Fairy and folk tales are useful in drama sessions for children and adults as they provide a common point of reference and contain universal characters and themes. They offer an opportunity to develop new work using a familiar structure. The stories can be used as a launch pad in various ways to lead into rehearsed performances, improvisations, a series of tableaux or oral storytelling. Groups may want to stick closely to the story or simply use it as a starting point. The following activities all involve fairy tales.
Fairy Tale Mock Trials Drama Notebook 2020-04-30T19:43:45+00:00 Delight your students with this mock trial unit featuring complete instructions for ‘Goldilocks on Trial’ and much more! 12 pages in all.
Get your dose of fairy tale magic with “Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter” Korea has its fair share of fairy tales, and “Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter” covers one of the most essential ones. 3(R): 'How might creating these images help us prepare for our drama writing exercise? For your writing center time today, you will get to write one of the dramatic stories that you saw today. You can choose to write a story from the fairy tale that your group had or you can write a story from another tale.
I have included a list of some commonly-known tales as an aide-memoire. For further ideas try Aesop’s Fables or any collection of folk tales from around the world.
Just a Minute
Age: 10 to adult
Players: Small Groups
Time: 20 minutes
Skills: Improvisation, Devising
Give each group ten minutes to prepare a one-minute performance of a fairy tale. Rehearsal isn’t important. Focus on making sure the group all know the story, cast the characters and away you go! The fun is in trying to fit everything in to a minute – be strict and use a timer.
Mix and Match
Age: 9 to adult
Players: Small Groups
Time: 20 – 30 minutes
Skills: Improvisation, Devising
Introduce characters from one fairy story into another and you will immediately add layers of complexity which can lead to entertaining new versions. The groups can begin by writing some of their ideas down and then develop them into a group storytelling or a rehearsed improvisation.
Age: 8 to adult
Players: Small Groups
Time: 30 minutes +
Skills: Improvisation, Devising
Ask groups to choose a fairytale and then to take a few minutes to compile a number of “What if?” questions, such as:
- What if… Jack’s Mum climbed the beanstalk
- What if… Rapunzel cut off her hair
- What if… the Ugly Duckling had turned out to be a turkey
The groups should choose their favourite question from the list (or combine one or two of them) and prepare a short improvised piece to perform to the other groups.
List of fairytales for drama lessons
Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
Beauty and the Beast
The Elves and the Shoemaker
The Emperor and the Nightingale
The Emperor’s New Clothes
The Fir Tree
The Fisherman and his Wife
The Frog Prince
The Gingerbread Man
The Golden Goose
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
The Goose Girl
Hansel and Gretel
Jack and the Beanstalk
The Little Match-Girl
The Little Mermaid
The Little Red Hen
The Magic Porridge Pot
The Musicians of Bremen
The Pied Piper of Hamelin
The Princess and the Pea
Puss in Boots
Red Riding Hood
The Red Shoes
The Snow Queen
The Steadfast Tin Soldier
The Three Little Pigs
The Three Billy Goats Gruff
The Ugly Duckling
The Wise Little Girl
Many thanksto Jack Hourigan, who researched and compiled the following summaries
Goldilocksand the Three Bears
LittleRed Riding Hood (LRRH) went to the forest to visit her ill granny. Shetook some cake and lemonade in a basket. She met a wicked wolf that askedher which path she was taking. She replied, ìIím taking the path that leadsto my grannyís cottage.î
While LRRHwas busy picking flowers to take to her granny, the wolf went to the cottageand swallowed granny in one gulp. Then the wolf put on grannyís cap, gotin grannyís bed, covered up in blankets, and settled in to wait. LRRH arrivedat the cottage and came into grannyís bedroom. She said, ìGranny what bigears you have,î and the wolf replied ìAll the better to hear you with,my dear.î And so on with Grannyís eyes: ìAll the better to see you with,my dear,î and teeth: ìall the better to eat you with, my dear.î
The wolfswallowed LLRH in one gulp and then fell asleep. A woodsman came by whilethe wolf was still asleep. The woodsman cut the wolf open with his ax andout popped Granny and LRRH. Then the woodsman, Granny, and LRRH all satdown by the fire and enjoyed cake and lemonade.
Longago there lived an lonely old carpenter named Geppetto. He made a puppetout of some wood, a ball, and a string. That night, a fairy visited andcast a spell that made the puppet walk and talk. The next morning, Geppettodiscovered the animated puppet and named him Pinocchio. Geppetto gave Pinocchioall of his money and sent him into town to buy books for school. Instead,Pinocchio used to the money to buy a ticket for the circus. Two clownsgave Pinocchio a hat and asked him to stay, but he said he must go backto Geppetto.
The clownsreturned Pinocchioís money, but on the way home he was robbed by and evilcat and an equally evil fox. The fairy appeared again and asked what happened;Pinocchio pretended he had been captured by a monster. Suddenly his nosegrew, and the fairy said, ìWhenever you lie, your nose will get bigger.Now go find Geppetto; heís out looking for you by the sea.î
Pinocchiowas rowing a small boat in the sea when he thought he heard Geppettoísvoice coming from inside a large dark cave. He rowed inside, only to findhimself inside a whale with Geppetto. He tickled the whale with a feather,and the whale sneezed, sending Pinocchio and Geppetto flying out on tothe beach. Relived, Pinocchio vowed never to lie again and then he heardthe fairyís voice saying, ìmake that promise and you will become a realboy.î
Jackand his mother were hungry. The cow in the barn gave them milk, but theyneeded food. Jackís mother said, ìWe must sell the cow to get some food.îJack volunteered to take the cow to town. Along the way, Jack met a farmerwho talked him into giving up the cow in exchange for a handful of goodluck beans.
When Jackreturned home, his mother was very cross because they lost their cow fora few beans. She threw the beans out the window and went to bed. The beansbegan to grow straight up into the sky, so Jack climbed the beanstalk hopingto find good luck at the top.
Instead,he found himself in a giantís castle. The giant was counting his moneyand singing ìfee fie foe fum, I like children in my tum.î The giantís wifehelped Jack hide so the giant wouldnít eat him. Then Jack realized somethingand said, ìHey, this giant stole my fatherís money!î The giantís wife said,ìThis magic hen and golden harp used to belong to your father too. Playthe harp, and then run!î
Jack playedthe harp, and the giant fell asleep. Jack grabbed the money and the henand started running. But on the way outside, he knocked over the harp andwoke the giant up. The giant chased Jack all the way down the beanstalkchanting ìfee fie foe fumÖî etc. When Jack reached the bottom, he choppeddown the beanstalk with an ax. The giant was no more. Then the magic henclucked and laid a golden egg. Jackís mother, awakened by all the noise,took the golden egg, put it with the money, and said, ìNow weíll have somethingnice to eat.î
Aking and a queen had been trying to have a child for years. When the childfinally arrived, they called her Aurora. A great holiday was proclaimedto celebrate Auroraís birth. Visitors came from far and wide, includingthree good fairies, named Merryweather, Fauna and Flora. One of the mostdistinguished guests was another king from a neighboring kingdom, who broughthis son Prince Philip. Both kings realized that their dream of a unitedkingdom could now come true.
The threegood fairies began bestowing their gifts upon Aurora. Aurora received thegift of Beauty, and gift of SongÖ but before the last gift was bestowed,a wicked fairy interrupted. This wicked fairy was upset that she wasnítinvited to the party, so she cast a spell ñ on the day of Auroraís 16thbirthday, she would prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheeland die.
The thirdgood fairy hadnít bestowed her gift yet, and she was horrified at the spellthe wicked fairy cast. The good fairy wasnít strong enough to undo thespell, but she was able to dilute it a bit ñ instead of death, Aurora wouldfall asleep until her true love come along to undo the spell with a kiss.
As a precaution,all spinning wheels were removed from the kingdom, and Aurora lived inhiding as a peasant with the good fairies for protection. She grew up,met Prince Philip, and fell in love. On the night of Auroraís 16th birthday,Aurora, Prince Philip, and the good fairies all went back to the castleto live. But the evil fairy snuck into the castle and pricked Auroraísfinger with a needle, causing her to fall asleep. With the help of thegood fairies, Prince Philip kissed her and she awoke. They all lived happilyever after.
Thereonce was a widower who remarried. His second wife was ill-natured, andshe had two daughters who were just as unpleasant as their mother. Theman had a beautiful, gentle daughter of his own, and she was soon to becomethe servant of her evil step-mother and step-sisters. They made her doall the chores around the house, and she was named Cinderella, after thecinders she swept out of the fireplace.
The Kingneeded to find a queen for his prince, so he threw a huge ball. The evilstep-mother and step-sisters were invited, but Cinderella was not allowedto go. After they left, Cinderellaís fairy godmother appeared and changedher dirty rags into a beautiful gown with glass slippers. Next the fairygodmother changed a pumpkin into a coach and some mice into footmen. BeforeCinderella left, the fairy godmother warned her to be home before midnight,because the spell would only last till then.
Cinderellawas a hit at the ball. The prince fell in love with her and asked her name.Just then the clock struck midnight, and Cinderella ran away. She was insuch a hurry, she lost one of her glass slippers. It was the only cluethe prince had to find his true love. He went to every home in the kingdomand had every single young girl try on the slipper to see if it fit. Theevil step-sisters couldnít fit the slipper, but Cinderella did. The princemarried her and they all lived happily ever after.
Fairy Tale Summariesmac Drama Series
Anold miller went before the King and, trying to impress him, told the Kinghis daughter Rose could spin straw into gold. The King ordered the girlto be locked in a room full of straw. He said she was to spin the strawinto gold or her head would be cut off. Rose began to cry, and suddenlya little man with a long gray beard appeared and said, ìI will help youspin the straw into gold if you give me something in return.î The firstnight, she gave him her ring. The second night, she gave him her necklace.But then she had nothing left to give. The little man wanted her firstborn and Rose had to agree, or have her head cut off by the King for notspinning straw into gold.
The littleman kept his promise, and the King made Rose his queen. When Rose had herfirst child, the little man with the gray beard came to take the baby away.He said he would not take the baby if Rose could guess his name ñ she hadthree days to come up with three guesses. Rose sent messengers out to spyon the little man and found out his name was Rumpelstilskin. And the babyremained with the king and queen.
Hanseland Gretel were brother and sister. Their poor parents were starving, sothey went out in search of food. They took one slice of bread along, whichthey used to mark a path back to their home by leaving crumbs along theway. After a while, they came upon a little house made of gingerbread.Hansel broke off a piece to eat.
Suddenly,the door flew open and an old woman came out and invited them in. She fedthem mountains of pancakes and fruit, and then tucked them into bed tosleep. What Hansel and Gretel didnít realize was that the old woman wasfattening them up so she could use them in her favorite dish ñ roastedchild! Now they were prisoners, and the old woman kept feeding them, andwhen she asked them to stick their fingers out of their cell so she couldjudge how fat they were getting, Hansel held out a bone instead.
Finally,the children escaped and pushed the old woman into the oven. They filledtheir pockets with jewels and food and used the trail of bread crumbs tofind their way back home, where they lived happily ever after.
Fairy Tale Summariesmac Drama List
Thereonce was a queen who named her only daughter Snow White because her skinwas so fair and lovely. The queen died, and Snow Whiteís father marrieda new queen, who was evil, vain and wicked. Every morning she would standin front of the mirror and say, ìMirror, mirror on the wall, who is thefairest one of all?î The mirror always answered, ìthee,î until one dayit said that Snow White was the fairest one of all.
The evilqueen ordered one of her servants to take Snow White to the forest to haveher killed. The servant, feeling sorry for Snow white, let her go and broughtback a wild boarís heart to show the queen he had done the deed. Snow White,alone and hungry in the forest, came across a little cottage with seventiny bedsÖetc. When the dwarves came back form work they found Snow Whiteand said she could stay with them if she cleaned and cooked.
They alllived happily until one day when the mirror told the wicked queen thatSnow White was still alive and living with the dwarves. The wicked queendisguised herself as a peddler and went to the cottage while the dwarveswere at work. She gave Snow White a red apple that was poisoned.
When SnowWhite took a bite of the apple, she fell down unconscious. The dwarveswere very sad and built a glass coffin for her. One day a prince came byand saw how beautiful Snow White was, and bent down to give her a kiss.Snow White woke up and they were married.
Thereonce was a family of bears: mama bear, papa bear, and baby bear. They werejust about to eat their lunch, but their porridge was too hot, so theywent for a walk in the woods. Just then a little girl named Goldilockscame upon their house and went inside. She saw the three bowls of porridgeon the table and tasted some from each bowl. The big bowl was too hot,the medium-sized bowl was too cold, but the smallest bowl was just right,so she ate it all up.
The shesaw three chairs and decided to sit down. The big chair was too hard, themedium-sized chair was too soft, but the little chair was just right. AsGoldilocks was getting comfortable in the smallest chair, it broke. So,she went in the next room and found the beds. The big bed was too hard,the medium-sized bed was too soft, but the little bed was just right, andGoldilocks fell last asleep.
Just then,the three bears came home to find their house in a mess. Papa bear said,ìSomeoneís been eating my porridge.î Mama bear said the same thing, andbaby bear said, ìSomeoneís been eating my porridge, and they ate it allup!î Then they saw the chairs and papa bear said, ìSomeoneís been sittingin my chair.î Mama bear said the same thing, and then baby bear said, ìSomeoneísbeen sitting in my chair, and they broke it!î
Then theywent into the next room and found Goldilocks asleep in baby bearís bed.When she awoke, she was so frightened she ran out of the bearsí house anddidnít stop running till she got home.