Folktale to Theater

Shooshoo the talking cat

Act 1 – Scene 1: The Quiet Cottage

Setting: Tante Odette’s cozy cottage. Tante Odette is weaving at her loom, and Shooshoo rests on his rug.

Narrator (N): Long ago, in a village in Quebec, an old woman named Tante Odette lived with her cat, Shooshoo. Tante Odette was a careful, quiet woman. A soup pot always boiled on her stove, and Tante Odette added more water and a few cabbage leaves daily. In this way, she never had to throw the soup away.

Tante Odette (T): (Smiling wistfully at Shooshoo) What a perfect companion you are, Shooshoo, though sometimes I wish you could talk.

Shooshoo remains silent.

Act 1 – Scene 2: Arrival of Pierre

Setting: Tante Odette’s cottage. Tante Odette is at her loom, and Shooshoo rests on the rug. There’s a thumping at the door.

Narrator (N): One evening, Tante Odette sat at her loom, and Shooshoo lay on his rug. Suddenly, they heard a thumping at the door.

Pierre LeBlanc (P): (Stands at the door) Madame, I am Pierre LeBlanc, and I have come to offer my services to you as a workman. I am too old to trap furs or to work in lumber camps, and I am looking for a job in a lovely, cozy house like your own.

Tante Odette (T): I don’t need any help. I’m pretty able to do all my work by myself. And besides, I have my cat, Shooshoo.

Shooshoo starts to speak.

Shooshoo (S): I can indeed. I haven’t come upon a serious enough matter until now. This Pierre LaBlanc looks to me like a good, hard worker and an honest man. I think you should take him in.

Tante Odette (T): Well, it is so rare for a cat to speak that I am sure I should listen to him when he does.

Pierre LeBlanc (P): (Enters the cottage) I am grateful, madame.

Act 1 – Scene 3: Acceptance

Setting: Tante Odette’s cottage. Pierre is inside, and they sit at the table for supper.

Narrator (N): Pierre LeBlanc walked inside and shut the door behind him. After Pierre finished eating, Shooshoo stared at Tante Odette.

Shooshoo (S): Now give him a place to sleep. He looks exhausted.

Tante Odette (T): I suppose you’re right. Thank you for your advice, Shooshoo.

Pierre is shown to the loft for a night’s rest.

Act 2 – Scene 1: The Hardworking Pierre

Setting: Tante Odette’s cottage. Several weeks have passed. Pierre is working hard, and the place is well-stocked with food.

Narrator (N): Weeks passed, and Tante Odette decided that Shooshoo’s advice had been good. Pierre LeBlanc worked hard. He kept the place in acceptable order and seemed content to sup on cabbage soup and bread. Shooshoo didn’t say another word.

Shooshoo (S): (Sudden speech) Tante Odette, why do you feed Pierre only cabbage soup and bread? A man who works as hard as he does needs meat pies.

Tante Odette (T): But Shooshoo, meat costs money!

Shooshoo (S): Money! Money!! Money!!!

Act 2 – Scene 2: The Stranger Arrives

Setting: Tante Odette’s cottage. Tante Odette, Shooshoo, Pierre, and a stranger are present.

Narrator (N): One day, while Pierre was in the forest chopping wood, a stranger came galloping down the road. He, too, wore a red-checkered shirt, a red sash around his waist, and a cap with a black feather tucked in the brim. He stopped at Tante Odette’s house and knocked on the door.

Stranger (F): (Speaking to Tante Odette) Madame, can you tell me if Pierre LeBlanc lives here?

Tante Odette (T): Indeed he does.

Stranger (F): Of course, there are many men named Pierre LeBlanc. Does this Pierre LeBlanc wear a bright red sash and checkered shirt like mine? And does this Pierre LeBlanc have a long mustache like mine?

Tante Odette (T): That is the man!

Stranger (F): And can this Pierre LeBlanc throw his voice?

Tante Odette (T): (Alarmed) I would never have such a man in my house. I wouldn’t say I like magic.

Act 2 – Scene 3: Pierre’sReturn

Setting: Tante Odette’s cottage. Pierre, the stranger, Tante Odette, and Shooshoo are present.

Narrator (N): Just then, Pierre LeBlanc appeared on the path to the house. When Pierre saw the stranger, he ran to him, and they embraced.

Stranger (F): Ah, Pierre, where have you been all summer long? Please come back and stay with me again this winter.

Pierre LeBlanc (P): (Turning to Tante Odette) I will happily stay with you and your wise cat. And now I will go outside and unload the wood I have cut, and I will stack it neatly near the door.

Act 3 – Scene 1: The Happy Trio

Setting: Tante Odette’s cottage. Pierre and Tante Odette stand while Shooshoo rests on his rug.

Narrator (N): Pierre smiled, and his mustache quivered. Shooshoo looked up at Tante Odette and winked one green eye.

Pierre LeBlanc (P): I will happily stay with you and your wise cat.

They all share a happy moment.

Narrator (N): And so, Tante Odette, Shooshoo, and Pierre LeBlanc lived happily together, a trio of contentment, forever grateful for the wisdom of a talking cat.

The scene fades to black, and the play ends.

Gift of Coyote

Title: “Gift of Coyote”


  • Narrator (N)
  • Coyote (C)
  • Owl (O)
  • Frog (F)
  • Chipmunk (Ch)
  • Fire Monsters (M)
  • Animals (A)

Setting: A forest with a mountain and a hidden cave guarded by Fire Monsters.

Act 1: The Animals’ Concern

Scene 1: The Animals Gather

N enters and addresses the audience.

Narrator (N): Long ago, winter came just as it always came. The animals’ coats grew thick, and they prepared their nests, warrens, and caves for the chilly northern winter. But the humans were not designed to survive winter. Humans are not so adaptable. Their hair did not grow thick. Their homes were not warm. They feared they would not survive.

Animals (A): (In unison) We must help the humans.

Narrator (N):* The animals said, but they were afraid.

Owl (O): (Hoo-hoo) Who can help the humans?

Coyote (C): I will.

Narrator (N): So, Coyote explained a clever plan to the others. Chipmunk, Frog, and the tallest tree in the forest agreed to help Coyote. That night, the animals put their plan into action.

Scene 2: Setting off to the Mountains

Coyote, Chipmunk, and Frog prepare to climb the mountain.

Coyote (C): Let’s go.

Narrator (N): Coyote, Chipmunk, and Frog climbed into the mountains. Upon reaching the Fire Monster’s lair, Coyote hid behind a rock.

Fire Monster (M): (Shouting) Who’s there?

Narrator (N):* The Fire Monster shouted. The coyote was hidden behind a rock. Chipmunk was waiting for this moment. When the monster got distracted by the coyote’s howl, he scampered in from the hidden place, grabbed a flaming coal from the fire, and ran. The Fire Monster saw Chipmunk and gave chase. Before the Fire Monster could grab the coal, Chipmunk tossed it to Frog. The Fire Monster’s fingers scratched Chipmunk’s back, leaving three white scars that have never healed.

Frog (F): (Taking the coal) I’ve got it!

Narrator (N):* Now the Frog had the coal, and he was leaping fast downhill.

Fire Monster (M): (Chasing) Stop!

Narrator (N):* The Fire Monster hollered. He grabbed Frog by the tail, which tore off in the monster’s hand and never grew back. Frog threw the coal to the tallest tree, which swallowed it whole. The Fire Monster shrieked as he turned and returned to his fire surrounded by brick.

Act 2: The Animals’ Triumph

Scene 1: Reuniting and Celebrating

Animals reunite in the forest, and they’re ecstatic.

Frog (F): (Breathing heavily) Okay, what do we do now?

Narrator (N):* The animals asked for the fire was trapped inside the tree.

Coyote (C): I’ll show you.

Narrator (N):* The Coyote took two tree branches and rubbed them together. Fire came out of the branches. That night, the animals gave human beings fire. The humans were so grateful to the animals for this precious gift, and they understood that all Earth’s creatures depend on each other.

Narrator (N): Animals and humans need each other to survive.

All the characters gather in the middle of the stage, celebrating their unity and cooperation.

The scene fades, and the play ends.

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