plays for children, inspired by children
Welcome to Moxie Script Service
Teachers and directors who create plays for children depend on scripts for kids that really work. Moxie Script Service provides smart script rentals with low fees, making the children's theatre experience more meaningful, fun, and manageable.
Meet the Playwright
Jen is a playwright, a director, an actor, a mother of two and a novice first mate. She holds a BA in theatre from Bennington College, and an MA in drama education from the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. She served as Artistic Director of the Sheridan Arts Foundation's Young People's Theater, a program she founded in Telluride Colorado from 1999-2016. Jen is the proud mother of Hudson (10) and Vivian (7), and the proud wife of Travis Julia. She and her family (including their chocolate lab Sadie) are currently living aboard their sailboat Moxie with a purposefully loose plan to sail and have adventures until they don't feel like traveling anymore.
How It Works
Why are my scripts best for your students?
Do you remember what plays were like when you were in school? I do. A few kids got to play big, interesting roles. The rest of the characters in the play were non-speaking "townspeople" or even the dreaded...trees. You won't find any roles like that in my plays, because I refuse to write boring parts for children. My philosophy of play writing is simple: the characters, the story, and lines the actors speak must be meaningful and interesting to them. Kids are smart, perceptive and highly inventive. They need roles they can sink their teeth into, whether they have lots of experience on stage or not. No matter how large or small, a character needs to appeal to the person playing it; this is the only way to ensure that young actors are fully engaged and invested in the dramatic process. That's why my scripts have LOTS of fun, honest, juicy, and memorable characters.
When it comes to each play's theme or message, I always write with young people and the issues they grapple with in mind. My plays revolve around common "kid agendas" such as social struggles, family dynamic, and eternal questions: "WHO AM I AND WHAT IS MY PLACE IN THE WORLD?!?" My plays promote self-acceptance and the concept of "embracing your inner weirdness." We are all weird, and we are all wonderful.
I have directed my own plays dozens of times, and I can tell you with confidence: they work. Young actors love performing these characters, and love bringing these stories to life. To have a successful performance and a positive experience from start to finish, a script your ENTIRE cast loves is where you need to start.
My Scripts: Feel Free To Change 'Em!
The best way for you to direct successfully is if you tweak my scripts to fit your cast. I want my plays to WORK FOR YOU, and that's why I am inviting you to chop, change, and rearrange these scripts to best suit your needs. If there are too many roles, cut them, combine them, change them. If there are not enough characters to suit your needs, just email me and I'll write more in for you!
Sets Or No Sets, It's Up To You
These plays are written to be performed with simple sets or no sets at all. Even if there are multiple locations in a play, usually a single backdrop (or none!) can suffice.
Music and Dancing
All of my plays call for music at some points to help set the mood or for a group dance. You can cut the music and dancing if you have to, but I encourage you to keep it in. If you have someone to play live music, that's great. Recorded music works well, too. If you use copyrighted music, you are supposed to obtain permission to include it in your play. I leave that up to you. If you would like help or suggestions for how to stage dancing, email me and I can help.
How to Purchase Rights to Produce a Play
After you submit payment, you will be given access to a downloadable digital file of the script. You'll also be required to agree that your use of the script is for a one time production of the play (with all performances occurring within one week's time), and that you will not share or distribute my script. It's the honor system, folks! Thank you.
Don't See a Script You Like? I'll Write One For You!
I am a playwright for hire. If your school or drama program is looking for an original story on a particular theme, or an adaptation of an existing story, I can write it for you. Email me for details!
Max + Minerva's Magical Machine
Cast Size – 11 principles, 15-20 smaller roles that can be easily be expanded or combined as needed.
Running Time – 45 minutes.
Synopsis – Max and Minerva are a typical brother and sister. Their Mom wants them to play outside, but they'd much rather play video games or watch their favorite TV shows... that's because the sneaky Mr. Monotonous, the "spirit" behind technology and screen time, is always there to keep them on the couch. But thanks to the ingenious Ms. Marvel (the "spirit" of creativity and adventure-seeking) and her gang of "Inspiration Sprites", Max and Minerva and their friends drop the remote control in favor of building a giant "Magical Machine", a fantastic cardboard box that will take them anywhere and everywhere their imaginations will allow. With catchy songs and a powerful message, Max & Minerva's Magical Machine is a story about finding the balance between technology and creativity. It's a timely story that parents and kids will equally appreciate. NOTE: This play contains original songs, music is available upon request.
New Kid: A Middle School Story
Cast Size – 11 principles, Chorus of boys and girls that can be any number between 4-12 players
Running Time – 35 minutes.
Synopsis – Arthur is the new kid, and it's his first week at Sherwin Middle School. Trying to learn the ropes in his new environment, Arthur finds himself surrounded by a group of classmates who have all known each other since kindergarten. There's the popular football player Mike and his gang of adoring friends, the ultra school-spirited Sunny, the shy and artistic Margot, the class clown Chuck, the nervous hypochondriac Simon, and the outcast Bud. Navigating the choppy waters of the middle school social scene, Arthur learns that being true to himself is the best way to make real friends.
Sparklemuffin: The Story of Fowler Webber
Cast Size – 28 (10 principles, 18 smaller parts that can be easily combined or expanded)
Running Time – 45 minutes
Synopsis – This hilarious romp through the highs and lows of middle school features Fowler Webber,an 8th grade inventor who just doesn't fit in. Born to a "perfect" family that fits the mold in every way, Fowler struggles with the quintessential questions "Who am I?" and "Where do I Belong?". Luckily, his loyal gang of misfit friends (known as the "Cheese Cutters" due to an unfortunate 4th grade experience they can't seem to live down) are there to help cope with the other kids in school who seem to have it easier. These groups include the ultra-creative "Artistas", the cookie-cutter "Happy Hollys" and the uber-popular "Fabulas". Things seem pretty bleak for Fowler and his friends until the new girl,Swanson, moves to town and provides some new perspective on life in general.
Mystery At Vonwrinkle Mansion
Cast Size – 13 principles, 8 smaller roles
Running Time – 45 minutes
Synopsis – Set in the 1940's, this film noir-esque comedic thriller features Detective Don Underwood, a seasoned gumshoe, and his rookie partner, Lt. Laverne Shirley. They're hot on the trail of a mysterious criminal, the crook who poisoned Gloria Vonwrinkle, the glamorous billionairess. There are a slew of suspects, including the beautiful (and clumsy) Hollywood movie star Norma Diamond, the happy go-lucky paperboy Jimmy O'Reilly, the silly Southern belle Cookie Van Creme, the grouchy French ChefLouis, the always hungry lounge singer Debbie Twinkle, and many more. It's a nail-biting mystery that will have audience members on the edge of their seats (and rolling in the aisles).
Cast Size – 9 principles, 19 smaller roles (can be easily combined or expanded).
Running Time – 45 minutes
Synopsis – Princess Rapunzel is plain fed up. Tired ofbeing locked in a tower, forced to lend out her hair as a climbing rope to clueless princes, she embarks on a new lifestyle by giving herself a late night haircut and setting out to cause some trouble. Rapunzel's mother, the chain smoking Witch, can't understand her daughter's mischievous lifestyle and enlists her best friend, the stylish Rumplestiltzen to help change Rapunzel's ways. This updated version of the classic tale introduces new themes to a familiar storyline, and poses a serious question to audiences: do princesses always have to follow the rules?
Sleeping Beauty (Sort of)
Cast Size – 26 (10 principles, 16 smaller parts that can be easily combined or expanded)
Running Time – 45 minutes
Synopsis – The Wiggly Knots Semi-Professional Theatrical Troupe is trying their best to put on a show, but they just can't seem to get their act together. Their dramatic leader, Graciella VanShine, wants to direct the world's greatest production of Sleeping Beauty (with the help of her eternally confused stage manager Roger) starring a rambunctious cast of actors who really know how to put the drama in the drama. In this highly comedic "play within a play", your students will all play two roles (the actor and the character in "Sleeping Beauty"). Will this zany crew be able to pull off their production? The answer is yes! (Sort of).
Cindy and the Saddle Shoes
Cast Size – 12 principles, 15 smaller roles (can be easily combined or expanded)
Running Time – 45 minutes
Synopsis – What do you get when you combine the well-loved fairy tale of Cinderella and set it in a 1950's diner? Cindy and the Saddle Shoes, of course! The story revolves around Cindy Relish, a sweet hardworking girl who is terribly mistreated by her awful stepmother, diner owner Maybelline Relish, and her nasty daughters, Sharon, Shirley, and Maxine. Throw in a leather-jacket clad gang of cool kids, a peppy cheer squad, some adorable nerds, and a famous Hollywood movie director, and you've got a goofy, joyous, heartwarming comedy that students will love to perform.