Patriotic Plays and Pageants for Young People eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 140 pages of information about Patriotic Plays and Pageants for Young People.
Lovely Priscilla, Maid o’ Plymouth Town.  Benjamin Franklin supping at an Inn, A ’prentice lad with all his world to win.  Then Washington encamped before a blaze O’ fagots, swiftly learning woodland ways.  Next the brave times of 1773 When Boston folk would pay no tax on tea.  And then with urge of fife and roll of drum In shadow silhouette behold them come—­ The Patriot lads who for their country died, Who rose and followed when my name was cried—!  Leaving the farm and forge and village street—­ Our hearts still echo to those marching feet!  Spirit of ’76!  Thy deathless fame Burns for us yet, a sacrificial flame!  Years pass.  Behold a cabin in the West Where on an Autumn night, with mirth and zest, Lincoln’s companions take their simple cheer.  These are the scenes to be enacted here.  Shown to you straightway in a simple guise:  Youthful the scenes that we shall here devise On which the beads of history are strung.  Remember that our players, too, are young.  All critic knowledge, then, behind you leave, And in the spirit of the day receive What we would give, and let there come to you The Joy of Youth, with purpose high and true.


A white curtain of sheeting, or other similar material.  A strong light placed behind the curtain throws into high relief the figures as they pass in significant procession.  They are shadow silhouettes of a time long gone, of a race who now are shadows.  Care should be taken that they move in exactly the right space, so that the shadows will not vary greatly in height or in bulk.  First a chieftain passes, wonderful in feathers.  Next a young brave, who, standing alone a moment, tries the taut string of his bow.  Next an Indian maid, with a basket poised on her head.  Then two young braves with fish slung on a pole between them.  Then a group of Indian maidens.  An Indian child or two.  A squaw with fagots on her back.  Another with a papoose.  Then two Indians with a canoe, representing the portage of a canoe.  Then a final group of young braves.  The music, which begins as the chief passes, continues throughout the procession until the last Indian has passed, then ebbs and dies, growing fainter and fainter, till it ceases.  Mac-Dowell’s “From an Indian Lodge” is suitable for this.


This tableau represents a woodland scene, and is supposed to symbolize the coming of the Norseman.  A young Indian brave, with skins about his shoulders and hips, his black hair flying, his brown arms barbarically braceleted, stands poised, listening, and looking at a spot where the Norsemen are supposed to be making a landing, off stage.  With one hand he shields his eyes.  With the other he holds his bow.  The tableau should suggest the wild freedom of an untamed spirit.  For music, some bars of Grieg’s Norse airs.


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Patriotic Plays and Pageants for Young People from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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