Fairy tale. Adapted by by Aurand Harris. From the book by Phyllis McGinley.
Cast: 4m., 7w., 2 either gender. Suitable for an all-female cast. In this adaptation of a present-day fairy tale, the king and queen plan a birthday party for their daughter, Esmeralda. They shower her with gifts and toys, order a feast with entertainment, and invite a neighboring prince to play with her. But the princess is in a sulky mood and throwing one of her royal tantrums, she goads the usually well-mannered prince into declaring what no one has ever dared to admit—that she is a plain princess. Faced at last with the truth, the princess falls into a genuine decline, and her parents offer a great reward to anyone who can make her beautiful. All the wise men try, without success. Finally, the royal dust woman, Dame Goodwit, offers to make the princess beautiful in three months—if the princess will come and live in her cottage with her three daughters. The changes that take place are only natural ones, but when the princess learns to do a truly unselfish thing, her mouth turns up, her nose turns down, and her eyes sparkle like the candles on a birthday cake. Technical notes are available in the script containing details on special effects. Two sets. Royal and folk costumes. Approximate running time: 60 minutes. Music in book.