Summer has come to a crashing halt in the little town of Watertower. The kids don't want to be back in school; they are listless and bored. Suddenly, the classroom door bursts open and there, wearing pajamas and cowboy boots, stands red-headed Gooney Bird Greene! "Hi! My name is Gooney Bird Greene—that's like the color with a silent 'e' on the end and I like to be smack in the middle of everything!" The class is never the same again. Gooney Bird speaks with confidence and dresses in outrageous outfits including Capri pants, blue knee socks, high-topped basketball sneakers, and elbow-length black gloves. But most wondrous of all, she casts herself as the hero in the most improbable, outlandish stories: how she arrived from China on a flying carpet, how she got a lovely pair of diamond earrings at the local palace, how she directed a symphony orchestra while driving through the center of town, and how her beloved cat, Catman, was consumed by a cow! Are these stories really true? Of course they are because, as Gooney Bird proudly proclaims, she only tells "absolutely true stories!" In blending funny and memorable characters with colorful details and her distinctive flair for suspense, Gooney Bird awakens the students' dormant imaginations. They come to realize their lives are as unique as Gooney Bird's and that they, too, can cast themselves as the heroes in their own true tales of discovery and adventure.
- Type of Show Full-length Play
- Product Code G77000
- Cast Size 5
- Min. Royalty Rate $100/perf
- Cost $10.95
- Approx. Run Time 60 min
- Target Audience Young Audiences | Middle School | Family (all ages)
- Performing Group Middle School | High School | College Theatre | Community Theatre | Professional Theatre | TYA
- Genre Comedy
- ISBN(13) 9781583422427
- "This is the most creative, imaginative, humorous children's script I have ever read. The book is funny. The play is hilarious! The play lends itself to a big cast. We had 25 in our "classroom." With all the potential of class ad libs, everyone can speak and be creative in their own right. On top of this, the play teaches creative writing!"
- Review by Ron Solomon, Make It Up As We Go Productions, Pearland, Texas
- "Extremely well received. The cast had a tremendous amount of fun building to be the outgoing, carefree character like Gooney Bird Greene."
- Review by Jacky Hummel, Camden Middle School, Camden, N.Y.
- "My students LOVED this play! It was such fun to rehearse and perform with my sixth grade students. The play engages adults and kids alike while sending a special message to the audience."
- Review by Caitlyn Baldwin, Rollings School of the Arts, Summerville, S.C.
- "Gooney Bird Greene is a magical and very fun production. Our young actors had a wonderful time bringing this tale to life. This is a wonderful play for young children."
- Review by Carol Vondrachek, Dakota Stage Ltd., Bismarck, N.D.
- "We had a great time with this show. It was perfect for our trouping program."
- Review by Leslie Price, Children's Theatre of Western Springs, Western Springs, Ill.
- "The most fun we've had with a production to date. I didn't want it to end. Entertaining and educational!"
- Review by Annette Rubin, Lime Springs Children's Theatre, Lime Springs, Iowa
- "We thoroughly enjoyed performing Gooney Bird Green. It is an exciting, interesting play. I thought the transitions were great for allowing improvisation with students which kept the audience's attention."
- Review by Rochelle Andrews, CFE Drama Troupe, Newark, Ohio
- "This amazing show is fun to produce and equally as fun for actors. I loved the show as it allowed student actors to really explore characterization. A great vehicle for both the actor and the patron."
- Review by Jordana Fleischut, Dreamland, Nantucket, Mass.
- "Gooney Bird is "the" show to produce if you want to challenge the actors and promote and build your program. Our district elementary and middle schools attended, and we packed the house. The Gooney Bird series of books was read to students before they attended, and they loved seeing the fictional characters come to life. The teachers who attended appreciated the message and their students' learning a valuable lesson."
- Review by Jill Gable, South San Antonio High School, San Antonio, Texas
- "My cast loved this show with its improvisational acting style and had a blast performing the Viennese waltz, tango and ballet dances! This is a perfect show for production companies without a big budget to perform!"
- Review by Carol-Ann Black, Showbiz Kidz/Showbiz Starz, Allen Park, Mich.
Hints, Tips, and Tricks
- "Be creative with the props. We made everything two-dimensional out of foam core or cardboard. We wanted the sets/props to look like a pop up book so the actors really stood out. "
- Tip by Caitlyn Baldwin, Rollings School of the Arts, Summerville, S.C.
- "Put the bus and car and two separate 4' X 8' platforms on wheels. Have the kids in desks on risers. Each successive row of kids is eight inches higher so that the audience can see everyone!"
- Tip by Ron Solomon, Make It Up As We Go Productions, Pearland, Texas
- "Keep it simple with sets and props! Let your imagination go wild—we used foamcore to cut out different props, and an actor inside a felt gumball machine costume played our gumball machine—FUN!!"
- Tip by Carol-Ann Black, Showbiz Kidz/Showbiz Starz, Allen Park, Mich.