JAC Publishing & Promotions

Wenceslas by Nicholas Conti

ISBN #1-60513-046-X

Cast Requirements:

  • WENCESLAS: At 17-years-old, King Wenceslas of Bohemia and Germany, upon his father King Charles IV’s death, ruled Bohemia from 1378-1419. He was an honest, principled, jovial and highly educated Monarch, who spoke several languages, promoted the Arts, and enjoyed entertainment. He devoted his energies to affairs of state; and providing for the poor; and orphans. Stern but fair, he tamed the rebellious nobility and is still revered in the Czech Republic.
  • CHANCELLOR to the KING: A Man Friday; Secretary of the King. Any age.
  • GUARDS: Two. No dialogue. Young men/women.
  • NOBLEMEN: Two young men.
  • NOBLEWOMEN: Two young women.
  • PEASANTS: Two young men and women.
  • LUCY: Blind beggar, ageless, caught stealing food in order to stay alive.
  • KING’S JESTERS: Three men/women. Joy (female), Lee (female or male), and Roy (male). They are young; caught stealing food in order to stay alive. They should do tumbles and cart wheels and act zany. (If you have the resources with children/teens who study gymnastics, great. If not, improvise.)
  • HAROLD: Teenager; proclaimed psychic and troubadour who sleeps in stables and gets arrested for vagrancy. Sings, plays guitar. Introduces the Christmas carol “Good King Wenceslas” and ‘foresees’ the song being written by the Reverend John Mason Neale in 1853 and borrowed from very old Scandinavian music.
  • IVAN: 20 or older- poor farmer caught stealing a cow to provide milk for his family.
  • LILY: Teenage or older; an artist caught pilfering artists supplies to live.
  • MIMOSA: Teens-30s; a young dancer caught shoplifting scarves and jewelry. She might be compared to a 1960s flower child. Some improvised dancing involved.
  • SCAVENGER: Teens or older, male or female; a thief— scruffy, funny, irreverent; caught stealing produce from gardens and farms to survive.
  • SIGISMUND: The King’s younger step-brother, 20-40s. Opposes the King.

Plot Summary

Join in as King Wenceslas celebrates his Coronation Celebration in the Throne Room at the castle, where Wenceslas makes it quite clear that he is determined to be a man of the people. This brings the peasants great joy, but makes the nobles upset and hostile toward him. So enjoys the duties of a King! A few months later, we witness the King’s Tribunal where he sits in judgment of criminals, doling out punishment justly and even offering positions in the castle to help straighten their ways (as long as retribution is made to their victims). Happily, Wenceslas inspires them all to entertain and assist with the Christmas Pageant. With envy and personal ambition, his younger step-brother, Sigismund, ruler of Luxembourg, visits and warns that the noblity is unhappy with his reign and his pageant. After Wenceslas’ lack of concern, Sigismund becomes vindictive and attempts to assassinate him. The failed attempt leaves Wenceslas free to go ahead with his pageant. And so it goes, the enthusiastic King and his peasants break into festive dancing, acrobatics and song, getting the audience to join them in the festivities.

The Setting

The Throne Room (not elaborate) of Wenceslas’ Prague castle. A single unit set with a simulated throne, positioned to be seen by all. A stuffed chair or high back wooden chair, possibly draped with some fancy material with a drape in back of it, and a simple but cheerful back drop to make up the throne. No other furniture should be necessary.


$7.50/individual copy

$30/performance royalty

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Have you read Conti's The Mystery of the House of the Seven Gables, Little Miracle of Bethlehem, The Little Drummer Boy, Chris Carole-Meet Santa, Taming of a Bull-(Y) or Shades of Sylvia!

wpe4B.jpg (102850 bytes)Author Biography

Born: in the shadow of the Verrazano Bridge, Brooklyn. Spent 4 years U.S. Navy. Member: 4 Biz-Unions AEA-AFTRA-SAG-AGMA; & DGA. Education: St. John’s U; CUNY-Media. Singing-Priv: E. Fowlston; Acting: American Academy of Dramatic Arts & American Theater Wing. Singing/Acting Perf:- 6 Summers, Equity Stock; Equity Library Theater, Columbia Artists Choral Tour; Lincoln Center: Philharmonic Hall (Schola Cantorum.) & N.Y. State Th:-German Schiller Theater. Operas: Traviata, Boheme Romeo & Juliet.Swedish Am. Line, Singer, 2 W. Indies. Cruises. Off Bwy: Provincetown Playhouse; TV: Nurses, Defenders, & Jackie Gleason; Cable TV-El. Commercial:-Rheingold Beer; Movies: The Hustlers & Love with the Proper Stranger.Radio: 8yrs., Hudson Valley, NY- DJ/Announcer/Newsman [also wrote news & copy]. Playwright Credits:- NY---2000: Alessandro, One Act play, finalist; Dawn:- “Lights Up Contest,” Cuneen-Hackett. Arts Center, Vassar st., Poughkeepsie, N.Y.2002: ‘Alessandro,’ Reading; Depot Th., Garrison, N.Y. Publications:-Drama Source: 5 One Act comedies: “ The Legacy,” “The Godmother I,” “The Godmother I-101,” “Saint Nicolas & Rudy,” & “The Godmother I and the Grump that Stole Christmas.”Merriwether Publ: One Act Comedy: “Night of the Living Cryonic Dead.”Lazy Bee Scripts Publ. (U.K.): 3 One Act Comedies: “The Merry Women of Windham,” “Mirror Mirror on the Wall,” & “Alessandro.”Finalist: Nov. 2005: Gettysburg College World Premier, One-Act Play FestivalOf : “The Merry Women of Windham.” Honorarium & 2 full Productions. Magazine Articles: 2001, Savannah; Theater Memories. 2004: (Child.) Whimsy; The Dragon That Could Sing Bass. Placebo Journal; (Epigram), “Doctologist.” Poetry.Com: 4 Poems. Song: Walking in Your Heart on C.D. Web: www.NickConti.com.


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