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The Empty Pot

The Empty Pot

By Debbie L. Metzler. Adapted from a Chinese folktale.

Product Code: E83000

  • Full-length Play
  • Comedy | Drama
  • Cast size: 7m., 4w., 10 to 15 or more either gender.

Rights and availability
This title can be licensed and sold throughout the World.

* Please note the royalty rate listed is the minimum royalty rate per performance. The actual royalty rate will be determined upon completion of a royalty application.

$8.95 /script

Min. Royalty Rate: $65/perf

In stock


Ming is a young Chinese boy who, like the emperor, loves to grow beautiful flowers. Ming's grandfather, near his death and in constant communication with the "Dead Ancestors, " is Ming's greatest teacher; he sees Ming's skills as the foundation for the philosophy of a great leader. When the emperor, who is saddled with two egotistical sons and their jealous and scheming mothers, realizes that it is time to choose a successor to the throne, he is horrified at the prospects in his own palace and turns to the villagers with the help of his good friend and confidant, Sun Li. The emperor puts out a decree that all subjects receive a seed, and, in a year's time, each person must bring to the emperor his or her best effort. Comedy and plotting ensue as the emperor's sons, Sam Pu and Wong Weh, do their level best to be the successors to the throne. The villagers are put to the test as to how they will respond to the emperor's decree, and Ming, who has now lost his biggest advocate, feels alone and unsuccessful in his attempts to grow a beautiful flower. Will integrity prevail? Or is the desire for the most powerful seat in the kingdom too great a reward to stay true to oneself? A year's time will tell.


  • Status

    In stock

  • Type of Show Full-length Play
  • Product Code E83000
  • Cast Size 21
  • Min. Royalty Rate $65/perf
  • Cost $8.95
  • Approx. Run Time 65 min


  • Target Audience Young Audiences | Middle School | High School | Family (all ages)
  • Performing Group Middle School | High School | College Theatre | Community Theatre | Professional Theatre
  • Genre Comedy | Drama
  • ISBN(13) 9780876024294
* Please note the royalty rate listed is the minimum royalty rate per performance. The actual royalty rate will be determined upon completion of a royalty application.

Customer Reviews

"The Empty Pot is a wonderful story about bravery and honesty. There is a nice balance between comedy and drama and we received great reviews on our production. We had actors ranging from age 8 to 13, with most being around age 10. I did notice that some of the words were a little too difficult and there were quite a few long paragraphs that were a challenge for the actors to memorize and understand. But overall, it was a nice message that everyone understood and the actors really enjoyed performing this play."
Review by Christopher Herlong, Oakhill Academy, Temecula, Calif.

Hints, Tips, and Tricks

"We found that a lot of the scenery and costumes were available directly from China and at very reasonable costs, although it was vital to order them a month or two in advance. We also prepared an elaborate method for scene changes, as there are 14 scenes and 12 required scene changes. At our dress rehearsal, it became obvious that this was not doable in a timely manner. We rearranged the sets so that all scenes were present on stage and we just lit them appropriately when it was time to show them."
Tip by Christopher Herlong, Oakhill Academy, Temecula, Calif.