book, stayed true to their mood and intellectual humor, worked and reworked them so they are stageable, and added lots of witty humor, extra characters and moments to give every actor good lines and time in the spotlight.
NOTE: The full play is about 2 hours. The optional scenes add on at least 20 minutes, so you probably want to substitute rather than add.
CHARACTERS IN EACH SCENE
Scene 1: An Impulsive Act - p. 2
Lorina, Alice's big sister
Edith, Alice's little sister
Scene 2: Down the Rabbit Hole - p. 4
Scene 3: The Pool of Tears - p.7
4 Swimming Creatures (puppets)
Scene 4: A Caucus-Race & a Long Tale - p.9
4 Swimming Creatures (puppets):
Scene 5: The White Rabbitís House - p.13
Bill the Lizard:
Scene 6: Advice From a Caterpillar - p.17
Father Williamís Son:
OPTIONAL SCENE: Tweedles & Walrus and Carpenter
Any size Alice
Lots of Mopping Maids/Oysters
Scene 7: Duchess - Pig and Pepper - p.19
The Cheshire Cat:
The Little Pig:
Scene 8: A Mad Tea-Party - p.23
The March Hare:
The Mad Hatter :
Scene 8.5: Shadow Scene: Door in Tree to Hall of Doors
Techies to set up Shadow Scene
Scene 9: The Queen's Croquet - p.28
Card Guard Two:
Card Guard Five:
Card Guard Seven:
Queen of Hearts:
The Knave of Hearts:
OPTIONAL SCENE: Humpty Dumpty & White Queen
Big Alice or Any size Alice
4 to as many as you want Guards and Aristocrats in her Retinue
Scene 10: The Mock Turtle - p.34
The Mock Turtle:
Scene 11: Who Stole the Tarts? - p.39
King of Hearts:
Queen of Hearts:
The Knave of Hearts:
12 Jury Creatures (6 have lines)
(Can be Hedgehogs and Wet Creature Puppet Actors):
(Puppeteers can operate two puppets and even use their head as a third; in other words, 4 actors can play 12 Jury Creatures):
Additional Optional Guests:
Scene 12 Ė Alice Goes Home - p.45
by Lewis Carroll
Adapted for stage by Jeannette Jaquish
(c) Jeannette Jaquish 2007
This is excerpts from the whole script. Neither excerpts nor the script may be performed without permission of the author, Jeannette Jaquish. Order the full script with performance rights for a very reasonable price at www.theaterfunscripts.com.
SCENE 1: AN IMPULSIVE ACT
(ALICE & MRS TALON ENTER from curtain and stand on stage apron.
ALICE stands at attention hands folded in front or behind her.
MRS TALON faces away from Alice, beating time with her baton, and may pace as she listens.)
MRS TALON That was pitiful. Again!
ALICE (sigh) Against Idleness and Mischief
by Isaac Watts.
How doth the little busy bee,
Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day,
From every opening flower.
MRS TALON Skillfully she builds her cell!
ALICE How skillfully she builds her cell,
And neatly spreads the wax, And .. and
MRS TALON labors
ALICE labors hard.... to store it well,
MRS TALON No. With the sweet food she makes. Begin from ďHow skillfullyĒ.
-- ďWaxĒ and ďMakesĒ donít rhyme.
MRS TALON You are correct. Perhaps Mr. Watts felt the importance of the moral superseded the pleasure of the rhyme.
ALICE Thatís why itís hard to remember.
MRS TALON Does the bee make excuses? No. The bee does her work and fills the comb with honey. You are to learn a lesson from her, and recitation is to help you remember it.
ALICE If Mr. Watts did his work better, the poem would rhyme.
ALICE Iím sorry. Iíll try harder.
MRS TALON Alice. My services do not come cheaply. Your parents are paying a high price for me to tutor you, and yet I still feel I am wasting my time. I would get more satisfaction from teaching a street urchin the alphabet.
ALICE (sullen) Why donít you?
MRS TALON It doesnít pay.
(Alice has snuck away from her Tutor)
ALICE I showed her. I will hide out here in the orchard until Mama and Papa realize Iíve run away. And then theyíll come calling me and Iíll run to them and tell them how mean Mrs. Talon is. Then theyíll hug me and scold me for scaring them and promise me a new tutor, a nice one.
Iíll just wait here for them to come looking. It wonít take long. I hope.
ALICE That rabbit spoke in rhyme.....
(shakes her head awake; jumps up)
And put a pocket watch in his waistcoat pocket!
I must catch him!
ALICE (screaming in fear) Aaah..... aaah?
(recovering, becoming very dreamy)
Well, either this well is very deep or I am falling very slowly. This is all very curious....
I canít see anything below me, and just a tiny spot of light above me.
Fancy having to climb 200 up feet to read the clock.
Iíll bet whoever lives here is late a lot.
(grabs jar) Orange marmalade Ė my favorite.
(opens it) Oh, itís empty. (puts lid back on)
I donít want to drop it on someone.... (puts it in a passing basket) There! Safe and sound!
Which way to go? The left? Or the right? They are both long, with no end in sight.
(The RABBIT ENTERS from Left Floor stage, runs past her up R landing, and exits saying:)
RABBIT Oh, my ears and whiskers and my pitter-patter heart!
If I donít get there quickly Iíll be too late to start!
Iíve slid up the staircase, now round the second bend!
ALICE Spectacles and pocket watch! There he goes again! (She follows.)
(HALLWAY OF DOORS w MEDIUM ALICE)
(Looking down a centered hallway; doors get smaller in the distance.
As curtain opens, Medium Alice is standing center looking around confused.)
ALICE Funny place to find at the end of a rabbit hole! All these doors. Where do they go?
(tries one) Locked. (tries another) Also locked.
(tries more) All locked. And no where else to go except to climb back up the rabbit hole.
~LIGHTS: Spotlight on table with key.
ALICE I am certain I didnít see that table before. A little key. Too small to fit any of these doors. It would fall right through the keyhole.
MEDIUM ALICE I am sure this bottle was not here before.
ďDrink MeĒ. No, I'll look first, and see whether it's marked "poison" or not. I have read too many stories about children who got burnt up or eaten by wild beasts because they would not remember simple safety rules, such as ďAlways look for a warning label that says ĎPoisoníĒ.
Hmmm.. Seems safe. (sips it.) Mmm, itís very nice. It has a sort of mixed flavor of custard, pineapple, and roast turkey.
(Drinks the rest. Pause. Then unusual feeling.)
What a curious feeling! What is happening to me?
(Throws the fan and gloves offstage. Water starts rising.)
Oh! That was a narrow escape! I could have shrunk away to nothing! But now! The garden!
(starts happily towards it, then slowly looks up)
And the key is still on the table!
(stomps around in a tantrum)
No no no no! What else can go wrong?!
Why, hello Ė You are a mouse! Not a walrus or a hippopotamus. I must be very small indeed!
If there were more of you, you would be mouses and that sounds like it ends in ďusĒ.
MOUSE Eeeeek! Donít include me in your ďend of usĒ predictions. (swims away)
LITTLE ALICE My apologies, O Mouse! Please, do you know the way out of this pool?
(ALICE grabs his tail and pulls him
back as he frantically paddles.)
I am very tired of swimming about here, O Mouse!
MOUSE Let go of my tail!
ALICE Forgive me Darling Mousey-kins with the Precious Little Whiskers. (Lets go.)
MOUSE My name is Mouse. Just Mouse! Must you abuse my name as well as my tail???
(Mob of wet puppet creatures come at LITTLE ALICE blocking her escape.)
1 Help! Iím drowning! Save me!
2 Stop splashing! Must you flounder so?
3 Look! An island.
4 Weíre saved! Climb ashore!
(They go towards ALICE but she backs up.)
ALICE Iím not an island! Iím a little girl and Iím trying to stay afloat just like you.
1 A little girl?
ALICE Yes. Canít you see?
2, 3, 4 Climb ashore!
ALICE Aaack! Get off me.
(but she canít swim and push them off,
so they climb onto her head. She resigns herself to it, treading water with an irked expression.)
1 Now, this isnít so bad.
2 These ear-things make a good perch.
(DODO, MOUSE, MOLE & HORSEFLY and ENTER with original 4 WET CREATURES.
All mill about LITTTLE ALICE's feet mournfully crying about being wet.)
CREATURE 1 - Aaachoo! My nose is sniffly and my head is stuffy.
2- My feathers are wet and straggly! I must look a fright! Donít look at me!
3- Iím catching a chill. I need medicine!
4 -(tugging on Aliceís skirt) Hello, up there! Have you any warm towels?
ALICE - No, Iím sorry I donít. Iím just as wet as you are.
MOLE - I hear dripping. Whatís happening?
HORSEFLY (irritated) Bzzz bzzz bzzzz bzzz...
DODO - Attention, Fellow Victims of Wetness! As Dodo and President of the Wonderland Underground Neighborhood Association and Serendipity Equalization Society, I hereby call this emergency meeting to order.
(DODO whacks his gavel on
the head of a puppet.)
The floor is open for suggestions.
CREATURES -(panicking ad-libbing) The floor is open! Help. Iím falling, etc....
CREATURES (adlib) Warm towels!
DODO There are NO warm towels to give!
But I will form a Blue Ribbon Warm Towel Committee to seek out grants to raise the money to buy them!
MOUSE But in the meantime...
HORSEFLY Warm blood would dry me off. bzzzzbzzzz bzzzz....
(OTHER CREATURES move away from Horsefly)
ALICE I have a suggestion! Dogs dry off by shaking.
DODO And the winner is!....
(Everyone crashes into the Dodo and falls.)
CREATURES Who has won?
DODO Why.... (his finger points slowly around the eager faces, then points up!) All have won!
DODO And all must have prizes!
3 Who will give the prizes?
DODO She of course! (pointing to ALICE)
CREATURES Prizes! Prizes!
ALICE Oh! Prizes.... Well, letís just see what I have... (Alice had no idea what to do, and in despair she put her hand in her pocket, and pulled out a box of comfits and opening it, breathed a sigh of relief.)
A box of comfits! Lucky the salt water didnít get into it. Now donít crowd, one for you, one for you..(etc.).....
There! One for each of you.
(Creatures greedily rip off wrappers and gobble.)
(#3 chokes on candy. Others pat him on back.)
MOLE What is going on? Are there pigs nearby?
RABBIT (offstage voice) The Duchess! The Duchess! Oh my dear paws! Oh my fur and whiskers! (ENTERS)
She'll get me executed, as sure as ferrets are ferrets! Where CAN I have dropped them, I wonder?
ALICE He must be looking for his fan and gloves! Oh, but everything has changed, since my swim in the pool. The great hall with the doors..... and the table with the key Ė theyíve vanished completely.
RABBIT Why, Mary Ann, what ARE you doing out here? Run home this moment, and fetch me a pair of gloves and a fan! Quick, now! (EXITS)
ALICE Yes, sir! (She runs into audience) He took me for his housemaid. He will be surprised when he finds out who I am! But I'd better take him his fan and gloves--that is, if I can find his house, if he lives in a house.... (slowing down to a stop)
But I have no idea where Iím going.
(looking around audience)
And these creatures are the strangest Iíve seen yet. They just sit there staring. Staring at what? (she takes a few steps)
Oh, staring at me.
(very nervous) Their eyes follow me wherever I go. Iím sure the White Rabbit wouldnít live in woods like these. (runs back to stage landing)
WHITE RABBIT (ENTERING) Mary Ann! Mary Ann!
Are you in the house? If you are, fetch me my gloves this moment! (RABBIT tries to open the front door but canít)
ALICE Ooooof! The doorknob Ė Please donít!
RABBIT (rattles the door some more) My door wonít open! Iíll go round and get in at the window.
ALICE That you wonít!
(Her arm pulls in.)
RABBIT Oh, good. This one has been left open.
(puts his front paws on window sill, starts practice hops)
1, 2, 3
(ALICEíS ARM snatches at him,
knocks him into a roll.)
ALICE Now what will he try?
RABBIT Bill Lizard! Bill! Bill! Where are you?
(Kermit the Frog, in his cameo as Bill the Lizard ENTERS.)
BILL Here I am, Govínor. Just digging for apples.
ALICE Digging for apples?
RABBIT Bill! What is that in the window?
BILL Sure, itís an arrum (arm), yer honor.
RABBIT An arm, you goose! Who ever saw one that size? It fills the whole window!
BILL Here they are yer honor! I brung Spike and Noodle and they brung a ladder.
RABBIT A ladder! Good thinking! Lean it against the side and one of you can go down the chimney.
SPIKE Yes, sir. Weíll set it right up.
NOODLE There thatís good and straight.
RABBIT Now, one of you go up the ladder and down the chimney and evict this invader. I must get inside to find my gloves and fan Ė I have not a minute to lose!
So who IS going up?
(BOYS step back leaving BILL standing in front.)
RABBIT Brave Bill! Up you go!
SPIKE Attaboy, Bill.
NOODLE Thatís a good lad.
BILL Oh..... Cow pie!
(Aliceís foot kicks up chimney as stage throws Bill over the house from behind it. BOYS try to catch him..)
SPIKE & NOODLE There goes Bill!
RABBIT Eeeek! (runs to avoid getting hit)
(BOYS try to revive Bill with brandy.)
SPIKE Is he alive? Bill? Bill?
NOODLE Heís opening his eyes. Did they used to spin around like that?
SPIKE The magic beans worked! The monster is shrunk!
NOODLE Now weíll see what kind of horrid beast it is when it comes out. (BOYS hold up a big butterfly net and club.)
LITTLE ALICE (peeking out window) Oh, dear, I must think my way out of this one. I could climb out the side window. (Extends one leg)
RABBIT Surround the house, boys, in case it goes out the window!
LITTLE ALICE (pulls leg in) Fine time to get an idea, Bossy Bunny. Hmmm.
RABBIT Mary Ann! Thank you brave girl. Go after it my brave soldiers!
(BOYS & BILL run into house.)
LITTLE ALICE My pleasure, Master Rabbit!
(ALICE kicks RABBIT in the rear end, EXITS)
SPIKE Itís under the china cabinet! Get it!
(SOUND FX: GLASS BREAKING)
NOODLE No! Itís inside the grand piano! Smash it!
(SOUND FX: BANGING ON PIANO)
BILL The little nipperís gone down the plumbing!
BOYS & BILL Rip out the plumbing!
(SOUND FX !*&%#!!!)
RABBIT My house! (rubbing tail) My bum!
CATERPILLAR So you think you're changed, do you?
ALICE I'm afraid I am.. I can't remember things as I used -- and I don't keep the same size for ten minutes together!
CATERPILLAR Can't remember WHAT things?
ALICE Well, I've tried to say "How doth the Little Busy Bee," but it came out all different!
CATERPILLAR Repeat ďYou are Old Father WilliamĒ.
--CURTAIN OPENS Ė FATHER WILLIAM
(Father is standing on head, Son stands.)
ALICE (folds her hands before her and recites;
She begins before curtain is all the way open.)
I might as well be at school.
ďYou are old, Father William,Ē the young man said,
ďAnd your hair has become very white;
(FATHER & SON say only their own lines;
Alice recites entire poem..)
And yet you incessantly stand on your headó
Do you think, at your age, it is right?Ē
(BIG ALICE is knocking.)
DUCHESS It was all wrong in the dailies!
They never get the story right!
What really happened was when the Prime Minister made the announcement that the waterworks should be
COOK Full of Pepper!
DUCHESS and paid for with monthly installments of
COOK Moldy Cheese!
DUCHESS The Parliament went into
COOK A Leaky Teapot
DUCHESS and called for a vote to
COOK Pull the guts out of that dead chicken!
DUCHESS Oh, who is knocking? The noise is driving me mad! Get the door, Cook! Or youíll be out of a
COOK Bushel of rotten potatoes! (thrown against the door)
(The impact of the potatoes pops the door open and ALICE who was leaning on the door stumbles in and trips over rolling potatoes.)
BIG ALICE Hello? May I come Ė Whoops!
(On ďWhoops!Ē, COOK throws a handful of cooked spaghetti at ALICE.)
COOK Pastaís done! More pepper!
ALICE Oh, clumsy me. Goodness! Aachoo! Aachoo! There's certainly too much pepper in that soup!
Please, are you the Duchess? My name is Alice.
DUCHESS Did you let that thing in?
COOK I didnít let it in Ė You let it in! More pepper!
ALICE (After looking around in amazed horror) Please would you tell me why your cat grins like that?
DUCHESS It's a Cheshire cat, and that's why. Pig!
(While the Duchess sang the second verse of the song, she kept tossing the baby violently up and down, and the poor little thing howled so, that Alice could hardly hear the words:)ó
I speak severely to my boy,
I beat him when he sneezes;
For he can thoroughly enjoy
The pepper when he pleases!'
CHORUS. `Wow! wow! wow!'
DUCHESS Here! You may hold it a bit, if you like!
(flinging the baby at ALICE as she spoke.)
I must go and get ready to play croquet with the Queen! (EXITS)
BIG ALICE Don't grunt. That's not at all a proper way of expressing yourself.
BABY Grunt grunt Squeal!
BIG ALICE What is the matter? There can be no doubt that you have a very turned up nose, and not a cute little one. More like a snout. And your eyes are getting extremely small for a baby.
Are you sobbing? No.
If you're going to turn into a pig, my dear. I'll have nothing more to do with you.
(ALICE goes down side aisle to rear of audience where she switches doll for pig-costumed kid.)
Goodness, you are gaining weight. Have you been nibbling that mushroom piece in my pocket?
Now what am I to do with this creature when I get it home?
(ALICE sees it is a pig and puts it down. It trots away.)
ALICE If it had grown up, it would have made a dreadfully ugly child; but it makes rather a handsome pig, I think.
I can think of some other children who would do very well as pigs, if one only knew the right way to change them--'
CAT Did you say pig, or fig?
ALICE I said pig! And I wish you wouldn't keep appearing and vanishing so suddenly: you make one quite giddy!
CAT All right.
(And this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.
BIG ALICE Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin, but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!
(ALICE walks R across Floor stage to landing. She notices a piece of spaghetti or something on her clothes.)
BIG ALICE Oh, dear, how messy. The Cook splattered me with spaghetti noodles.
Ooops. Iíve got to stop doing that.
CHESHIRE CAT (reappears, to audience) What are you looking at. Itís intermission.
~ INTERMISSION! (after 65 minutes)
HATTER Your hair wants cutting!
ALICE You should learn not to make personal remarks!
(HATTER replaces the measuring tape under his hat.)
HARE And that wasnít?
HATTER (offended) I should learn not to make personal remarks? Why?
ALICE Because it is rude!
HATTER Oh, my. You learn something every day. Speaking of.: What day of the month is it?
(THE HATTER is examining his pocket watch uneasily, shaking it, and holding it to his ear.)
ALICE (thinking) The fourth.
HATTER Two days wrong!
(glaring at the March Hare)
I told you butter wouldn't suit the works!
HARE (meekly) It was the BEST butter.
(ALICE rises to look closer.)
HATTER Yes, but some crumbs must have got in as well. You shouldn't have put it in with the bread-knife.
HARE You wouldnít let me lick it clean.
HATTER I didnít want you to get a HARE in it! Ha-ha-ha! Boo-hoo-hoo! Iím so fragile right now!
HARE Oh, let me see it.
DORMOUSE Are we going on vacation?
HATTER Eeek! Weíll miss our train!
(He sets off, pulling on suitcase, pulling Dormouse (squeak!) off chair. He trips and falls wildly landing beyond the table.)
HARE Have a nice trip?
HATTER (stands, knocked silly) Wonderful! I feel so refreshed. Did you get my postcard?
HARE The one that said, ďThe beach is here, wish you were lovely?Ē
HATTER (still wobbly) Thatís it! I considered one that said, ďThe beach is lovely, wish you were HareĒ but it wasnít very bunny! Ha ha ha! (collapses again.)
HARE (reaches down and lifts Dormouse)
Get up here, Dormey. Donít let him bring you down to his level.
DORMOUSE Oh, now I have to rest up FROM my vacation... ZZzzzzz
ALICE (looking around at the endless tea things) Is that the way YOU manage?
HATTER (shaking his head mournfully) Not I! We quarreled last March--just before HE went mad, you knowó
--it was at the Royal Concert of Music given by the Queen of Hearts, and I had to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Bat!Ē You know the song, perhaps?
ALICE I've heard something like it.
DORMOUSE Twinkle, twinkle, twinkle, twinkleó(continuing)
(To quiet him the HARE and HATTER start burying his face in bread.)
HATTER Oh, he wonít be still.
HARE Sing Grandmaís Wooden Tooth instead! He doesnít know the words.
GRANDMAíS WOODEN TOOTH
by Jeannette Jaquish
HATTER: Grandmaís wooden tooth,
It always told the truth;
HARE: Grandma couldnít fight or steal,
Cause that olí tooth would make her squeal,
HATTER: Grandmaís wooden tooth,
Saved her from a misspent youth;
HATTER Oh! Another standing ovation. I got one at the Queenís Concert, you know. I wasnít even through the first verse when everyone, rapturous with emotion....stood up... and walked out.
ALICE Oh. Too bad.
HARE Now, now... They didnít all walk out.
ALICE Thatís good.
HARE Some stayed to throw things.
ALICE They drew treacle while they were IN a treacle well!?!?!?!
DORMOUSE Of course they were --well in.
ALICE Really, Mr. Dormouse, I have to say that I don't think--
HATTER If you DONíT THINK, then you shouldn't talk.
HARE Perhaps if you made something of your lessons, you COULD think!
(LITTLE ALICE strides into audience. )
ALICE (nearly in tears) At any rate Iíll never go back THERE again! Itís the stupidest tea-party I ever was at in all my life!
(imagines them calling her back:)
I am sorry, but I WONíT come back!
I was raised to be polite. You obviously were not!
(TREE WITH DOOR is revealed onstage.)
(She eats some mushroom from her pocket and reacts by stumbling and turning while moving towards the scrim, shrinking her shadow.)
LITTLE ALICE It worked! I've shrunk! Now through the little door and into the garden. (EXITS across.)
SCENE 9: THE QUEENíS CROQUET PARTY with MEDIUM ALICE
~CURTAIN IS STILL CLOSED
(#2 Gardener ENTERS with a rose tree and bucket of red paint and begins brushwork)
SEVEN Hey! If youíre done with that one, get over here aní give me a hand with this one! We ainít much time.
(# 2 & #5 ENTER with paint brushes.)
TWO Look! Thereís two more on the far side.
FIVE And the procession is due in 3 minutes! We canít do it! We canít!
SEVEN Just shut yer bloominí yap and paint!
TWO Maybe itíll be late. The Knave of Hearts was vexing the Queen as best he could.
FIVE Maybe sheíll stop to give him a royal stomping.
TWO Look out now, Five! Donít go dripping paint on me! Make me look guilty!
FIVE I couldnít help it. Seven jogged my elbow.
LINES SKIPPED as MEDIUM ALICE arrives, then Queen and retinue arrive and discover the painted roses. The Queen sentences the gardeners to be beheaded and exits.
MEDIUM ALICE You shanít be beheaded! (to EXECUTIONER) If you come near them, Iíll spatter your nice black clothes with red paint!
EXECUTIONER (tries to get around her, but canít) Blimey!
QUEEN Ďs VOICE Are their heads off?
EXECUTIONER Beat it!
(#2, 5, & 7 EXIT)
EXECUTIONER Their heads are gone, if it please your Majesty!
(to Alice) Seven owes me 3 quid.
Come along now, lassie.
ALICE Where to?
EXECUTIONER Cause me all this trouble. Just get along now.
QUEEN (ENTERING through curtain) Little Girl, Can you play croquet?
ALICE Very. Where is the Duchess?
RABBIT Hush! Hush! Sheís under sentence of execution.
ALICE What for?
RABBIT She was late to Croquet and came smelling of pepper!
QUEEN Get to your places!
LADY LAVENDER Good day, little girl. I am Lady Lavender of Castle Obsequious, and this is Lord Milquetoast from the Isle of Maybe. Are you visiting the Kingdom on holiday?
LORD MILQUETOAST (aside) Oh, no, my dear. She is obviously a commoner, probably a mop herder or spoon farmer.
MEDIUM ALICE Hello, my name is Alice. This is a rather tricky game, isnít it?
LADY Have you ever played before?
ALICE Iíve played croquet before but never with flamingoes and hedgehogs.
(LORD & LADY look at each other in amazement.)
LORD Using what then?
LADY Reptiles and arachnids?
ALICE No. Where I come from we use wooden mallets and colored balls and metal arches.
LORD (scuttling Lady Lavender away) How charming. We must go take our turns.
CAT How do you like the Queen?
ALICE Not at all! She's so extremely Ė
(ALICE realizes the Queen is listening behind her)
-- likely to win, that itís hardly worth while finishing the game.
(The Queen smiled and passed on.)
KING Who ARE you talking to?
ALICE Itís a friend of mine--a Cheshire Cat . Allow me to introduce it.
KING I don t like the look of it at all. However, it may kiss my hand if it likes.
CAT Iíd rather not.
EXECUTIONER This circumstance is not defined in the Executionerís manual!
QUEEN Little girl! You have a good head on your shoulders.
ALICE No thanks to you!
QUEEN You must settle this argument! How do we decapitate this cat?
EXECUTIONER I canít cut off a head unless there is a body to cut it off from! I never had to do such a thing before, and Iím not going to begin at THIS time of life.
ALICE One must be careful in dealing with cats. They are always in style and have friends in high places.
KING Sheís exactly right, my dear. One never knows what the consequences might be from offending one. There could be a scandal!
KNAVE It could rock the Kingdom. Topple a Dynasty. Explode the Solar System.
QUEEN You. Are. An Idiot.
KNAVE Most Excellent, Your Majesty. Your expertise on the subject is unquestionable.
QUEEN Shut Thy Royal Face Up.
KNAVE (hums ďta-daaĒ and bows elaborately)
KING Where did the bloominí cat go?
KING Oh, dear. The Queen wonít like it. Wonít like it at all. Bruce, youíd better skip off.
EXECUTIONER Thank you, my lord. You are most merciful.
KING My Darling? The Catís head is gone!
ALICE Duchess? Out of the dungeon, I see?
DUCHESS Oh, yes, dreadful place. And the moral of that is ďBetter to light a candle than curse the dungeon.Ē
ALICE If you were allowed candles in prison, that is.
DUCHESS And the moral of that is ďThat which does not kill us makes us smell stronger.Ē
ALICE Do you mean smell with your nose or smell....... to anotherís nose?
DUCHESS To a nose by another name, of course, dearie.
ALICE I see. I think. Do noses here have names?
DUCHESS Of course they have names. Mine is named Priscilla. And they are easily offended. It is unavoidable. And the moral of that is ďI stink, therefore I am.Ē
DUCHESS A fine day, your Majesty!
(stamping on the ground as she shouted)
QUEEN Now, I give you fair warning, Duchess! Either you or your head must be off!
DUCHESS Oh, oh oh, (EXITS quickly)
QUEEN What did she say about me.
ALICE Nothing! Except how terrified she is of your beauty and intellect.
QUEEN (smiling self- satisfied) Excellent. Youíll be rejoining the game.
GRYPHON (yawning awake): But what makes them forgetful, Alice?
ALICE Hello! Who are you?
GRYPHON I am the Gryphon.
ALICE How do you know my name?
GRYPHON How could I not? Does your nose know your name?
ALICE I donít know. I donít even know my noseís name, though the Duchess says it has one.
GRYPHON Fact is, your nose knows your name. I know your name. And all the creatures in this underground Wonderland know your name.
ALICE Am I famous. Or infamous?
GRYPHON Thatís up to you. So what did you learn from the Croquet game?
ALICE (walking to him) Well, the Queen is dreadful! Ordering a personís head off for the tiniest reason. And the King is weak and lets her.
GRYPHON How about the game?
ALICE No one knows the rules so the game is confusion. And no fun at all.
GRYPHON So why do people play?
ALICE Theyíre afraid of the Queen. She sentenced everyone to death.
GRYPHON Except you.
ALICE Yes,.... or I wouldnít be telling the story. And the king, of course.
GRYPHON Of course. And.....
ALICE And.... the Executioner! Well, she needs him!
GRYPHON And so she does. She needs them all. And you need them all, though not in the same way.
ALICE (hollering over Turtleís head as he sobs) What is his sorrow?
GRYPHON It's all his fancy, that. He hasn't any sorrow. Hey! Hey, Mockie! This here young lady, she wants for to know your history, she do.
ALICE I do?
MOCK TURTLE (as if faced with death) I'll tell it her. Sit down, both of you, and don't speak a word till I've finished. (Sobs and sobs and sobs)
ALICE (after sitting and waiting, to audience) I don't see how he can EVEN finish, if he doesn't begin. (clears her throat)
MOCK TURTLE Once, (deep sigh) I was a real Turtle.
(more sobbing from Turtle, hiccup from Gryphon,
Alice begins to doze, slowly leaning to the side....)
ALICE (waking with a jerk) Thank you, sir, for your interesting story. (rises)
MOCK TURTLE When we were little...
(ALICE looks at him to see if he will continue. She takes another step away.)
MOCK TURTLE We went to school in the sea.
(ALICE sighs and sits)
GRYPHON Drive on, old fellow! Don't be all day about it
MOCK TURTLE Yes, we went to school in the sea, though you mayn't believe itó
ALICE I never said I didn't!
MOCK TURTLE You were thinking it.
GRYPHON Hold your tongue!
MOCK TURTLE We had the best of educations!
ALICE What subjects?
MOCK TURTLE Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with, and then the different branches of Arithmetic-- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision. Then there was Mystery, ancient and modern, with Seaography, then Drawling--the Drawling-master was an old conger-eel, that used to come once a week: HE taught us Drawling, Stretching, and Fainting in Coils.
MOCK TURTLE Come, letís hear some of YOUR adventures.
ALICE (walking to center) I could tell you my adventures--beginning from this morning, but it is no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.
GRYPHON (sitting) Explain.
ALICE Yesterday, in fact, just earlier this morning, I knew who I was. I could recite my lessons and they always came out of my mouth the same way. But since I came down the rabbit hole, when I open my mouth to recite, the strangest words come out.
GRYPHON And this morning, before the rabbit hole? Could you recite properly then?
ALICE As usual as ever, I suppose, though more than words came out of me.
GRYPHON What came out?
ALICE My temper. I lost it.
MOCK TURTLE So you came looking underground to find it?
ALICE A temper isnít something that runs away and you go find it.
MOCK TURTLE (goes to her) Oh, yes it is. And sometimes you go find it and give it a shake and tell it to behave, and sometimes it finds you and gives you a shake and tells you to make better use of it.
ALICE How the creatures here order one about.
(she stands folds her hands and clears her throat)
Tis the voice of the Lobster; I heard him declare,
You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair.
As a duck with its eyelids, so he with his nose
Trims his belt and his buttons, and turns out his toes.
GRYPHON That is very odd.
MOCK TURTLE Extremely abnormal.
MOCK TURTLE Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish,
Game, or any other dish?
Who would not give all else for twop-
-ennyworth only of beautiful Soup?
Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?
Beau--ootiful Soo--oop! Beau--ootiful Soo--oop!
Soo--oop of the e--e--evening,
Beautiful, beauti--FUL SOUP!
GRYPHON Chorus again!
(Mock Turtle had just begun singing when
the White Rabbit ENTERS from side stage)
RABBIT Here ye, here ye! The Trial of The Knave and the Tarts is nearly in session! (EXITS)
GRYPHON Go on, Alice. Youíll enjoy it, and maybe youíll find what you are looking for.
ALICE Mmmm. Those tarts look so good. I wish theyíd get the trial done and hand round the refreshments! Iíll just slip into a seat at the back.
(But Alice accidentally steps on 7ís foot.)
7 Ow! Ow-ow-ow! Oh, my poor little foot smashed to a pancake.
QUEEN Youíre disrupting!
ALICE Iím so sorry!
QUEEN Sit next to the Duchess and keep an eye on her.
(ALICE unhappily does, nodding politely to her)
DUCHESS And the moral of that is ďAn eye for a pie is truth to a tooth.Ē
ALICE That is nonsense. With all due respect.
LADY LAVENDER (to Duchess) Good day, Duchess. Interesting company you keep. I understand you were the special guest of the Queen earlier.
DUCHESS Itíll be your turn next Lady Lavender.
(GRYPHON ENTERS and sits leaving one empty seat between him and Alice.)
ALICE Iím glad you made it. The Mock Turtle didnít come?
GRYPHON You saw how he blubbers and carries on about everything. Imagine him at a trial. The bailiff reads the charges. The Turtle sobs. The judge pounds his gavel. The Turtle wails. The Defense Attorney objects.
ALICE The Turtle flings himself on the floor in hysterics.
GRYPHON You were at the last trial?
DUCHESS They are writing their names for fear they should forget them before the end of the trial.
ALICE (indignantly) Stupid things!
GUINEA PIG #1 How do you spell ďstupidĒ?
GUINEA PIG #2 S, T
GUINEA PIG #1 Whatís after ďTĒ?
GUINEA PIG #2 Naptime?
JUROR #6 Itís naptime!
JURY CREATURES Itís naptime!
WHITE RABBIT No it isnít!
ALICE A nice muddle their slates will be in before the trial is over!
WHITE RABBIT Silence in the court!
KING Call the first witness!
(WHITE RABBIT blew three blasts on the trumpet, again terrifying the jury.)
RABBIT First witness! The Mad Hatter!
(3 & 5 bring in a terrified Hatter with a teacup in one hand and a piece of bread-and-butter in the other. The Hare and Dormouse follow.)
HATTER I beg pardon, your Majesty, for bringing these in: but I hadnít quite finished my tea when I was sent for.
KING You ought to have finished. When did you begin?
HATTER Fourteenth of March, I think it was.
DORMOUSE Sixteenth. (he yawns and goes to sit next to Alice.)
KING Write that down! (to the jury)
JUROR # 3 14
JUROR # 4 Plus 15
JUROR # 5 Times 16
JUROR # 6 Convert to shillings and pence....
ALICE If they can do that Iíll be impressed.
HATTER (trembling) Iím a poor man, your Majesty, and I hadnít begun my tea--not above a week or so--and what with the bread-and-butter getting so thin--and the twinkling of the tea-- (He stopped abruptly staring in terror at the Queen.)
QUEEN (remembering) Twinkle, twinkle....
KING The twinkling of the what?
HATTER It began with the tea.
KING Of course twinkling begins with a T! Do you take me for a dunce? Go on!
JUROR #3 But what did the Dormouse say?
HATTER That, I canít remember.
KING You MUST remember, or Iíll have you executed.
(The miserable Hatter dropped his teacup and bread-and-butter, and went down on one knee.
The GUARD RETURNS and give Queen a list.)
HATTER Iím a poor man, your Majesty...
KING Youíre a very poor speaker.
GUINEA PIG #1: Hoorah!
QUEEN Suppress that juror!
(GUARDS 3 & 5 stuff the puppet into a bag...)
GUINEA PIG #1 No! Please! Iíll be quiet!
(... and beat it on the floor and kick it as the crowd groans with each hit.)
GUINEA PIG #1 Squeak Squeak Squeak....
ALICE Iím glad Iíve seen that done, now. Iíve so often read in the newspapers, at the end of trials, ďThere was some attempts at applause, which was immediately suppressed by the officers of the court,Ē and I never understood what it meant till now.
QUEEN Tea tray! I remember you! You ruined my Music Concert with that ridiculous song about the twinkling tea tray!
DORMOUSE Hit it, Maestro!
(MARCH HARE jumps up jamming on a ukelele. HATTER bursts into song. Dormouse dances.)
HATTER Twinkle twinkle little bat,
How I wonder where youíre at
Up above the human race
Like a hanky up in space!
(HATTER EXITS screaming, leaving his shoes behind. The March Hare sneaks to a rear seat. The Dormouse sneaks to an empty jury seat.)
KING Call the next witness!
KNAVE Perhaps the Accused? The Defendant??
Yoo-hoo! Here I am! Iíd just like to say --
QUEEN Shut it up!
RABBIT Next Witness the Ė Aaachoo! Aaachoo!
PEOPLE CLOSEST TO DOORWAY Aaachoo!
(ENTER the COOK carrying the Pepper.)
ALICE I can guess who is coming!
DUCHESS Thatís my cook!
RABBIT It doesnít say. In fact, thereís nothing written on the outside of the envelope at all.
(He unfolded the paper as he spoke)
It isnít a letter, after all: its a set of verses.
JUROR # Are they in the prisonerís handwriting?
RABBIT No, theyíre not, and thatís the queerest thing about it.
(The jury all looked puzzled.)
KNAVE Please your Majesty. I didnít write it, and they canít prove I did. Look! Thereís no name signed at the end.
KING Ha! That proves you were up to mischief, or else youíd have signed your name like an honest man.
(There was a general clapping of hands at this)
KNAVE Oh, brilliant.
ALICE Hmmph! First clever thing the King has said all day, and itís still stupid.
ALICE But, it goes on THEY ALL RETURNED FROM HIM TO YOU.
KING Why, there they are! (pointing to the tarts on the table.) Nothing can be clearer than THAT.
JUROR # 3 I canít write so fast!
JUROR # 4 Iím still trying to spell Stupid!
JUROR # 5 I canít swim. I confess!
KING Then again--BEFORE SHE HAD THIS FIT-- you never had fits, my dear, I think?
JUROR #6 F-I-T-
QUEEN (throwing stuff at Jury) Shut your stupid yaps you inane imbeciles!
ALICE I know nothing about this matter of the tarts but I know plenty about this trial!
Not one witness has said anything about the Knave or the tarts --
COOK Made of pepper!
ALICE Or the circumstances of their disappearance!
LADY LAVENDER Sheís growing!
JURORS Sheís huge!
MARCH HARE Giant!
ALICE I am not! And the Queen keeps hollering for the verdict but she wonít let the Knave speak in his own defense.
KNAVE Itís true! I am not a potted plant.
KING Itís the oldest rule in the book.
ALICE Then it ought to be Number 1 not Number 42!
KING (gasp gasp gasp) Maybe we started with Number 42?!!! Jury! Consider your verdict!
ALICE And why havenít you questioned the Queen? Didnít she make the tarts? Doesnít she dislike the Knave? What does she know about it?
QUEEN (after a few shocked gasps) Off with her head! (to the Knave) Off with his head. And anyone who doesnít agree Ė Off with their heads!
ALICE Are you going to listen to her? She doesnít chop off anyoneís head! Itís the rest of you who do it for her!
COOK Sheís right!
2, 5 & 7 We make the arrests for her.
EXECUTIONER I swing the axe for her
LADY & GUESTS We cheer her when we donít mean it!
DUCHESS Just because weíre afraid!
LADY & GUESTS Afraid to be next!
MARCH HARE Revolution!
JUROR #3 Then naptime!
QUEEN (advancing) Youíve ruined me, little girl!
ALICE (sticks out her tongue at the Queen and blows a raspberry)
(The QUEEN swings her scepter whacking ALICE in the temple. ALICE stumbles to the stage apron and collapses where she fell in Scene 1.)
2 The Queen clobbered Alice!
5 She must be punished!
7 Make her eat something nasty!
COOK (holds up a basket) I brought my famous pepper tarts!
Alice wakes up rubbing her head.)
ALICE What a curious dream.
(she stares off as people do
recalling a dream, smiles)
And what a refreshing nap. Well, few things solve themselves.
(MRS TALON ENTERS from R-side onto landing, putting on her gloves as if to leave.
ALICE runs up to her. )
MRS TALON (sternly but surprised) Goodness, child. You have been thinking.
ALICE I know you traveled many years in India and Arabia, Mrs. Talon. And I know you read the news every day. I would like to ask you questions on those subjects.
(with a small smile)
And I also know you are very skilled at pastry-making. May I suggest we have our discussion in the kitchen while making tarts? I am so hungry for tarts.
(pause Ė MRS TALON shows no softening)
And I know I must complete my writing assignments by next lesson.
MRS TALON Yes, you will.
(pause) Raspberry or Lemon?
ALICE Would the flavors blend?
MRS TALON (smiling) Letís find out.
* * *To see a PERUSAL SCRIPT, please contact Jeannette Jaquish
at (260) 484-5946, between 7am and 10pm, Eastern Standard Time, USA,
or at http://www.theaterfunscripts.com/details.html.
NOTES: Scenes in front of the Closed Curtain and in the audience are put there to allow the set behind the curtain to be changed without pausing the performance.
Stage directions were meant for the theater space this play was first performed in. You should definitely read the stage directions but change them if it does not suit you.
The large table in the Hall of Doors, need not be a large replica depending on the height of your stage ceiling. It can just be the table legs extending above the sight line. Or the small Alice can just look off into the sky as if seeing it far off.
WATER is blue fabric. Get a length wider than the curtain opening. Tie a fishline to one corner and run that line across the stage so it can be pulled from offstage to pull the blue fabric ďwaterĒ across, then operators on both sides lift one side to be the rising water and puppeteer shield. Pull it the rest of the way off to remove it.
Many of our effects are hard to describe. If you have questions, please contact me through my website: www.angelfire.com/scifi/theaterscripts or call me at 260 484-5946. If those are not around anymore, please search for ďJeannette JaquishĒ on the internet.
A few of the other theaters that have performed this Alice in Wonderland script:
Auditioning a Ghost & Dr. Frankenstreudel's Lab of Horrors A combination of two plays by Jeannette Jaquish. Closes 8/17. Forge Theatre, 241 1st Ave., Phoenixville; RSVP: 610-935-1920. www.forgetheatre.org. $8.
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