It Was a Dark and Stormy Night is a comedic journey through childhood fears, intended for intermediate elementary students (grades 3-5). It has 28 roles addressing assorted ability levels, with a run time of approximately 40 minutes.
Girls are having a sleepover party when the topic turns to their fears: ghosts, the dark, vampires, spiders, zombies, vicious dogs, the thunderstorm that’s crashing outside, and more. Once asleep, a public service announcement allows a rebuttal from the scary things, followed by a somewhat clinical child psychologist addressing coping mechanisms.
The inspiration for this play was seeing a kid-friendly method for creating sound effects that simulate a thunderstorm by having a group of children rubbing their hands together, snapping, and clapping (directions included)—it was so realistic, I was determined to work it into a play somehow.
I’m using it with my drama club for our end of year presentation, but it would also be appropriate for in-class use, and perfect for Halloween or any time of the year (my club presents in the spring--it honestly didn't occur to me at first that folks might enjoy it as a Halloween play, but of course that works too)!
My students are enjoying acting this out as they develop fluency and intonation. I hope yours will too!
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