PLAYS OF THE WILD WEST, Vol. 1
Classroom Plays for Social Studies, History, Folklore
* Written by L.E. McCullough, Ph.D.
* ISBN: 1-57525-104-3
* Retail List Price: $17.00 (check online retailers for other prices)
The wild and wooly American frontier lives again!
THESE 12 ORIGINAL PLAYS offer humorous and adventurous dramatizations of songs, folktales, historical events and larger-than-life characters from Buffalo Bill and Calamity Jane to Sacajawea and Sitting Bull. Join the railroaders, mountain men, vaqueros, 49ers, outlaws and – yessiree, pardner – the school teachers and missionaries who settled the West.
Each play has an introduction with historical information as well as helpful notes for staging, costuming and music. The Plays of the Wild West series is perfect for making American history come alive!
1. The Rainbow Cradle. A visit to Window Rock Reservation, Arizona Territory, in 1876 to discover the magic of Navajo ritual and art with Bird-Comes-Back and her brother Three Stars.
2. Klondike Fever. Humorous rhyming play á la Robert Service on the Alaska Gold Rush, based on the character of “the Saint of the Sourdoughs” — Nellie Cashman (1851-1925), a native of Cork, Ireland, who lived throughout the West prospecting and establishing boarding homes, restaurants and stores for miners. See Nellie and her faithful Siberian Husky, Snowball, face the conniving crooks Pig-Ear Pete, Backstab Bill and Cannibal Ike!
3. Darling Clementine. The growth of San Francisco, California from a tiny fishing village into one of the great cities of the world — through the feline eyes of Miss Clementine, The Grand Calico Queen of Yerba Buena. Actors Lotta Crabtree and Edwin Booth, authors Bret Harte, Ambrose Bierce and Mark Twain, along with other famous 19th-century San Franciscans make appearances.
4. Bird Woman of the Shoshones. Life of Shoshone girl, Sacajawea, who assisted the historic Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804-06. This play follows the trail of the great explorers and shows the role Sacajawea played in guiding the expedition safely to the Pacific Ocean.
5. “Git Along, Little Dogies!” While working in their Aunt Laura’s general store in San Saba, Texas, in 1871, young Jake and Jenny meet a trio of cowboys (Ramon Diego, Harvey Coryell, Crawfish Charlie) stocking in supplies for a cattle drive up the Old Chisholm Trail with legendary cattlemen Jesse Chisholm and Joseph McCoy.
6. The Little Old Sod Shanty. The settling of the Great Plains told by homesteaders and emigrants. Follow the adventures of the Hans Niethammer Family and Sodbuster Pete as they battle bone-chilling blizzards, sweltering droughts, locust attacks — and square dancers!
7. Zebra Dun. A lively dramatization of one of the funniest Western songs to shoot out of the corral. . . about a suspected greenhorn, a band of prankish cowboys and a loco bronco with a mind of its own.
8. Annie Oakley: Little Sure-Shot. Life of Annie Oakley, world-famous sharpshooter and entertainer with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, featuring appearances by Sitting Bull, Buffalo Bill and a crack troupe of Cowboys, Indians and Vaqueros.
9. El Paseo del Vaquero (The Ride of the Vaquero). In 1850 the Hoskins Family moves from Connecticut to Sante Fe, New Mexico, and 10-year-old Mike Hoskins learns rope tricks and fancy riding from a trio of Mexican vaqueros, who tell the story of the first North American cowboys.
10. The Golden Spike. Come to Promontory Point, Utah, May 10, 1869, to celebrate the linking of the first transcontinental railway, as Jane and Jared hear their Aunt Anna relive Uncle Theodore Judah’s dream of uniting the United States by rail — a dream it took six years and 1,776 miles of track to fulfill.
11. Pony Express Rider. This history of the fabled Pony Express, featuring teenager Buffalo Bill Cody, recounts highlights from the most daring and action-filled method of mail delivery ever.
12. Great Medicine Painter. The life of George Catlin (1796-1872), first American artist to venture into the West for the specific purpose of recording the life and culture of Native American tribes. During a time when most Americans back East thought Indians were simple savages, Catlin’s paintings and books helped show that the Indians possessed a complex and sophisticated culture deserving of respect and preservation.