The Princess and the Pea

We did this puppet play again yesterday, had a bunch of friends with kids over, Good witty hilarious players, it was teriffic fun. (The original performance featured Rachel and Larry Stallman, Mark Merrett as the King, and Cathy Frank was the Queen) Here's the latest script, adapted by yers truly with input from Larry Stallman, Gene Mirabelli, and Stardust Atkeson

Princess, Stardust Atkeson

Prince, Stewart Lehrman

Queen, Lori Lawrence

King, Bob Fullem

Stage Mgr, Ed Atkeson

Sound effects, Eric Liu
Video documentation, Summer Atkeson



(Medieval kazoo music with drums)

STAGE MGR: introduction of the classic and mystic, and most favorite tale.

Relates how he found the Hans Christian Anderson site on the web.

He takes too long explaning this stuff and the Queen pops up and tells him to get off the stage.


PRINCE out wandering the wide world, looking in vain for a true princess. He's very despondent.

I'll NEVER find a true princess. I've seen them all, I've been everywhere. I've seen some princesses, but were they true princesses? It has to be a true princess, whatever that is. WHY does it have to be a "true Princess?" Mom says, that's why.

When you're a prince, that sort of limits things. It's terrible, I'll be lonely forever.

--------------------comes to a castle, knocks, enters

Comes sadly home at last to the castle of his parents. KING, QUEEN, big homecoming, talk about son's adventures. Queen gives comic advice about finding princesses, "Have you been to Norway?" Stuart adlibs "Actually, I've been looking in the south of France." There is disrespect, squabbling.

Oh woe, I will never find a true princess! I've looked everywhere, etc. Mom, tell me again why she has to be a true princess?

Queen explains why the princess has to be true, she would be mortified, etc.

King hints that the Queen herself may not have been royalty. Queen is horrified. Big fight between the Queen and King.


PRINCESS (bedraggled), has been wandering the wide world. She has come by chance into this wood after travelling from a far far distant land. (forest sounds)

Princess is in good spirits, but is talking to herself about having to run away from home, she grumbles about an arranged marriage with some old geezer. But... it's so pleasant camping under the stars in this beautiful place.

She starts to set up camp when (sound effects) a slashing storm comes up, she sees a light and goes to the castle.

--------------------knocks, enters

PRINCE, QUEEN, KING, let the Princess in. She states that she is a Princess from a far far land. Queen is very dubious. KING believes the princess, takes her side in the argument. This results in a big loud fight, things being thrown.

The Prince is lovestruck.


PRINCE alone: Woooowoowoowoowoowoo! I'm in love! I'm in love! I'm in love! and etc. Oh, I've never, etc. I don't even care if she's a true princess.

Sadly, he worrys about his mom ruining everything.


Curtain rises on KING and QUEEN, still arguing fiercely, Queen devises pea-in-the-mattresses test. Prince is seen to be eavesdropping.

QUEEN, I'm decided, She absolutely has to be a true princess, if not, we'll be the laughingstock of the neighborhood. Things are bad enough around here. We don't know a thing about this girl. She comes in here claiming to be...

KING is wise, dignified, but holds his own with the Queen. Queen chatters away, but then slows down and waits for the King to speak. He agrees to the test.

When the Queen thinks of the test, The Prince overhears and gets an idea.


PRINCESS comes in in new clothes, and ribbons in her hair.

Oh, don't you look so much better! Queen shows P. to bedroom. Princess goes out to get ready for sleep, Queen inserts the pea.

While the Princess steps out for a moment, the Prince comes in stealthily and inserts a large boulder.

Princess comes in, goes to bed, tosses, turns.


KING, QUEEN, PRINCE, at breakfast, PRINCESS comes in, says she had a terrible night. Queen begrudgingly is convinced at last of her credentials. Wedding arrangements are made, P and P are happy happy.


PRINCE, PRINCESS, talk about the future. Prince mentions that he will never know if she is a real princess. Princess (surprised) explains that that these old rules are all hokum. "If I was paying attention to this oldfashioned stuff I'd be back at home married to my Uncle."

It DOESN'T MATTER if I'm a "true princess." The only thing that matters is that we're in love.

PRINCESS explains to him that princesses aren't like they used to be, frail and helpless. (Stuart adlibs, "but princes are.") The Princess continues, "Sensitive, yes, but look I've been camping out here for three months, sleeping on the hard ground. Sleeping on a pea, give me a break."

PRINCE is surprised at the princess's modern ideas. Is it really true? It's true? I've found my princess?

"clack" they embrace passionately. (Stardust's idea to do this, pretty funny)


Time for bed. PRINCESS spends another night in the castle. Prince sneaks in and removes the boulder before she goes to sleep. Curtain comes down while she tosses and turns.


KING, QUEEN, PRINCE, at breakfast, PRINCESS enters. She's had another terrible night.

Queen jumps up, horrified that she forgot to take out the pea, she apologizes profusely.

Prince jumps up, delighted. I KNEW you were a true princess! I knew it I knew it I knew it.

Princess (flatly): Well what did you think? Of course I'm a true Princess.

Prince jumps around the room, even kisses his Mom, "A true Princess!" I knew it!


STAGE MGR, tells how the Princess and the Prince went on to become the King and Queen of all Yootland and the surrounding islands and territories, and how it was the grandest and happiest reign in the history of all the monarchies of the entire world. The famous pea can still be viewed at the Danish National Institute of History.

(Medieval kazoo music with drums)

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