Pip & The Prisoner is an original script based on the first five chapters of Charles Dickens’ novel, Great Expectations.
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The script endeavors to introduce the main character, Pip, in such a way as to motivate students to want to read the full novel--presumably when assigned to them in high school. But whether Dickens is a part of your curriculum or not, this 20-minute reader's theater or stage play is an enjoyable bit of stand-alone literature with much to teach middle-school aged students. It's aimed at 6th through 8th graders but could potentially be used with other ages. It includes parts for ten students and numerous non-speaking “soldiers.” It also includes embedded discussion prompts, a standards-based multi-choice comprehension and essay writing activity, teacher's notes and answer key, and the first five chapters of the original text for easy compare and contrast work. (If you don't need the original text, print only pages 2-13 of this product.)
The play begins in the graveyard and concludes with the departure of the convicts to the prison ship. Pip of the future narrates how his life becomes intertwined with one of these escaped convicts. The story is full of irony, anxiety, and engaging dialect as Dickens successfully captures Pip’s innocence and fears while weaving in marvelously subtle humor.
Consider pairing it with my other Dickens’ plays including Gabriel Grub and A Christmas Carol. Though it isn’t indicated in the play, the first five chapters take place on Christmas Eve, so all three plays could be presented as a holiday event.
As with all my plays, the original purchaser is licensed to print a full class set per year. That's 30 or so scripts every year for just a few bucks! And if you're a non-profit or public school, your purchase also includes performance rights. Visit ReadAloudPlays.com for details. Thank you!