JAC Publishing & Promotions

An Old, Old Tale by Melanie MacQueen


ISBN #1-60513-063-X
JAC #2010-0004



  • NARRATOR: Knows the whole story

  • FINTON: A member of the Lepora tribe

  • DEMZELLE: A member of the Cana tribe

  • RED FLOWER: A flower in the field

  • BLUE FLOWER: A flower in the field

  • PINK FLOWER: A flower in the field

  • YELLOW FLOWER: A flower in the field

  • PURPLE FLOWER: A flower in the field

  • BENDRICK: King of the Lepora

  • SALDOONA: Queen of the Cana

  • DORICH: Champion of the Cana, brother of Demzelle

  • SARGRIT: Champion of the Lepora

  • KINZER: Leporan who has a bet on Dorich

  • MORDETH: Leporan rooting for Sargrit

  • BINDLE: Canan rooting for Dorich

  • AMORA: Canan rooting for Dorich

  • ANGEL: Gets places on time

  • SECOND ANGEL: Is sometimes late

Plot Summary

Fairy friends, Finton and Demzelle must hide their friendship because they are on opposite sides of a long conflict. Because of that conflict the flowers are suffering, as the fairy tribes forget their duties to nature. When the warring tribes, the Lepora and the Cana, pit two champions against each other Demzelle’s brother is accidentally slain by Finton. This sad event sets the stage for a battle between a reluctant Finton and an angry and grieving Demzelle, who now are the appointed champions of their respective tribes. As their fight commences, an angel appears to point out that the battling fairies have neglected their duties to the flowers. Full of pride and anger, the competitive tribes almost destroy the flowers trying to outdo each other in showing their mastery of rain and sun. Seeing what has happened, Finton begs Demzelle to help him save the flowers and show the two tribes why they must stop fighting.

A note from the playwright...
This play was first done with a group of third and fourth graders as part of my own “Elizabethan Project”. My hope was that by doing a play in quasi “Elizabethan language”, I would be able to incorporate some general knowledge of that time and theatrical style into the rehearsal process with the kids. I first taught them some Elizabethan insults such as “Thou poisonous and bunch backed toad” (from Shakespeare’s Richard III) and that incited an interest in how the Elizabethans expressed themselves. We also did some very basic sword fighting lessons with foam swords. That helped keep the boys and, indeed, some of the girls, interested. Weird insults and sword fighting? Not the stodgy sort of thing they were expecting to have to learn about all those “old time people”. The “fairy aspect” can be off putting for some, but in the days of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and other places for magical warriors, that worry evaporates quickly. I also think this play can be done successfully with older kids, in the mix, or with all older children. The children I worked with went away with a bit more knowledge and a fun and lively experience on stage. I hope your group has as much fun!


The Setting

A meadow in an ancient land.

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An Old, Old Tale

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Have you read MacQueen's
Pandora's Bum Rap and The Monarch's New Raiment?

About the Playwright

MELANIE MACQUEEN has been acting, directing, writing and teaching in the LA area for over twenty years. She was a founding member of THE THEATRE OF NOTE (New One Act Theatre Ensemble) which is still going strong in the Hollywood area.  As a member of that theatre she directed, produced and acted in multiple productions. Her performance in "The Miracle Worker" at the Commonwealth Theatre won her a Best Performance Dramalogue Award. She performed with the improvisation group, IMPROVETCETERA at various venues throughout Los Angeles. As a playwright, her award winning musical (with David Coleman) "IN THE NAME OF GOD: or honk if you love satire" played to sold out crowds in the NOHO arts district, won three Valley Theatre League Awards and went on to be produced Off Broadway by Painted Yellow Productions. In the spring of '08 her short play "Left Aside" was featured in the International Women's Day event in Scottsdale Arizona. Her comedic play, "Christmas Times" was recently produced in Beverly Hills, and her children's plays are now available through JAC Publishing. In her ongoing work with children, she is the Program Director of KIDS ACTING OUT! a free after school acting program for elementary and middle school kids. She has directed many plays, including "Two by Corwin", the famous Norman Corwin's radio plays, featuring Carl Reiner at Theatre 40. Melanie has done over 40 commercials in her acting career, as well as voice work and a lot of sit-coms and episodics - most recently appearing on "Greek" and "Parks and Recreation". She has recently been teaching dramatic writing and staged reading to senior citizens in the Burbank area and wishes to expand her workshops. Perhaps one of them will be right for your senior group! Visit Melanie MacQueen online or visit her Author Page on Amazon.com!

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