How Children Earned Money Putting on a Play

MOTHER's children article showcases how children earned money putting on a play written by a child and performed by a group of children.

| September/October 1982

  • MOTHERs children put on a play
    The play I wrote called for one witch, a woman vampire, a man vampire, a girl, and a boy. That meant the show would have five parts . . . but there were only four of us!

  • MOTHERs children put on a play

MOTHER'S CHILDREN: How children earned money putting on a play using a simple script and an eager group of young thespians. 

MOTHER knows that many youths undertake interesting, original projects and start their own small businesses. To support these endeavors, we buy and publish well-written articles from children and teenagers concerning their efforts. However, we recommend that all young authors query (that is, send us a letter telling about the story they'd like to do) before writing a full article. Send your queries to MOTHER's Children, MOTHER EARTH NEWS, Hendersonville, NC. 

Last summer I was bored and broke (as usual), so I decided to put on a play with my sister and our neighbors Stacy and Joann Shaw. (I figured it'd be fun to do and might even earn us some money.) We all liked monster stories, so we put our heads together and came up with an idea for a vampire horror show called "The Perils of Mindy"

Our play started out all wrong, though, because everyone had different ideas about what should happen in it, so the show came out different every time we practiced. We soon realized that we needed a script, and I was elected to write it. Well, I'd never done anything like that before, so I tried to keep the story simple. (I figured that way we'd all he able to remember our lines!) The play I wrote called for one witch, a woman vampire, a man vampire, a girl, and a boy. That meant the show would have five parts . . . but there were only four of us! ("Nice going, David!" I thought, when I realized my goof.) We were able to fix that problem, though, by having me play both the boy and the man vampire.

As soon as we started rehearsing, we ran into another difficulty. Everyone joked around so much that we had a lot of fun . . . but didn't get anywhere with learning the play! Finally we sat down together and all agreed to try hard to be serious. (I also asked my mom to watch us for a while and help us keep our minds on our work.) Before long we were really rehearsing well, and the play started making sense. We decided to set the date of our performance for a Saturday two weeks away.

As the big event came closer, the four of us drew up posters to advertise our show. We had a lot of' fun doing that and making 10 cent admission tickets. Then we began hanging the posters in public places and selling tickets — while dressed in our costumes — around the neighborhood. (You should have seen some people's expressions when they opened up their front doors and came face to face with a group of toothy vampires and witches. Gasp!) We also practiced out in front of Stacy and Joann's house every day, hoping people would get curious about what was going on, wanting to see the play and how children earned money putting on a play.

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