Hans Christian Andersen's tragic story is dramatized with love and tenderness. Ragged, hungry little Maggie tries to sell matches on the icy streets of a cold city, but no one will buy them—not because people are malicious or spiteful, but because they are so involved in their own interests that they fail to understand the needs of others. In desperation Maggie lights her matches to warm herself. She doesn't get warm, but somehow her pitiful little flame lights up the world around her. It is especially meaningful at Christmas—or any season. Maggie may be almost any age of childhood—from a preschooler to a young high school girl. And her story appeals to children and adults alike. This play is ideal for directors who want to use a large number of people; the size of the cast is virtually unlimited. Fourteen girls and eleven boys appeared in the premiere production. However, the size of the cast may be drastically reduced by letting some of the characters play two, or even three, parts. The Usher, for example, might double as the Grandmother and a passerby.